Rollei SL35

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tony_lockerbie, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. The very pretty SL35 was Rollei's first attempt at a 35mm SLR, and I think their best. The later electronic cameras are nice to use but were plagued with electronic problems. The first few of the SL's were made in Germany, later in Singapore. I have a silver camera made in Germany, the black one is a Singapore manufactured camera, can't really see much difference.
    I have a few lenses for the QBM mount, a 50mm SL Xenon, 50mm Planar, 50mm 1.4 Planar, and the 50mm Color-Ultron which I believe is the same lens as the Planar.
    All these pictures were taken with the 50mm 1.4 Planar pictured on the chrome SL. The location is the Goulburn rail heritage museum, and the Goulburn railway station in south-east Australia. Caution, the following images may depict peeling paint!
  2. First pic.
  3. Whoops, pictures have vanished! Try again.
  4. Sorry guys, the gremlins have struck..I'll be back!
  5. Last try.
  6. That should have been red wheel, I think this is peeling paint!
  7. Next shot.
  8. On to the rail station.
  9. Goulburn Station
  10. Try the tracks once again!
  11. Sorry for the stuff ups, hope you enjoy the shots...I don't take colour much but the Planar takes such nice colour that I couldn't resist!
  12. Tony, I know my classic slrs pretty well I suppose meaning Nikon Fs to Pentax K1000, early Leica SLs etc.., but I'm not that familiar with the Rolleiflex although I have of course heard of it over the years. That is just such a handsome camera. All of our digital whatever will never take the charm out of these cameras, especially when the essentially mechanical film SLR is executed in such a clean manner. Having Zeiss optics on it to boot just shows that photographers in 1970 really were not suffering for much of anything when it comes down to it. Your images lack for nothing in my opinion either. Very satisfying....
  13. Very nice Tony! I always loved the design of these cameras, but never had the money
    at the time to dabble with them. Your images prove the quality of the lenses. Why does this appear under the brownie category?
  14. Thanks Guys, Michael..the Brownie category seems to be the only option I have, anyone else noticed this?
  15. "Goulburn Station" is a beautiful photograph. Well done.
    I sold my Rollie SLR some time ago. Like most of my old cameras, I miss it on occasion.
  16. Thanks for that Gene, missed those posts. The various later Rollei models, which include their Voigtlander cousins were great performers but lacked reliabilty unfortunately, because the optics are first class.
    I am just using a VSL3-E, with a Color-Ultron 55mm 1.4, which is made in Japan (the lens) and I think is another re-branded Mamiya Sekor. The VSL is lovely to use but I had to go through a few samples to find one that works properly. Oh, can't post it here...batteries you see!
  17. Tony,
    Wonderful work. This is a camera I wasn't familiar with but it falls right into the time frame of my SLR collection. I think I would rather have one of these than a Kowa, no offense to Kowa fans.
    I did find a test of this camera with a Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.8. I will look for a test of the 50mm Planar f/1.4.
    This is page 1.
  18. This is page 2 of the test. The test is from Modern Photography 1972.
  19. Thanks Marc, much appreciated!
  20. Great post, Tony, even James will be content with the quantity of peeling paint...Not a camera I'm familiar with, but it's great that you have a what appears to be a great collection of lenses for it. "Blues" would be my favourite, but all your images demonstrate the quality of the glass. (And the photographer...) Fine post, many thanks.
  21. Thanks Rick, the SL35 is definitely one of my favorites, such an attractive design, and the lenses are excellent...the 50mm Xenon is a very close second to the Planar.
  22. Tony: Is that the model that was released first in M42-mount and then bayonet?
  23. Tony,
    great shots, but darn you, I want one now to quench my Rollei addiction!
    Stephen, the ZI Icarex was made in bayonet, subsequently M42. I believe it was more Voigtlander than Zeiss Ikon, although ZI had a hand in the Rollei SL series that ended badly, I believe? Towards the end times there was some to and fro-ing.
  24. Lovely Photos. Really nice color work! Itoo likes Blues a lot. But the best for me was The station shot! The lenses are first class. I too have lusted for those but the few that I came across were more Voigtl. and more electronic which made the mquestionable for the money! In face the Planar was the purchase the Voiglt was the accessorie! Do oyu have any other lenses. There was a Distagon too right?
  25. Beautiful pictures with it. The Goulburn station almost looks like it is HO scale from that angle.
    The Rollei SL35 is another of the cameras whose design is in my category of "most beautiful SLRs".
    It's also the only one that I haven't yet acquired an example of, darn you to heck!
    At least in other Rollei models like the Rollei 35, I always found the Singapore models to be just as good and often cheaper to acquire.
  26. Very nice camera and excellent images. I really like the the way it handles Ektar 100. Many years ago there was a used one on a shelf at a local camera shop. As I recall someone told me to stay clear of Rollie 35mm SLR's. After reading your post I wish I had not listened to him .
  27. Stephen, the Rollei's only came with the QBM byonet, and Brett is right about the Icarex, another very pretty camera, but like all the later cameras from the Zeiss/Voigtlander/Rollei conglomerate, was plagued by poor reliability, but blessed with fine optics.
    Chuck, I have several other lenses, a 35mm 2.8, 28mm 2.8, three 135's...a 135mm SK Tele-Xenar, 135mm F4 Tele-Tessar and a 135mm 2.8 Color-Dynarex. As you can guess the 135's come quite cheaply!
    The two wide angles and the 135mm 2.8 are made in Japan by Mamiya. I would love the 85mm Sonnar but the prices for these have gone through the roof!
    JDM, you do need one...but go for the SL as they are well made, including the Singapore models that like your 35S, seem just as well made.
  28. Thanks Guys, Michael..the Brownie category seems to be the only option I have, anyone else noticed this?
    Yes, confused the heck out of me last time I started a discussion.
  29. Talk about an odd chart on the 50mm f/1.8 Zeiss Planar (Pg 2 of Marc B.'s attachment)
    The center at f/4 is only acceptable? ; with the edge excellent?
    Whatever you do, know that the Icarex design Rolleiflex SL35M (Not Tony's SL35, which BTW does have the thinnest lever) is my choice as the worst feel in advance/transport levers; like someone at the factory left metal shavings or sand inside the gears...
  30. Yes Gus, I noticed that too, they may have reversed the chart!
  31. I still have two SL35 bodies, but my SL2002 is dead.
    I love using QBM lenses on digital cameras, such as the Olympus QBM. The old Zeiss lenses are awesome in all aspects. I use the Zeiss 85/1.4 wide open since the aperture blades have broken, but the Distagon 35/1.4 is still intact. The 50mm lenses are awesome.
    I recall there was a detailed article in Shutterbug Magazine by Bob Shell about the Rolleiflex 35m system as a cheaper way to get Zeiss lenses, compared with the Contax system, say.
  32. It could be that they compare the numbers to different numbers for the center and the edges.

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