What is the filter thread of the Rollei SL-26 (Tessar 40/2.8)

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by fernando_mcsoto, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Who knows what is the filter thread of the Tessar 40mm/f2.8 standard
    lens for the Rollei SL-26 (the 126 film SLR)?. Someone in the web
    says that it is BAY 1, like my Yashica MAT 126G, but it is not. It
    is definetly a bayonet type of filter, but bigger than BAY 1.
  2. Fernando: The SL-26 accepts Rollei filters in Bay I. I have two of these cameras and I just tried it and it fits. Some other manufacturer's filters that are suppossed to fit Yashica MAT 124G do not work with Rollei. BTY The SL26 manual, page 33 says "bayonet size 1"
  3. Thanks Joerge, you are right. Rolley BAY 1 filters work on the camera. I had a Wallz BAY 1 that it did not worked that is why I was confused. By the way what are your views for the Rollei SL-26? Do you like it?
  4. Fernando: As the most complex and sophisticated and ONLY A26 SLR it is a nice camera to have. It's sort of like the Rollei 16 and A110 The best of its class, but who cares? I have two. One German, One Singaporian. No discernible difference between them except that one says "GERMANY" The lenses were all made in Germany by Zeiss, so if that doesn't impress folks what will?
  5. I agree with you. I am surpirse that this camera is not among those camera that have a cult following after. It a nice cute small SLR. It is mush smaller than an Olympus Pen F but provides a much bigger negative (28x28) and a much better lightmeter. The lenses are not as fast though. I find a lot of pleasure shooting with it and the only thing I regret is that there is only one type of film available, the Solaris ISO 200 color print from Ferrania. I wish there were some black and white and slide.

    I think that most people do not know that the camera has a sensor that senses the ISO of the film and that the camera exposes film perfectly like any other good 35mm camera. However, this is not the only high quality 126 film SLR available. There were other models like the Zeiss Contaflex 126 and some others. But I think that the Rollei SL-26 is the smallest and probably the best of all of them.
  6. Fernando, you are right. AND I own a Zeiss 126 SLR with 3 lenses. Sorry. I can't think of another one. Can you?
  7. Those two are probably the best, which in my very personal opinion leaves the Rollei SL-26 as the best 126 camera, because in the Contaflex 126 the mirror does not come back at the end of the shoot, but only the you cock the shutter. Also because I prefer the Rollei's focusing screen and meter.

    Nevertheless there were other high end 126 cameras that can sense the speed of the film: Kodak Instamatic Reflex, Kodak Instamatic X-90, and Kodak Instamatic 500, the Voigtländer Bessa 126, Rollei A26, the Minolta Autopak cameras, Ricoh and Konica rangefinder cameras, Yashica Ez-Matic and the Yashica Ez-Matic Electronic. However while most of these camera can sense film from ISO 50 (or even 80) to 800, the Zeiss Contaflex 126 and the Rollei SL-26 can sense film from ISO 25 to ISO 800. This difference is nowadays irrelevant because in any case they all expose the only film avalable, Solaris, correctly. I am not sure, but I think that the Ricoh SLR that did not have interchangeable lenses can also sense the film speed and should also be added to this list. Some of this cameras are automatic like the Rollei A26 and some fully manual like the Rollei SL-26.

    As things are nowadays I think that the any 126 film camera that cannot sense the film speed is not worth using or buying, because they will never expose the film properly. Even consumers do not tolerate such incorrect exposure nowadays, not to say amateurs. I have never had the oportunity to use most of these cameras. I never find them in my local shop. Currently I use a VEB Zeiss Taxona for 24x24 format in 35mm film, but I am thinking that if I manage to localise a really good quality rangefinder that uses 126 film from this list I may go for it. I really like square format and small cameras.
  8. Ah, the two of you seemed so lonely in your praise of the SL26
    that I thought 'let's make a small contribution to this thread'! We
    too like the Rollei SL26 and have one camera w/ standard lens,
    hoping to get the other two lenses somewhere in this year.

    Haven't tried the camera yet, because we are thinking of
    modifying it to take normal 35mm film. This would broaden the
    range of films one could use - including B&W! We also will try to
    keep the auto-sensing of the film speed. It will be quite a
    complicated operation, alltogether, but we are making a plan
    slowly how to go about it. Luckily, our patient is not on intensive
    care & in need of speedy operation, so we can take our time.

    What would be the easiest solution by far, is to make
    self-loading cassettes inclusiding the paper-backed 35 mm
    film. Perhaps JandC will start making them, if we manage to
    start a trend for 126 cams!

    Is anybody else planning on a likewise operation? If so, let's
    exchange ideas?
  9. Norman. Could you describe which is the process you are planning to convert the Rollei SL-26 to 35mm film?
  10. Hi Fernando,
    the plan is still sketchy - and not that simple either. I'll need
    some time to put it into words. Bear with me, I might have time
    somewhere this week. It could be interesting for you, but you
    must not be afraid of doing some camera hacks! (Or find
    someone who does it for you )
    Regards, Norman
  11. Okay, here goes: our sketchy and ambitious plan for Rollei SL26 mod to 35mm film.
    Part A: Asa sensing.
    The Rollei SL26 automatically senses the speed of the film. A great feature you'd want to keep. What are we talking about? Open up the camera and locate a small slit right above the film plane masking unit. Inside this slit resides a small silvery lever that moves left to right (you see this when moving the back door to and fro). Now take a look at the middle bit of a 126 film cassette (the front side that goes face down into the camera). On the top you will notice a small slot on the rim of the cassette. The width of this slot varies according to the film speed. The small metal sensor 'feels' where the slot is and so 'knows' which film speed to adapt to.
    Our plan is to collect as many different cassettes (old & used) and use this middle part as an ASA-sensing insert in the camera. The 126 cassettes can be spliced easily, coming apart in two pieces. It is the front piece with the slot info that we'd preserve. We'd hack off the side wings of the cassette, leaving us a squarish bit of plastic that neatly falls into the camera. It performs several functions:
    -it tells the camera the ASA
    -it protects the film from the sharp edges of the film plane unit
    -it will provide space to hide a lever we need to construct for another purpose
    Part B: Modifying the 35mm film cartridge
    Modern 35mm film cartridges are too large to fit inside the SL26 film chamber. Therefore, you'll need to saw away the top of every film roll. This shouldn't be too hard or tedious. To make the film transportable, once loaded inside the camera, you'll need to construct a replica of the top right part of the original 126 cassette - by this we mean the revolving plastic bit. Have no clue yet how or from what material to make it, but Norman says it shouldn't be a huge problem. Perhaps you could use a winding spool from a cheap donor 35mm camera. What you want to end up with is a flat insert for the top of the sawed off 35 mm film cartridge. Ideally, you'd click this on top of your spool and place the spool in the film chamber - the 'new' top should connect with the film advance lever pins inside the film chamber.
    Part C: Creating a take up spool & winding mechanism.
    Find an old-fashioned metal 35mm film cartridge. The kind you can take apart and fill at home. Leica used them, as well as Agfa and other brands. Hama still sells'em. Modify it to fit inside the left film chamber of the camera like you did with the other film cartridge. On the bottom side of the SL26 body a film winding knob needs to be constructed. This involves drilling a (small) hole in the SL26 body for the winding knob's axis. We expect to take the winding knob and other needed parts from another donor camera - Pentacon F, Contax D or whatever is lying around dead & useless.
    If this all works well, you'd have a winding mechanism that allows you to pre-wind the film into the metal cartridge in the left chamber. When in use, the film will be re-wound onto the original spool that you'll bring to the lab.
    Part D: Modifying the original film transport mechanism.
    This is a very hard nut to crack. We haven't yet come up with the perfect solution. We haven't opened the top of the camera either to take a look at the mechanics of the film transporting system. That might eventually change the plan we have now.
    The troublemaker is a small pin located near the top of film plane. In the original design, this pin falls into the typical perforation pattern of the 126 type film. If this pin is pushed in, you cannot fire the shutter. If the pin is in outward position, you cannot advance the film transport lever. The pin regulates both film transport and the shutter at the same time. Brilliant construction, but difficult to deal with in our particular case. What we're considering now, is to make a small push bottom on the bottom of the camera. This button is connected to a self-constructed lever mechanism that moves in front off or away from this nasty little pin. In short, something that will function as a functional place-holder for the 126 film perforation.
    Another work-around solution is to make this regulating pin smaller and less high, so it fits into the perforation of the 35mm film. Because the 35mm film has more perforations, you'd need to make more film-advance movements with the film lever to transport the film over the desired distance. You could do this by putting on a lens cap and covering the TTL prism and advancing/firing the film a number of times (say three or four). Norman says it's an option, but not one he'd like to work with.
    Part E: Construction of a pressure plate and making the back window black.
    This job is very easy, - one you'd might want to save for these moments when you need some relief from the more difficult tasks. The originally clear plastic back of the camera needs to be darkened. Perhaps a bit of light seal foam will do the job splendidly. A small pressure plate can easily be constructed from a bit of sheet metal. Instead of a pressure plate spring Norman thinks he can use a type of rubbery foam - perhaps from an old Teva shoe, or something else that is black, bubbly, rubbery and very likely to be found somewhere on the street (if your name is Norman). Otherwise, try a company like Micro-Tools.
    Part F: Battery on/off switch.
    We wondered about this. Rollei seemed to have forgotten a battery switch on the SL26. Why? Now it seems your batteries will be drained in no time, while it should be so easy to make a small current switch. It would be an improvement on the original design.
    Note: As the 35mm is slightly narrower than the original 126 format, the bottom part of the 35mm will be exposed too, so part of the image will be on the perforated edge of the film. Some people think this is charming, otherwise you could maybe mask this bit off.
    We'd like to stress these are mere plans. If someone can come up with a more elegant and time-effective solution, we'd be happy to be notified. I realise I haven't described all the little details involved in the modification. Pictures would have been a great help, but (again) we have had no time for that yet. Maybe later.
  12. Hi guys,

    Happy I found this thread! I usually post on the Leica threads. I still have and use the SL26 and the A26. I keep Solaris film in the fridge and while the colors are a tad funky, they are the only game in town. I have one place that will send out the 126 and I have to wait for it (sometimes up to 3 weeks!), but at least it gets done.

    The BEST part is that once you get the negatives, they can be SCANNED via a 35 carrier for digital enlargements, where the color can be improved, sharpened. etc. I really love my little Rolleis, as I love using small Leicas over larger cameras. BTW Fernando, try to find a filter adapter that goes from Bay. 1 to 46mm. I have one and can use easier to get filters on the 2.8/40.

    Sometimes on short trips I take the SL26 and the 3 lenses, flash in a small bag. It is a simple, solid, wonderfully designed SLR. I only hate the fact you can't turn off the meter!
  13. Hi. Ray, welcome to the classic camera forum. We apreciate Leicas here, although you will find quite a few Zeiss fanatics like me too.

    I think that the proposal to convert the SL-26 to 35mm is really complex but I have no sufficient experince to judge it. I know from their website that these guys have already converted many old cameras so I have hopes that they will be sucessful and reach a viable solution for all of us.

    Ray. In the UK there is a mail order service that process and prints Solaris (they also sell it). I have used it, but I do really prefer the guys in my local lab who have been in the business for 40 years and know everything. They sold the machine they used to print 126 film three years ago and now they print manualy for only 1 pound more than the price of processing and printing a roll of 35mm film in the minilab. They always have to correct the color of my prints and I have always wondered if it was the meter, the lenses or what. Good to know that it is just the film. Recently I bought in eBay two cassetes of Kodachrome 64 from the early 70s and sent it to Kodak in Laussane for K-14 processing. The results were too bad. I also bought a cassette of Verichrome (black & white) from the 70s and I will process it at home. I think that with B&W I might be more sucessful.

    Look for the people who have been in the business for more than 20 years. Those people are not afraid of 126 film and they know that C-41 is always C-41 no matter if it is from the yellow father, the green or Solaris and that a machine that can process 35mm can always process 126 too because they are the same wide. I also take my SL-26 to my business trips and in trip to Brussels I discovered that with the latest generation of Fuji Frontera it is possible to print 126 without a 26x26 masque. (Don't ask me how)
  14. Hi Fernando

    I have found out for those 126 users who live in the states we just got lucky. Wal-Mart, that giant retailer with over a thousand stores across the U.S. develops 126! for only $2.25 for 24 exp! (about a pound-UK). Good news bad news...the bad; the prints are small at 3x3 (I only use them as proofs in any event). The good news; they are very good quality with good color correction of Solaris' Magenta tendencies and skin tones are excellent!

    To the posters who use high-end 126 SLRs, I still find a small number of negs do not come out sharp (126 film flatness issue?) while most are as good as any 35. What has been your experience? Are the stories true, that the 126 cassette can't hold the film flat all the time?
  15. Hi Ray,

    that's good news for all US users.

    About film flatness: I did not understand from your post if Wal
    Mart was making contact prints of the negs or enlargements. For
    if it's contact prints you experience sharpness issues with, it
    might be because the negs have not been pressed flat enough
    against the base board.

    If it's prints, then the problem must be in the cassette. I don't
    think the 126 is the best for keeping film flat - one more reason
    to convert the camera to 35 mm!

    Best wishes, Norm
  16. Hi Norm,

    Sorry if I was not clear. I get back 24 3x3 prints (just like in the 60's! talk about a flash-back), but I use them as proofs. I find that there are a few shots that are just not clear or sharp, while others are tack-sharp and perfect. I had thought the high-end 126 camers had a film frame that pressed the film inside the cassette (28x28) to the film gate as some shots were so, so good. I have seen great results from the Kodak Instamatic Reflex, the Instamatic 500 and from the Rollei A26. If the cassette is lose and does not hold the film flat, it would be uneven for all shots, no? Follow my logic on this and see if there is some reason I missed.

    Now, both the Minox 16 and the 110 come in cassettes with the same flatness issues. I have seen many good prints from those cameras (I had a Penaxt 110 and while samll, each shot was very good...I never had a film flatness problem). Why are there issues with film flatness from 126 but not from Minox 16 or 110? If you think about it, the film backs on 2-1/4 SLRs are the same as a film cassette: I know it is made to very high tolerances and wound tighter, but the same issues of a cassette holding the film to the film gate, the taughtness of the rollers, etc. yet no one would argue with the flatness results of a Hasselblad, Bronica, Pentax, etc. If the 126 is such a poor, cheap plastic vehicle to contain the film, whay does it result in some fine, sharp photos?.

    So, why the 126? Why the hit amd miss results? as I had asked, do others have the same experience?
  17. Hi Ray,

    what we think may be at the root of all trouble is this: unsound
    construction of the 126 film cassette. The 126 film is backed by
    paper and there is no way of re-tightening the film inside the
    cassette the way one does with 35 mm cameras or even
    medium format ones. Both ends are loos-ish and film tension
    gives way easily. Plus the cassettes are not always made to a
    100% perfection: a slight difference in the plastic pressure plate
    thingummy in the back may cause the film to shift out of focus.
    The film transport sensor in cheaper cameras is so roughly
    made, it pushes slightly against the film plane, causing unflat
    film. Also: changing weather conditions can cause the paper
    backing to expand or shrink. This will affect the position of the
    film and your shot will be slightly unsharp.

    All in all, there are a zillion reasons why film flatness could be an
    issue in 126 cameras. It's a bit of a hit and miss game, really,
    you could get lucky and have a very sharp shot.

    But perhaps someone else can step forward and offer another
    explanation of what you're experiencing.

    It's really a pity we are so busy right now, otherwise we could do
    some more serious experimenting on the conversion of our
    Rollei and report our findings back here.
  18. Thank you for your considered and rational view of this problem, Norman. I do appreciate your views and experience on this matter. I guess I will have to just use my Leicas and Olympus OM SLRs for serious shoots and leave the SL26 and A26 for non-serious playing around. Pity...for when the 126 pictue is good, it is very, very good..you just can't assume they all will be.
  19. Ray, I am sorry to hear about the film flatness issues. They are well reported but honestly I never had any problem in two years of use my Rollei SL-26. That said I always cock the shutter only before shooting to have the film tense and avoid those issues. Again I always get 100% good results with my camera.
  20. Fernando:
    Hope you are still using your SL-26. Trying to convert my Rollei to use 35mm, but haven't resolved the little silver feeler that controls the film advance and shutter-cocking. Have you found a work-around for this?

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