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Rolleiflex SL 66 1235, Photo F.W. Stutterheim
Photograph of Ferdi‘s Rolleiflex SL 66. Note the chrome aperture ring (pre 1982) and the lens number etc. printed close to the front lens (pre 1974). Other images show it is made by ‘Carl Zeiss’ (pre 1974), HFT coating (from 1972). The lens was made in 1972 or 1973.
Photo © 2020 F.W. Stutterheim.

Page Index

Introduction

The SL 66 line of cameras and their lenses were made from 1966 until 1992. In this timespan we can distinguish three versions of each lens. Distinguishing elements are producer, lens coating and lens mount.

Carl Zeiss lenses (1966 - 1974)

All lenses of the first group were made by Carl Zeiss at Oberkochen, (West-)Germany from 1966 until 1974. The lenses are Zeiss single-coated and can be recognized by the chrome aperture ring. Engravings are close to the front lens until 1973. Most lenses have an automatic iris diaphragm. The aperture closes down to the set value only after releasing the shutter. The exposure meter of an SL 66 E or SE camera cannot be used when a lens of this group is mounted. Flash-metering with the SL 66 X is possible.

HFT coated lenses made by Carl Zeiss (1972 - 1974) or ‘Made by Rollei’ (1972 - 1982)

Zeiss began delivering multi-coated lenses for the Rolleiflex SL 66 from 1972. They are labeled HFT. Rollei took over production of the 50, 80, 150 and 250 mm lenses in 1974. Those lenses are labeled ‘Made by Rollei’ and HFT. They also have the automatic iris diaphragm and the chrome aperture ring. Engravings are near the bayonet mount from 1974. The other, more complex, lenses were still made by Zeiss at the Oberkochen plant. The exposure meter of an SL 66 E or SE camera cannot be used when a lens of this group is mounted. Flash-metering with the SL 66 X is possible.

HFT coated lenses with Open-aperture-metering ‘Made by Rollei’ (1982 - 1992)

Lenses had to be redesigned to work with the exposure meter of the SL 66 E in 1982. The lenses have diaphragms fit for open-aperture-metering. The set aperture is mechanically communicated to the camera body. Around this time the factory started mounting black aperture rings. The 500 mm and both 1000 mm lenses were not offered in this version.

E-rings

Earlier lenses could be upgraded to open-aperture-metering by fitting an E-ring. E-rings in several lengths were available for specific lenses. Fitting was done by the factory and contracted repair shops. It could also be done by the user.

Lenses

Lenses for the Rolleiflex SL 66 line
Lens Produced Type, particulars Lens
elements
Angle of view (°) Filter mount
Diagonal Horizontal
F-Distagon 3.5/30 mm October 1973 - >19941 Super Wide Angle, Fish eye 8 180 110 M 25 x 0.5
Distagon 4/40 mm August 1968 - 1986 Super Wide Angle 10 88 69 Bayonet VIII
Distagon 4/40 mm April 1986 - >1994 Super Wide Angle with Floating Elements, outstanding correction. Open-aperture-metering version only. 11 88 69 Adaptor needed
Distagon 4/50 mm October 1966 - >1994 Compact Wide Angle, remarkably good correction 7 75 57 Bayonet VI
Distagon 3.5/60 mm October 1984 - 1993 Compact Moderate Wide Angle, alternative standard lens. Open-aperture-metering version only. 7 67 Bayonet VI
PCS-Rolleigon 4.5/75 mm October 1984 - 1990 Shift lens with extended image circle. No Open-aperture-metering. 11 62 Bayonet VIII
Planar 2.8/80 mm October 1966 - >1994 Normal Angle, exceptionally good correction, extreme sharpness, good image flatness 7 52 38 Bayonet VI
Distagon 4/80 mm January 1970 - >1994 Normal Angle, with leaf shutter for flash photography, retro‑focus construction to acommodate shutter 5 52 38 Bayonet VI
S-Planar 5.6/120 mm
Makro‑Planar 5.6/120 mm
October 1966 - February 1989 Macro lens, optimal correction at 1:8 8 36 26 Bayonet VI
Makro-Planar 4/120 mm March 1989 - >1994 Macro lens, opened up to f/4, same size, same optical quality 8 36 26 Bayonet VI
Sonnar 4/150 mm October 1966 - >1994 Short tele-lens for portraits etc. 5 29 21 Bayonet VI
Sonnar 4/150 mm January 1970 - 1988 Short tele-lens with leaf shutter, X and M sync down to 1/500 s. 5 29 21 Bayonet VI
Sonnar 5.6/250 mm October 1966 - >1994 Classic tele lens, long distance images 4 18 13 Bayonet VI
Tele-Tessar 5.6/500 mm January 1967 - Mid 1991 Tele lens, long distance images. No Open-aperture-metering. 6 9 6 M 95 x 1
Tele-Tessar 8/1000 mm January 1970 - >1994 Tele lens, long distance images, tube can be dismantled to insert filter. No Open-aperture-metering. 4 4.5 3 Bayonet VI
Mirotar 5.6/1000 mm October 1966 - April 1991 Mirror lens, larger aperture, compact, highest possible image quality. No Open-aperture-metering. 5 4.5 3 Built-in revolving filters.
Luminar 2.5/16 mm Special macro lens
Adaptor with microscope thread.
5
Luminar 3.5/25 mm Special macro lens
Adaptor with microscope thread.
4
Luminar 4.5/40 mm Special macro lens
Adaptor with microscope thread.
3
Luminar 4.5/63 mm Special macro lens
Adaptor with microscope thread.
3
Luminar 6.3/100 mm Special macro lens
Special adaptor
3

Notes

[1]
The actual year production was ended is not known to me. The year “>1994” is based on Prochnow. When his Rollei Report 2 went into print (1994) the lens was still in production. Back

References

  • Rollei Report 2, Rollei-Werke Rollfilmkameras 1946-1981, Prochnow, Claus, ISBN 3-89506-118-2, Lindemans, (1994).