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Rollei 3003—The camera I never knew I wanted
Old 09-08-2018   #1
Ian M.
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Rollei 3003—The camera I never knew I wanted

My (free to me, years ago) Bronica SQ is a bit worse for wear; the finder is taped on, and spent a little time browsing online what orphaned MF systems are out there. Years ago when I worked in a camera shop I passed on the opportunity to pick up a Mamiya 645J, but my heart was in 6x6. found myself looking at Rollei's system cameras.

I had no idea that Rollei seemingly shrank their 6006 to 35mm, but so it was done. Here's a sales brochure.

What a fascinating setup, all the more so since 35mm system cameras seemingly died out with the Nikon F4. I've never been one for needing different focusing screens, or data backs, or all sorts of different motor drives, but interchangeable film backs? That's my favorite part of shooting MF.

And that lens lineup. I don't want to think about how heavy or pricey that 1000/5.5 was.

Did anyone have one of these? I'm curious on how it is to use, and how it fared in the market back when it was new. I can imagine that, back then, Canon/Nikon/Contax had a lot of these features in a more compact box, or one might just jump straight to MF for all the hassle.
Ian M., Seattle
Current bag contents: Bronica SQ-A, Mamiya C33.

currently trying to find a use for a Nikon D2.
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Old 09-08-2018   #2
Dad Photographer
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I had a Rolleiflex 2000. It always breaks down. The 3003 is maybe more reliable. The best part about this system are the lenses. I have the Zeiss 35/1.4 Distagon and the 85/1.4 Planar. I also have the 50/1.4 Planar and a few other lenses, including a 35/2.8 and 85/2.8, I think.
Basically, Rolleiflex was about to go bankrupt, and quality control may have slipped to a low then. The SL2000 and SL3003 cost a small fortune, and so did the (many) accessories for these two cameras.
- Raid

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Old 09-11-2018   #3
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The first model - SL 2000F - had indeed some issues.
But the later - and improved - model 3003 was mostly fine. If you are generally interested in this camera type, the model 3003 is certainly the best choice.
But be realistic:
You cannot get these cameras cheap. Because it is very rare: Only 2.800 normal 3003 were build, and 500 units of the "Edition de Luxe" (different color).
The 3003 was produced from 1984 to 1994.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 09-11-2018   #4
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A really expensive system at the time I do recall.
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Old 09-11-2018   #5
Pan Giannakis
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If you search in the forum's, there is a RFF member who had very bad experience with it. Definitely not for pro use in his opinion (but stunning optics). Never had one, so I don't know.

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