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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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It hurts.. but it's worth it!
Old 03-30-2007   #1
shadowfox
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It hurts.. but it's worth it!

So, I finally broke down and hunt for a Rollei 35.

This one came in a couple days ago Tadaaaa...!



The Rollei, not the Mac

Btw, this one's aperture dial is very stiff when turned clock-wise, but easy when turned anti-clock-wise. Is this common??
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Old 03-30-2007   #2
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Great camera ... you'll love it! I have three of them and they are all different ... one has a stiff shutter release, one has a stiff aperture and the other has a focus ring that jams occasionally ... they're sure quirky! I love them all though!
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Old 03-30-2007   #3
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Be sure to pull up the little release thingie (right below the aperture dial) when changing aperture.

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Old 03-30-2007   #4
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Ah, a Rollei 35 and a Mac - what fine taste
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Old 03-30-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscroft
Ah, a Rollei 35 and a Mac - what fine taste
I only use Mac cause they gave me one at work
But I do recognize (and appreciate to no end) that the Apple ppl had the good sense to use UNIX underneath their OS.

Ok, back to the Rollei.

Richard: what release thingie?? oh man, I hope I haven't wreck the thing...

Keith: I got it partly because of your infectious posts on this camera

Help!
How do i load a film into this thing? I put the leader in the slot (with white triangles), then I wind the dial with the arrow sign at the bottom of the slot, and that rip my film leader!!!

What am I doing wrong? I'm following the manual (trying to at least)...
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Old 03-30-2007   #6
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The chrome button that you push in a vertical sense unlatched the brake on the aperature ring.

I dont recall any difficulty, slot in the film, close the pressure plate, slide on the back, and wind on with the lever, carefully watch the rewind shaft, if it is not turning, rewind the film carefully to take up slack in the film , good luck.

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Last edited by Xmas : 03-30-2007 at 12:06.
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Old 03-30-2007   #7
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It is as Xmas wrote. There is a ratchet on the aperture dial so that you can set the film speed (don't forget to do that, by the way) without turning the aperture dial. I doubt that you have broken the ratchet yet.
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Keith: I got it partly because of your infectious posts on this camera.
Don't worry, shadowfox. I have owned three Rollei 35 cameras, and none of them have been what I would call quirky. Just take a deep breath and carefully read the instructions. When you load the film, make sure the film is aligned straight across the film gate before winding the leader onto the takeup spool. The spool should stop rotating before there's enough tension on the film to rip it.
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Old 04-02-2007   #8
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Noel and Richard:

Thanks to you guys, I finally know how to load the darn film. Just like Noel said, didn't have to do a thing other than making sure that the leader goes into the slot. And Richard, you're right, this camera is not quirky, not to me at least, but I have pretty high pain-tolerance when it comes to manual cameras

One little thing that I like about the film pressure plate is the fact that it also made sure that the sprocket teeth "really" catch the film holes. Extremely useful with rolled up film leaders that just won't stay flat.

On the weird design "award", what's up with the CdS eye right where your fingers tend to be? I kept adjusting the aperture to follow the meter until my brain finally kicked in and a "wait a minute..." moment when I realize that I have my ring finger rested comfortably on top of the "eye"
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Last edited by shadowfox : 04-02-2007 at 11:14.
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Sample pics!
Old 04-04-2007   #9
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Sample pics!

Finally, got some pictures from the Rollei!

I like this one because it's the first time I am happy with the result of my pathetic Winograd-style shooting attempt



And this one is easy-peasy, but it showed the contrasty Sonnar lens:

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Old 04-11-2007   #10
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IMO, there are three main reasons this camera is so universally-loved by photographers.

1) Small, but also well-built
2) Zeiss lenses (even the Triotar is good!)
3) Manual & mechanical

I "only" have one Rollei 35. It is a Rollei 35 model, Singapore, with the f/3.5 Tessar. Mine is perfect, except that the aperture dial will not quite go all the way to either extreme. Rather than buy any more Rollei 35s, I'm going to pay for a proper CLA and be happy with this one.

The Sonnar lenses are said to be better, but at my level of enlargement (11x14 max) there is no difference.

Congratulations Shadowfox. May it never leave your side.
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Old 04-11-2007   #11
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I'd be curious to hear your comments about the Sonnar on this camera vs. an equivalent 5 or 6 element f/2.8 Zuiko lens.
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Last edited by Jeremy Z : 04-11-2007 at 16:01.
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Old 04-11-2007   #12
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On thing I read about these cameras (and I have one) is that the lens does not perform at its optimum at the widest f stops and you should use faster film to get to the mid range f stops. Whatever.
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Old 04-11-2007   #13
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Don't be silly. Of course they're quirky.
That's part of the appeal for those that like them...

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Old 04-11-2007   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bellayr
On thing I read about these cameras (and I have one) is that the lens does not perform at its optimum at the widest f stops and you should use faster film to get to the mid range f stops. Whatever.
That is true of Tessar type lenses. Sonnar lenses are renowned for their performance even wide open.
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Old 04-11-2007   #15
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I wonder if the Sonnar on the XF is also of "Sonnar Quality". I like the results with the XF, even though it is the black sheep of the Rollei35 family.

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Old 04-11-2007   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid
I wonder if the Sonnar on the XF is also of "Sonnar Quality". I like the results with the XF, even though it is the black sheep of the Rollei35 family.

Raid
Raid, here's an old RFF discussion of that camera: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...php/t-516.html
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Old 04-11-2007   #17
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Frank: No praises of the XF on that link. I like the lens anyways. The results are very smooth looking in my opinion. I wish someone had an actual test of the lens.

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Old 04-12-2007   #18
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There was a more recent thread on that camera as well. I had one, which my grandpa bought in the 70s. I didn't like it either, no matter how hard I tried. I think the rangefinder was off on mine too, as the only pictures that were very sharp were at inifinity.

I read on Karen Nakamura's website that it is a re-badged Voigtlander.

raid, the Rollei 35 XF is not even similar to the Rollei 35s. It is a completely different design. All controls are conventionally placed, but there aren't many controls, really. It did feel cheap. The little knob on the end of the rewind crank didn't even rotate. It just slid in your fingers; nasty feeling, after you've gotten used to quality cameras. The last nail in the coffin (for me) was that mine was in black and it brassed without too much use. Yuck.
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Old 04-12-2007   #19
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Jeremy: I hear you, but I still find the camera acceptable since it takes great looking photos for me.

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Old 04-12-2007   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Z
I'd be curious to hear your comments about the Sonnar on this camera vs. an equivalent 5 or 6 element f/2.8 Zuiko lens.
From the results so far, I can say that the Sonnar lens produces at least as much detail as the E. Zuiko on my 35 ECR. I can't easily test the bokeh or OOF because the Rollei doesn't have a rangefinder for accurate manual focusing.

I'd have to run a few more rolls on it to be more definite, next one will be color. But I'll also be comparing it against the G. Zuiko on the 35 SPn.
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Old 10-10-2007   #21
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My in-laws (photographers for 5 decades or something) have a nice Rollei 35. They switched to digital some months ago, but they don't want to part with this little cam. Perhaps one day...
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Old 10-10-2007   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox
I can't easily test the bokeh or OOF because the Rollei doesn't have a rangefinder for accurate manual focusing.
LOL, well just don't bother to focus then, and you'll see lotsa bokeh or OOF.
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Old 10-17-2007   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Z
raid, the Rollei 35 XF is not even similar to the Rollei 35s. It is a completely different design. All controls are conventionally placed, but there aren't many controls, really. It did feel cheap. The little knob on the end of the rewind crank didn't even rotate. It just slid in your fingers; nasty feeling, after you've gotten used to quality cameras. The last nail in the coffin (for me) was that mine was in black and it brassed without too much use. Yuck.
A little off topic, but if you don't like the fact that the knob on the rewind lever doesn't move, you might stay away from Nikon rangefinders like the S2 all the way up the earlier Nikon F SLR's. But since you only like quality cameras, I'm sure you won't be considering Nikons anyway... =-)

Now, back on topic, it looks like you have a nice little Rollei there. I tried one out for a while (a Rollei 35, Singapore version with the Tessar) but didn't really like it too much. The camera was well built, but I found it didn't make the best pocketable camera with the easy-to-lose lens cap protecting that Tessar. Also, on a camera that I'll use seriously for events where I want the correct focus, I wouldn't use the Rollei 35 anyway. So, I spent alot on a fairly serious pocket camera that I wasn't seriously using, or putting in my pocket! However, the camera was nice, and even the odd control layout didn't bother me so much. Anyway, long story short, I sold it and got a Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 (6X6 scale focus folding camera with a f3.5 Tessar, the same lens type and speed as the Rollei 35) and an Olympus XA. Then I had that serious pocket camera I wanted and that makes fantastic 6X6 negatives, plus I got a pocketable rangefinder for everything else.

But, maybe one day I'll try that Rollei out again...
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Old 10-17-2007   #24
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i am very interested in learning more about these cameras, does anyone know a good site to learn about them?
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Old 10-17-2007   #25
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Shadowfox - nice camera and nice photos. I look forward to the colour shots.

I have the Rollei 35LED version - not so well made and does not get much use because of the guess focusing. I should use it more and learn to use it properly.
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