Rollei (German pronunciation: [ˈʁɔlaɪ]) is 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. Current products also include specialty and nostalgic type films for the photo hobbyist market.
After being purchased in 1995 by Samsung Techwin, part of the South Korean Samsung Group, it was sold back to its internal management in 1999. 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.
Currently Rolleiflex medium format cameras, Rollei 35 and Rolleivision slide projectors are being produced by DHW Fototechnik - a company founded by Rolf Daus, Hans Hartje and Frank Will, former Franke & Heidecke employees. DHW Fototechnik presented two new Rolleiflex cameras and a new electronic shutter at Photokina 2012.
- Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR with 75 mm f/3.5 Planar — as used by David Bailey and Diane Arbus.
- Rolleiflex SL66 and SL66E SLR with rise and fall lens plane and exceptional close-up abilities — as used by Brett Weston.
- Rolleicord Vb — A medium format twin-lens reflex camera designed for non-professional users, like the rest of the Rolleicord line.
- Rolleiflex 2.8GX as used by Helmut Newton
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
The Pocket Film Camera Rollei A26 (126 film) in the closed (top) and open (bottom) states
- Rollei 35 RF rangefinder camera introduced in 2002.
- 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.
|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|
|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 Mini Digi — digital camera styled like a miniature Rolleiflex TLR.
- Rollei Prego series — a line of 18 consumer digital cameras with resolutions up to 10.1 megapixels (as of September 2007).
- 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.
- "Samsung corporate history".
- "Rollei". TLR Cameras.
- "Out of Franke & Heidecke's ashes, rises DHW Fototechnik".
- "Rolleiflex Unveils New FX-N TLR Film, Hy6 Mod2 Medium Format Cameras".
- Gandy, Stephen. "Rollei 2000 / 3003 System 35". CameraQuest. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- DHW Fototechnik (Manufacturer of the modern medium format Rolleiflex cameras and repair) English and German
- RCP-Technik (Rollei Consumer Products website) German and English
- Rollei Report books The site of Claus Prochnow, author of the Rollei Report books and former Rollei engineer. A very good resource on all Rollei products
- Rollei Repair Shops and Related Services worldwide by Ferdi Stutterheim
- Overview on Rolleiflex TLR's by Guide to Classic Cameras
- Rollei TLR camera website by Peter Wolff
- Rollei TLR 6x6 Cameras A User's Review by Doug Hughes
- Rollei History (History timeline of Rollei GmbH)
- International Rollei Club (Largest Rollei website with details of all Rolleiflex equipment ever made)
- Club Rollei User (Club for all Users, Collectors and Enthusiasts of Rollei photography)
- Rolleiflex SL66 website (Information about all Rolleiflex SL66 camera models, lenses and accessories)
- Pascal's Rolleiflex Pages (information about the Rolleiflex 6008AF and Hy6 systems) by Pascal Heyman
- Rollei / Rolleiflex film camera instruction manuals English
- Rolleiflex USA - authorized dealer Online store with technical articles,technical support, manuals, product brochures, and sample images