The Rolleiflex SL35 and SL350 are 35mm SLR cameras made by Rollei in the 1970s.
The Rolleiflex SL35 was the first 35mm single lens reflex manufactured by Rollei. It was launched in 1970.
It introduced a new bayonet mount and a range of Rolleiflex SL35 lenses.
It is a nice and compact camera, with a cloth focal plane shutter up to 1/1000 and a built-in through the lens exposure meter, with match-needle reading in the finder. However the meter only works when you close the diaphragm, by pressing a button on the top plate. This feature was already outdated at the time it was sold. The SL35 has no built-in accessory shoe, it was sold as a removable accessory. The SL35 was sold in chrome or black.
The first SL35 cameras were built in Germany, the later ones in Singapore. Rollei's Singapore plant was one of the first examples of delocalization in the camera industry (while other German companies opted for other solutions, such as Zeiss' cooperation with Kyocera and Leica with Minolta), and at the beginning it seems there were problems with the quality control, which later improved. Whether it is a rumor or not, today the bodies marked Made in Germany sell for a bit more than the ones marked Made in Singapore. The SL35 production in Germany lasted from 1970 to June 1972, with 24.500 units in chrome and black (serials 4.000.000 to 4.029.999), while production in Singapore was from June 1972 to December 1976 with 118.500 units in chrome and black (serials 4.030.000 to 4.499.999).
image by Eric Hartke (Image rights)
The Rolleiflex SL350 is an improved version of the SL35, with a built-in accessory shoe and a meter readable with the diaphragm open. Rollei had to modify the lens mount to add a pin for the aperture transmission. The older lenses for the SL35 can still mount on the SL350, but they do not activate the new feature.
The SL350 was sold in chrome or black, and was only made in Germany. It is rarer than the SL35, and is today much more expensive.
The SL35 and SL350 were replaced by the Rolleiflex SL35M line.
List of accessories for the body:
- accessory shoe for the SL35 (it is built-in on the SL350)
- pivoting angle finder
- eveready case
- eveready bag
- body cap
- Matanle, Ivor. Collecting and Using Classic SLRs. London: Thames & Hudson, 1996. ISBN 0-500-01726-3. Pp.107–9.
- Captain Jack's Rollei SL35 and Voigtländer VSL website (archived), including:
- Rollei 35mm SLRs at the Rollei Club (the site is dead and the links point to the web archive version dated March 7, 2005)
- Rolleiflex SL35 manual (.pdf format) at butkus.org's Orphan Cameras
- Rolleiflex SL35 in a page about the first 35mm SLRs by each company at Massimo Bertacchi's Innovative Cameras website
In German (with some English pages):
- Related pages in Frank Mechelhoff's camera site: