Queen Elisabeth is a Photographer from the beginning. You can find a lot of pictures of her using her Leicas. In younger years, she obviously appreciated the small form factor of the smallest 35mm camera introduced at the Photokina in 1966 – the Rollei 35.

The Rollei 35 is very very small. Its a joy, to turn it in your hand and understand where are all the knobs, buttons and wheels. Everything seems to makes sense and feels very valuable – just about right for a royal hand. And – it takes nice pictures!

Designed by a German – Heinz Waaske – only the first versions where build by Rollei in Germany. Most of the models where produced later in Singapore.

Nevertheless – the quality seems outstanding and even older working models are available on the market. I even found something German about my Rollei:

Both – Waaske and Rollei had very dynamic life stories. Heinz Waaske designed this camera at his home. Other camera makers where successful with cameras that used special – smaller 16mm film or they used only half of the usual “full format” of 24-36mm – like the legendary and beautifully designed Bokeh-wonder Olympus PEN F.

Waaske wanted to realise a small camera like these other ones but use the normal 135 film and the “normal” negative size. His work giver laughed at him about his idea and went bankrupt short after he left. After a few other rejections, he started at Rollei where the management liked his concept and realised the production within a very short period of time.

The Rollei 35 got very successful and was released in a couple of different variants. Here you find a good blogpost about the Rollei 35 SE and its and sister models. If you like to watch a review on youtube – check this one by Shawnee Union – he also has a short manual how to use the camera.

If you didn’t know Drunk Camera Reviews, enjoy an episode about the camera on the picture further down – the Rollei 35 S – in a little different way! Nazdrave!

My 35 S is loaded with ILFORD HP5 – a faster, 400 ISO film from England. I will let you know about the results when the roll is full – I am on picture 7 now…

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