Rolleiflex SL66

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The Rolleiflex SL66 is a 6×6 cm SLR camera made by Rollei. It was the company's first single-lens reflex. While the naming "SL" is most likely for single lens, the "66" probably refers to the 6x6 cm image format, coincidentally the camera was introduced at the 1966 Photokina show. The original chrome & black SL66 model remained in production until 1986.

Body

It is a fully mechanical, modular system camera that does not require battery power for operation. It uses interchangeable finders (including a prism and a metering magnifying finder) and film magazines. A 4.5×6 cm format magazine is also available. The film magazines can accept 120 or 220 film loaded onto inserts. To protect against loosing exposures when changing magazines it uses a interlocking dark slide system. Remove the dark slide by pulling upwards. A dark slide holder is built into the magazine, inserting upwards from the base. The shutter, a focal-plane shutter with cloth blinds, gives speeds 1-1/1000 second plus 'B', and is synchronized for electronic flash at 1/30 sec via body's PC socket. There are two dedicated sync connectors, one for X electronic and another for FP bulb.

The body controls are located and designed similar to their TLR line of cameras. The right side of the body has the film advance knob which has flip out crank. It sits on top of the shutter speed controls. Operation of the crank is similar to their TLR, first with a clock wise rotation, followed by a counter-clock wise rotation. The shutter release button has a screw in cable release terminal.

A unique feature of the camera is a bellows focusing mechanism. The focusing knob is on the left of the body. A depth of field scale is printed on the main focusing knob. The unique bellows design also permits the lens to be tilted (up to 8 degrees up or down) to increase depth of field in close-up work. The is accomplished with a small lockable knob on the front left of the body below the accessory shoe. Additional scales are on the side of the bellows with markings for 80, 120 and 150mm lenses along with a tilt scale.

Iterations

The SL66 is a very high-quality camera but was very expensive, and rather few were made. By 1986, about 28,900 of the original SL66 had been made. Some more models and 'Special Editions' were produced after 1986. The Rolleiflex SL66E was made from 1982. It is built and designed similar to the original SL66 but updated with more electronics. New features include built-in TTL average metering and flash metering (about 500 made) along with a hot shoe. The FP bulb terminal is no longer available. The lens mounting mark area now has exposure control adjustment. The magazine back now has ASA settings with a range of 25 to 6400 along with a crank style lever. It is powered by a PX28 battery. The SL66X is similar to the SL66E but with only TTL flash metering (about 500). The SL66SE was released in 1986 with spot or average metering (about 3500 made). After 1992, only a few collector's editions were made.

Lenses

The camera uses interchangeable, coated Carl Zeiss (west, Oberkochen) lenses of very high reputation, with focal lengths between 30 mm and 1000 mm. The lenses originally offered do not couple with the metering prism; a new set was produced which do. Because of trademark issues, these lens designs have also been found with Oberkochen Opton markings for resale in GDR/DDR and eastern European markets. There are a couple of lenses with leaf shutters built in. This allows more flexibility in higher flash sync speeds and are capable from 1/30 to 1/500 of a sec. To use the faster flash sync speeds, the shutter speed on camera body must be set to 1/30 or below. Cock the lens shutter and attach the sync cord to the lens. There are also a few third-party lenses for the SL66, made by Carl Zeiss Jena, Rodenstock and Novoflex. There are some later lenses that are branded Rollei, licensed from Carl Zeiss they tend to be identical to the Zeiss version, but sometimes minor build difference. The lenses have the Bay VI bayonet for hoods and filters.



System

Lens

Carl Zeiss

  • 30mm F-Distagon HFT f/3.5
  • 40mm Distagon f/4
  • 40mm Distagon HFT f/4
  • 40mm Distagon FLE f/4
  • 50mm Distagon f/4
  • 50mm Distagon HFT f/4
  • 60mm Distagon f/3.5
  • 80mm Planar f/2.8
  • 80mm Planar HTF f/2.8
  • 80mm Distagon f/4 (leaf)
  • 120mm S-Planar f/5.6
  • 120mm Macro-Planar HFT f/4
  • 120mm Macro-Planar HFT f/5.6
  • 150mm Sonnar f/4
  • 150mm Sonnar HFT f/4
  • 150mm Sonnar (leaf)
  • 250mm Sonnar f/5.6
  • 250mm Sonnar HFT f/5.6
  • 500mm Tele-Tessar f/5.6
  • 500mm Tele-Tessar HFT f/5.6
  • 1000mm Tele-Tessar HFT f/8
  • 1000mm Mirotar f/5.6

Carl Zeiss Jena

  • 120mm Biometar f/2.8
  • 180mm Sonnar f/2.8
  • 300mm Sonnar f/4

Rollei

  • 75mm PCS-Rolleigon f/4.5 (shift)
  • 80mm Planar f/2.8 Rollei-HFT (silver)
  • 80mm Planar f/2.8 Rollei-HFT (black)
  • 150mm Sonnar Rollei-HFT f/4

Novoflex

  • 120mm FastShot f/4
  • 400mm Noflexar f/5.6
  • 500mm FastShot f/5.6

Rodenstock

  • 120mm Imagon f/4.5
  • 200mm Imagon f/5.8

Lens accessories

  • 40mm extension tube
  • 80mm extension tube
  • Lens hood
  • Lens hood for 50mm
  • Carl Zeiss Luminar I microscope lens adapter
  • Carl Zeiss Luminar II microscope lens adapter

Finder

  • Waist level finder
  • Waist level action finder
  • -150mm mask
  • -250mm mask
  • Prism finder
  • - Sport finder
  • Magnifying finder (chimney)
  • Metering finder (CdS, chimney)
  • Video finder (attaching video camera)

Screens

  • microprism
  • microprism grid
  • microprism w/ 6x4,5 frame
  • grid
  • ground glass
  • split-image rangefinder

Film

  • 6 x 6 (120/220) magazine
  • 6 x 6 (120/220) magazine (E, X, SE)
  • 6 x 4,5 (120/220) magazine
  • 4 x 5 sheet film
  • Polaroid packfilm magazine

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