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Franke & Heidecke still manufacturing • the International Rollei Club
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Franke & Heidecke still manufacturing

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Postby RayCornett » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:20 am

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Postby rolleiclubleader » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:09 am

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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Postby sicetnon » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:41 am

Hello all. I am new to this group, so forgive me if I am re-hashing what has already been discussed ad nauseum, but it does seem to me that Rollei could regain position in today's photo market by creating a modified cut-film back for its TLR's that would accept MF digital backs. Has there ever been a sign that this has been considered?

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Postby rolleiclubleader » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:36 pm

It is a 'not so old' idea and also in opinion should be very possible. But after their failure with the other digital adventures I am afraid that they lack the initiative and the fund to dive in to it. Main problem is the sensor though. To make such an option interesting it should have a sensor as close as possible to the square 6x6 format. The only sensor on the market coming close is the one we considered for the SL66 recently. The dimensions are about 56 x 42 mm. Cost in a good photographic grade a whopping $8000.= for the sensor alone. Add to that the additional development , setup of production , marketing and one can understand that such an option is perhaps to hard for the remains of the Rollei production team. Had Rollei remained its strength it had in the 1980's ... well perhaps we would have a bigger and even better choice of real professional DSLR cameras as the current two : Nikon and Canon. With Rollei in the forefront of innovation , especially in those days gone, we may have had a DSLR tailored on an improved version of the Rolleiflex 3000. It is a sad example how financial mismanagement ( greed ? ) destroyed the future and life of a great factory with so many highly skilled technicians as Rollei ( Franke Heidecke) once had.
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Postby sicetnon » Sat May 01, 2010 1:30 am

Hello. Many thanks for your thoughtful and helpful response. I can see that developing a sensor at this point would likely be cost-prohibitive/too daunting, but what I am suggesting instead is that they simply develop a back/door--like their cut film back--that could accept current MF backs, such as Phase One and the Hasselblad V backs. How difficult would that be? If it could be done relatively easily and without incurring daunting costs, that would mean that every TLR ever made could conceivably become a digital camera with extremely high image quality possible--maybe even greater than Hasselblad, if the MTF and other data that I have seen is correct. The only reason why I am holding on to my Hasselblad gear is because I can put digital backs on it, as well as use film. If Rollei would make that possible for my 3.5F I would sell my Hasselblad gear immediately and go entirely with Rollei.
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Postby rolleiclubleader » Sat May 01, 2010 8:54 am

In theory it sounds as easy as... in practice though it appears a bit harder. We learned that during the research for the SL66 DB. First there is the synchronization between camera and DB. With a bit of modification of the camera , perhaps even not to difficult it can be done , but again... at a price. More difficult is to get the focal plane of the sensor in the focal plane of the camera, the sensor needs a certain thickness of protection and moiré / anti alias filter , with the SL66 research we found that it was only just possible. If we settle for a sensor of say 45x45 mm and have one of those manufacturers willing to adapt a back mechanically then the sensor filter package could protrude in the camera beyond the camera focal plane. So yes in theory it will be possible. But if we can get the new F&H getting so far to do that ? It seems they are working hard and very serious on a small scale comeback , but they still focus on all film / collectors cameras. I am still a bit of a photographic dinosaur myself , hang on to film , but if we look at the capabilities of the latest Nikon D3x we may have to wonder how sensible it is to keep on pushing on with film. As a fantastic hobby yes.... but professionally no . In that light I would only hope that our great German camera geniuses come to their digital senses. Only looking at the Rolleiflex Hy6 is enough to know that they indeed are geniuses.
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Postby sicetnon » Wed May 05, 2010 1:45 pm

Good points made. I wonder if the engineers have considered Leica's foray into digital? They [Leica] made a very interesting choice: they chose not to include a filter over their sensors--in order to take maximim advantage of their lenses. It has produced some moire issues, but they are minor. Perhaps that could also be a solution for Rollei. I still love and shoot film for my personal artistic work, but professionally, I need to shoot entirely in digital [currently using Panasonic G1 cameras with Leica lenses--a wonderful combination]. If Rollei really wants to become a leader again, it is going to have to come to terms with digital. Imagine every Rolleiflex/cord ever built able to be used as a digital platform...and with film as well!
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F&H status news

Postby steve_thorley » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:39 pm

So what is the current news re the status of F&H ?
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Postby rolleiclubleader » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:26 am

The company name is not officially Franke & Heidecke in name. But most of the old staff are working in the same building on the same products : luxurious Rolleiflex TLR , Rolle35 , Projectors.... perhaps the Hy6 and repair / warranty service to sold products. Unfortunately communication is very slow with the 'new' management. As soon I have my hands feee here I will start poking them into more action on the PR level.
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Still active for manufacturing..

Postby aypeyret » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:59 am

... but apparently their service has not improved. At the time I posted a message in this forum about where to get service for my 6008AF in the USA, I also emailed DHW using the email address on their webpage (that has been under construction for a year at least..), but still have not had any answer from them.

Service is as important as the quality of the camera; I do not know how Hasselblad service is, but I guess that if Rollei loses customers to Hasselblad, part of the reason is service quality.
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Re: Still active for manufacturing..

Postby rolleiclubleader » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:59 pm

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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Franke Heidecke still active

Postby steve_thorley » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:25 am

I just e'mailed DHW foto (the makers of Rolleiflex) and not only are they still active today. There is a backlog/waiting list for the 2.8FX.

I think I might have to wait till after tax time for a new addition to my ever growing collection :wink:
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Follow up

Postby steve_thorley » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:48 pm

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Re: Franke & Heidecke still manufacturing

Postby Bulletts67 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:05 pm

For those Rollei users in the USA...DHW Fototechnik now has a sales and distribution office in San Francisco. Check out http://rolleiflex.us/
I purchased a Rolleiflex FW in September from Eric and could not be happier with the service, the product quality and speed of fulfilling my custom order.
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Rolleiflex Penta Prism

Postby dscamera » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:27 pm

Can I used my older Pentaprism on my 2.8F on the new 2.8FX? Thanks in advance
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Re: Franke & Heidecke still manufacturing

Postby john88 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:34 pm

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