Rolleiflex – The End Of An Era


Rolleiflex has long since been an icon of amazingly built, high end cameras originally produced by Franke & Heidecke in Germany. The name Rolleiflex actually refers to the name of the Twin Lens Reflex line of cameras that debuted in 1929.

Rolleiflex was long considered the top standard in build quality, optics and design.

Sadly, the news came out on March 13, 2015 that the German auction service, Proventura will begin liquidating the Rolleiflex factory starting on April 20, 2015.

You can see over 1,000 photographs on the companies auction listing page.

In this video I will give some thoughts about what this means and about antique camera collecting and use in general.

I know that many of you are film shooters and love old cameras. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well so feel free to comment.

The Proventura auction page: http://www.proventura.de/insolvenzversteigerung-des-kameraherstellers-dhw-fototechnik-gmbh-ehem.-franke–heidecke-gmbh-salzdahlumer-str.-196-38126-braunschweig/auction/2669/bildkatalog#katalog

The story from Petapixel: http://petapixel.com/2015/03/13/rolleiflex-factory-to-be-liquidated-at-auction-heres-a-look-inside/

Harry Fleenor’s Website: http://www.rolleirepairs.com/

Comments

  1. Rene says

    This is sad news. The 6×6 cm cameras would require a far bigger digital sensor than a standard (D)SLR. Sensors for a Rollei would be far more expensive, and this must have been an extra obstacle for the company to survive in the digital age.

    I love my Rolleicord. I don’t mind the lack of a light meter and I think the lack of autofocus is actually an improvement compared to my Nikon DSLR, even when I use the Rolleicord for street photography. The square format has its advantages and disadvantages. You can use the DoF on such a camera to create an old-fashioned image, but if you use a higher aperture value it works like any other camera. Most of all I enjoy looking down through the viewfinder. Somehow it helps me to concentrate better on the image. I hope to use my Rolleicord for a long time to come.

  2. says

    I had two Rollei’s repaired and cleaned up at International Camera Tech in Mountain View, CA by a man named Manfred. Believe he was trained in Germany. Hopefully
    he is still working. Also a Hasselblad repair place as well. Excellent work.

  3. says

    This is sad news. However, between the amount of cameras out there and a pile of parts going to auction, I think there will be Rollei action for awhile. And, total speculation here, I wonder how many parts could be made on a 3D printer? As the price comes down on those, the ability to manufacture otherwise obsolete items is coming into the common mans hands. This may be an end to their innovation, but not to their legacy.