Camera: Rollei 35 SE Zone-focus Camera
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Film: Agfa Vista 200
Lens: Fixed Telescoping Rollei-HFT Sonnar 40mm f2.8
First off, if you are not entirely familiar with the Rollei 35 line of cameras, it should be noted that for the sake of simplicity - the entire line can be summed up into about 3 different models. Each iteration of the Rollei 35 brought on some design, metering, and lens “upgrades”. The original rollei 35 can be considered independent. The Rollei 35 T and the Rollei 35 TE can be considered the same camera (if one were looking at reviews of them) as they share the same lens. Same goes for the Rollei 35 S and the Rollei 35 SE, they share the same lens and vary by the metering type.
Personally I find the Rollei 35 a beautiful looking camera which is an important part in my camera choice. Of the hundred plus film cameras that I have shot I continue to find my most loved images having been created by one of the Rollei 35 cameras. The lens is just something special. A Rollei 35 S film camera can be had for 100 to 300 Euro and I feel it is equal to or better than any lens out there costing twice as much.
As a person who shoots mostly rangefinder cameras, I choose the Rollei 35 SE film camera over owning a lens of similar specs. In fact I even spent over 500 Euro on the Rollei 40mm f2.8 Leica Thread Mound Lens to get the Rollei look on my rangefinder. Currently I own this the Rollei 35 SE but I prefer to own again a Rollei 35 S. It has match-needle metering on the top plate as opposed to the Rollei 35 SE with LED lights inside the viewfinder for metering - the “E” is for Electronic I believe.
Here I took out my Rollei 35 SE for a week in Kiev, Ukraine, walking all around the city and visiting an incredible, eccentric, overwhelming flea market filled with junk and gems, mostly junk. I bought a 1960’s soviet mechanical pocket watch which I would drop and break three months later.