Zinc-air battery in a Rollei 35T - will it work?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jon_marks|1, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Afternoon, everyone.

    I've had a browse through this forum to see what others' experiences
    with the Rollei 35 and non-original batteries have been, and opinions
    seem to differ slightly - some seem to get on OK with colour neg film
    and the built-in lightmeter running unrecalibrated on a 1.5V alkaline
    625A, others seem to have problems (I'll be using colour neg most of
    the time, but may use some colour slide film too).

    Will a zinc-air Weincell get enough air to work properly inside the
    battery compartment of a Rollei 35T? I have a 625A that I'll try
    anyway in the meantime, and I realise the Rollei's own meter isn't
    fantastically precise anyway, but any advice would be much
    appreciated. I suppose I could shell out on an adaptor, but I'm a bit
    confused by the various options, and I'd like to avoid hassles like
    the sloping discharge characteristic of the alkaline if I can.

    Cheers, Jon.
  2. http://www.buhla.de/Foto/eQuecksilber.html#Typen
  3. my older cameras werer designed for mercury 1.35v cells.
    they were a good cell as they were stable until they died in about 2- 2 1/2 years. the alkaline cells are not as stable, and a few- very few
    old cameras with a "bridge" circuit don't care.
    most camrras designed for mercury cells have a "series" circuit that requires they the voltage be stable and not vary.
    the alkaline cell starts at 1.5v and gradually declines as it ages.
    you might say there is a "sloping " discharge charateristic.
    the wein cells work well but last a shorter time then other cells.
    they are also harder to finmd and fairly expensive.
    a common hearing aid cell is also a zinc-air cell and is stable and has the same voltage as a wein cell. If you can get a hearing aid cell in the correct size, it's a bargain. expect a shorter life, from a few monts to possibly 6 months ( my experience)
    most cameras are not that well sealed and air can get thru.
    some suggest a tiny hole can be drilled in the battery cap.

    another less mentioned idea is to seal 2 of the 4 holes on a hearing aid cell to slow down the drying out procerss. nail polish or crazy glue works.

    hearing aid cells MAY die in 2 or more years even if sealed ( the litt;le paper tab) is not pulled off.
    look in the pharmacy department, not the camera, watch or electronics dept. don't buy the 12 pack, 6 are enough.
    you cannot beat the cost.
  4. Ditto all of the above. I usually get about 6 months out of a zinc/air hearing aid battery, but I had one last over 2 years in an OM1.

    In most cameras the effect you will see from using an alkaline battery will be a slight underexposure on your first roll or two, followed by a fairly generous period of acceptable exposures (if you're shooting negative film), tending slowly toward overexposure, which will continue to get more and more severe if you're not paying attention and leave the old battery in the camera. The overexposure toward the end can get very bad, 2-3 stops, before the battery finally wakes up dead.

  5. Regarding the 625A - the battery makers say they are fine in cameras designed for the 1.35v Mercury cells. My experience was quite the opposite - the exposure was nowhere close to accurate in my Rollei 35S. Worse, I used these 1.5V batteries in only two cameras (the Rollei, and an Olympus OM-1), and BOTH of these cameras had the meters die and required repair. Coincidence? Perhaps. But when I got the Rollei repaired recently I also purchased the Silver battery adapter to be safe. By the way, I couldn't get my particular Rollei to work with the zinc-air batteries - the slightly odd-shaped battery compartment just didn't want to work with the Wein cell batteries. Also, the short life I experienced with these batteries in a second Olympus OM-1 concerned me since you don't simply swap batteries mid-roll in a Rollei 35 as the battery compartment is inside. This may be another good reason to go with the adapters.

  6. Other options are small Silver Oxide cells with an adaptor. I know of 2 adaptors: the CRIS and the De Gruyter adaptor.

    Rollei 35 battery information

  7. My vote is for an adapter. Given the price and life span of the zinc-air batteries, you'll pay for the adapter in short order if you use the camera much. And you can use it in other cameras that used the same mercury battery.

    One of the nice things about the Pentax Spotmatic is that it has a bridge circuit and even though it was designed for mercury batteries can use the silver batteries with no problem and no adapter.

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