Founded in 1920, the Rollei company began as an optical goods manufacturer located in Braunschweig, Germany. It wasn’t until 1928 that the business would produce a camera, and its Rolleiflex medium-format, twin-lens reflex became an instant classic. Equipped with a Zeiss lens and 6x6 cm negatives, the Rolleiflex was the first twin-lens camera to use rollfilm.

Known as the “Standard Leverwind” design, this Rollei became one of the most popular rollfilm cameras on the market. Cherished by professionals and amateurs alike, almost 200,000 units of the 611, 612, 613, and 614 model Rolleiflexes were manufactured before being upgraded in 1932 to the 620. Part of the camera’s success was its self-cocking shutter, meaning it cocked while winding the crank to advance the film, an improvement rare among rollfilm designs at the time.

The 4x4 cm format baby Rolleiflex was added in 1931, and in 1933, the company debuted a cheaper medium-format model, called the Rolleicord, aimed specifically at amateur photographers. The Rolleicord came with cheaper three-element lenses, a simple knob-wind, and a manually cocked shutter. Rolleicords were made either with a plain leather exterior or a patterned, Art-Deco metal case. The design was so successful among amateurs that the company continued to produce a similar model through the 1970s.

In 1937, the Rolleiflex Automat was introduced with a new loading method that fed film under a feeler roller so users didn’t need to use the standard tiny red window to align the film’s first exposure. This model also incorporated the bayonet filter and hood mounts, which were eventually copied by many other manufacturers.

Following World War II, Rollei launched its f/2.8 line of Rolleiflexes fitted with low-quality Tessar lenses, which were eventually replaced by Zeiss Planar or Schneider Xenotar lenses. Despite its initial lens issues, this model would go on to become one of the most desirable Rollei cameras on the resale market. Today, Rolleiflexes are still produced by the German company DHW Fototechnik.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Collection D'Appareils Photo

Collection D'Appareils Photo

While we couldn't read everthing - it's mostly in French - the images on this site speak for themselves. Its an ext… [read review or visit site]

Magic Mirror of Life

Magic Mirror of Life

Jack and Beverly Wilgus have put together a great trove of information and images of camera obscura-related photos … [read review or visit site]

Cameras and Co

Cameras and Co

An impressive collection of antique and vintage cameras, this site features high-resolution images of over 120 came… [read review or visit site]

George Eastman House

George Eastman House

This showcase of vintage cameras and photography is plainly designed, but the camera collection and related referen… [read review or visit site]

Antique Cameras D. Tristram Ludwig

Antique Cameras D. Tristram Ludwig

David Tristram Ludwig shares high resolution images of his in-depth personal collection of antique cameras, includi… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rolleiflex Sl66 Body + 80mm Lens, 6x6 Film Back Holder, Finder, Strap, ManualsRolleiflex 3.5e Carl Zeiss Planar Tlr 6x6mm 1771897 Camera-legend NiceRolleiflex Automat Mx Evs With 75mm F3.5 Carl Zeiss Tessar Excellent Condition@rare Mint@rollei Rolleiflex 3.5f Planar 75mm F/3.5 Tlr Film Camera Body W/meterRollei Rolleiflex German Vintage Tlr Film Camera Tessar Lens Franke & HeideckeGenuine Rollei Rolleiflex / Rolleicord Spare Leatherette / Covering - Parts[very Good] Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8a Tessar 80mm F/2.8 Lens From Japan #13145Rollei Rolleiflex Sl 66 Outfit W.3 X Carl Zeiss Lenses 80mm,150mm,250mm No Res!Carl Zeiss Sonnar 150mm F/4 Lens Objecktiv Rollei Rolleiflex Sl66 Camera + CapsRolleiflex Vintage Camera-nr!!!Vintage Rolleiflex Automat (mx-evs) Twin Lens Reflex Camers With Case & FiltersCarl Zeiss Distagon 40mm F/4 Lens For Rolleiflex Rollei Sl66 Camera Good Condit.Rolleiflex Sl66 Medium Format Film Camera W/ Carl Zeiss 50mm F/4 Lens + WlfRolleiflex 3.5 Camera With Tessar 75mm F3.5 Lens - No RsvRolleiflex 3.5f White Face 12/24 Zeiss 75/3.5 6 Elements Box Case Manual Cla'dRolleiflex 2.8f 80mmRolleiflex 2.8e Tlr With Case Vint 1955-56 Rolleiflex 2.8d Zeiss Planar 2.8 80mm Camera With Leather CaseSchneider Super Angulon 40mm F/3.5 Hft Pq For Rolleiflex 6000/6008 Series CameraRolleiflex 3.5 Mx Automat Tessar With Cap, Case & Box Tlr 6x6 Film Camera Rolleiflex 3.5 Automat Model 4. Mx Type 2Rollei Sl66 6x4,5 120 Film Back Holder With Masks In Good Condition RolleiflexVintage Rollei 35 Camera Honeywell Carl Zeiss 1:3,5 F=40mm Tessar Made GermanyRollei Sl66 Chimney Spot Meter Finder Macro Focusing Viseur Sucher RolleiflexRollei 35s 35mm Light Meter WorksRollei Rolleiflex 2.8e With Schneider Xenotar 80mm 1:2.8 & Rollei Prism FinderRolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex Tlr Camera W/zeiss Opton Tessar 75mm F/3.5 LensRollei Sl66 Adapter For Cut Plate Films + 5 Rollei Holders Exc. Cond. Rolleiflex903*rollei Rolleinar Mc 35/2.8 Lens*nos Mint*rollei QbmRollei Retro 100 (agfa Apx 100) 100 Ft Reel (30.5m) 35mm Perf (135) #1Rollei Retro 100 (agfa Apx 100) 100 Ft Reel (30.5m) 35mm Perf (135) #2Rollei Zeiss Makro-planar 120 Mm F/4.0 Pqs Hft Lens For Rolleiflex 6000/6008.Rollei Sl66 Macro BalgengerRolleiflex Sl66 Accessories : 2 Focusing Screens, 80-250mm Hood, Bay Vi FilterVintage Rolleiflex 2.8 E - With Leather Case ( Nice Condition ) Rollei 35 With Schneider S Xenar 3.5/40mm Lens, With Strap, Working MeterRolleiflex Sl66 Hand Grip + Quick Tripod Mount Rollei # 208 930 HandgripRolleiflex Sl66 Prism Finder, Rotary, 45 Degrees With Case & Manual RolleiVintage Rolleiflex 3.5 75mm Film Camera - Nice!Vintage Rolleiflex Trl Automat Camera W/ Case & Extras (1218491) Nice!Vintage Rollei 35 Germany Compact 35mm Film Camera W/ Case & Strap Working! Rollei E 36 Re Flash, Sl66 Bracket, Tripod Mount Battery Adapter Case RolleiflexRollei 35s - Black 35mm Camera Carl Zeiss Sonnar 40mm F2.8 Lens Great ConditionCarl Zeiss 16mm F2.8 F Distagon Hft Manual Focus Lens In Rollei Sl35 Bayonet Mt Schneider Xenotar 80mm F/2.8 Hft Pq For Rolleiflex 6000/6008 Series Cameras.Rolleiflex Rolleinar1 Bay Iii Close Up Lens 4 Rolleiflex 2.8f,2.8e,tele RolleiRolleiflex Automat Mx Evs With 75mm F3.5 Carl Zeiss Tessar Excellent ConditionRolleiflex Compur-rapid 7.50m 1:3.5 Vintage Film Camera UntestedVintage Rollei Xf 35 Rangefiner Film Camera Sonnar 40mmRolleiflex Mx-evs Tlr With Zeiss Tessar 75mm 1:3.5 Rollei A110 Camera With Case And ChainRolleiflex Bay 1 Orange Filter With CaseGrab Box Of Rollei Flashes And Accessories *auction*Lubitel-166 B (v) 6x6cm Medium Format Lomo Rollei Copy Camera Wth 75mm T-22 LensRolleiflex Lens Hood Push-on Lens Hood + Bayonet Wide Angle And Tele Aux LensesTiffen Rolleiflex 2.8 Bay Iii Filter Set Red, Green & Yellow With B44 AdapterRollei Movie 6 Macro Zoom. Vintage Film Movie Camera.Rollei Rolleiflex Bay Iii 2.8f Wide Angle Rollei-mutar 0.7x Lens Attachment +cseTested Rollei P350af Autofocus Slide Projector, W/ Remote