Rolleiflex E – F Series Manual

Rolleiflex E and F Series TLR Camera Manual

THE ROLLEIFLEX 3.5F is equipped with either the 3 in. (75 mm.) Zeiss Planar or the 3 in. (75 mm.) Schneider Xenotar ƒ3.5 lens with an angle of view of 56°. The viewing lens is a 3 in. (75 mm.) Heidosmat ƒ2.8. The camera has a built-in photo-electric exposure meter coupled to aperture and shutter speed controls with control wheels permitting individual adjustment of both settings. Filter factor correction can be fed directly into the meter. This model is also available without its built-in meter, which can be easily fitted at any time. The shutter is the Synchro-Compur MXV. The camera further has an automatic depth of field indicator, film feeler, and double exposure lock with provision for intentional double exposures. The camera back has a two-position pressure plate. In addition to the position for 2¼ x 2¼ in. pictures there is a second one for 35 mm. film when used with the Rolleikin II attachment. The focusing hood is removable and can be replaced by an eye-level pentaprism unit. An optical glass film plane can be fitted with a three-position pressure plate, to obtain absolute flatness of the film. A back for single exposures on plates or cut film can be fitted. The Rollei-Marin 4 underwater housing is designed for use with this Rolleiflex model for underwater photography. The finder hood is interchangeable for an eye-level pentaprism. This model takes size II bayonet accessories (filters, close-up lenses, lens hood) to fit the bayonet lens mount.

Rolleiflex E, F and Tele Rollei

THE ROLLEIFLEX 3.5E3 is similar to 3.5F but has no exposure meter built in. It has cross-coupled aperture and speed scale with exposure values. However the exposure meter as in Rollei T can be installed later.

THE ROLLEIFLEX 2.8F is equipped with the 3£ in. (80 mm.) Zeiss Planar or Schneider Xenotar ƒ2.8 lens and is otherwise the same as the Rolleiflex 3.5F. No Rollei-Marin underwater housing is available so far for this model. It takes size III bayonet accessories (filters, close-up lenses, lens hood) to fit its bayonet lens mount.

THE ROLLEIFLEX 2.8E3 is similar to the 2.8F but has no exposure meter built in. It has cross-coupled aperture and speed scale with exposure values. However the exposure meter as in Rollei T can be installed later.

THE ROLLEIFLEX 2.8E/2 is similar to the Rolleiflex 2.8F but the built-in photo-electric exposure meter is not coupled to the aperture-speed setting. The shutter has an exposure value scale. The same accessories are usable on it as for the 2.8F and the camera also takes size III bayonet accessories. A special film counter and film release knob is built in for use with the Rolleikin II outfit.

THE TELE-ROLLEIFLEX is basically the same as the Rolleiflex 2.8E/2 in design and handling. The taking lens is a 5.3/8 in. (135 mm.) Zeiss Sonnar ƒ4, with an angle of view of 33°. The viewing lens is also a 5.3/8 in. (135 mm.) Zeiss Sonnar ƒ4. The exposure meter is not built in, but the camera is pre-wired for its subsequent installation. The optical glass film plane with appropriate 3-position pressure plate is a standard fitting. The Tele-Rolleiflex takes the same accessories as the 2.8F and it accepts size III bayonet mount attachment. The focusing range is from infinity to 8½ ft. and a special Rolleinar 0.35 near lens set in hinged-on mount is available extending the near range to 5 ft. and a 0.7 Rolleinar set further extending it to 3.3 ft. These lenses can be used in conjunction with the standard Rolleinar close-up lenses.

THE WIDE-ANGLE ROLLEIFLEX is basically the same as the Tele-Rolleiflex in design and handling The taking lens_is; a 2.1/8 in. (55 mm.) Zeiss Distagon ƒ4 with an angle of view of 71°. The viewing lens is also a 2.1/8 in. (55 mm.) Zeiss Distagon. It takes the same accessories as the 2.8F and accepts size IV bayonet mount attachments. The focusing range is from infinity to 2 ft.

THE ROLLEIFLEX 2.8E is similar to the Rolleiflex 2.8E/2 but the hood is not interchangeable. In place of the ultra fine focusing screen a normal ground glass screen is fitted. This model is available also without the built-in meter, but fitted suitably wired for subsequent installation of the meter if required. No facility for installation of an optical flat glass accessory is available but the camera can be used with the Rolleikin II for 35 mm. film, also the plate back. It accepts size III bayonet accessories.

THE ROLLEIFLEX 3.5E is similar to the 2.8E but has a 3 in. (75mm.) Planar ƒ3.5 or Xenotar ƒ3.5 lens. It can be used with the Rollei-Marin 3 underwater housing. It accepts size II bayonet accessories.


include filters for black-and-white and for colour films, lens hood, close-up lens sets with parallax compensation, soft focus lenses, flash guns, a micro attachment, a plate and cut film adaptor, Rolleikin 35 mm. film outfit, the Rolleifix quick-release tripod head, pistol grip, panorama head and binocular extension hood. All models—with the exception of the Tele and Wide-angle models—can be used with the attachment lenses for tele and wide-angle effect.

Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR Camera Manual

The synchronizing lever selects flash settings and tensions the self-timer. The focusing hood is removable. The peep window indicates the shutter speed and aperture set. The depth of field indicator automatically shows the sharp zone opposite the distance scale, and is coupled with the aperture control. The focusing knob moves the whole lens panel forwards and backwards. Lining-up the setting marker with the meter needle sets the correct exposure. A separate knob carries filter factor corrections and film speed settings. Cross-coupled wheels set the apertures and shutter speeds. The transport crank incorporates a double exposure release. The release button with cable release socket also carries a safety and time exposure lock.
The above details apply to the Rolleiflex 3.5F; apart from the larger diameter of the lenses, the Rolleiflex 2.8F is identical.
Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR Camera Manual 2
Shooting with the Rolleiflex 3.5F. From left to right: Swing the crank to advance the film; turn the aperture wheel to line up the setting marker and meter needle while taking an exposure reading; select an alternative aperture-speed combination if required; focus the image on the screen; press the release to expose.
Rolleiflex 3.5E TLR Camera Manual
The peep window indicates the apertures and shutter speeds actually set. The focusing hood incorporates a mirror for eye-level viewing, but is not removable. The shutter speed wheel carries an exposure value scale and is cross-coupled with aperture wheel. The automatic depth of field indicator shows the zone of sharpness at all distances and is coupled with the aperture control. The exposure meter controls in the focusing knob comprise the setting marker and the meter needle. Super imposing the two yields correct exposure values. The release button incorporates a cable release socket, and a release and time lock. The film transport crank carries a double exposure release. The synchronizing lever surrounds the flash socket and is combined with the retaining catch for the flash cable.
These details apply to the Rolleiflex 3.5E; the features of the 2.8E are similar, except for the provision of a film counter knob for 35 mm. films and a combined synchronizing lever and self-timer (inset, top). The 2.8E/2 model is similar to the 2.8E, but has a removable focusing hood like the 3.5F.

The Rolleiflex 3.5E TLR Camera Manual 2

Shooting with the Rolleiflex 3.5E. From left to right: Advance the film and tension the shutter with the transport crank; set the exposure value with the aperture wheel uncoupled; select alternative aperture-speed combinations if necessary with the shutter speed wheel; focus the image on the screen: press the release button to expose.
The Tele-Rolleiflex TLR Camera Manual
This model has a pair of 135 mm. long focus lenses and is available with or without a built- in meter; the latter can be fitted subsequently by the owner. The peep window indicates the aperture and shutter speed actually set. The focusing hood is removable. The automatic depth of field indicator is coupled with the aperture control. The focusing knob incorporates a film-type indicator or (when the exposure meter is fitted) the meter controls. The synchronizing lever selects X or M synchronization and tensions the self-timer. The 35 mm. knob acts as a film counter when using the 35 mm. conversion outfit. The shutter speed wheel carries an exposure value scale, and is cross-coupled with the aperture wheel. The flash socket incorporates a cable lock. The film crank advances the film and tensions the shutter. It has a special double exposure release to permit tensioning without advancing the film. The release button incorporates a safety and time exposure lock.
The Wide-angle Rolleiflex is closely similar, but has a pair of 55 mm. short-focus lenses instead.
The Tele-Rolleiflex TLR Camera Manual 2
Using the glass film plane. Left: Set the pressure plate in the back to the appropriate position. Centre: Insert the glass in the film plane, let it snap into position, and press the retaining bar to secure it. Right: To remove the glass, press the retaining bar and let the plate drop out.

Loading your Rolleiflex

  1. Open the camera back. Check that the pressure plate is correctly position pressure plate, note the two different positions for 2¼ x 2¼ in. When working without the optical flat glass, use the centre position which exposes a pictorial symbol of a rollfilm. When working with the optical flat glass, push the pressure p ate up so that a symbol of a rollfilm with a flat plate becomes visible.
  2. Insert the film.
  3. Close the camera.
  4. Get the film ready for the first exposure.
  5. Set the film speed and type. To set the film speed on cameras with coupled exposure meter (2.8F, 3.5F) gently press and turn the milled ring in the centre of the film speed disc until the speed of the film used appears in the appropriate DIN or ASA window The filter factor indicator on the outside rim of this disc should be set to “0”. If, however, a filter is used, set the correction factor (in minus exposure values) to the black arrow head. The exposure meter then automatically allows for the exposure increase required. To set the film speed on the cameras with uncoupled exposure meter (3.5E, 3.8E, Tele and Wide-angle Rollei) turn the serrated outer rim of the meter control (the outermost ring of the focusing knob) until the speed of the film loaded into the camera appears in the appropriate DIN or ASA window. Intermediate values are indicated by dots. The film type indicator is in the centre of the exposure meter knob. Turn the milled button until the appropriate film type appears in the small window, pan, ortho, artificial light colour or daylight colour. This acts as a reminder. On cameras without exposure meter, set the film indicator in the focusing knob by turning the small cross-bar. Turn in one direction until the appropriate film speed appears in the ASA or DIN window, then turn in the appropriate direction to bring the required film type into the centre window.

Unloading your Rolleiflex

  1. Wind off the film.
  2. Open the camera back.
  3. Remove the exposed film. Then close camera back or reload.


Shooting with your Rolleiflex

  1. Advance the film. Swing out the crank and turn it forward with one continuous swing until it stops. Then swing back again to stop. This operation tensions the shutter, advances the film to the next frame and advances the film counter.
  2. Set the exposure. On the Rolleiflex 2.8F and 3.5F pre-select a shutter speed by turning the right-hand setting wheel between the two lenses (with the camera held in the shooting position). The shutter has speeds of 1, ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/15,1/30,1/60,1/125,1/250, 1/500 sec. and B. The shutter speed appears in the peep window on top of the camera front. The values 1, 2, 4, 8, etc., to 500 are fractions of seconds and stand therefore for 1, ½, ¼, 1/8, etc., to 1/500 sec. Then with the camera pointing at the subject (for a reflected light reading) turn the left-hand setting wheel to line up the meter needle and setting marker. These are visible in the small window on top of the focusing knob. This sets the camera to a correct exposure for the prevailing light. You can select alternative aperture-speed combinations (see step 3 below). On models with non-coupled meter or without meter (2.8E/2, 2.8E, 3.5E Tele and Wide-angle) the shutter has an exposure value scale. This is marked on the front of the right-hand setting wheel. To set the exposure value, depress the centre of the left-hand setting wheel and turn either or both wheels until the arrow head in the centre points to the required exposure value (from 3 to 18). You obtain the correct exposure value from a separate meter reading. Then let go of the centre of the left-hand setting wheel; the aperture-speed controls interlock again.
  3. Select the aperture-speed combination. Both speed and aperture are controlled by the right-hand setting wheel. To change the shutter-aperture combination, just move this wheel until the window above the finder lens shows the required aperture or shutter speed. On the Rolleiflex models with non-coupled meter you can turn either setting wheel. While normally the speed and aperture controls are fully coupled, there is an interlock release in the centre of the aperture (left-hand) wheel. To disengage the coupling, depress the centre of the aperture wheel and turn the centre so that the two black index marks are at right-angles to the loops engraved on the outer rim. Turning the button so that the index marks point to the loops again, restores the aperture-speed coupling. Make certain that the coupling has engaged by turning either or both of the wheels, and see that the button is in the correct position.
  4. Focus and determine the picture area. To open the reflex hood push up with one finger. To close, push in the sides, on E models pull down the hood. Turn the focusing knob while watching the image on the screen, until the subject appears sharp. Check with the magnifier. To bring the magnifier in position gently press in the front panel of the opened hood. To close, press the magnifier back. On E models pull up the small catch in the top of the hood. To close, gently press the magnifier. To use the direct vision sports finder push in the front panel of the opened hood until it clicks into position. To close, lightly press the sides of the hood. On E models push in the front of the opened hood; to close, press down gently on the magnifier. For eye-level viewing you can also use the pentaprism (see Rolleiflex Viewing Accessories).
  5. Release the shutter gently by pressing the release button. The release has a safety lever. Swing tins downwards to unlock the release, and up to lock it against accidental exposures.

Rolleiflex E Exposure Meter

To use the meter, first set the film speed (left), Then point the camera at the subject, and turn the setting ring to bring the setting pointer into coincidence with the meter needle (centre left). Read off the exposure value in the appropriate window (centre right) and set the camera on this exposure value (right).

Rolleiflex E Exposure Meter 2

Using the Rolleiflex E Exposure Meter

The photo-electric exposure meter built into the Rolleiflex 2.8E, Rolleiflex 3.5E and Tele Rolleiflex has two measuring ranges. On the top left-hand corner of the name plate a switch operates the high or low ranges. The measuring indicator is built into the focusing knob on the left-hand side of the camera.

  1. Set the film speed by turning the adjusting ring until the correct speed appears in the cut-out above the indicator mark for ASA or DIN. Dots indicate intermediate values.
  2. Set the measuring range. In bright light outdoors, turn the measuring range switch on the top left-hand corner of the “Rolleiflex” name plate upwards so that the red dot is covered. In poor light and indoors, turn the measuring range switch downwards so that the red dot is uncovered.
  3. Measure the exposure value. Turn the finely serrated ring to line up the red pointer with the black meter needle. With the range switch turned upwards (red dot covered) read off the correct exposure value in the forward window of the knob. In poor light, with the range switch turned downwards (red dot uncovered), read off the exposure value in the rear, red window. The figures are full exposure values, the dots indicate half-values.
  4. Set the exposure value on the shutter speed wheel.

Installing the Exposure Meter on your Rolleiflex

The Tele and Wide-angle Rolleiflex and some Rolleiflex E models, which are supplied without exposure meter, are pre-wired for subsequent installation of the meter.

  1. Fit the meter cell by unscrewing the camera name plate with the special pin supplied with the separate meter. Replace the name plate by the photo-cell and replace the screws.
  2. Insert the meter control unit into the focusing knob. Remove the three screws at the retaining ring of the film indicator dial and lei the dial drop out. Loosen the retaining screw below the film type indicator window of the meter control unit as far as it will go. The control unit is now inserted into the focusing knob with the red indicator window on top, pushed gently inwards and turned clock-wise until it locks. Tighten the retaining screw again.
  3. Zero calibration. When the photo cell is completely covered up, the black pointer should be in zero position, pointing to the short green line. If the black pointer does not point to the green line, turn the retaining screw as far as it will go, turn the meter control unit to the left to disengage it from its bayonet socket and remove it. Adjust the screw in the upper centre of the back of the control unit until the black indicator needle points to the green index mark. Reinsert the control unit into position and tighten the retaining screw.
    The meter is now ready for use and is handled in the same way as the E meter (described above).

Rolleiflex Special Controls

TIME EXPOSURES with the Rolleiflex 3.5F and 2.8F are indicated by green figures in full seconds. After lining up the exposure meter pointers, the green numbers indicate the number of seconds the shutter has to be kept open. At any of the green figures and also at intermediate values (but in the green field only) the shutter will remain open as long as the release is depressed and closed on letting the release go. For long time exposures, use a cable release. This screws into the centre of the release button. Swing the safety lever upwards; the shutter will now remain open after pressing.

With Rolleiflex models 3.5E, 2.8E, 2.8E/2 and Tele and Wide-angle Rolleiflex, time exposures are made with the shutter set to B, and released as above. There are no green numbers.

FLASH SYNCHRONIZATION. For X synchronization, set the flash lever (beside the finder lens on the 3.5F, 2.8, and W.A. models) to the flash symbol (a zig-zag arrow), for M synchronization to the bulb symbol. While the camera will accept the standard 3 mm. co axial plug, a special Rolleiflex flash plug with lead is available to connect to the flash socket on the base of the front of the camera. This special plug locks into position and can only be removed by pressing the lever protruding on the side of the flash socket. On the Rolleiflex 3.5E this lever is also the synchronizing lever.

SELF-TIMER. A self-timer (delayed action) is built in, which permits the photographer to appear in the picture. Place the camera on a rigid support, best a tripod. Tension the self-timer, which is at the same time the flash setting lever, by pulling forward the button on it, and pressing down the lever in the direction of the arrow engraved on it. Advance the film first to tension the shutter. On pressing the shutter release, the shutter will open after a delay of approximately 10 seconds. The self-timer can be used with flash shots, but only on X synchronization. On the 3.5E the self-timer is a button above the finder lens. After advancing the film, push this button in the direction of the arrow to start the mechanism. Both M and X synchronized flash shots are possible with this model.

INTENTIONAL DOUBLE EXPOSURES. The film transport and shutter are coupled to prevent double exposures, but the shutter can also be tensioned independently for intentional double exposures. To tension the shutter without advancing the film, press the disc below the film crank in the direction of the arrow, and turn the crank backwards through one revolution.

CHANGING THE FOCUSING MAGNIFIER. Both the upper magnifier and the rear magnifier can be changed to correct faulty vision.

To change the upper magnifier on Rolleiflex 2.8F, 3.5F, 2.8E/2. 3.5E, Tele and W.A. Rolleiflex, grip the lens from above and below, swing it up, pull it back and then lift it up and out. To insert, push the magnifier forward against retaining spring and let it snap into place. To clean it, fold down the magnifier with the direct viewfinder open.

To change the rear magnifier, open the focusing hood. Grip the two retaining clips on either side of the rear peep window with both thumbs from the inside of the rear wall and pull back the retaining lever. After changing the magnifier, push the retaining spring forward until it snaps into place.

On the Rolleiflex 2.8E remove the upper magnifier by pulling back the ring mount against the retaining spring and lift out. To insert, put the magnifier into position with its back first, pull back against the spring and snap down.

To remove the rear magnifier push in slightly at top and lift out. To insert, slip the magnifier with its white dot uppermost between the retaining springs and push down until it snaps into place.

USING THE GLASS FILM PLANE. While the film is normally kept flat by the accurate machining of the film channel combined with the pressure plate, the optical glass film plane ensures plate-like flatness of the film when extremely critically sharp negatives for extreme enlargements are required. It is a standard fitting of the Tele and Wide-angle Rolleiflex and is also available for Rolleiflex models 3.5F, 2.8F and 2.8E/2 in conjunction with a special back.

To insert the glass plate, open the camera back and tilt forward. Slide the glass with bevelled edge under the upper retaining bar of the film gate. Let the glass plate snap into position and secure by pressing the bar. The bevelled edges are held by the retaining bars of the film gate. To remove, turn the camera upside down, press the retaining bar and let the glass drop into your hand.

Handle the glass by the edges only. Keep it absolutely clean, in particular keep both sides free from dust and lint. Store the plate, when not in use, in the compartment provided in the ever-ready case. Remember to adjust the pressure plate (see Loading your Rolleiflex).

(For more general information and Manual about all Rolleiflex/Rollei TLR Camera Press this link: Rolleiflex Rollei TLR Manual)

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