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Re: [Rollei] Rollei 35 Tessar

The shutters are completely mechanical.  The only thing the battery is used
for is the meter; this applies to the 35, 35T, 35S, 35TE and 35SE.

The SE (and S) has an f/2.8 Sonnar HFT (Rollei's multi-coating) whereas the
original "Germany" 35, 35T (and TE) have the f/3.5 Tessar with a single
coated lens.  In spite of the single coating, my 35/35T had remarkable
flare control even shooting directly into a rising sun.  The 35T had very
slightly higher contrast than my 35S with sharpness about equal, but the
35S has slightly less lens distortion.  However, one would have to measure
and detect this by photographing a test chart as under normal use
distortion differences were undetectable.  The greatest advatage is a
half-stop more speed under lower light conditions with slower ASA 100
films.  I shoot Elitechrome 100 (E100S) in my 35S regularly and project the
slides onto a 50" screen with superb results.

The 35TE and SE were made during the last two years of production and have
different metering that appears in the viewfinder window with LED's (red
and green to show over, under and proper exposure).  Some users like these
and others prefer the top deck match needle meter where you can see the
shutter and aperture settings on the two wheels.

The TE and SE take a different battery than the T and S and it was also a
mercury cell.  The workarounds for the PX625 used by the T and S are more
common.  They include the 625 Wein zinc-air cell, an adapter collar for the
more easily found 675 zinc-air cell, and an adapter with voltage drop diode
for the MS76 silver cell.  I have used all three satisfactorily on a 35T,
35S and an Olympus OM-1n.  You can use the alkaline PX625, but this will
throw your metering off with the higher voltage and with the alkaline's
sloped discharge curve, how much it is off will change as the battery ages.
 Not too much of a problem with more forgiving negative films, but with
reversal meter accuracy becomes more important.  All of the workarounds are
inexpensive compared to the typical cost of the camera.  The Rollei 35's
are not alone regarding the "625 problem" as many cameras from their era
used them.  The mercury batteries had marvelous performance characteristics
including nearly constant voltage output to the very bitter end and
relatively high capacity for their size.

If you get a chance to handle them remember you _cannot_ collapse the lens
without winding (cocking shutter) first.

Here are several sites about the Rollei 35's:

Stephen Gandy's CameraQuest also has some information about them, but his
site seems to be down.

- -- John

At 09:01 4/22/00 , Andrea wrote:
>Thank you all for the advices and comments I've received from Rollei owners.
>I'm very proud to be part of this list! About the 35, I would know just
>another thing: does it shot also without battery, of course the meter would
>not function, but what about the shutter? And a 35SE with Sonnar would do
>it? (I've seen also one of this - of course for an higher price - and, if I
>will not win the 35 Tessar I will try to bid on the SE)