Rollei 35

This is one of those garage sale finds you read about, but you never think you’ll score your self. I bought this along with  wide and tele lens attachments and finder  for $10. This is one of the models made in Germany before Rollei production was moved to Singapore. It’s got a couple of dents, but everything works well including the meter using a Wein cell.

The camera is tiny but deceptively heavy which helps in keeping it steady. Still, the weight makes it impractical as a pocket camera despite its size.

This was my first real scale-focus camera, and it took me while to get used to the fact that I had to guess the distance for each shot. The flash shoe is on the bottom so there’s no practical way to attach a rangefinder. Still, I was surprised at the sharpness of the Rollei lens — a 40mm f/3.5 Tessar — even in low light. . The slow lens makes the Rollei best suited for still life and landscape shots.  I’ve only shot one roll so far, even though I’ve had the camera since last May, favoring mostly cameras with faster lenses or battling with FSU rangefinders. Still, I see this as a definite keeper.

A couple of Web sites with good information about the Rollei 35: Karen Nakamura’s Photoethnography and Rollei Club’s Rollei 35 history page.

Some sample shots:

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