Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spotlight: Rollei 35

When most people hear the name "Rollei", they usually think of the superbly crafted Rolleiflex TLR's. While I don't yet own a Rolleiflex, I do own a Rollei 35. After Rollei's success with  professional medium format cameras, they decided to delve into the 35mm market. The first 35mm camera they developed was the Rollei 35 in 1966, which retained many features of a professional camera, but in a much smaller size. I think it may in fact be the smallest full frame 35mm camera ever produced (The Olympus XA might actually be smaller, but whatever).

Such features included a Carl Zeiss Tessar Lens. Now, the Rollei 35 is a viewfinder camera, which requires guess focusing. However, if you hit the focus dead on, the images this lens produces are incredibly sharp. I tend to keep the aperture at f11 or narrower, to avoid missing the focus. I don't think I've shot any wider than f5.6.

A match-needle CDS light meter is also part of the camera; it's located on the top of the body. The meter on my particular camera is perfectly accurate, matching the readings on both of my stand-alone meters. One gripe I have is that my hand can easily block the sensor while gripping the camera.
Other great features include a wide range of apertures(f3.5-f22) and shutter speeds(2-500). A hotshoe is located (oddly) on the bottom of the camera for dimly lit situations. Lastly, the lens is retractable, making it super compact for when you need to store it in a bag or pocket.

Overall, I love this little camera. I plan on keeping it on me at times when it's not appropriate to carry a larger SLR or TLR with me. Here are some photos from my first roll with the Rollei 35. Enjoy, and thanks for reading. :)