I love the look of the old Rollei film cameras! They’re teeny-tiny and hold great possibilities for candid photography. Tell a kid these days they’d need to zone focus, and they’d likely sport a most puzzled visage. The Rollei 35 LED isn’t as coveted as the earlier models, but still represents something special.

Rollei 35 LED
Rollei 35 LED

My Rollei 35 LED arrived in the mail (from eBay of course) a month or so back. After extracting it from the tight packaging, I pulled out the lens and fired the shutter a few times to test it out. Clicks sounded ok. Lens seemed wonky until I locked it into position. Body looked excellent for its age.

Trying to retract the lens, I noticed that it would not move all the way in. It seemed locked out and I wondered if I’d actually received a dud item. A quick Google search informed me otherwise. Seems that one should never click the shutter with the lens partly retracted, otherwise there’s the possibility of a brass lug inside the body moving into an unnatural position and blocking the movement of the lens array. I did know this, but had forgotten in my haste to play with it!

I carefully removed the back of the Rollei LED and looked into the mechanics of the body. To the left, I noticed a small brass lug that had gotten stuck behind the les, thus not allowing it to retract fully. I pressed a small jewellers screwdriver into the corner and pushed the lug out of the way, whilst also retracting the lens. The operation worked, and I was able to use it as intended!

Rollei with internals exposed
Rollei with internals exposed

Whilst the camera was open, I also took the opportunity to check out the shutter at every speed too, just to make sure it was firing accurately enough. I’m not especially technical, but I was rather pleased that I’d been able to fix this.

So, here’s the lesson to be learned: when dealing with delicate equipment, especially old equipment, don’t be too hasty in your handling of the item. In fact, not a bad idea to read the manual sometimes!

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Minor repair on a Rollei 35 LED
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9 thoughts on “Minor repair on a Rollei 35 LED

  • October 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm
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    Hi Steve, I also have a stuck lens on my 35 led. It won’t get out fully, nor will it turn. What exactly is the ‘lug’ on this picture? Is it the tiny triangle shape on the right of the lens? If yes, which direction to push it? I’ve tried, but it won’t move either way. Do I need any force?
    Thanks in advance ! Regards, Paul

    Reply
    • October 18, 2017 at 12:48 am
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      Hi Paul. First of all, you should not need much force at all. Has your Rollei always been like this or is it a recent problem?I don’t have my Rollei handy at the moment, but from what I remember, it is a triangular shaped area, and there should be a small brass coloured lug. Pushing this to the left slightly with a jeweller’s screwdriver, or something similarly small, and then retracting the lens at the same time should do the trick. It could also indicate another problem. Feel free to send me photos of the internals if you want.

      Reply
      • October 18, 2017 at 1:49 pm
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        Hi Steve, under strong lamplight I discovered the lug and managed to move it, so the lens could be pulled out and turned. Everything seemed OK, also the shutterspeeds. So I exposed a film and have it developed this week. All the way I let the lens extended, because I was afraid the same problem would accur again. And it did. After removing the film, tensioning the shutter and collapsing the lens, it won’t get fully out again. So, the same procedure. But for the future I will leave the lens portrude. Without your help I wasn’t able to solve the problem. So, thanks a million Steve! Best regards, Paul

        Reply
      • December 2, 2017 at 12:22 pm
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        Hi Steve,
        My last reply to you did not come through obviously, which I regret. I’ve managed to repair the stuck lens on my Rollei, thanks to your guidance. I am very gratefull Steve! Regards, Paul

        Reply
        • January 17, 2018 at 4:25 am
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          Hi Paul. No problem. Glad to hear that it worked out for you!

          Reply
  • December 11, 2014 at 2:39 am
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    I’m impressed, Steve. Sounds complicated to me… 🙂

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    • December 11, 2014 at 6:07 am
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      It wasn’t too difficult actually. I’m not much of a techie myself!!

      Reply
  • December 10, 2014 at 5:03 am
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    Steve, neat story! I loved your wording, “the internals.” (For a Doctor, the inside of a camera is not the first thing to come to mind!)
    Very intriguing how you figured out the problem & with obvious dexterity, fixed it! I really enjoyed this post

    Reply
    • December 10, 2014 at 5:43 am
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      Thanks CB 🙂 Yes, I can understand! I’d actually visited the doctor today, so “internals” was fresh to my mind.

      Reply

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