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Founded 1920
Founder Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke
Headquarters Braunschweig, Germany
Products cameras and other optical equipment
Rolleiflex medium format camera.

Rollei (German pronunciation: [ˈʁɔlaɪ]) was a German manufacturer of optical goods founded in 1920 by Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, and maker of the Rolleiflex and Rolleicord series of cameras. Later products included specialty and nostalgic type films for the photo hobbyist market.

After being purchased in 1995 by Samsung Techwin,[1] part of the South Korean Samsung Group, it was sold back to its internal management in 1999.[2] In 2002, it was bought by a Danish investment group, and in 2005 was split into two different companies: "Rollei GmbH" in Berlin, owner of the Rollei brand and selling various OEM equipment, and "Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik und Optik" in Brunswick, an equipment factory.

In early 2009, Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik und Optik declared itself insolvent.[3]

Since 2009 Rolleiflex medium format cameras, Rollei 35 and Rolleivision slide projectors were being produced by DHW Fototechnik - a company founded by Rolf Daus, Hans Hartje and Frank Will, former Franke & Heidecke employees.[4] DHW Fototechnik presented two new Rolleiflex cameras and a new electronic shutter at photokina 2012.[5] DHW itself filed for insolvency in 2014 and was dissolved in April 2015, thereby ending any further production of cameras, lenses and accessories.

Rollei cameras typically used Carl Zeiss or Schneider Kreuznach lenses, as well as lenses manufactured by Rollei based on designs by Zeiss, and occasionally lenses made by Japanese manufacturers.

Classic examples[edit]

Medium format[edit]


35 mm[edit]

  • Rollei 35 compact original viewfinder (Germany) with 40 mm f/3.5 Carl Zeiss Tessar.
  • Rollei 35S compact camera (Singapore) with 40 mm f/2.8 Zeiss Sonnar made by Rollei.
  • Rollei B35 compact viewfinder camera with built-in selenium meter and collapsible 40 mm f/3.5 Carl Zeiss Triotar.
  • Rolleimatic compact camera with unique film transport mechanism.
  • Rolleiflex SL2000 F (and 3003) SLR — unique 35 mm system SLRs with interchangeable magazines, Carl Zeiss lenses, both waist level & eye level finders, and motorized film advance. The SL2000 F was introduced in 1981.[6]
  • Rolleiflex SL35 range — 35 mm SLRs produced from 1970 until the late 1980s, using Carl Zeiss optics. Other lenses, like the Schneider, and the Rolleinar (manufactured for Rollei mainly by Mamiya) were also available.

Rollei subminiature cameras[edit]

  • Rollei 16,Rollei 16S 16mm subminiature camera;Carl Zeiss Tessar 25mm/2.8 lens
  • Rollei A110,E110 110 format cameras with 23mm/2.8 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens
  • Rollei A25

Modern examples[edit]


Medium format[edit]

  • Rollei 6008 AF — advanced SLR with fast handling and Autofocus.
  • Rollei 6008 integral2 — advanced SLR with fast handling and manual focusing.
  • HY6 Mod2 — The Hy6 ("Hy" for "hybrid") can be used with digital backs or with film (4,5x6/6x6)
  • X-Act2 — view camera
  • Rolleiflex 2.8FX-N latest version of the classic TLR
  • Rollei 4.0 FW TLR with 50 mm f/4 Super-Angulon — classic reissue.
  • Rollei 4.0 FT TLR with 135 mm f/4 Tele-Xenar — classic reissue.
cameras from the Rolleiflex series 6000
camera model period of production description
SLX 1976–1979 prequel of the series 6000
SLX 2 1978–1985 improved electronics
6006 1984–1989 interchangeable magazin, TTL-measurement
6002 1986–1990 without interchangeable magazin, TTL-measurement
6008 Professional 1988–1992 action grip, 2nd gen. microcomputer, viewfinder information, spot metering
6006 II 1989–1993 multiple exposures
6008 Professional SRC 1000 1992–1995 ScanPack Interface (SRC), with PQS lenses up to 1/1000 s
6003 SRC 1000 1994–1996 like 6008 without interchangeable magazin
6008 Integral 1995–2002 Master Control
6003 Professional 1996–2003 improved electronics, faster transport
6001 professional since 1998 no exposure meter
6008AF since 2002 autofocus
6008 Integral2 since 2003 electronics from 6008AF without autofocus
Rolleiflex Hy6 since 2007 "hybrid" for digital and analogue
X-Act1 since 1999 view camera, with wide angle bellows
X-Act2 since 1998 view camera
Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod2 since 2012 firmware and design improvements


  • Rollei Prego series — a line of 18 consumer digital cameras with resolutions up to 10.1 megapixels (as of September 2007) marketed by Rollei GmbH.

Slide projector[edit]

  • Rolleivision Twin MSC 315 & 325
  • Rolleivision MSC 535 P
  • Rolleivision 66 dual P (for 6 x 6, 4,5 x 6, 4 x 4 cm and 24 x 36 mm slides)



Some accessories manufactured for Rollei TLRs:

  • Rolleinar: A set of close-up lenses, in three magnifications (Rolleinar 1, Rolleinar 2, and Rolleinar 3). A pair of Rolleinar lenses are placed on both the viewing and taking lenses.
  • Rolleisoft: A soft focus lens for the taking lens only available in two grades, "0" and "1", which softens the definition and produce striking halo effects, particularly when used with back lighting. The Rolleisoft lens has concentric circles ground in groves and is used principally for portraiture.
  • Rolleifix: Instead of screwing the camera body to a tripod, this tripod head clamps down on the TLR.
  • Rolleipol: Rollei's polarizing filter.
  • Rolleikin: Allows the use of 35 mm film.
  • Rollei panorama head: Attaches the camera to a tripod, and enables the photographer to take a series of aligned pictures to create a panoramic photo in an arc up to 360°.
  • Rollei Pistol Grip
  • Rolleimarin: underwater housing.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]