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:
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:
Salzdahlumer Strasse 196