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Thursday, 27 August 2009


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If I wanted to buy a Rollei TLR before the end, where would I go to get one?

Unless you can find a dealer who has one in stock, you might be a little too late. B&H says "accepting orders," but I doubt those orders would be fillable now. You could try.

There seem to be a couple of new ones on Ebay. Search "Rolleiflex 2.8 FX." I'm not endorsing Ebay here, though, so _caveat emptor_.


Looks like I had better find a couple of nice, clean second hand ones before the prices go through the roof....

Sad days.....first Agfa, then Minolta, then Konica, now Rollei....

Do I really want to think who will be next??

I once had Rollei 6008 with three lenses. After four years every lens broke for same reason. Rollei fixed lenses changing diaphragm motors and charged about 800 USD per lens. Of course I protested and said this is manufacturing fault, so they should pay repairing. Answer was: there is nothing wrong with motors, shit just happens! Maybe it can be so once, but three times?
RolleiĀ“s attitude was so hostile that I never bought Rollei stuff again. Companies which are against their customers will not survive.

No way!
What about their SLRs? What about the Hy6?
It just cannot be!
Now I have to get my father's FX!

Somebody needs to get in there and take some archival photographs of the facility before it all gets boarded up or knocked down for high-rise.

I was involved with Honeywell back in the late 1960 tested the first SL66's that Rolliei made-- I think we had 4 of them--I managed to lock them up beyond use in seconds--Major piece of junk.
I think Rollei went out of business way back then--It's just that no one in the company realized it.
Great camera but so was the model T Ford in it's day.
Remember--Great photographers make great photo's and most any camera they use will help create the same great image. It's not the instrument you use but how you use it.
Some of the best photo's made in the last 160 years were made with we would consider today--pieces of junk.
Foot Note: I'm not sure what or why Honeywell was involved with them--I think it had to do with them being broke.
But they actually went out of business years ago.
"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 equipments, 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]" Wicka.

Googled answer to my own ? in Honeywell's involvement with Rollei.

"Bob Salomon , Mar 30, 2001; 03:55 p.m.
After WW II Rollei was distributed by Ponder & Best west of the Mississippi and Burleigh Brooks East of the Mississippi.

In the early 60's or late 50's Rollei signed a distribution agreement with Honeywell to distribute Rollei nationally.

All Rollei distributed by Honeywell carried dual Logos. Rollei's and honeywell's.

In the late 60's, early 70's Rollei set up their own distribution company in Fairfield NJ called Rollei of America and Honeywell was no longer involved.

Later Rollei Werke purchased the photographic division of Honeywell Photographic and moved their facility to Denver. At that point Honeywell flash became a Rollei owned product as did Nikor trimmers, and enlargers. Pentax then set up their own distribution in the U.S.

Rollei Werke then went bankrupt at the end of the 70's and that was the end of the Rollei/Honeywell connection. The new Rollei, Rollei Fototechnik did not continue the Strobonar and Nikor product lines. All Strobonar flash and duplicator parts were then purchased by Marflex who brought them back to NJ".

Thirty five years ago I bought a 2.8f from the studio photographer who taught me how to print.
I still have the camera and still use it from time to time. Most of my favorite pictures were taken with that camera. It remains a terrific tool and a grand object just to look at.
Sorry to see the company go but the writing has been on the wall for some time.

Rollei compares in some ways with Graflex; both firms built their signature camera to last several lifetimes, and they have. The Speed Graphic and the TLRs both lasted until the market had moved past them, and their later products didn't quite measure up (Graflex XL & Norita, Rollei 35 SLRs and 6000 med-formats). It's just that Rollei stayed in business for another 35 years somehow.

"Some of the best photo's made in the last 160 years were made with we would consider today--pieces of junk."

I'm not sure that's quite the case.

I guess we have to agree on what we might regard as some of photography's finest moments and consider what they were taken with. I would reckon we would be talking about view cameras, press cameras like the Speed Graphic, TLRs, Super Ikontas, Leicas and the odd Nikon or Canon.

I'm sure that the vast majority of these could still pass muster now.

Some of my own personal favourite photographs have been taken with a tatty old Super Ikonta. I'm lucky enough to also own an M3 but, weirdly, my hit rate with it is shockingly low. In fact, I would have sold it years ago but it belonged to my father-in-law.

Anyway, FWIW!

And here's the camera that started the TTL business for Rolleiflex... the 1929 Rolleiflex Original. A handsome machine!


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