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Scale Focus 35's Though not rangefinders, scale focus 35's are 1st cousins. This forum includes such popular gems as the Rollei 35's, Petri 35's, and the Olympus XA-4.

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Rollei 35 S Camera test
Old 07-06-2016   #1
farlymac
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Rollei 35 S Camera test

It only took me fifteen years to finally get one of these.


Rollei 35 S by P F McFarland, on Flickr



Itís a solid little camera with only a couple of faults. The paint work by the Singapore factory leaves a bit to be desired. And I canít get the meter to work, but that may be a battery issue. I think the outfit I got my Wein cells from are selling knock-offs, because when I removed the blue sticker, there was all this glue left behind, and it may have plugged up the air holes on the cell. Iíll have to tinker with it a bit.

But does it take great pictures! (Well, in my opinion, YMMV) These were taken while strolling around the campus of VirginiaWesternCommunity College.


Halls of Learning by P F McFarland, on Flickr



Levels by P F McFarland, on Flickr



0.9 Meter by P F McFarland, on Flickr



Foul. Building. Weather. by P F McFarland, on Flickr


See all the photos with commentary at https://flic.kr/s/aHskDPyAse

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Old 07-06-2016   #2
David Murphy
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Nice work. A somewhat retro little camera the 35S, but the Sonnar is in a class of its own. Astonishing performance. The Tessar Rollei is also a winner I might add - not quite as sharp, but the results have amazing character.

BTW one often hears complaints about the scale focusing. I worked a while in the 8/16 mm film realm many years ago where scale focusing was the norm. One gets used to it and it becomes natural after a while.
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Old 07-06-2016   #3
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Looks like you got a good one. For batteries, try a Varta V625U 1.5 volt - you can get them from Amazon.com. Best bet, though is to have the camera serviced and have the tech check out the meter and adjust the voltage if the meter actually does work. These are really nice cameras and are worth the investment of a good CLA.
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Old 07-06-2016   #4
richard_l
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Very nice images. I have a Sonnar and two Tessar Rollei 35 cameras . I think the Tessar is a bit crisper and the Sonnar is smoother, but both are good.
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Old 07-06-2016   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Murphy View Post
......BTW one often hears complaints about the scale focusing. I worked a while in the 8/16 mm film realm many years ago where scale focusing was the norm. One gets used to it and it becomes natural after a while.
Scale focus is still standard procedure for street shooting, even with Leica film rangefinders. When appropriate, it is considerably faster than autofocus. Of course, focus is not particularly critical with 40mm and wider lenses when moderate apertures are used.
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Old 07-07-2016   #6
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Thanks, guys. I don't have a problem with scale focusing, as I've got plenty of other cameras that use it. It's just the converting from feet to meters that slows me down while my addled brain attempts to do the math.

The meter issue is not battery related. I put a different battery in it (675 with size adapter), and nothing happened. This morning I put the Wein cell in another camera, and it worked, so it's a dead meter after all. Oh well, I've gotten plenty of practice with Sunny-16 on my other cameras, so that's not a big problem.

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Old 07-07-2016   #7
btgc
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These are definitely ones to try out. Like 'em or not but they stand out and are worth their weight.

btw do two slowest speeds run well on yours?
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Old 07-07-2016   #8
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The sonnar give more detail than tesar.

But tessar has more good looking contrast

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Old 07-07-2016   #9
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These are definitely ones to try out. Like 'em or not but they stand out and are worth their weight.

btw do two slowest speeds run well on yours?
You're right about that. I've desired this camera ever since I handled one a long time ago, but priorities just took me in different directions.

The speeds seem fine, as long as I keep my finger on the button.

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Old 07-07-2016   #10
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Most of the times the meter still works, but the wiring has to be renewed (dry soldering points or corrosion around the battery compartment or dead potentiometers : everything can be fixed).

The slow speeds are designed so that you have to keep your finger on the button until the shutter closes indeed.

I still have several of them. My 24/24 is a chrome Tessar got for $5 at a flea market. It wasn't working because everything had got loose inside. After an hour of routine service it worked again, including the meter (but I don't use it and don't fit any battery in the camera : no meter is necessary for B&W after some couples of decades of practice...).

Every serious photographer should have a working and loaded Rollei 35 dumped 24/24 in his daily bag, even if the bag doesn't contain anything else photo related sometimes :



[Portrait of the great Italian writer Antonio Moresco taken by chance in a bookshop during a conference with the $5 Rollei 35 Tessar being there in the daily office bag, and loaded with Tri-X]

Tip for the slow speeds : they get gummed-up over time on a regular basis because the slow speeds escapement is on the way of the air (and dust) flow produced when collapsing / uncollapsing the lens. The solution : don't collapse the lens, and the slow speeds won't have to be serviced.
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Old 07-07-2016   #11
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The camera should have both feet and meters on the barrel ... and I think it can be reversed in such a way that the "right" measurement unit shows when looking at the barrel from above.

To me, they are sort of cute, but way too delicate and finicky ... but that maybe comes out of the experience of wrestling with a wreck.

The classical "dings and dents" magnet too - they probably came from the factory pre-dented.
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Old 07-07-2016   #12
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Good stuff PF,

I put a roll through mine last month (with a PX625 battery in the meter) of course when I had finished the roll I noticed someone had marked the inside with "Expose one stop more"


Looks alright though. "An Englishman pretending to be a Frenchman"
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Old 07-07-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
The speeds seem fine, as long as I keep my finger on the button.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Tip for the slow speeds : they get gummed-up over time on a regular basis because the slow speeds escapement is on the way of the air (and dust) flow produced when collapsing / uncollapsing the lens. The solution : don't collapse the lens, and the slow speeds won't have to be serviced.
I knew about having to keep finger on release until exposure finishes, but first time it can be WTF?!? moment

As for keeping barrel extended, for me it's easier to do so also from practical assumptions. It asks to be daily user to get extension/collapse sequence into habit and never miss pressing lens op. button.
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Old 07-07-2016   #14
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Quote:
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Most of the times the meter still works, but the wiring has to be renewed (dry soldering points or corrosion around the battery compartment or dead potentiometers : everything can be fixed).
Guess I'll have to pop the top some day then. And yes, I do plan on having it with me most of the time.

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Old 07-07-2016   #15
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Quote:
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The camera should have both feet and meters on the barrel ... and I think it can be reversed in such a way that the "right" measurement unit shows when looking at the barrel from above.
By golly, it does! Hadn't noticed that, thanks. Believe I'll leave it as is, since that involves removing the lens. I also found out it has clicks for 1/3 stops (two clicks between each f number), so there is a little compensation built in. Quite sophisticated for such a small camera.

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Old 07-07-2016   #16
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Thanks, Rick. Your shots with it look good too.

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Old 07-07-2016   #17
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I have an SE. My daughter knocked it off the kitchen counter and something broke causing a massive light leak. Would consider getting it fixed if I knew someone I could trust. Honestly my Kodak Signet 35 is more useful with its rangefinder and only a bit larger.
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Old 07-07-2016   #18
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It's just the converting from feet to meters that slows me down while my addled brain attempts to do the math.
Tip: an average long stride is about a metre. May help to think of it in steps?
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Old 07-07-2016   #19
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Guess I'll have to pop the top some day then.
Probably you already know flat-headed decorative crew over top of wind lever is extremely fragile - should be tightened with finger not spanner. I broke it on mine even reading about it before
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Old 07-07-2016   #20
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Quote:
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I have an SE. My daughter knocked it off the kitchen counter and something broke causing a massive light leak. Would consider getting it fixed if I knew someone I could trust. Honestly my Kodak Signet 35 is more useful with its rangefinder and only a bit larger.
Rolleis tend to dent pretty quickly. I've seen a lot of them with dented corners.

Signet 35's Synchro shutter is a little limited in my opinion, but you gotta love an Ektar lens
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Old 07-09-2016   #21
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Tip: an average long stride is about a metre. May help to think of it in steps?
Well, I know my arm length is roughly 0.6 meter, and I'm pretty good at estimating how many meters it is compared to yards (0.92 to 3ft). Haven't had too many misses yet.

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Old 07-09-2016   #22
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Rolleis tend to dent pretty quickly. I've seen a lot of them with dented corners.

Signet 35's Synchro shutter is a little limited in my opinion, but you gotta love an Ektar lens
I prefer the 40, myself.

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Old 07-09-2016   #23
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Amazing how everybody simply gushes over a Rollei 35?
It's a small horrible little camera, intricate, fussy, heavy,
no freaking rangefinder, most the meter don't work.
In plain a pain.
I absolutely love mine!
Don't need batteries, no meter.
Mine has grips from numerous gravity tests.
The joy is in the amazing small size.
The Tessar is very contrasty, the Sonnar is sharper.
I have the Tessar.
Very good photos can be achieved.
Enjoy and have great exposures.

Last edited by leicapixie : 07-09-2016 at 18:58. Reason: spel B.
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Old 07-09-2016   #24
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I have the Tessar, it is a fine camera. I had better luck using hyperfocal focusing than trying to estimate every shot.




And I agree with Phil regarding the Signet 40, while the triple stroke advance takes a little getting used to, it will produce outstanding images.
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