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Rollei 35 - 1966
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• One of smallest mechanical full-frame 35mms

• $190 with f3.5 lens in 1968 ($1191 in 2010 dollars)

This was the smallest full-frame 35mm camera that took normal cartridges, for a few years, until the Minox 35 came along in 1972. The two are very close in size when folded up, with the Minox just a bit smaller, and much lighter, as the Rollei 35 is all metal. (There were some even smaller cameras, but they took single sheets of 35mm film that had to be specially cut and loaded, in the dark.)

My Rollei seems to be functional, except that the meter is a stop or so off, but that may be because the battery I put in didn't have quite the right voltage (1.4v instead of 1.35v).

In July 2011 after having the Rollei 35 for a year or so I finally took it out shooting; one of my shots is shown below. (I metered separately, and ignored the Rollei's meter.) I found the Rollei convenient enough to use, with a very good viewfinder. You have to guess at the focus, however, as there's no rangefinder.

Rollei 35Rollei 35Rollei 35Rollei 35
Review from Popular Photography, August 1967Review from Popular Photography, August 1967Review from Popular Photography, August 1967Old Firehouse Museum, Niwot Colorado (taken with Rollei 35 on Kodak Professional 400UC)

©2011-14 Marc Rochkind. All rights reserved.