|Rollei 35 S, 35mm collapsible viewfinder camera, c1974|
The Rollei 35 S is a development of the Rollei 35 series, exquisite little 35mm cameras. Some two million were made starting in Germany in 1966 and such is the quality of these gems just holding one is enough to make one smile. The earliest models are marked "MADE IN GERMANY BY Rollei COMPUR - GOSSEN - ZEISS", and are highly collectible - with a value to match. Reportedly, less than 8000 of these were made. The remainder of German production was marked "MADE IN GERMANY BY Rollei". During 1971, production was moved to Singapore as the first tendrils of globalization became evident. These models aren't as collectible, but are nonetheless, still very well made, being identical to the German built examples, but marked "MADE BY Rollei SINGAPORE". These models had the Famous, though aged, Zeiss Tessar lens, but a short run of around 30k fitted with Schneider Xenar was made for ten months from mid 1972 owing to a shortage of the Zeiss lens. This example, the Rollei 35 S, was a development introduced in 1974, the same camera but fitted with an improved Sonnar lens, hence the "S". Production of the earlier Tessar lens model continued, but now known as the Rollei 35 T. Mainstream production continued in Singapore until 1981. Thereafter limited "Classic" production moved back to Germany from whence progressively more ghastly styled examples emanated for the collectors market.
The production versions were available with chrome plated housings or black coated aluminium ones. The majority of the camera was built from a mixture of pressings, precision castings and fine machine cut components.
This example, from 1976, was very generously donated to the LICM in May 2013 by Mr. P. Nice, who also took the trouble to ship it from Luxembourg. It needed little more than an external clean and good blow through with an air duster.
The Rollei 35 S is a manual camera, with match needle
exposure guide, aperture control is on the left dial in this picture whilst
shutter speed is the right hand dial. Focus is achieved with a distance
scale on the lens rim, in classic fashion. It's worth noting, because
it's very important - the collapsing lens barrel will not go back inside
the body unless the shutter is cocked. For authoritative information please
Body No. 2232467 (it adopts
the lens serial number)
© Living Image Vintage Cameras 2000-2021