I pulled this time line from one of DHW-Fototechnik's brochures and thought it was interesting.
1920 ■ Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke establish the “Werkstatt für Feinmechanik und Optik – Franke und Heidecke“ in Brunswick, Germany.
1926 ■ First use of Rollei name in conjunction with Rolleidoscop stereoscopic roll-film camera.
1928 ■ Presentation of first twin-lens Rolleiflex, a roll-film mirror-reflex camera (10 prototypes).
1929 ■ Introduction of twin-lens 6 x 6cm Rolleiflex, which for years to come was to have a profound effect not only on camera design in general, but on photography as well.
1930 ■ Commissioning of new factory in Brunswick, Germany.
1933 ■ Introduction of Rolleicord camera, a budget-priced version of the Rolleiflex.
1937 ■ At the Paris World Exhibition, Reinhold Heidecke receives the Grand Prix for outstanding services in camera building (Rolleiflex Automat).
1956 ■ The one millionth Rolleiflex leaves the factory.
1959 ■ Presentation of Tele-Rolleiflex with 135mm Zeiss Sonnar f/4.
1960 ■ Launching of Rollei P11, the world‘s first dual-format projector.
1961 ■ Introduction of Wide-Angle Rolleiflex with 55mm Zeiss Distagon f/4.
1963 ■ Launching of Rollei 16, the first camera not designed for the use of roll film.
1966 ■ Presentation of Rolleiflex SL66 (first single-lens 6 x 6cm camera by Rollei). Presentation of Rollei 35 at photokina. In the following three decades, about three million cameras of this type would be sold.
1967 ■ Start of production of automatic computer flash units.
1968 ■ The P35 marks the entry into the slide-projector market.
1970 ■ Launch of first 35mm reflex camera, the Rolleiflex SL35.
1973 ■ Introduction of Rollei P66A as first automatic 6 x 6cm projector.
1974 ■ World première of Rolleiflex SLX. The first electronic medium-format camera system was the precursor of today‘s Rolleiflex 6000 System.
1976 ■ Presentation of the P3800 dissolve projector – the precursor of Rolleivision Twin MSC-300 Projectors.
1980 ■ Presentation of SL2000F as the first 35mm reflex camera with interchangeable magazines, double viewfinder system and integral motor drive.
1982 ■ Rollei Fototechnic GmbH is established.
1986 ■ Introduction of Rolleivision 66 AV as a professional 6 x 6cm slide projector. The same year saw the launching of the RolleiMetric System opening up new perspectives in close-range surveying.
1987 ■ Revival of world-renowned twin-lens reflexes with Rolleiflex 2.8 GX with TTL exposure and flash metering.
1988 ■ Presentation of Rolleiflex 6008 as a leading medium-format camera.
1991 ■ The Digital ScanPack marks Rollei‘s entry into digital photography. The Prego AF is the first modern compact Rollei camera with AF.
1993 ■ The new generation of Rolleivision Twin MSC-300 dissolve projectors gets ready for marketing.
1994 ■ Expansion of Digital Imaging System with high-speed ChipPack Back.
1995 ■ Presentation of Rolleiflex 6008 Integral, the most advanced 6 x 6cm medium-format professional camera.
1996 ■ Another important addition to digital photography, the DSP-104 Digital Back.
1998 ■ At photokina, presentation of compact X-Act2 monorail-camera system. With the nano models, ASP are included in the line of cameras.
2000 ■ The company has been in existence for 80 years.
2001 ■ Introduction of five new compact cameras as well as of AFM 35, a new series of dissolve projectors and new digital cameras.
2002 ■ Extension of product line by six new compact cameras, the digital Rollei d530 flex reflex camera, the Rolleiflex 6008 AF (as the first 6 x 6cm medium-format camera with autofocus) and a new 35mm camera. In addition, presentation of Rollei 35 RF (rangefinder camera) and Rolleiflex 4.0 FW (Wide-Angle Rolleiflex) at photokina.
2003 ■ Expansion of line of digital cameras.
2004 ■ New positioning of company under „The New Rollei“ slogan. In addition to several new digital cameras, MP3 players are part of the product line up. Rollei-Produktion GmbH founded as a separate company for professional medium-format cameras and projectors.
2005 ■ Re-establishment of Franke und Heidecke GmbH, from Rollei Produktion GmbH at Brunswick production site.
2006 ■ Rollei GmbH concentrates exclusively on digital cameras and multimedia products and moves its seat to Berlin. Franke & Heidecke develops new problem solutions for professional users, organizes sales and for the first time exhibits at 2006 photokina. Product-Highlight: Rolleiflex Hy6.
2007 ■ Like its sister models Sinar, Hy6 and Leaf AFi, the Rolleiflex Hy6 is manufactured in series.
New focal lengths are available as interchangeable lenses.
2008 ■ Franke & Heidecke supplies the new cameras to its distribution and cooperation partners. Presentation of new lenses and accessories for Rolleiflex Hy6 at photokina.
2009 ■ DHW Fototechnik is established.