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News, Tech Tips, Updates
Factory Visit Summer 2016 - Yes they are still in business!

Yes Rolleiflex is still making cameras!  You might have heard about their insolvency and auction, but they restarted quickly and are still in business. Their new business name is now DW-Photo GmbH and they are located in the same factory space in Braunschweig as for the last 65 years.   Here’s a little summary of what’s going on there now

DW-Photo GmbH Factory visit July 2016

I visited DW-Photo GmbH this summer and was pleasantly surprised by how their restart has gone since the auction.   I’ve got some photos and notes to share with everyone from the visit:

Overall thoughts:

They are located in the same building that the factory has been in for many decades, but in a much smaller space that is about 600 square meters. This appears to be the portion of the previous space that was the clean room area and a bit more. The lower floors with heavy machinery for manufacturing, polishing and painting the metal parts as well as the cellar are all now completely empty and so far not cleaned up let alone occupied. This makes getting to the new space a bit eerie but once you are inside their portion everything starts to look very clean and organized. Actually I have never seen it so clean and efficient looking.   DW has managed to get most of their important calibration tools needed for assembly as can be seen in the photos. Some of them are a bit old but still work well and are fine for their production requirements. I was very happy to see that they do still have their print room with many of the original engineering drawings and also their server with all the electronic engineering and production drawings and information. They will obviously have to use outside machine and parts makers to produce the needed parts but this won’t be such a problem since they have the engineering drawings and specification files.  Staff is reported to be about 10 employees though not all are working full time.

 

Current production is focused on the Hy6 Mod2 cameras and lenses. Hans tells me they are making about 6-10 new cameras a month in addition to doing upgrades to Hy6 Mod2 and all the service and repairs. They are working on a new production run of the 6060 film backs for these cameras that hopefully will be available some time soon.   At the moment they are not assembling any TLR cameras, nor any 6000 cameras or the Rollei 35. It did appear that they were preparing a few projectors but had limited supply.   I did see a good amount of parts for the 6000 series cameras, as well as some for the TLR’s and Rollei 35’s too when I looked briefly through their parts bins.

 

Service:   They can service any Hy6 or AFi body, and can perform upgrades to Mod2 bodies on most bodies that have the 3.10 firmware and the where the 3 digit in the serial number is a 3 or higher – best to ask first.   They can repair any 6000 or Hy6 lens and in fact while I was there Rolf and Sabine were working on repairing a 500mm Tele-APO-tessar PQS lens. Rolf confirmed that only 20 of these were made.

Address for service is: 

DW-Photo GmbH
Attention: Service
Salzdahlumer Strasse 196
38126 Braunschweig 
Germany

 

 

List of all corrective diopters available for Rollei cameras

Rolleiflex 6008/ Hy6

Lichtschacht/ Waistleverfinder
Bildlage/Image Pos. Dioptrien/ Diopter Teile Nr./ Part No.
-4.5 9 57559.00.008
-3.5 10 57559.00.007
-2.5 11 57559.00.006
-1.5 12 57559.00.001
-0.5 13 57559.00.005 *
0.5 14 57559.00.004
1.5 15 57559.00.003
2.5 16 57559.00.002
Prisma 45°/ Prismfinder 45°
Bildlage/Image Pos. Dioptrien/ Diopter
-4.5 4.5 94377.00.000
-3.5 5.5 94376.00.000
-2.5 6.5 94375.00.000
-1.5 7.5 94374.00.000
-0.5 8.5 94356.00.000 *
0.5 9.5 96970.00.100
1.5 10.5 94372.00.000
2.5 11.5 94373.00.000
Prisma 90°, Fernrohrsucher 90° / Viewfinder 90°
Bildlage/Image Pos. Dioptrien/ Diopter
-4 4.5 94377.00.000
-3 5.5 94376.00.000
-2 6.5 94375.00.000
-1.5 7 98656.00.000
-1 7.5 94374.00.000 *
0 8.5 94356.00.000
1 9.5 96970.00.100
2 10.5 94372.00.000
3 11.5 94373.00.000
* Standardlupe / Standard diopter

Rolleiflex 2,8 FX/ 4,0 FW/4,0 FT

Lichtschacht/ Waistleverfinder (auch für /also for 2,8 GX/ F / 3,5 F,..)
Bildlage/Image Pos. Dioptrien/ Diopter Teile Nr./ Part No.
-4.5 9.5 92190.41.009
-3.5 10.5 92190.41.010
-2.5 11.5 92190.41.011
-1.5 12.5 92190.41.012
-0.5 13.5 92190.41.013 *
0.5 14.5 92190.41.014
1.5 15.5 92190.41.015
2.5 16.5 92190.41.016
3.5 17.5 92190.41.017
Prisma 45°/ Prismfinder 45°
Bildlage/Image Pos. Dioptrien/ Diopter Teile Nr./ Part No.
-3.5 5.5 94376.00.000
-2.5 6.5 94375.00.000
-1.5 7.5 94374.00.000
-0.5 8.5 94356.00.000 *
0.5 9.5 96970.00.100
1.5 10.5 94372.00.000
2.5 11.5 94373.00.000
Prisma 90° / Viewfinder 90°
Bildlage/Image Pos. Dioptrien/ Diopter Teile Nr./ Part No.
-3.5 5.5 94376.00.000
-2.5 6.5 94375.00.000
-1.5 7 98658.00.000
-0.5 7.5 94374.00.000 *
0.5 8.5 94356.00.000
1.5 9.5 96970.00.100
2.5 10.5 94372.00.000
3.5 11.5 94373.00.000
* Standardlupe / Standard diopter
All about batteries - Part 2: TLR's

What? TLR's have batteries?

Yes, the new ones with TTL electronic metering do! But don't worry, they last a really long time. My personal TLR is a 2.8F from before I was born, and it was given to me by my ersatz father, but I am eyeing the FW (wide) a lot lately - one with dark brown leather. Hmm...  

I understand that some owners have never even changed their batteries so these must last pretty long, but the 2.8 FX, 2.8 FX-N, 4.0 FW and 4.0 FT   TLR Cameras all have a little battery in them that powers the metering electronics and display lights:   It's a type PX28L and they are user replaceable.   Johannes Hartje from the factory has written me that not all PX28's are created equal, and therefore DHW-Fototechnik recommends using either the Duracell P28L or the Varta V28PXL both of which can be found on Amazon  or at local shops.  If there is enough interest, I will stock these in my store as a convenience. 

Beginnings + Updated my Hy6 to Mod2 while in Germany

This is where it all began!  Here's a snap my wife took of me at the Rollei Factory in Braunschweig, Germany.   We were in Germany this summer on a family trip.  I had decided to upgrade my Hy6 to Mod2 specs (keeping the original body panels) and we stopped in to pick it up.  It was really wonderful to meet with Hans Hartje, his son Johannes, and Frank Will, who are all incredibly nice.  I got to see some of the custom Rollei 35's and TLR's they had on hand (very beautiful and very tempting!)  and also had a quick tour of the factory which now is located in the red brick building behind the older yellow building.  I didn't ask but I assume the yellow building is where Rollei started in the 1920's, and after my meeting, I decided to start a US dealership!  I've loved my Rollei cameras for years and taken my best pictures with them. Many of my Rollei Pals used to tease me that I should be a dealer since I knew the cameras so well and after the meeting with them it just made perfect sense to do it.    btw - I'll be posting more about the Mod2 update soon.