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© 1998-2020 Ferdi Stutterheim

Rolleiflex 2,8 E, Photo Karl Keung
Photograph of the film take-up chamber of a Rolleiflex 2,8 E. Absolutely New Old Stock with factory seals and with Rolleikin 2 (35 mm film) counter knob. The counter knob needs longer screws to be fixed to the camera body. The screw heads are concealed by the leather cover of the knob. Never the less the picture suggests the length of the screws to be used.
Photo © 2008 Karl Keung. Photo used with permission.

Page Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Rolleikin 2 for 24×36 mm exposures
  3. Notes
  4. References

Introduction

Post-War Rolleiflex cameras - from Rolleiflex 3.5 and Rolleiflex 2.8 C - could be adapted to make 24×36 mm exposures on 35 mm film with a Rolleikin set. The origin of 35 mm film is motion pictures film. The “kin” part of the name is taken from ‘Kinofilm’ the German word for movie film. The Rolleikin 2 was offered for decades and the necessary masks were adapted following changes in camera designs. I stayed clear from this subject for many years because it is so complicated and confusing. Not many Rolleiflex users are interested in using Rolleikins anyway. Recently someone asked me about 16 exposures on a Rolleiflex T and a I spent some time to figure out all about film counter sets, masks and even 35 mm film and Rolleikins. The time to write this page had come. An earlier Rolleikin 1 existed, mainly for pre-World War II cameras. All cameras needed a dedicated back to use the Rolleikin 1. It is not described on the page.

There are three different kinds of masks. First of all the film masks that guide the smaller 35 mm film through the large film gate of the Rolleiflex. Then the focusing screen masks. They are placed on top of the screen or slid under the screen in cameras with later detachable finder hoods. The third type of masks is intended for the Direct View finder. That finder is used when looking through two openings in the back and the front of a finder hood. The front opening is normally closed but can be pushed open. The Direct View finder mask is placed over the front gap. A dedicated Direct View finder mask for the Tele-Rolleiflex was separately available.

Rolleikin 2 for 24×36 mm exposures

A number of Rolleiflex TLR camera were prepared to take 35 mm cartridges to make exposures of 24×36 mm. Next to masks additional hardware had to be added. The TLR film counter is unable to cope with 35 mm film and contrary to roll film 35 mm film has to be rewound into its cartridge. The factory developed the Rolleikin counter/rewind knob for this purpose. The film mask is equipped with a cogwheel for reading the film perforations and a transport lock. Most 2.8 camera models left the factory with the counter knob already mounted. There is not much point in mentioning the models that had the knob from factory. It could be added or removed by the user. Quite a few users not interested in making exposures on 35 mm film removed the knob at some point. The Rolleikins were sold as sets with or without the knobs. The sets I am discussing are called Rolleikin 2. The ‘2’ is not printed on the cover of the case. An earlier Rolleikin (1) set exists. The knob is the first thing to watch when buying. Over the years several runs of the Rolleikin were marketed usually fit for contemporary camera models. The camera also need a Dual-format or Triple-format back that can be set to 24×36 exposures. Nearly all post-war cameras have it but there were a few exceptions in the early years. The user had to buy a new back when using a Rolleikin. Most Rolleikin sets that are offered today have no Rolleikin knob. I have seen hardy any single knobs on offer. When you do find a knob or a set with knob make sure the longer dedicated screws for the Rolleikin knob are included. The standard screws of the spool holder that is replaced for the knob are too short.

Three runs of Rolleikins 2 were made. From 1958 camera models were built with new second generation folding finder hoods with moving frames for parallax compensation under the focusing screen. It made new finder masks necessary. That makes buying a Rolleikin 2 set on line tricky. Even after finding the proper set for your camera model you may end up with the wrong finder mask. Unfortunately I have no pictures (yet) to show the differences. I do not own a Rolleikin.

A Rolleikin 2 set consists of:

Rolleikin 2 First Run

Frame Size Produced Camera Models Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm 01/1951‑09/1955 Rolleiflex 3.5
from 1,100,0001
Rolleicord 3.5
from 1.137,000
Rolleikin 2
with counter knob.
Black metal case labeled
“Rolleikin” not Rolleikin 2.
Exposure Counter Knob with 3 screws, disk.
Take-up spool
Extension Spindle(s) for rewind knob
Inner Spool knob
35 mm film frame
Screen mask for Sinking Finder Hood
Direct view finder mask
Lens hood mask, Bay I

Camera needs dual-format back. First run. Rolleiflex 3.5 C(E) only with finder hoods that sink into the camera body when being closed (not E2, E3!).

Rolleikin 2 First Run

Frame Size Produced Camera Models Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm 12/1952‑09/1955 Rolleiflex 2.8 C
Rolleiflex 2.8 D
Rolleiflex 2.8 E
Rolleikin 2 C
without counter knob.
Black metal case labeled
“Rolleikin” not Rolleikin 2.
Take-up spool
Extension Spindle(s) for rewind knob
Inner Spool knob
35 mm film frame
Screen mask for Sinking Finder Hood
Direct view finder mask

First run. Cameras were sold with knob. Rolleiflex 2.8 C, D and E only with non-detachable finder hoods, (not E2, E3!). Cameras have Dual-format back.

Rolleikin 2 Second Run

Frame Size Produced Camera Models Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm 10/1955‑11/1955 Rolleiflex 3.5 and 2.8
as First Run.
Rolleicord 3.5
as First Run.
Rolleikin 2
with and without counter knob.
Flimsy plastic case.
Other parts as First Run.

Only a few hundred sets were made.

Rolleikin 2 Third Run

Frame Size Produced Camera Models Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm 11/1955‑1976 Rolleiflex 3.5
Rolleicord 3.52
Rolleikin 3.5
with counter knob.
From 1959 labeled just
Rolleikin
Brown Leather case with zipper
Exposure Counter Knob with 3 screws, disk.
Take-up spool
Extension Spindle(s) for rewind knob
Inner Spool knob
35 mm film frame
Screen mask for Sinking Finder Hood
Direct view finder mask
Lens hood mask, Bay I

Rolleiflex 3.5 C(E) only with non-detacgable finder hood, (not E2, E3!). Cameras have Dual-format back.

Rolleikin 2 Third Run

Frame Size Produced Camera Models Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm 11/1955‑1960 Rolleiflex 2.8 C
Rolleiflex 2.8 D
Rolleiflex 2.8 E
Tele-Rolleiflex
Wide-Angle Rolleiflex
Rolleikin 2.8
without counter knob4.
From 1959 labeled just
Rolleikin
Brown Leather case with zipper
Take-up spool
Extension Spindle(s) for rewind knob
Inner Spool knob
35 mm film frame
Screen mask for Sinking Finder Hood
Direct view finder mask

Rolleiflex 2.8 E only with non-detachable finder hood, (not E2, E3!). Cameras have Dual-format back.

Rolleikin 2 Post 1958 Version

Frame Size Produced Camera Models Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm From 12/1958 As before, also
Rolleiflex 3.5 F
Rolleiflex 3.5 E2
Rolleiflex 3.5 E3
Rolleiflex 2.8 F
Rolleiflex 2.8 E2
Rolleiflex 2.8 E3
Rolleiflex T5
Wide-Angle Rolleiflex
Tele-Rolleiflex6
Rolleikin
Also for post 1958 cameras with detachable
Second Generation Folding Finder Hoods with
moving frames for parallax compensation
under the focusing screen.
As before.
New mask with notch and small hole added.
Mask to be installed underneath the screen.
Lens hood mask Bay I discontinued.

Cameras have Dual-format back or three-way back for Flat Glass.

Rolleikin 2 Direct View Finder mask for the Tele-Rolleiflex

Frame Size Produced Camera Model Particulars Content of Set
24×36 mm Tele-Rolleiflex Direct View Finder mask with cut-out of 16×22 mm. Special Mask

Notes

[1]
Rolleiflex 3.5 from № 1,100,000 adaptable for Rolleikin 2. The original camera back has to be replaced. From № 1,117,000 fit for Rolleikin 2 without alterations. From № 1,160,000 Dual-format camera back with black movable pressure plate. Back
[2]
The Rolleicord Vb has a detachable finder hood of the first generation. Parallax compensation with all finder masks. Only second generation finder hoods need a different mask. In camera № 2,600,00 - 2,603,000 the film mask fits only after a holder rebuilt. Back
[4]
When new Rolleiflex 3.5 cameras were sold without the Rolleikin 2 knob. Cameras in the 2.8 line were basically sold with that knob. When new the Tele-Rolleiflex was sold with Rolleikin 2 knob up to № 2,305,000. Later Tele’s were sold without knob. Wide-Angle Rolleiflexes were sold without the Rolleikin 2 knob. Back
[5]
Rolleiflex T from № 2,151,000. Sold with dual-format back and counter knob for Rolleikin 2. Back
[6]
Tele-Rolleiflex from № 2,305,001. Finder with Parallax compensation by mask under focusing screen that moves when focusing. New Rolleikin finder mask needed. Back

References