Recently I’ve been traveling around with a new/old friend: the Rollei 35s. My dad bought this camera years ago and kept trying to convince me to give it a go. At the time, I was no longer shooting film and didn’t have much interest in learning the ins and outs of a new camera.
When I resolved this year to start shooting film again, this little gem topped my list of cameras to experiment with. What I’ve discovered, after running several rolls of film through this tiny camera, is that I should have listened to my dad a long time ago! It’s a fun little travel companion, fully manual, and very fun to shoot.
This is a quirky little rangefinder camera with lots of tiny dials; it takes a couple of tries to remember how to load the film, for example, and the retractable lens can sometimes be finicky. Since there are many online reviews that detail the workings of this camera, I won’t attempt to get into technicalities here. Instead, I’ll show you some of the images I’ve been able to capture.
As you can see, I’ve enjoyed trying different film stock in this camera! The ability to purchase film online is convenient, and I’m lucky to have a local film processor that will develop and scan images with a quick turn-around time. And though I’m still challenged to nail the exposure and focus every time, I’ve been happy with the images when I succeed in getting things just right.
My next challenge with this camera will be to attempt some portraits. I need a lot more practice with zone focusing and getting those distances just right! Portraits would be a great way to work on improving that skill.
I’m really enjoying the Rollei 35s, and I plan to keep honing my skills and trying new film stock with this trusty little companion. They are readily available on eBay (and perhaps your local thrift shop?), so if you’re intrigued, get your hands on one of these cameras and have some fun.