The Wonderful SLR: A Rolleiflex SL35e Review


Designed by Rollei genius Heinz Waaske, the Rolleiflex SL35e was one of the best SLR cameras of its time. The simple build of the camera shows quality beyond just looks. My. Freddy, my trustworthy camera technician said, “The most surprising thing about it is its underrated status."

Image by Berthold Werner from Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes we value things because of its additional functions. As aficionados and consumers or even casual users; we look for devices, gadgets, and cameras with more functions. We tend to go for the gimmicky shine instead of the simple quality. Sometimes they’re nothing but gimmicks and they don’t add to the experience.

The SL35e is the definition of simple and reliable. Everything about this camera yells “simple.” The solid construction of the camera makes it one of the heaviest film SLRs out there. Undoubtedly, everything about this camera was made solid and that’s the first part of its charm. Its design and feel are stunning. Some even mistake this camera for a digital!

But that’s just the first part of the camera’s charm. Taking pictures with the SL35e is a nice experience. The solid feel of the controls makes it even easier to switch between the manual, automatic and flash settings. Although, the crowning glory of this camera is the Carl Zeiss Planar 1.4 50mm lens. It’s truly a beauty that produces really sharp pictures but has nice contrast – especially in B&W and slide. The Planar is an excellent lens that blends with the other features of this camera. If you’re going to buy this camera, I suggest you get one that has a Planar lens.

The SL35e is a classic Rollei camera that gets little attention. I would recommend this analogue gem to anyone who’s looking to get great photographs with good color contrast. For me, this camera is more than just a great buy. Lomo on!

This article was written by Community member vinci84.

written by vinci84 on 2013-11-29 #gear #ilford #review #slr #rolleiflex #provia #planar #carl-zeiss #sl35e


  1. goldenblack
    goldenblack ·

    Enthusiastic article and surely fair to the mechanical and optical characteristics of Rollei, however, the photos that support what has been said, are a betrayal of Rollei.

  2. vinci84
    vinci84 ·

    @goldenblack Well, as you said it is an enthusiastic article... 7 years ago and I was learning how to handle the camera, so I was not thinking on betrayals, but in capturing the moment and having fun, which I believe that is the idea of lomography right?.

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