Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/15

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica - Rollei SL???
From: Matthew Phillips <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 08:23:29 -0400

>Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 01:14:07 EDT
>In a message dated 98-07-14 23:22:28 EDT, Francois wrote:
><< This morning I "eyed" a Rolleiflex SL which looked somewhat similar to a
>Leica SL.  I played with it a little bit.  The operation was very quiet, very
>very quiet for an SLR.  The lens that was on it looked like a Zeiss (...can't
>remember the brand for sure though) but I remember the mount though...It
>looked like an "R" mount. >>
>The first version of the Rolleiflex SL was made from the dies and tooling of
>the Zeiss Ikon SL706, which were sold to Rollei when Zeiss closed the Icarex
>works around 1972. The cosmetics were changed superficially. I believe the
>50mm lens was a Planar variant. Marc?
>Will von Dauster

Will isn't quite correct; the SL35M WAS based on the Zeiss Ikon, but the
SL35M was the third in the Rolleiflex SL35 series, preceeded by the SL35
and SL350. The original SL35 has no relationship to the Leicaflex in either
design or lensmount. It is much closer in design to the Pentax Spotmatic;
in fact, many refered to it as 'the German Spotmatic' when it was released
- - though its manufacture was soon moved to Singapore. The lens mount is a
Rollei (later Rollei/Voigtlander) unique bayonet mount, with stop-down
mechanism similar to the Pentax thread mount: a pin, similarly located,
moves in and out, instead of in an arc as on the Leicaflex. The original
Rolleiflex had a lightly center-weighted averaging meter, with stop-down
reading. Later models of the Rolleiflex SL line (the SL350, 35M, 35ME, 35E)
used open-aperture metering. The Rolleiflex was intended to compete on a
similar price-point as the popular Japanese models, though with high class
optics, rather than compete with a full-blown, high-end luxury model as the
Leicaflex SL.

Early German made lenses were Zeiss; later Singapore made lenses were
'Zeiss' made under license by Rollei. There were also a few optics made by
Schneider for the Rollei lineup. And finally, there was a 'budget line' of
lenses made by Mamiya and Tokina with the Rolleinar label.

Best regards,