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It was in 1966 when RolleiFlex SL66 was launched. While up to then Rollei Werke had built up a reputation as the high-quality TLR camera manufacturer, the market for the camera at the time bagan shifting to SLR camera, which after all obliged Rollei Werke to make its way into the SLR camera market.
Since Hasselblad's 6 x 6cm format SLR camera was winnig popularity with the public in those days, Rollei Werke decided to develop 6 x 6cm format SLR camera which was to be RolleiFlex SL66. There, Rollei Werke attempted to show the difference from Hasselblad and built up a original 6 x 6cm format SLR camera by employing unique mechanisims on it.
One of the noteworthy features of it is that the camera employs focal-plane shutter which enables lenses of any focal length to be mounted on the camera. In addition to Carl Zeiss lenses from 30mm to 1000mm that was provided then, other manufacturer's lenses can be mounted on the camera. This, indeed, is one of the characteristics of Rollei SL66 which can't be founded on the Hasselblad's camera.
One other feature is the bellows attached between the lens and the camera body. It extends up to 50mm, and besides tilting the lens is available by means of it. With camera movements, the camera can focus on all over the subject that is located at an oblique point. Also, the camera employs the double bayonet mount that makes is possible to take a close-up photography by attaching the lens front to the camera.
RolleiFlex SL series had continued onto SL66E, SL66SE and SL66X after SL66, and the manufacturing stopped in 1992. But even still they are loved by many people and popular among photographers.
Well then, let's take a look at it.
- First introduced in 1966 by Rollei Werke, Franke & Heidecke KG.
- Camera type : 6 x 6cm focal-plane shutter SLR camera
- Film : 120 and 220 roll film
- Standard lens : Carl Zeiss Planner f2.8/80mm
- Viewfinder : Standard / foldable waist-level finder (interchangeable)
- Shutter : vertical-run mechanical focal-plane shutter
- Shutter speeds : B, T, 1 - 1/1000sec.
- Flash sync contact : FP, X
- Film magazine : 6 x 6, 6 x 4.5, Polaroid back and so on.
- Camera movement : tilt (8 deg. each up and downward)
- Film transportation : RolleiFlex Automat type transportation
- Body dimensions : 150 x 175 x 112mm
- Body weight : 1930 grams
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