Rollei 35 QZw - anyone use one?
Old 04-14-2018   #1
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Rollei 35 QZw - anyone use one?

The Rollei 35QZw has incredible specs. Porsche design. 28-60 zoom lens that is meant to be bananas good, shutter speed range from 8 sec to 1/8000!, full auto, AE, Shutter priority or manual. AF or manual focus control.
Titanium body, was super pricey - over $2400. Does anyone have any experience with this camera? There is hardly anything out there on the web, I've read what I could find which was lacking..

Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2018   #2
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Huss, don't know anything firsthand about the camera, but I've seen them listed a bit differently than you have it. Seen them as Rollei QZW35 or Rollei QZ35W and Rollei QZ35T(for the titanium version), maybe if you search for info with those terms it will bring up more data. It's a cool looking camera.

There are quite a few of them listed on the auction site this morning.

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Old 04-15-2018   #3
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Thanks Tim. I saw those. The "T" means telephoto not titanium, they are all made of titanium but offered in 2 versions - wide zoom (28-60) and tele zoom (38-90). I prefer the wide version.
There is one dood from Spain who looks to be selling the same camera 4 different times. One USA seller is offering what looks to be a nice one (but a T version) for $500 BUT he marks it as untested and no returns. So no way would I risk blowing $500 on a paperweight. The seller could easily buy the two batteries needed and test it out, but using the 'no batteries so couldn't test' excuse is a red flag to me.

I pulled the trigger on one that Adorama was auctioning . As it is from a retail shop, I can also return it w/ no issues etc if it doesn't pan out.

I'm excited about this thing, now that broken/beater Contaxs are running at $1K, and this has a far higher spec level, I'm wondering why this camera is so unknown.

Still it would be great if someone here has used one and would chime in.
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Old 04-15-2018   #4
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I have had one. Wide version. 17 years ago. It was a very disappointing camera. First - it made mistakes exposing frames. Some frames was good, some very underexposed. There is not TTL metering. Second - it was very slow. Zooming and changing apertures. Third - time and distance dials hid inside the camera every time when i tried to change. It was very good lens, but very poor camera in my opinion.
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Old 04-15-2018   #5
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I thought I had seen all of the weird Rollei 35s, including my rare collection of live SL2000s... This looks cool.

You may want to look at what Mike Elek posted, though more specs than anything else:
http://elekm.net/rollei/qz/start.htm
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Old 04-15-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Kee View Post
I have had one. Wide version. 17 years ago. It was a very disappointing camera. First - it made mistakes exposing frames. Some frames was good, some very underexposed. There is not TTL metering. Second - it was very slow. Zooming and changing apertures. Third - time and distance dials hid inside the camera every time when i tried to change. It was very good lens, but very poor camera in my opinion.

Interesting comment about the metering. The manual says it uses a multi pattern (i.e. matrix) system, but apparently not TTL

https://www.instructionsmanuals.com/...ei-QZ35-de.pdf

edit - I just checked the Contax T3 and TVS, and they also do not have TTl metering, but rely on a separate sensor on the front of the camera. Same thing with the Nikon 35TI. So that seems normal for these cameras.
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Old 04-15-2018   #7
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Interesting comment about the metering. The manual says it uses a multi pattern (i.e. matrix) system, but apparently not TTL

https://www.instructionsmanuals.com/...ei-QZ35-de.pdf
Huss,

look at page 5: only the German version mentions #38 *Sensor für Belichtungsmessung* (approximately: exposure metering sensor), but then it's lost in translation ... and nowhere shown?!
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Old 04-16-2018   #8
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Interesting comment about the metering.
Maybe my camera was broken, it's possible. Metering is not TTL because the lens is always close. It's strange. Camera has focal plane shutter, but in the lens is another one. Something like the leaf shutter. I don't know why.
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Old 04-16-2018   #9
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Maybe my camera was broken, it's possible. Metering is not TTL because the lens is always close. It's strange. Camera has focal plane shutter, but in the lens is another one. Something like the leaf shutter. I don't know why.
It is possible that there was something wrong with your camera. The user reports show nothing but praise for the meter (and the rest of the camera), but sometimes people praise what they have. Because it is what they have.
It uses a focal plane shutter because of the shutter speed range. Nothing else comes close.

I'll give it a full run through when I get it, if it blows I'll make sure to mention that! But of course I hope it is great.
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Old 04-16-2018   #10
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It uses a focal plane shutter because of the shutter speed range. Nothing else comes close.
Yes, it's obvious. But why there is seconds shutter in the lens if there is focal-plane shutter? This excludes the use of TTL like in Leicas or Contax Gs. Very strange to me.
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Old 04-16-2018   #11
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Yes, it's obvious. But why there is seconds shutter in the lens if there is focal-plane shutter? This excludes the use of TTL like in Leicas or Contax Gs. Very strange to me.
A second shutter in the lens?
There isn't one, only the focal plane shutter. There is the aperture in the lens that you can manually adjust with the aperture ring.
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Old 04-16-2018   #12
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Old 04-16-2018   #13
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There was a time when I fancied one of these, but the fixed lens, large size (not a compact P&S, more like a Leica M), and relative slowness of the zoom lens on the long end kept me from it. I would go w/ a Contax G1 or G2 instead because of the superb lenses that could be interchanged. If I am not mistaken, the Rollei uses a similar telescoping viewfinder and makes the same odd mmmmmm and rrrrrrrrrrr sounds when it focuses, so you have to learn to deal w/ that. I loved my G1 cameras, not so much the teeny, darkish viewfinders. The lenses didn't have that Leica-like character to them, but they were sure sharp, and great w/ colour photography. The 90 lens was a real keeper.
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Old 04-16-2018   #14
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Whoa. Very interesting, it does look like there is a leaf shutter in the lens. Strange that the factory spec sheet only mentions the focal plane shutter.
I'm wondering if that is somehow an unusual aperture arrangement. Now I'm really curious to see what shows up!
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Old 04-16-2018   #15
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There was a time when I fancied one of these, but the fixed lens, large size (not a compact P&S, more like a Leica M), and relative slowness of the zoom lens on the long end kept me from it. I would go w/ a Contax G1 or G2 instead because of the superb lenses that could be interchanged. If I am not mistaken, the Rollei uses a similar telescoping viewfinder and makes the same odd mmmmmm and rrrrrrrrrrr sounds when it focuses, so you have to learn to deal w/ that. I loved my G1 cameras, not so much the teeny, darkish viewfinders. The lenses didn't have that Leica-like character to them, but they were sure sharp, and great w/ colour photography. The 90 lens was a real keeper.

Contaxs are fantastic fer sure, and I made the mistake of selling my T3 a few years back for way too little money, back then when I was infatuated with digital and did not think I'd ever shoot film again. Well, so much for that..
But Contaxs are also crazy expensive now. This Rollei is a fraction of that (as long as you buy one that is actually auctioned, not BuyItNow), and is really well specced. By all accounts the lens is meant to be incredible, and while you cannot detach it, it is a zoom. It does not compare to the Contax G series, but the T series cameras, as well as the Leica Miniluxes.
This thing retailed for $2600 back in 2000 so it was (at least marketed as) a premium piece.
I'm pretty much going to use it as a 28mm lens camera, that happens to have the bonus of going longer, so the f2.8 max aperture is not bad. It's the same as my Elmarit M 28mm Asph!
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Old 04-16-2018   #16
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Originally Posted by rgeorge911 View Post
I thought I had seen all of the weird Rollei 35s, including my rare collection of live SL2000s... This looks cool.

You may want to look at what Mike Elek posted, though more specs than anything else:
http://elekm.net/rollei/qz/start.htm
I had two 3003's and full set of Zeiss glass from 15 to 400mm plus a zoom. Also had 6 backs and the rare Polaroid back. I used them commercial and when they worked they were the best 35 system I ever owned hands down. The problem was reliability. Rollie foolishly put some plastic gears in the advance system that regularly stripped the teeth off of. The backs had rollers that the film wrapped around much like a Hasselblad back and after about 6 months after servicing they would start scratching the base of the film. I'd get deep scratches 36 frames long.

Rollei USA got to know me on a first name basis and loaned me another body so I'd have 2 working while one was in the shop. Eventually I gave up, unfortunately, and went back to Nikon. As far as concept, it was the ultimate system but in practical terms it was tied with my M9 for poor reliability. If Rollei could have worked the bugs out I'd still be using it. It was by far the worst camera mechanical that I've ever used. The M9 was the worst electronics and most antiquated features.

Unfortunately Rollei only had one tech who repaired the 3003's. Rollei gave me (dentist level) priority on service but that just wasn't enough. Sad!

I used SL66's as my main 6x6 system for 28 years and through 3 bodies I put about 25,000+ through each with very few issues. My experience with the 3003 system was just too bad and I decided to not upgrade to the 6008 system.
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Old 04-16-2018   #17
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...The problem was reliability. Rollie foolishly put some plastic gears in the advance system that regularly stripped the teeth off of. ...
They also did that with the early Rollei 35 pocket camera. I have one, in perfect shape outwardly, that apparently has stripped a few teeth off the film advance. When I wind it, it often takes two attempts before the film is wound and the shutter cocked.
A shame as it is a beautiful black version, that has NOT been dropped! I think I'll sell it for parts or for someone to repair. One could even use the body shell to replace a dented one on a 'working' camera.
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Old 04-20-2018   #18
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Ok, I now have it in hand. The camera that is. It is not a leaf/secondary shutter in the lens. It is the aperture but the way they designed it is it remains closed until the exposure is taken, then it opens up to the actual aperture required.
I played around with it in B setting, adjusting the aperture.

This camera is seriously nice, what a gorgeous piece of engineering. Everything is made of titanium, even the lens cap! (which fits too loosely as everyone has complained. I may get a tether for it or replace it with a cheap one). Let's hope the pics come out!
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Old 04-24-2018   #19
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Got my film back. Result. Great exposures, the lens is insanely sharp, the camera's functions are extremely quick and intuitive to use. The Porsche design pays off - the two big dials on the top make it a breeze to quickly change settings, and the aperture ring on the lens is the same. Just spin the ring to change the aperture.
Zoom is slow, just like on pretty much all these P&S zoom cameras so no surprise there. I'm mainly using it as a camera w/ a 28mm lens, the rest is a bonus. Default is 28mm so that's good.

The bummer list:
1. VF does not auto compensate for parallax. You have to use the parallax marks like on cheap P&S cameras. Contax G2 auto compensates.
2. Camera does not start to focus until you half press the shutter button. It would be nice in manual focus mode if it would immediately go to the distance that you have set so there is no lag. You can get around the lag by holding the shutter button half way, and wait for "The Decisive Moment"..
3. The stock really cool titanium lens cap w/ built in remote control is actually crap as a lens cap. It fits so loosely it falls off easily. I replaced it with a $3 plastic one that fits very snugly. If a $3 one can do that, why not the OEM one?!


The oh baby list:

1. The lens is fantastic. I will post comparison shots I did with it set at 28mm and 2.8, vs my Leica M7 with 28mm Asph 2.8 @ 2.8 at the same time, of the same subject with the same film.
2. Handling is fantastic. Super quick and intuitive to change modes (from A, S, M or P).
Push down to click and release the dials is a great idea and works really well for me.
3. VF shows full exposure information including compensation.
4. VF shows full focus information, including manual focus aids and if you are focused in front or behind the target.
5. Exposures are excellent, and the readout lets you know if you need to compensate (as long as you understand how to get the exposure that you want).
6. Can auto bracket shots, and create multiple exposures.
7. I can hand hold this down to very low speeds. Slowest I've tried is 1/8 sec and it is sharp.
8. 1/8000 sec top shutter speed!!! Shoot at 2.8 in pretty much any lighting. My M7 tops out at 1/1000...
9. This is just such a cool, under the radar camera.
10. This camera with this lens is 1/3 of the price just the 28mm Asph Leica lens. Body not included.
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Old 04-24-2018   #20
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Leica M7 +28 2.8 Asph @ 2.8 + Fuji C200



Rollei QZ35W @ 28mm & 2.8 + Fuji C200



Leica center crop:



Rollei center crop:



Leica edge crop:



Rollei edge crop:



All pics taken at f2.8. Late in the afternoon so the light was not strong.
F2.8 would show the lens' at their 'worst' and thus the easiest way to judge which one is better.
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Old 04-24-2018   #21
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Got my film back. Result. Great exposures, the lens is insanely shap
Maybe some pictures? I am intrigued...

P.S. you were faster...
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Old 04-24-2018   #22
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I just came upon one after your thread started and jumped on it as it was a camera I really wanted back in the day. It is going back tomorrow. Noisy as can be, heavy for a P&S, and crummy exposure compensation.
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Old 04-24-2018   #23
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I just came upon one after your thread started and jumped on it as it was a camera I really wanted back in the day. It is going back tomorrow. Noisy as can be, heavy for a P&S, and crummy exposure compensation.
Noisy? Yep.
Heavy? It's a big titanium camera with big dials and a mongo 1/8000 sec shutter.
Exp compensation? I just use it in manual if I need that. Or push the two buttons. But I agree it's not like using a Contax G2. The price to pay for the Porsche design.

Before you send it back, can I ask where you got it from? I can PM you..
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Old 05-06-2018   #24
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I just came upon one after your thread started and jumped on it as it was a camera I really wanted back in the day. It is going back tomorrow. Noisy as can be, heavy for a P&S, and crummy exposure compensation.
I bought the camera that you sent back.


I'm returning the one I bought from Adorama as there seems to be a shutter problem. On some exposures - at higher shutter speeds - there is a hard vignette on the top left corner. It is inconsistent.

I had put several rolls through it and saw the issue when I developed them at the same time (I was on a trip). Still very happy with the performance, just need to get one that works properly all the time. The one I bought from Adorama was missing the flash, which is kinda weird as they come in a set and is unique to this camera. The way it connects it cannot be used with anything else.

Further observances now I've used it more - the focus lock with half push of the shutter also is an exposure lock. It would be better if that was separate but still cool to have. The problem with this is if you prime the camera by half pushing on the shutter button - so it can take a pic with zero lag - the exposure is also set. Which means that it may be completely wrong for your actual scene. The work around is to set the exposure manually, which is what I do with most of my Leicas so not a big deal.
It is a very interesting camera though. Superb lens, with what seems to be a very simple interface, but because of what it offers - full manual, program, shutter or aperture priority exposure - it actually is not for novices but for experienced photographers who understand all those parameters.
In all the exposure modes (apart from program) you have full control of all shutter speeds and apertures. Cameras like the Fuji Klasse do not allow that, there's always some limiting factor.

Looking at the exposures I made, most were at 28mm so this version (the 28-60) is definitely the right one for me vs the 38-90.

Shot on Portra 400:

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Old 05-08-2018   #25
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Yes, it's obvious. But why there is seconds shutter in the lens if there is focal-plane shutter? This excludes the use of TTL like in Leicas or Contax Gs. Very strange to me.
Okay, I figured this out. It is not a shutter, as I mentioned, but the aperture mechanism.
As the camera's exposure meter does not read through the lens, it allows Rollei to have the resting state of the aperture fully closed. Because it is electronically actuated, it then allows to have aperture and shutter priority modes (as well as program and manual) with the bonus of never having to worry about burning a hole in the shutter if the camera is left with the lens pointing at the sun. I've seen many Leicas with repaired/patched shutter curtains because the owner did that by mistake. You don't have to worry about that with the Rollei.

Leicas and Contax Gs are ae or manual only. They do not have shutter priority or program modes.
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Old 05-12-2018   #26
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Even BooBoos appreciates the Porsche design, titanium build and 1/8000 sec shutter...

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Old 06-20-2018   #27
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Portra 400 in the Rollei

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Old 06-20-2018   #28
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Portra 400 in the Rollei
Very nice picture!
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Old 06-21-2018   #29
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My dog would love to be your dog in that moment ^^^
Beautiful day you had there Mang!
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Old 06-21-2018   #30
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Portra 400 in the Rollei
Wonderful exposure too.

B2 (;->
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Old 06-21-2018   #31
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Thanks peeps! The Rollei has the quickest manual overide - just make sure the shutter speed and aperture dials are not on A. I gave this a 2 stop over as it was backlit on the beach . Scanned w my DSLR.

FYI this is the beach in Carmel CA. If u have a dog and happen to be in the area you must visit!
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Old 06-21-2018   #32
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Side note: Does anyone know where to repair one? I got one with a film takeup that doesn't seem to want to pick up film.
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Old 06-21-2018   #33
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Side note: Does anyone know where to repair one? I got one with a film takeup that doesn't seem to want to pick up film.
Give Walter’s camera repair in Los Angeles a call. They try to
fix stuff even if parts r no longer available. Most shops dont touch stuff if they cant get replacement parts.
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Old 07-15-2018   #34
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QZ35W, Kodak ProImage 100, D850 scan.

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Old 07-16-2018   #35
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QZ35W, Kodak ProImage 100, D850 scan.

wonderful shot. the colours somehow remind me Joan Cornellà's comics..
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Old 08-02-2018   #36
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wonderful shot. the colours somehow remind me Joan Cornellà's comics..
Thank you Yang!
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