Club Rollei User – Issue 13

by John Wild on 1 April 2009

It is with great sadness that we have read in the press that Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik & Optik, based in Braunschweig, Germany, filed for insolvency on Friday 27th February 2009. There have been mixed reports but I am sure you will join with me in sending our best wishes to all those working at Franke and Heidecke, who will have been devastated by the news. We can only hope that there is a bright future for them because, through hard work and innovative design, they have and still do produce some of the finest cameras available.  It is especially depressing too, in the light of the fact that they have just celebrated 80 years of the twin lens 6x6 Rolleiflex. I understand that the company is continuing in operation for the present.

The magazine is now being printed on a new Konica Minolta printer, which should give better colour rendering and tonal quality than the previous Sharp printer. As with all electronic ‘gizzmos’, they are brilliant and ground breaking one day and redundant the next. My wife has (had!) a Sony DSC-T7 ‘credit card’ type digital camera, which I gave her about four years ago. She misplaced it recently (not the first time mind you!) and searched high and low but could not remember where she might have put it. About a week later she was ‘messing about’ in the garden and found it in the bottom of a bucket of water, it having fallen out of her pocket a week earlier.

Quickly removing the battery and memory card, she placed it in a warm place, in a tin with some desiccant. A week later, when reunited with its battery, it failed to work. I took the covers off and saw there was a lot of corrosion caused by ionisation as the battery had discharged whilst still submerged. Sadly, it is beyond repair. However, all is not lost. A quick search on Ebay resulted in a number of used cameras, of the same model, for about £50. The latest model version costs about £250 plus accessories etc. So, for a camera that is an everyday ‘carry and snap’ one, a second hand model at a fifth of the price seems a good enough reason not to buy brand new. Especially when we have two batteries and a leather case which are not compatible with the newer version. Each of these items costs about £50.

How do these manufacturers make their money, I wonder? Now, had this happened to a TLR (mind you, the big splash would hardly have gone unnoticed), the chances are that after a suitable drying out period and a check over by a repairer, it would be operating as good as new. Salt water is not so kind though and I do try to avoid taking any of my Rolleis close to the sea, especially when the wind is blowing, whipping up fine droplets of sea water with it, being able to penetrate every small nook and cranny.


Front Cover: Paisley District Tramways No. 68 Photo: Denis Camp A.R.P.S.
3 Future of Rollei? by David Morgan.
3 Rollei Repairs? by John Wild
4 Rollei Items on Ebay by John Wild
5 Some Price Comparisons by David Morgan
5 Your Forum
6 Human Nature Impartially Considered by APDOO
8 Rolleiflex T Production Data by Ian Parker
10 Carnevale 2009 by Denis Camp A.R.P.S.
16 April Meeting 2009
17 Bayonet Mounts by Paul Gates
18 Sales and Wants
19 Rollei Look-alikes that might have been by David Morgan
20 The Golden Years of British Trams by Denis Camp A.R.P.S.
Back Cover: ‘Eva’ by Michael Coles

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