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Rollei 35 TE favori envoyer Print
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand
France Version française

Chronology of the Rollei brand  New window

Manufactured in Singapour from 1980 until after 1981.
Index of rarity in France : Peu courant (among non-specialized garage sales)
Sold listing on Ebay.com New window
Inventory number: 1247

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Rollei 35 TE

The first Rollei 35 appeared in 1966 and was the first ‘super-compact’ 35mm camera. The quality of its lens and construction earned it such a strong reputation that production of the Rollei 35 line continued until 1998.

The 35 TE is fully manual (or semi-automatic according to the 1970s definition.) You set the shutter speed by turning the dial on the right, below the viewfinder. The speed values are engraved on the edge of the dial. Viewed from the front, they are barely visible but the photographer can read them from above. The aperture is set with the left dial in the same way. Speeds are from ½ to 1/500 second, plus B, and apertures run from f/3.5 to f/22. Focus distance is set by turning the ring on the front edge of the lens tube. The scale runs from 0.9m (3 ft) to 6m (20 ft) and then infinity. There is no rangefinder or any focusing aid, only the photographer’s ability to estimate distance.

A CdS cell activates a red-green LED display in the viewfinder to indicate over- or under- (red) or correct (green) exposure.

The lens is telescopic, and can be retracted only when the shutter is cocked. The little button, marked with an arrow, below the meter window unlocks the lens to allow it to collapse.

The film advance lever is on the left side of the top plate and, unusually, winds the film from right to left. The rewind crank and the flash shoe are on the bottom of the camera, as is the frame counter. The battery compartment is in the top plate, with a button on the back to release (or eject with surprising force) the plastic battery holder. The meter was designed for a 5.6V PX625 mercury battery but a 6.2V combination of four modern alkaline batteries (3x LR44, 1x LR43) still gives accurate meter readings. The rest of the camera does not require battery power.

In 1970, Rollei began to relocate its manufacturing to Singapore to reduce costs. This is why we find some models of the legendary Rollei 35 [including all 35 TEs?] inscribed ‘Made in Singapore’.