£84.87SOLD OUT
Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO
01223 242684 /ArthurRankHospiceCharity @ArthurRankHouse @arthur_rank_hospice
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 1
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 2
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 3
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 4
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 5
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 6
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 7
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 8
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 9
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 10
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  • Vintage Rollei B 35 35mm Subminiature Film Camera, black & silver, excellent FWO 11
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Description

When the original Rollei 35 entered production back in 1966, following a very long gestation period which could very easily have seen the project stall to a halt at the prototype stage, it was the smallest 35mm camera ever produced - and even now, 55 years later, only two smaller cameras using the same format have been brought to market. It's also one of the quirkiest, and can be easily damaged unless the user knows how to handle it - and for that reason, if you're thinking of buying this example, I strongly recommend you read one of the various guides which can be found online.

This example, which is in absolutely pristine condition, is the B 35 variant featuring a selenium light meter ("Belichtungsmesser" in German, hence the "B" - the cheaper C 35, for "compact", omitted the light meter). It was originally made in Germany with production transferring to Singapore in 1971, and the model was renamed the 35 B in 1976 - therefore, we can be certain that this one was made during that five-year period. It should be noted here that, sometimes when European camera manufactures outsourced production to the Far East, quality dropped; this was categorically not the case with Rollei who made sure their excellent reputation remained intact - if they couldn't source components of the right quality from Japan (which was already matching the European firms) they shipped them from Germany to the Singapore factory.

This is, without any doubt at all, the very best condition of a Rollei 35 in any of the many variants that were produced I have ever seen. The body is spotless without any dents, scratches or other marks to the exposed metal and the leatherette covering is perfect without any damage or peeling. The plastic light meter dial is perfect, as are the film advance and the rewind. The shutter works perfectly, as does the shutter speed ring (1/500 - 1/30sec + bulb), the aperture ring (f/3.5 to f/22) and the focus ring (with imperial graduations, from 3 feet to infinity). The diaphragm is also working perfectly (and, if you look through the lens, is a work of art). The Carl Zeiss Triotar optics are faultless - there is not even the merest suggestion of a mark on the first element and absolutely no dust whatsoever inside. The collapsible lens tube, made to extremely high tolerances by Rollei to ensure the camera does not suffer from the light leakage problems which plague lesser models with collapsible lens tubes, is tight and locks solidly into place; the button to release it works as well as it did on the day it was made. With the film compartment opened, it can be seen that the camera's internals are in the same excellent condition - there is no dust, the exposed mechanisms are clean and unworn and the pressure plate, which flips down to allow a film to be inserted, is intact. There is some extremely minor paint loss on the inside of the barrel, but this is almost unoticeable and is the only fault. It's supplied with its original woven cord wrist strap and a leather carry case (the case is a very tight fit and, I suspect, is probably not original).

Dimensions (L x W x H): 9.7 x 5 x 6.4cm (3.8 x 2 x 2.5")
Weight: 306g (10.8oz)

Points of Interest...

During the late 1950s and through the 1960s, there had been a craze for tiny subminiature 16mm format cameras. Heinz Waaske, a designer employed by the Wiesbaden-based Wirgin camera manufacturer, reasoned that the reason for the popularity of the format was not the film but the diminutive size of the cameras which used it, due to the convenience they offered when compared to the much larger and heavier 35mm cameras of the day. However, 35mm film offers notable advantages over 16mm - not least of all, it's a lot less fiddly to develop, which was a major consideration during a time when even amateur photographers commonly developed their films in home darkrooms, and frequently yields better results. So, Waaske approached the company bosses and mooted the idea of designing a 35mm model with subminiature dimensions. They were not particularly enthralled by the idea, perhaps due to development costs since Wirgin wasn't doing well against its rivals, and didn't approve the project.

Waaske thought he was onto something, though, so in his own time he began working in the new camera. The main obstacle in the way of reducing 35mm camera size was that the various controls and functions must be large enough to be useable, and his genius idea to get around this was, like many genius ideas, very simple: if he used a standard 35mm but flipped it over, so that it winds from right to left rather than the opposite way like virtually every other camera in history, he could put the film rewind ont he bottom instead of on the top of the camera body. He then put the hotshoe on the bottom too, and developed a clever means of locking the film compartment door using a catch which locks around the tripod bushing. The top now housed only the film advance, which was transferred to the left rather than the right, the light meter dial, the exposure counter and the shutter. Thus, the camera is a little under 10cm wide. He then built the first prototype in Wirgin's labs, and showed the bosses who were still not impressed and made it clear that they were not at all happy that Waaske had used their premises and equipment to develop what they saw as a private project, then informed him that they'd decided that the company was going to move out of camera production anyway. Waaske resigned.

Looking for a new job, he went first to Wirgins's rival Leitz and then to the vast multinational Kodak, but neither of them were interested in his new camera either. Instead, he took a design job at Rollei but, believing that the subminiature 35mm would never go into production, he didn't bother showing it to his new bosses. Then, one day, and completely by chance, managing director Heinrich Peesel happened to spot one on Waaske's desk and was instantly fascinated. Waaske showed him the design and explained how it worked; Peesel loved it and immediately suggested it go into production - and in its various guises it went on to sell over a million units.

Due to the nature of this item it is not always possible for us to identify any missing parts.
For this reason we ask that you please check the pictures carefully, as these show everything that is included.

This item has been very kindly donated to the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.

Arthur Rank Hospice supports people in Cambridgeshire living with a life-limiting illness and those who need end-of-life care. Our services are provided free of charge to patients and their families. Our aim is to provide the highest quality care, helping them to make every moment count.

100% of the money raised from this sale will go to the charity.

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We try very hard to ensure that you receive your order in pristine condition. In the unlikely event that your order arrives damaged or faulty, please contact us via eBay immediately, this will be given special priority and you can expect to receive a response within 48 hours, Monday to Friday. Arthur Rank Hospice Charity will cover the cost of domestic return postage for any incorrect or damaged items.

About Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

Arthur Rank Hospice Charity supports people in Cambridgeshire living with an advanced serious illness or other life-limiting condition and those who need end-of-life care. Its 'Outstanding' services are provided free of charge to patients and their families. The aim is to provide the highest quality care, helping them to make every moment count.

More than 4,100 patients are cared for each year at the Hospice in Cambridge, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech and in patients' own homes via the Arthur Rank Community Team. This care supports people to improve their quality of life and fulfil their end of their life choices.

Alongside the care provided by the Inpatient Unit, Day Therapy and Hospice at Home teams, patients can access: patient and family support; lymphoedema care; complementary therapy; medical and pain outpatient clinics; and advice from the clinical nurse specialists within the Specialist Palliative Care Home Team. Programmes are practical, holistic and tailored to the individual patient, family member or carer and may also include rehabilitative support, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological support.

It will cost £8.56 million in 2020/2021 to run services, which are provided free of charge to patients and their loved ones. £4.29 million has currently been secured from the NHS, meaning that £4.27 million needs to be raised through donations, fundraising activities and trading. The Charity is extremely grateful to the local community for the continual dedication, commitment and generosity they show in supporting towards meeting this target.