Used Rollei 35 Buyer’s Checklist

I am lucky enough to own almost the full series of Rollei 35. I am not old enough to get any one of them brand new. I’ve got all of them from the second hand market. When you buy a used Rollei 35, you can check it thoroughly by your four senses – see, hear, smell and touch.

The Rollei 35 buyers check list for eyes:

Body

1. Unless you are buying a collectable item, the appearance of the camera shouldn’t border you by the scratches, engravings or dents. The metal of the Rollei 35, Rollei 35S and Rollei 35T is relatively soft when compared with the electronic Rollei 35 LED and Rollei B35. Dents are found in many used Rollei 35s.

Rollei 35 buyer checklist

2. There is no light seal foam in the camera body. You should check to confirm there is no separation between the back cover and the body. Any deformation may cause light leak to the film.

Rollei 35 buying checklist

3. Check the battery compartment, there should be no sign of corrosion from leaky batteries. Rollei B35 has no battery compartment. It uses a solar cell for metering. Don’t try too hard to find a battery compartment in it.

Rollei 35 buyers checklist 4. Extend the lens barrel to check for dents. It must be no dents. Hairlines and scratches on the barrel are normal.

Rollei 35 checklist for buyers

Lens

1. Check for the scratches and fungus in the lens. Remove the back cover. Turn the shutter to B and fire it. You can see through the lens as long as you hold the shutter release button.

2. Put the camera to about 1 to 2 feet from your eye. Use B mode to keep the shutter open and check for separation of the lens elements.

3. Some tiny dusts or marks in the lens should not cause any problem.

4. Turn the focusing ring and see if the lens elements move smoothly. You should see when the shutter closed. Though you cannot confirm the focusing is correct, it can tell the focusing elements are intact.

Rangefinder

1. The RF should be clean and clear. The frame lines should be bright and showing good contrast.

2. If you find it foggy, put it 1 to 2 feet away to see if it is dusty outside. For most of the time, the dust can be easily wiped or blown away easily. Once the dust is removed, the frame lines would become brighter and clearer.

Light Meter

All Rollei 35 cameras are using either CdS or solar cell to measure the ambient light, i.e. it is an average of the lighting of the environment. You can check the light meter’s accuracy by either a separate light meter or a light meter app.

light meters

If the camera’s metering is consistently deviating +/- 2eV from the app or your separate light meter, it is still acceptable.

Thanks for reading.

Let me know if I’ve anything that can be checked by the eyes.

To complete the check, you should also use your other three senses – smell, hearing and touch. Click here to read Part 2.

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