Rollei 35 RF film camera

Rollei brand film camera Rollei 35 RF review and photo examples

Table of contents


  • Lens:BIOGON-ZM 35mm /PLANAR-ZM 50mm /NOKTON40mm


The Rollei 35RF is a Leica M mount compatible rangefinder camera released by Rollei at the request of Cosina.
The engine parts such as the finder, shutter, and winder are the same as BESSA R2, and the only difference is the design including the exterior and the viewfinder frame. Compared to the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder camera that will be released later, it is not a very expensive project. Rollei thought that Cosina would get the trademark as is, but that didn’t happen.
The viewfinder frame is 40/50/80, which is different from the 28/35/50/75/90/135 that is common on Leica M, but since the field of view is originally around 87% and is affected by parallax, the frame is a guideline. Personally, I don’t think there is a big problem with lenses that don’t fit the frame.
Just like the base Bessa, batteries are required to operate the light meter, and two LR44/SR44 batteries are required.
Looking at Rollei’s preparations for the release of Planar 50mm, which had fallen through the cracks, it seems likely that they intended to continue the series if it sold well, but unfortunately it didn’t sell that well at the time and the series was not continued. However, as will be explained later, in the final years it was sold at a bargain price. As of 2024, the two released L-mount lenses are trading at fairly high prices. I don’t really see much use for the 80mm in particular, but it’s expensive anyway.

The story of how I got it is that when I was looking for a Leica M mount film camera to use alternately with HEXAR RF, and I was looking for BESSA series as candidates, I came across Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, along with the Sonnar 40mm F2.8 lens, at a special price of about half the price. I came across it as . It wasn’t that expensive, so I bought it, loaded it with film, and shot it on the spot.
In the case of a digital camera, you cannot use it unless you have a compatible battery or the battery is charged (recently, charging the camera has become easier as it can be charged with a mobile battery), but film cameras Since it runs on commercially available batteries, it was easy to start using it.

One incident that left a lasting impression on me is that after I had consumed several rolls of film and was getting used to this camera, when I was winding up the film for development, the gear on the shaft connected to the camera’s winding lever broke into pieces. It broke. The gear was broken and the film could no longer be wound, so there was nothing I could do on the spot, so I went to Shinjuku Yodobashi Camera and had them put the film back in the case in a dark box and develop it, as the camera was still within the warranty period. I asked for repairs. The repair didn’t take long, so it was probably repaired by the parts supplier.
I didn’t mean to wind the film too roughly, which caused the breakage, but I learned that it can break like this. Automatic winding automatically winds the camera with the appropriate torque, so I once again praise the HEXAR RF for its ease of winding.
I also didn’t want it to break, so I sold it without using it after it was repaired.

As a complete aside, this camera was introduced to the market at a time when there was no visible path to recovery even after going bankrupt, and it seems that this was part of an attempt to do business through various means, but after the company went bankrupt they took over the brand. The company only exists to sell products under the Rollei brand, and the Rollei brand continues to drift.
The history of Rollei is detailed in the English Wiki in the reference link (Japanese Wiki has less explanation).
Leica has been helped by celebrity capital, Hasselblad has been helped by Chinese capital, and I feel that both companies are doing well.


カメラRollei 35 RFZeiss IkonHEXAR RF
Finder MechanisimReal-image reverse Galilean perspective finder
Viewfinder Magnificationx0.7x0.74x0.6
Finder Frame40 / 50 / 8028,85 / 35 / 5028,90 / 35,135 / 50,75
Baseline length(mm)377569.2
Effective baseline length(mm)25.955.541.5
Shutter MechanisimVertical travel laminar metal focal plane shutterElectronically controlled vertically moving metal focal plane shutter
Shutter speed(sec)1/2000〜11/2000〜11/4000〜16(Auto)
Photometry methodCenter weighted TTL average metering upon light depression of shutter releaseShutter curtain, TTL direct metering
BatteryLR44/SR44 x2CR-1/3N x1
SR44 x2
LR44 x2
CR2-3V x2
W x H x D
135.5 × 81 × 25.5〜33.5138 × 77.5 × 32139.5 × 80 × 35
Release date2002
(2006 sales end)
2005.10Normal (1999.1)


  • 40mm finder
  • Manual Winder
  • RM Lens
Focal lengthNameRelease date
40mmSonnar 40mm F2.82002年
50mmPlanar 50mm F1.8
80mmPlanar 80mm F2.82002年

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.2.8:Update the article
  • 2023.4.26:First draft

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