Rollei 35 LED
No it’s not the original Rollei 35, yes it’s made in Singapore…but it was $5 at a thrift shop and I had never even heard of the Rollei 35. Not to mention you need both hands and your tongue to really operate this thing!
It was in pretty decent shape when I found it but has taken a but of a beating on our travels. It’s missing a screw right now I need to track back down that resulted in some light leaks on the last roll of film. I used three 645 silver oxide cells taped together as a replacement for the old mercury 5.6v battery. This throws the exposure meter off slightly but can be easily compensated for.
It is pretty dang small (Rollei 35 LED vs iPhone 6s) which makes it perfect for travel and backpacking (mostly what i’ve been using it for) but it has a pretty strange layout. For starters, you sacrifice the coupled rangefinder so focusing is an educated guess. Focusing is done on the front of the lens as well as aperture selection and a shutter speed ring.
The lens on the LED is a collapsible 40mm f/3.5 which is surprisingly sharp. It can only be collapsed while the shutter is cocked and i’ve heard that the mount can be somewhat weak on the LED. So far no issues with mine! The top of the camera contains the film advance on the left (yay left handed cameras!), the ASA/ISO setting for the built in light meter, the shutter release (with lock, important!), and the frame counter.
The bottom of the LED has the rewind lever, tripod mount, film rewind unlock, and an impossibly awkward hot shoe that i’ve never figured out how your are supposed to use. I’m not sure why but I had a hard time keeping my horizons level with the Rollei. Maybe because it’s so small it’s hard to manipulate but as you can see from the images below I missed more often than not.
Favorites from the Rollei 35