Rollei 35 RF

35mm MF film rangefinder camera


Production details
Announced:September 2002
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Speeds:1 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), stop-down
Exposure modes:Manual
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in, combined with viewfinder
Viewfinder:Built-in, combined with rangefinder
Finder magnification:0.7x
Actual rangefinder base:37mm
Effective rangefinder base:25.9mm
Bright-line frames:40mm, 50mm, 40mm & 80mm
Parallax compensation:Yes
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description

Rangefinder 35mm camera with laminar metal focal-plane shutter and TTL exposure metering, coupled rangefinder and interchangeable lenses. Aluminium diecast body. Metal cover plates with magnesium alloy silver-finished.

Shutter: Vertical-travel laminar metal focal-plane shutter; 1 s – 1/2000 s and B.

Focusing: With coupled coincidence-type rangefinder.

Metering system: center-weighted TTL average metering upon light depression of shutter release. Automatic cut-off 12 s after last use.

Exposure display: overexposure warning, correct exposure, underexposure warning.

Metering range: EV 1–19 (ISO 100/21°; 1 s at f/1.4; 1/2000 s at f/16).

Flash synchronization: PC terminal and hot-shoe contact; sync speed 1/125 s and slower.

Film advance: By full stroke or several partial strokes of wind lever; double-exposure lock; Rollei QW 35 rapid Manual Wind (optional accessory).

Film rewind: By folding crank; rewind release button in bottom plate.

Frame counter: Additive (even without film); resets automatically as camera back is opened.

Film speed range: ISO 25/15° to 3200/36°.

Exposure-meter power supply: Two 1.5V alkaline-manganese (LR44) or silver-oxide button cells (SR44).


Photography has a new highlight – the Rollei 35 RF. A camera in a class of its own.

There are few phenomenal technical concepts that never lose their validity. One of them is the classical rangefinder camera with high-end features.

Its success is based on its mechanical and optical perfection valued by true aficionados and accomplished photographers.

Its brilliant viewfinder image, the compact design and precise distance measurement are traditional values explaining the popularity of this type of camera.

Add to this the features of modern high-performance lenses that are certain to retain this appeal in the future. But at the bottom line it is a well-known and well-established marque that ultimately gives a rangefinder camera its treasured cult status.

The Rollei 35 RF is an uncompromising embodiment of this trend. Rollei of Brunswick/Germany has historically been a pioneer of high-end 35mm photography.

The company proved with the introduction of its legendary Rollei 35 as early as 1966 that it can achieve great results in the development and making even of small cameras. Today, several decades later, this glorious past is projected into a promising future by an impressive new development.

And these are the pillars of the Rollei 35 RF concept:

  • Professional 24 x 36mm format
  • Rugged, high quality metal shell of magnesium alloy, body of die-cast aluminium
  • Featured to satisfy the accomplished photographer
  • Cutting-edge performance of interchangeable Zeiss lenses
  • Well-balanced, timeless design
  • Complete functional range even if batteries are low (except for exposure metering)

The Rollei 35 RF is a robust camera designed by shutterbugs for shutterbugs. That‘s something you will feel the first time you look through its viewfinder and press its shutter release.

Precise trigonometric focusing in a permanently brilliant viewfinder ensures pin-point focus even in critical lighting conditions.

Its range-viewfinder is an optical tool of the utmost precision and guarantees a precise manual focusing.

The laminar metal focal-plane shutter makes shutter release an aesthetic pleasure. A very exact sounding shutter release tells you that your picture has been recorded on film. A wide range of shutter speeds from a slow 1 second to a fast 1/2000 s covers even demanding shooting situations. And – what is more – all this simply based on top-notch precision mechanics.

When it comes to exposure metering, the Rollei 35 RF is a true child of its times:

Center-weighted TTL average metering activated by slight depression of the shutter release captures the light reflected by the shutter curtain and combines high accuracy with extremely easy operation.

Correct-exposure display and warnings against over or underexposure are very user-friendly.

Rollei 35 RF – that‘s photography at its best, high-end technology for great pictures. A camera that keeps alive an important part of our photographic heritage. Ultra-smooth mechanics and high-performance optics combine to form a high-class antipode to mass-market products.

The Rollei 35 RF launches with three interchangeable Zeiss lenses of different focal length.

All interchangeable lenses are provided with M-bayonet and can be delivered alternatively in chrome or black. Front and rear lens caps are standard equipment.

Further interchangeable lenses are in preparation.

From the editor

Rollei 35 RF is a rebranded Voigtländer BESSA-R2 camera made by Cosina and marketed by Rollei Fototechnic.

The manufacturer description says that "the Rollei 35 RF launches with three interchangeable Zeiss lenses of different focal length" and "further interchangeable lenses are in preparation", however, only two lenses were released for the camera: Rollei HFT Sonnar 40mm F/2.8 and Rollei HFT Planar 80mm F/2.8, both in black or silver finish. The third lens - Rollei HFT Planar 50mm F/1.8 - was in preparation but never reached the market. No further lenses were produced.

The manufacturer description also says that "all interchangeable lenses are provided with M-bayonet", however, both mentioned above lenses were in fact Leica screw mount lenses supplied with M-mount adaptors.

Similar cameras (28)

35mm full frame • Manual focus • Film • Rangefinder • Leica M mount

Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R2 M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2002
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R2A E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2004
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R2M M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R3A E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2004
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R3M M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R4A E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-R4M M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2006
Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-T M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2001
Konica HEXAR RF E, 1/4000 TTL • WA AM 1999
Leica CL
Also known as LEITZ minolta CL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1973
Leica M-A (Typ 127) M, 1/1000 -- M 2014
Leica M2 M, 1/1000 -- M 1958
Leica M3 M, 1/1000 -- M 1954
Leica M4 M, 1/1000 -- M 1967
Leica M4-2 M, 1/1000 -- M 1978
Leica M4-P M, 1/1000 -- M 1981
Leica M5 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1971
Leica M6 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1984
Leica M6 (Typ 2248) M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 2022
Leica M6 Panda M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1990
Leica M6 Titanium M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1992
Leica M6 TTL M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1998
Leica M6J M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1994
Leica M7 E, 1/1000 TTL • WA AM 2002
Leica MP M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 2003
Leica MP Original M, 1/1000 -- M 1956
Minolta CLE E, 1/1000 TTL • WA AM 1980
Zeiss Ikon E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 2004
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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.