Rollei: Ten Thousand Words at Once

Pawngo Rollei cameras

German Roots

Rollei is a German manufacturer of optical goods founded in 1920 by Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, They are known for making the Rolleiflex and Rolleicord series of cameras. Currently the company also specializes in less expensive nostalgic hobby cameras tailored toward the hipster crowd. The two men founded a partnership and a factory to build their first stereo camera, the 45mm X 107mm Heidoscop, which launched in the 1920s. It was with this and the Rolleidoscop model that showcased Francke and Heidecke attention to detail and high-level manufacturing skills.

Renowned Quality

Even before the first twin lens Rolleiflex was produced in 1929, the company's reputation for quality machine work had garnered renown worldwide. The camera's f/4.5 Zeiss Tessar lens created amazing results, only surpassed by the f/3.8 version, which began production later that year.

Into the Modern Age

In the decades since the company was created, Rollei has manufactured a wide array of photographic instruments for miniature and medium format film. More recently Rollei has ventured into digital capture used by photography enthusiasts and professionals. Rollei has become an industry standard in fields as diverse as fashion, defence and medicine. In recent years, the company made bodies for the Sinar Hy6 and Leaf medium format digital cameras but in early 2009 it was forced into more of a consulting and administrative role by a highly competitive market.

Getting the Most for Your Rollei Camera

Rollei cameras aren’t cheap, and all of the other gear is expensive as well, so you want to be sure you take the best possible care of it. For starters, make sure to give your Rollei gear a solid cleaning after each use. It’s easy to get home from a trip, pop out your memory card and get to photoshopping, but making sure your gear is free of dust and other contaminants is the surest way to ensure your Rollei retains its value for as long as possible. Remember, sensors may change and processors may improve, but great glass is great glass. You may find that your camera’s lenses are ultimately more valuable than the Rollei body itself. That’s why it’s so important to keep everything clean. Make sure you also hold on to any original accessories, such as chargers, boxes, paperwork, lens hoods, extra batteries, etc.

Pawning Your Rollei Camera

Again, the easiest way to make sure you get top dollar for your Rollei gear is to make sure that it clean and in good, working order. Make sure to send in everything, including all original accessories as well as your original box and paperwork. Our evaluators are well oriented with all manner of camera brand, and will make absolutely sure you get the highest value possible for your Rollei. Click the button above to
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