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Editor Ferdi Stutterheim

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Rollei 35 0001 Photo F.W. Stutterheim
Image 1. Photograph of an early, chrome Rollei 35 camera. The bottom distance scale is in m. The bearing of the rewind crank is made of chromed metal. The lock of the camera back is not V-shaped.
Photo ©2022 Chris Livsey. Used with permission.

Page Index

Models and Serial Numbers

Prototypes and ‘0’ Series

Name
Features1
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Prototype
Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
0 0 2 in Germany by Rollei ‍09/1965 - ‍02/1966 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm
‘0’ Series Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
- Black alloy
3 000 001 3 000 200
120
80
in Germany by
Rollei-Compur-Gossen-Zeiss
‍07/1966 - ‍09/1966 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm

Particulars: Around 60 samples of the ‘0’ Series were dismantled for research and are permanently lost.
The Tessar offered in the Rollei 35 has front lens focusing. The standard procedure of focusing is moving all lens groups together.

Rollei 35,1299 Photo F.W. Stutterheim
Image 2. Photograph of Ferdi‘s chrome Rollei 35 camera. The bottom distance scale is in ft. The bearing of the rewind crank is made of black organic polymer. The back is unlocked and the lock is V-shaped.
Photo © 2020 F.W. Stutterheim.

Rollei 35

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
3 000 201 3 311 999 8 000 in Germany by
Rollei-Compur-Gossen-Zeiss
‍11/1966 - ‍07/1967 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm
Opton Te 3.5/40 mm
Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
304 000 in Germany by Rollei
Compur shutter by Prontor Germany
‍08/1967 - ‍12/1971 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm
Opton Te 3.5/40 mm
Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
3 312 0002 3 499 999 185 000 by Rollei Singapore
Compur shutter by Prontor3 Germany
From 04/1973:
Shutter by Rollei Singapore
‍06/1971 - ‍10/1973 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm3
Opton Te 3.5/40 mm
From 04/1973:
Rollei Tessar 3.5/40 mm
Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
6 000 000 6 299 999 by Rollei Singapore
Shutter by Rollei Singapore
‍10/1973 - ‍08/1974 Rollei Tessar 3.5/40 mm
Rollei 35
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
3 312 000 3 499 999 30 000 by Rollei Singapore
From now on shutter by Copal4 Japan
‍07/1972 - ‍04/1973 Schneider S‑Xenar 3.5/40 mm

Particulars: Due to its small size the lens barrel of the Tessar is equipped with separate distance scales for m and ft. One is visible from the top, the other one is visible from the bottom of the camera. Two versions were made. One had the m scale on top, the other one had the ft scale on top. The scales read: ‘m 0,9 1 1,2 1,5 2 3 6 ∞’ and ‘feet 3 4 6 10 20 ∞’. Snapshot settings were printed in red.
Changes during production:
March 1968: From around № 3 029 230 the rewind bearing is made of black organic polymer. V-shaped lock on camera back.
May 1968: From around № 3 039 229 inner gears made of organic polymer.
September 1968: UV blocking layer5 in Tessar lens from camera № 3 082 000.
End of 1970: Finder magnification 0.62, window 12×18 mm, close focusing marks.

Special Edition Rollei 35 “Made in Germany”

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35
- Gold plated brass
3 000,201 3 311,000 1 500 in Germany by Rollei ‍11/1970 - ‍12/1971 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm

Particulars: Meant to be the last production run of the Rollei 35 in Germany.

Special Edition Rollei 35 “Made in Singapore”

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35
- Black
3 312 0002 3 499 999 5 000 by Rollei Singapore ‍12/1971 Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/40 mm

Particulars: 2 special orders.

Rollei 35 T

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35 T
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
- Bright Alloy
6 000 000 6 499 999 440 000 by Rollei Singapore ‍09/1974 - ‍02/1980 Rollei Tessar 3.5/40 mm

Particulars: The Rollei 35 was renamed Rollei 35 T with the introductio of the Rollei 35 S. Not all available numbers were used.
Changes during production:
January 1977: Bright Alloy covers introduced. Combined distance scale for m and ft, with the same numbers as before. Camera back slightly changed for better electrical contact. The improved back does not fit earlier cameras.
December 1979: New number ranges for the distance scale: ‘ft 3 4 6 8 15 ∞’ and ‘m 1 1,5 2 3 6 ∞’.

Rollei 35 S

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35 S
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
- Black Alloy
6 500 000 6 799 999 260 000 by Rollei Singapore ‍09/1974 - ‍02/1980 Carl Zeiss Sonnar 2.8/40 mm)
Sonnar 2.8/40 mm Rollei‑HFT

Particulars: Only a few samples of Carl Zeiss made Sonnars were used. Possibly T* coated. Contrary to the Tessar with front lens focusing, the entire Sonnar lens is moved when focusing.
Changes during production:
June 1976: Black Alloy covers introduced.
January 1977: Combined distance scale for m and ft, with the same numbers as before. Camera back slightly changed for better electrical contact. The improved back does not fit earlier cameras.
December 1979: New number ranges for the distance scale: ‘ft 3 4 6 8 15 ∞’ and ‘m 1 1,5 2 3 6 ∞’.

Rollei 35 S Special Edition

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35 S
- Chrome plated brass
- Silver leatherette
- Olive Branches (U.S. market)
3 0006 by Rollei Singapore ‍10/1978 - ‍07/1979 Sonnar 2.8/40 mm Rollei‑HFT
Rollei 35 S
- Chrome plated brass
- Silver leatherette
5 0006 by Rollei Singapore ‍10/1978 - ‍07/1979 Sonnar 2.8/40 mm Rollei‑HFT

Particulars: No camera serial number on the back! Evans mentions a number under the take-up spool. Shield on the back for Owner’s name. A number of non-original cameras with silver leatherette are known. A Rollei 35 with silver leatherette and a serial number on the back is certainly non-original.

Rollei 35 S Gold Plated 24 Karat

Name
Features
Start at № End at № Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35 S
- Gold plated brass, brown leather
0 001 1 500 1 500 by Rollei Singapore ‍12/1979 - ‍02/1980 Sonnar 2.8/40 mm Rollei‑HFT

Particulars: Shield on the back with Owner’s name and special camera serial number.
A number of non-original cameras are known.

Rollei 35, samples of Jubilee Edition ‘50 Years’

Name
Features
Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35
- Black, Silver leatherette
- Olive Branches around ‘50’
10 by Rollei Singapore ‍1979 Schneider S‑Xenar 3.5/40 mm

Particulars: ‘Rollei 35’ without T! Samples of ‘Jubilee Edition 50’ years of TLRs. Only 10 samples were made. No series production. Sold by lottery to Rollei staff. Shield on the back with Owner’s name.

Rollei 35 TE

Name
Features
Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35 TE
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
- Bright Alloy
120 000 by Rollei Singapore ‍11/1979 - ‍09/1981 Tessar 3.5/40 mm, made by Rollei.

Particulars: Coded serial numbers inside cameras. Lens barrel release at front. Exterior texts mostly printed rather than engraved. Exposure-meter with 3 LEDs in the viewfinder. PX 27 battery. Aperture selector wheel free turning without clicks. From June 1980 lock on aperture wheel. From April 1980 two red marks visible on back when open.
Cameras were for sale until 1983.

Rollei 35 SE

Name
Features
Number Made Produced Lens
Rollei 35 SE
- Chrome plated brass
- Black
- (Bright Alloy)
150 000 by Rollei Singapore ‍11/1979 - ‍09/1981 Sonnar 2.8/40 mm Rollei‑HFT

Particulars: Bright Alloy top covers in very small numbers. Coded serial numbers inside cameras. Lens barrel release at front. Exterior texts printed rather than engraved on later cameras. Exposure meter with 3 LEDs in the viewfinder. PX 27 battery. Aperture selector wheel free turning without clicks. From April 1980 two red marks visible on back when open. From June 1980 lock on aperture wheel. Cameras were for sale until 1983.

Notes

[1]
Features are only described to distinguish between cameras from a single production run or in case of special interest. Not all features are listed. Back
[2]
According to Claus Prochnow factory numbers are not correct. Production in Singapore began with a much lower serial number. In his book he printed a picture of a box with camera № 3 239 707, ‘Made by Rollei Singapore’. Back
[3]
Afalter writes that 49 000 lenses for the Rollei 35 were ordered from Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany and also 49 000 shutter boards from Prontor in order to get the Singapore factory started. Optics and shutters were obtained from Germany until March 1973. At that time Rollei Optical Pte, Singapore, was able to supply sufficient lenses. The average monthly camera production in 1972 was around 4080. My estimate is that at least 60 000 Rollei 35 cameras made in Singapore are equipped with German Carl Zeiss optics and German Compur shutters made by Prontor.
I was contacted by the owner of Rollei 35 № 3 287 546. It shows the signs of a Germany made Rollei 35: a Carl Zeiss Tessar and it has slot drive screws on the back of the shutter board so we can assume it is a Compur shutter made by Prontor. Prochnow writes (See note 2) that its serial number refers to a Singapore camera and ‘Made by Rollei Singapore’ is engraved on the camera back. Back
[4]
From the S-Xenar, the Rollei designed shutters were obtained from Copal. Cameras equipped with S-Xenar lenses were sold only in Eastern Europe, Italy and the U.S.A. Back
[5]
Tessars are built with glass of low refractive index. A consequence is hight transmission of UV light that has to be corrected by the use of an UV-filter. The filter was not very popular. The Tessar lenses have 4 lens elements in 3 groups. The group closest to the film is a cemented doublet. Carl Zeiss added an UV blocking layer to the cement. An external UV filter is no longer necessary from № 3 082 000. Back
[6]
Sources do not agree on the numbers made. Listed are the numbers given by Prochnow. Evans (in the U.S.A.) describes only 1500 cameras of the olive branch version that were exported to the U.S.A. No total number, not the other version. Cameras of the U.S. version were still available from discount stores in 1983. Afalter mentions a Special Series with a limited number of 3000 cameras. For the U.S. market 1500 cameras received the additional olive branch.
Appearently the series did not sell very well. Perhaps not all planned cameras were made. Back

References