Rollei 35 RF

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The Rollei 35 RF (2002) is a version of the Cosina Voigtländer Bessa R2 marketed not by Cosina but instead by Rollei, complete with a Rollei Sonnar 40mm f/2.8 HFT lens. A Rollei Planar 80mm f/2.8 HFT lens was also offered.

Like the Bessa R2, the Rollei 35 RF has a Leica M mount and a vertically-traveling metal focal-plane shutter. Its TTL exposure meter requires batteries, but all other functions are mechanical. Shutter speeds range from 1 to 1/2000s and bulb (B), with flash sync at 1/125s on hot-shoe or PC terminal.

The most obvious differences from the R2 are the price (much higher) and appearance: more silver, and more prominent branding. Beside this badge engineering, there are other differences. The shutter-speed knob and the grip on the body are slightly redesigned and more importantly the framelines are for 40, 50, and 80mm. (The 40 setting leaves a generous amount of view outside the framelines, as the viewfinder optics were designed to accommodate 35mm lenses.)

This camera was so transparently a Cosina, and (bundled with the 40mm lens) its initial price was so high, that it was not greeted with much enthusiasm when released. As of 2006 it was easily found in like-new condition for well below its original price, with or without its original lens. However, arguably it may be the best Cosina-built rangefinder camera for people who wear glasses and prefer to use a 40mm lens.


Note : the name Rollei 35RF was earlier, in 1981, used for quite another camera, see Rollei 35RF


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