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Rollei 35 repair


I found this on the internet reasonably priced to be worth a gamble. It had a couple of dents but no serious signs of abuse. I've been hankering for this camera as a college kid in the early 80s. Instead, I chose a Pentax K1000 SLR which I could upgrade with a zoom lens ;)

This particular sample was made in Singapore in the early 70s. Not the more collectible '66-'70 or post '81 manufactured in Germany.

When it arrived, the 40mm f3.5 Tessar lens was clean and clear but shutter speeds below 1/30 functioned like B and the lens retraction mechanism was erratic. So I consulted my friend, Google.


This excellent time lapse video shows the top cover disassembly in detail.


1. Green arrow - dried up lubricant in the slow escapement gear train causes all slow speeds to function like B. A few drops of lighter fluid in this area should loosen dried lubricant. Cycle through the slow speeds. You should start hearing gears whirring. Keep cycling the slow speeds until the fluid is dry and then add a tiny drop (or two) of gun oil.

2. Yellow arrow - the circular brass plunger actuates the lens retraction latch. Make sure this is properly inserted to the latch upon reassembly. Note: The lens will retract ONLY IF the shutter is cocked.

3. I did not bother to check the light-meter since it requires an obsolete PX625 mercury battery. Anyway I have an iPhone app and Sunny 16.

Rollei 35 + Prazisa RF
When this was introduced in Photokina '66, it was the smallest full frame camera in the world. Due to its diminutive size the controls defy common logic. So it's best to consult the manual before use.

Test shots

Kodak TX400
Kodak TX400
Kodak TX400

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