[rollei_list] Re: Rollei -Singapore

  • From: Robert Lilley <54moggie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 16:25:00 -0500

I have two HP 200LX computers that I still use from time to time. I think I have a half a gig card in the one - amazing when I think of the IBM XT and it's huge 10 MB hard drive. In any event the HP 200 LX is very well made and has lasted this long. I wouldn't think there would be a huge difference between the Singapore Rollie 35 and the German 35 but I would know for sure. I own a German B 35 and that is my only frame of reference.

On Jan 9, 2009, at 1:46 PM, Don Williams wrote:

At 08:09 AM 1/9/2009, Emmanuel wrote, in part:

From DAW:
Rollei 35- A few years back I attended a book signing by David Breashears, the man who did the IMax film about climbing Mount Everest. He spotted a Rollei 35 in the audience and had the owner come up. Breashears really praised the camera and said it was his favorite for climbing (that special IMax he took up the mountain was clearly not a favorite, just something he had contracted to use). He thought the Rollei was rugged, reliable, and just a very fine piece of equipment for rough use. I have always wanted to have one but it's never been in our budget and will most likely never be.

On an un-related subject, I had just had a pulmonary blood clot and was recovering nicely, and I mentioned to him that my O2 sat. had been as low as 65% which I thought earned me some bragging rights for survival. He countered with his experience that it runs about 55% on the mountain.

More notes at end of this-

The transfer of amateur cameras & projectors to Singapore was a major decision taken by the Rollei management in the seventies. At the time the boss was Herr Peesel, followed by Herr Peter Peperzak, then by Heinz Wehling. At a time when all European and German companies manufacturing amateur cameras had to close down (the most famous example was the Zeiss-Ikon plant in Stuttgart closed down in 1972), the Rollei decision can be considered as adventurous but if you compare with the UK or France where almost everything photographic was destroyed by the Japanese competition, the Rollei example, in a sense, is admirable.

It is always easy to criticize a corporate management afterwards. Now this is part of the history of the European photo industry and we can discuss it like historians.

Regarding the Rollei 35, I can say that the transfer of manufacturing to Singapore was a real success. I'm still using several Rollei 35-s TE and SE made in the 1980s in Singapore, the cameras perform incredibly well both mechanically and optically. They need the occasional Clean-Lube-Adjust procedure like for any Compur shutter, but otherwise those Singapore-made cameras are, IMHO, as reliable and fascinating as classical twin-lens rolleiflex made in Braunschweig.

Emmanuel from France

Interesting thing about Singapore. HP transferred manufacturing AND support of the 200LX palmtop, maybe even the 100LX, to Singapore and they did a credible job until the product was discontinued. (I had to upgrade to the 200 from the 100 because the serial port speed of the 100LX was incredibly slow and the engineers at HP told me it would never get better). I was using the computer, at that time, to download data at clients sites for conversion from Unix to other OS's. I had all of 10 MB but that was sufficient. Now these little jobs can take 1 Gb with a third party driver, even though they are all DOS-based.


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