Rolleiflex SL66

Medium format MF film SLR camera


Production details
Announced:June 1966
System: Rolleiflex SL66 (1966)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:Medium format 6x6
Mount and Flange focal distance:Rolleiflex SL66 [102.8mm]
Imaging plane:56 × 56mm film
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:None
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description #1

This 2 1/4" single lens reflex camera has long been a favorite with many photographers for its unique features and flexibility. Only the SL66 has built-in bellows and allows retro mounting of lenses for close-up and macro photography without accessories. In addition, the tilting lensboard provides for greater depth of field correction, even at wide apertures.

The standard magazine accepts either 120 or 220 film. The exposure counter automatically adjusts for either size, and gives an audible and visual signal to indicate the end of the roll. Accessory backs include a vertical and horizontal 6X4.5 back, and a Polaroid back.

For vibration-free shooting, the SL66 has a mirror lock-up control as well as a pneumatic dampening system. Other features include multiple exposure control; safety locks to prevent accidental exposure of film, interchangeable focusing screens, a dark slide storage compartment, and a film/no film indicator.


Camera Type: 6 X 6 cm (2 1/4 X 2 1/4") single lens reflex.

Lenses: Standard - 80mm f/2.8 HFT Planar. Rollei SL66 Bayonet mount. Lens can be retro mounted without accessories for a reproduction ratio of 0.9 to 1.5 X, and a close focus distance of 4.75 inches. Accessory lenses range from 30mm f/3.5 to 150mm f/4.0 and 1000mm f/8.0. Focal lengths currently under development include 120mm f/5.6, 250mm f/5.6 and 500mm f/5.6.

Shutter: Focal plane shutter, speeds from 1 to 1/1000 second and B. Time exposures are achieved by locking the shutter release when shutter is set to B.

Viewfinder system: Folding focusing screen with pop-up magnifier (suppied with camera). 45 degree prism finder available as an accessory.

Focusing screen: Interchangeable. Standard screen - split image surrounded by microprism collar and square grid. Five accessory screens available.

Mirror: Instant return mirror with pneumatic damper. Mirror lock-up provision.

Flash synchronization: X-synchronization up to 1/ 30 second. At speeds faster than 1/30 second, flash contact disengages. Two accessory lenses with between-the-lens shutters are available when faster sync speeds are needed.

Bellows: Extends 50mm and can be tilted 8 deg. up or down for increased depth of field. Focusing strut indicates bellows extension and reproduction ratios for 80, 150, 120 and 80mm reversed lenses.

Film transport: Crank operated with override for intentional multiple exposures.

Film loading: Interchangeable magazine accepts 120 or 220 roll film. Changeover frame counter, 12 or 24 exposures; film feeler system for automatic transport lock at first frame; load indicator; safety locks; compartment for magazine slide; visual and audible film end indicators. Accessory magazines 6 X 4.5cm vertical, 6 X 4.5cm horizontal, Polaroid magazine.

Manufacturer description #2

The Built-in Bellows Unit. The Rollei Retro Mounting

The built-in bellows unit provides several special applications:

1. Short subject distances even when using comparatively long focus lenses (e.g. nearest focusing distance of 14 inches or 35cm with the 120mm S-Planar f/5.6).

2. Close-up and macrophotography without accessories.

3. Depth extension by tilting the lens.

The bellows has a 50mm extension. Using only 7.5mm of this covers a focusing range from infinity to 3 1/3 feet (1 meter) with the standard 80mm f/2.8 Planar lens. The remaining extension server for short distances. The drive rail carries magnifications and exposure factors for three lenses (80, 120, 150mm). This allows the Rolleiflex SL66 to be set directly to any desired scale of reproduction while immediately reading off the exposure correction. An additional millimeter scale simplifies precise settings, used in copying work, for example.

The front bayonet lens mount of the Rolleiflex SL66 is designed to take the 50, 80 and 120mm lenses in reverse position as well as normal mounting; the so-called Rollei Retromounting. Only the Rolleiflex SL66 offers this feature. It has two advantages: larger reproduction ratios can be attained and, when photographing at greater than 1:1, far superior optical performance can be achieved.

Extended Depth

The Rolleiflex SL66 lens can be tilted up or down to 8 deg. relative to the film plane. This satisfies the optical requirement for extended depth (the so-called Scheimpflug condition). This is one of the unique features of the SL66 - no other 2 1/4 SLR has this capability. With the 8 deg. tilt of the standard 80mm f/2.8 lens, a flat inclined surface can be photographed from about 34 inches to infinity - without stopping down. Less than flat subjects can also be brought into the depth of field zone with some stopping down.

In addition to visual screen focusing, there is an indicator chart supplied with the camera permits precision settings and exact determination of the depth of field zone.

The depth tilt feature of the SL66 provides the photographer with a tool for exploring a new dimension of creative freedom. The creative photographer will constantly find greater and greater opportunities to utilize this unique feature - for example certain architectural details and subjects, model shots, art, historical reproductions (ceiling decorations), advertising photography, product shots, and even close- ups.

Special limited editions (1)

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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.