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Friday, 13 November 2009


Let's see. Film is on the way out, Kodachrome is dead and some company decides to resurrect a high end twin lens film camera and slide projectors. I'm guessing they plan on creating instant collectables and peddling them at outrageous prices. Good luck with that.

Yeah, and others are trying to revive Polaroid. A perfect storm.

"plans to restart production of Rollei’s slide projectors, TLRs"

Are they on LSD?

Got the next from a rumor circa 1 month ago. They'll be pushing again on the Hybrid. As a great estimator of the 6000 series I really hope for a solution for them.

Well, Ilford stated their medium format film sales was up quite a bit from last year, one report said Fuji had to plan an extended run of their MF folder as the planned total units all but sold out on preorder, and while the shelves are still well-stocked on used MF gear in the local shops, the glut of high-end gear seems to be gone.

There may well be a stable niche for a high-quality TLR. What'd really surprise me, though, is if they resurrect the Rollei 35; you sure they don't mean the Rollei 35RF? The 35 is a really cool camera - I have a 35-S myself - but with a pretty expensive design and guess-focusing, and having been out of production for decades it doesn't strike me as a natural choice to start producing again.

I assume they are interested in maintaining production of equipment for those photographers who favour an analogue route to high technical quality. I don't think this counts as terrorist activity.

Ah, you naysayers should try using TLRs & slide projectors - far more satisfying than getting to grips with a wunderplastik digital camera that will be out of date in 6 months!

Cheers, Robin

F&H were always a class act and it is shortsighted to cross them off now. A company with 20 employees is easier to hold together than the 13o would have been. These are Germans too. At the end of WWII it was assumed that Leica were finished due to them losing their patents and the universal copying of their pre-war products, but they just designed a new and much better camera...the rest is history!

Well, Mischa, if they are on LSD I hope they stay focussed enough to produce a slide projector, hopefully 6x6, which I,for one, would stay up all night to head the sales queue if one becomes available

Hey yall, don't be so negative - after all, a Rollei TLR isn't an old film camera - it's a interchangeable sensor medium format platform with LiveView!

With only 20 employees, I can see the new Rollei hanging on as an even more boutique marque for a few years. Good luck with the slide projectors, though - although, is anyone else still making one?

Other than a slide projector, how else is one meant to look at slides? Of course, you digital types can always buy a WUXGA projector to look at your digifiles-that's a cool 2.3Mb of image for an even cooler $10,000+. Funny how the humble E-6 transparency still completly trumps all this bloated digital technology. Yes your 20Mb+ camera will print OK super large prints, but when did you last do one of those? But if I want a perfect 1.5 metre wide image I just drop the slide in the projector- turning the lights out first of course!

I keep my fingers crossed. If they come up with new TLRs, I'm up to buy one (rather than a used one). Good luck!

I, for one, welcome our new Rollei overlords!

No, seriously, I am quite taken with them. It's sentimental, my Grandfather used them for years, and a good chunk of my childhood is documented in MF as a result. He gave me a Brownie Starflex* and a box of flashbulbs for my birthday, and the rest is history.

I dearly want to get a hold of one, but truthfully, it's not in my budget yet. I love the idea that they'd go back into production, hopefully causing used equipment to stay inexpensive-ish.
Is the Hybrid that Massimo mentioned a digital back? I've got some mixed feelings about potential future cameras: a digital back option would crazily drive up the prices on all them, and be all but unaffordable to me. But I'd love to have one.

*127 format pseudo TLR, fixed focus, two aperture settings, one speed.

Didn't the last Rollei sell for like $3,000? I can't believe there would be any kind of market for this.

Good on them, I say. Let's see...some people passionate about building high quality medium-format film cameras want to continue using their highly developed knowledge and skills to provide tools for those who love using them? Nice to hear of it. Why is that a problem? Presumably they know of the recent sales figures of F&H and are trimming output and costs accordingly.

There's a whole lot of people who like to buck the mass trend. I attended the twice-annual Sydney Camera Market a month ago and was surprised at the number of young people seaching for and buying good film TLRs and SLRs. I asked a couple of gorgeous young women what was behind their search; they said they "wanted to get away from the usual digital look". Good on them, as well!

Rod S

Some of my favorite pictures have been taken with an ancient 2.8f. Great glass and a really pleasant camera to take into the field.
The back also pops off. A digital replacement would be really cool. Just saying...

Why not? They shall have something like a leica x1 but full frame and f2.8 lens or like mimiya change into interchangable lens

the key is that the tlr is no difference from a digicamera with the screen in the top like one old Sony camera r1. Keep the tlr can remove the issue of live view impacts in the ccd and instead of a small external view finder you got a bigger one

we have too little different camera design these days due to the merge of film (sensor) and the body. More design option would be good

even a Rolleiflex 35 on full fun can make sense if one can kepthe scale small -- if one does not have to sell 10k camera per day but 1k per year

anyway still saving to get that project for my Rolleiflex t and hasselblad

I certainly hope they can find a new niche. I very much enjoy using my nearly 50 year-old Rolleiflex, although it's currently undergoing an overhaul. It's fascinating to consider the possibility of a 6x6 twin-lens reflex with a full-frame digital back. Wow...that would be -very- cool.

I sincerely hope those guys can make it. Projecting medium format slides is an experience of it's own.
After spending some money for a complete overhaul of my Rolleiblex T I can't wait to soo the results on my 70in projection screen.

Note however that the "company named DHW Fototechnik GmbH" seems to be a company set up by former management for this purpose alone and has a total capital of EUR 25.200.

Despite all the naysaying from folks who now regret to have moved to digital and want to compensate, there is no way Rollei film cameras will stay down!
Like the Phoenix, I tell you!

I've been shooting digital only for years including a 6008AF with phase digital back. Last year a friend lent me his 2.8F TLR and I shot about 25 rolls of 120 color and black and white film with it for fun. Actually I was amazed with the wonderful simplicity of the camera and how portable it was - and the images were just fantastic, particularly the black and whites. I plan to buy a TLR at some point and certainly would consider a new one. To me this is really great news. I hope that they also pick the Hy6 up again too.

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