F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Pieces An on-line look at cameras etc. by Stephanie Marriott

Introduction

Rollei 35

Rollei B35 (35B)

Rollei C35 (35C)

Rollei 35T and 35S

Other Rollei 35 cameras

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November 1999

Introduction. Franke and Heidecke was founded in 1920 but it was not until 1929 that the camera which made their name famous was introduced. The Rolleiflex is a roll-film twin lens reflex taking 12 exposures on 120 film. Many accessories were made for the Rolleiflex, including the Rolleikin back for 35 mm. film and the Rolleiflash. An adaptation of the Rolleiflex produced the "baby" Rolleiflex which takes 12 pictures on 127 film.

In 1970 Franke and Heidecke transferred some of their production to Singapore and in 1972 they purchased the Voigtlander name and tools after Voigtlander closed. By 1974 the company was in financial difficulties and in 1981 it went bankrupt.

A new Rollei was started and after several changes of ownership it is now part of the Korean Samsung company.

There are probably three outstanding Rollei cameras; the Rolleiflex, the Rolleicord and the Rollei 35. I have to be honest here and say I do not much like any of them but even I have to admit they are noteworthy cameras.

The Rollei 35 was designed by Heinz Waaske who also designed two of my favourite Rollei cameras, the A110 for 110 cartridge film and the A26 for 126 cartridge film. It was first shown at Photokina in 1966 and production started in 1967. The first thing which is noticeable about it is the very small size - for a while it was the world's smallest mass-produced full frame 35 mm. camera. It has all metal construction which makes it comparatively heavy (I have heard men say that although it will fit in a shirt pocket it is very uncomfortable to carry there because the weight pulls it forwards). It has a Rollei Tessar or Carl Zeiss Tessar f/3.5 40 mm. lens - quite a wide angle for a full frame 35 mm. camera - which collapses into the camera body when not in use. There is also a version which has a Schneider S-Xenar f/3.5 40 mm. lens. The camera has a coupled CdS meter with top-plate display and a Rollei-Compur shutter offering half a second to one five-hundredth of a second. The camera was made in black or chrome and the cameras were made in both Germany and (later) Singapore. Singapore models attract a lower price than German-made cameras. There were also some special trim models made.

The Rollei B35 is a simplified version of the 35, also called the 35B. It has a cheaper lens - the Triotar f/3.5 40 mm - and simplified shutter (one thirtieth of a second to one five-hundredth of a second). The CdS meter is replaced by a selenium meter and the camera was available in black or chrome. Again, it was made in both Germany and Singapore.

The Rollei C35 (35C), like the 35B, was introduced in about 1969. It is similar to the B35 but has no meter. All production was in Germany and the camera was only made in black. This camera was not available for very long - about three years - and is therefore comparatively uncommon.

In 1974 two new Rollei 35 models were introduced; the 35T (the 'T' indicates it has a Tessar lens), the 35S (The 'S' indicates it has a Sonnar lens) and the 35TE. All three cameras were made in Singapore (except for some of the very first of the 35S models in chrome which were made in Germany).

The Rollei 35T is the same as the Rollei 35 - the 'T' designation was introduced to separate the camera from the 35S.

The Rollei 35S is the same as the 35T but with a Sonnar f/2.8 40 mm. lens.

Production of Rollei 35 cameras has continued wih special edition models alongside the regular production models. The Rollei 35 LED has a 40 mm f/3.5 Rollei Triotar lens, a Rollei Prontor shutter and a silicon diode meter with viewfinder exposure indication using red and green LEDs. The Rollei 35TE has a CdS meter with 3 LEDs in the viewfinder. The shutter is speeded from one twentieth of a second to one five-hundredth of a second. It has a Tessar f/3.5 40 mm. lens.

The Rollei 35 SE has the LEDs of the TE but the Sonnar lens and shuttter speed range of the S. The most recent model is the Rollei 35 Classic which is an updated version of the 35S with - to my mind at least - one long-overdue improvement, namely the hot shoe is relocated to the top plate. The other Rollei 35 cameras have the hot shoe on the base plate which means the camera has to held upside down for flash or some very strange shadow effects result. The other thing about these cameras which I dislike is their lack of rangefinder, but then I am hopeless at guessing distances.

These cameras are undoubtedly popular with both collectors and users but the sky-high prices of a decade ago seem to have fallen to more reasonable levels again.

 
Note: I like to give price information in both sterling and American dollars. However, this information is not always available to me, in which case I use whichever I can get. I do not convert from one currency to the other; market conditions vary and camera prices were often very different in the U.S.A. and Britain, so conversion would not give an accurate picture.

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