Rolleiflex SL35

35mm MF film SLR camera



Production details
Announced:February 1970
System: Rolleiflex SL35 (1970)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Rollei QBM [44.46mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), stop-down
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description #1

When you can concentrate on the photograph instead of the camera, you're a photographer! The Rolleiflex SL35 lets you do exactly that. It's one of the simplest, lightest, purest single lens reflex cameras ever made. And certainly one of the best. Its styling and features are functional and at your fingertips so that your eye never needs to leave the viewfinder while you make the adjustments necessary to get a perfect exposure. Light measurement is read right through the lens. The lenses can be changed with one hand! A short quarter-turn releases or sets a lens into the solid bayonet mount. The focal plane shutter provides speeds from 1 second to 1/1000 of a second. And with Rollei's broad system of precision lenses and accessories you can handle just about any specialized photographic situation. Stop into your Rollei Dealer and put this lightweight, precision dream machine into your hands.

Manufacturer description #2

Camera Type: 35mm single-lens reflex camera with interchangeable lenses, instant-return mirror and through-the-Iens exposure meter system.

Picture Format: 24 x 36mm.

Lens Data: Quick-change, Rollei bayonet mount, a famiIy of lenses from 16mm to 200mm in focal length, specially designed by Zeiss and Schneider. New HFT (High Fidelity Transfer) coating available on many lenses.

Shutter: Focal plane with speeds from 1 to 1/1000 sec. and bulb.

Shutter Release: Soft-touch button threaded for cable release.

Self Timer: Up to 12 second delay.

Exposure Control: Through-the-Iens system with CdS meter, center weighted with full field measurement of finder screen image at working aperture; meter needle centered with index in finder, cross-coupled to shutter speed, lens aperture and ASA.

Exposure Meter Battery: Single cell (EPX 625 or equivalent) in camera base, only on during exposure reading actuated by stop- down key near shutter release.

Film Speed Range: ASA 12 to 6400.

Flash Synchronization: X (electronic) to 1/60 sec.; FP (for long delay bulbs) all speeds to 1/1000 sec.

Film Transport: Rapid advance lever with 27° standoff for quick single- or muIti-stroke operation; rapid rewind crank.

Viewfinder Data: Pentaprism with extra bright focusing screen with central microprism grid, matte collar and matte screen with Fresnel field lens; large rectangular finder eyepiece accepts correction lenses and light-blocking cup; 25mm eye relief permits eye-glass wearers to see entire field.

Other Features: Loops for neckstrap; tripod socket 1/4-20 bushing; self zeroing exposure counter.

Accessories: Lenses; lens hoods; fiIters; automatic adapter for M-42 screw mount lenses, M 39 adapter for close-ups with Leica lenses, close-up extension tubes; close-up focusing bellows; Zeiss Softar (soft-focus) I and II attachments; microscope adapter; retro-adapters.


A lightweight system SLR with the quality and ruggedness traditional with Rollei. The Rolleiflex SL35 is designed with fuII lens interchangeability and has a complete library of superb bayonet-mount lenses specifically designed for it. It handles quickly, and has all the most important features for professional photography. It combines Rollei mechanical precision, optical quality and elegance of appearance.

Manufacturer description #3

This Rollei design principle led to a 24 x 36mm eye-level reflex with all the basic features essential for successful photography with interchangeable lenses, that is small, light, fast-handling, and easy to operate.

The Rolleiflex SL 35 is not only one of the smallest, lightest, and most elegant miniature reflex cameras on the market today, but it is also a highly versatile "system camera" ready to meet any photographic challenge.

The SL 35 is derived from the same marketing and design concepts which were valid for the trailblazing and successful Rollei 35 compact viewfinder camera. A sensible single-lens reflex with technical precision, attractive design and only those functional elements that are basic to the production of good photographs.

Over fifty years experience in the manufacture of precision units, years of research and development, carefully conceived and tested manufacturing methods, cooperative efforts of firms, such as Gossen, assure a camera which adds further authority to the range of its famous Rollei predecessors.

From the editor

Manufactured 1970 - 06/1972 in Germany, 24.500 units in chrome and black, Singapore from 06/1972 - 12/1976, 118.500 units in chrome and black. Germany: #4.000.000 - #4.029.999; Singapore: #4.030.000 - #4.499.999. QBM bayonet I.


When the Rolleiflex SL35 appeared for the market in February 1970, it was already a dated camera from some points of view because Rollei designers had a limited budget and no time enough to add more features, it did not offer open aperture TTL metering, it was necessary to press a dedicated stop down button at the camera top to take the readings and the SL35 did not have an accesories shoe from factory, it was only optional; the viewfinder could be better. In spite of these drawbacks, the SL35 was a very well built camera, elegant and easy to use with very good ergonomics. It became the beginning for a camera system manufactured almost for 25 years based on the Rollei Quick Bayonet Mount (QBM) and different bodies, including the Voigtländer cameras made by Rollei.

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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.