Rollei 35LED


Introduced in 1978, Rollei 35LED is the second last member in the Rollei 35 series (with the 35TE being the last). Being one of he basic models like the B35/35B and C35, the 35LED has a simplified shutter with speeds 1/30 – 1/500 seconds plus B and its lens is a 3-element Triotar 40mm f3.5. Both the shutter and aperture dials are on the lens instead of being at the front of the body like the 35 Original. Depth of field scale is also simplified to two pairs of dots representing f/8 and f/16. However, there are changes that I would call improvements. One of them is having the frame counter moved from the bottom to the top of the camera.  I am pretty certain no one would complain about it.

CameraCollection_179__DSC6930Another change is the meter reading is now displayed as LEDs inside the viewfinder instead of a pair of match-needles on the top the camera. Personally, I would say each design has its own merit. Viewfinder LED display allows the photographer to concentrate more on the scene and composition and meter readings displayed on the top is more suited for occasions like street photography. Finally, the CDS metering cell is moved from the right of the viewfinder to the left of it. For people who hold the camera with their right hands, I believe it is not uncommon to have the metering cell accidentally covered by a finger on a 35 Original. Thus, this is for sure a major though non-obvious improvement. Well, how about a side-by-side comparison of the 35LED and a 35 Original?



The Story of my Rollei 35LED…

This Rollei 35 was actually purchased before the 35 Original that my wife gave me as a birthday present. However, there is some problems with the shutter in which it occasionally won’t close completely after being fired. There is sign of lubrication near the shutter mechanism which I think the previous owner should at some point tried to fix it. Hopefully, in the future when I have the spare cash, I can bring it to a shop for repair.


Status: As Gift to Friend


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4 Responses to Rollei 35LED

  1. Jim Grey says:

    How do these feel in the hands? If you had an afternoon and a few rolls of film, would this be a pleasant shooter?

    • They are mechanical workhorses that are also optically sound. However, handling is not their strength and scale focusing will become tougher as the lighting condition forces you to use a larger aperture. There is also no way to quickly change to a new roll when one is finished since the whole back needs to be removed first. Given all the above, it is still a pretty good camera for street photography, an everyday carry-around, and a great film camera beside your digital system on a trip.

  2. alfons says:

    the imagequality of the Triotarlens was really good with closed down fstops and it was a joy to use my B35 and LED35.

  3. Terry B says:

    I’ve come a little late in the day to this forum, but speaking as an owner of four of thee little Rolleis, B35, 35 original, 35 LED and the 35 SE, I find the 35 LED the most convenient in use. Focusing any of these is always an issue in low light, but that said the LED wins hands down in any light scenario, but especially in low light levels, for setting the exposure as the camera never needs to be removed from the eye for setting.

    IMO, as an entree to the little Rolleis, a working LED makes the best bet. Accuracy of focusing at wider apertures takes practise, and for hand-held use the shutter range of 1/30 to 1/500 sec is all that is needed. Good as the Triotar is from f5.6 to f11, it is a great shame that Rollei never issued it with the better Tessar or, wonder of wonders, the lovely HFT Sonnar

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