I got this on a whim after watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" on TV. There is a scene where Jillian is taking pictures with a tiny camera at the Devils Tower compound.

Being the camera freak that I am, I often pause a show to check out a vintage camera. I clearly saw that this one was a Rollei B35. Similar to my Rollei 35 but without the dials on the front.

I checked out eBay and found one way under the usual asking price and the seller said "the shutter won't fire and it won't wind" I knew either he didn't know you had to pull the lens out or it was truly stuck but a fairly easy fix by simply taking the back door off and fiddling with the linkage until it un jams.

Production started in 1969, I am told mine is from 1969 because they changed the rewind handle assembly, due to crappy design as early as 1970. It is the earlier more collectible model made in Germany with the Carl Zeiss Triotar 40mm 1:3.5 lens. Later around 1974, they were produced in Singapore with the "Lens Made By Rollei" designation on the front of the lens. In 1976 they changed the model name to 35B to stay in sync with their branding protocol. If you have a sweet black paint model, it will be a Singapore B35 (prior to 1976) or a 35B (after 1976) but no black models were made in Germany.


My gamble paid off, the seller didn't know you had to pull the lens out for it to work properly. On this camera you pull the lens out and turn it to the right to lock it. In order to put it back in it must be 'wound' to the next frame, then you press the button next to the lens and turn it to the left and then push it in.

The shutter works on all speeds, the meter works and is accurate and there is only slight exterior flaws. the B35 badge and a bump on top. It was missing the shutter speed scale on the top at the light meter but a good online acquaintance sent me a new one and I glued it on.

I tried to take the top cover off to clean the viewfinder optics but the large flat screw on top of the advance lever is striped somehow. Luckily I didn't really need to take the top off. A good exterior cleaning of the glass, chrome and leatherette is all that was needed.

Here is a sample image taken with this camera



Here is an Online Owners manual



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