rolleiflex6000.org

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© 1998-2021 Ferdi Stutterheim

System 6000 prism finder 1569,
        Photo F.W. Stutterheim
Photograph of Rolleiflex 6008i with prism finder. The finder can be rotated on its base. This is neccessary when opening the film magazine while it is mounted. The magazine can be unmounted without rotating the finder out of the way.
Photo ©2021  F.W. Stutterheim

Page Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Finder Systems
  3. Focusing screens inherited from the SL 66
  4. Focusing screens introduced with the SLX and 6000 System
  5. Suppliers
  6. Notes
  7. References

Introduction

The Rolleiflex SL 66 is a versatile but an expensive, large and heavy camera. Soon after its introduction the factory decided that there would be a market for a similar but smaller, lighter and cheaper camera. It turned out to be a difficult task. Sharing parts would make the camera cheaper but same parts also meant same size. Designing smaller parts meant high costs. A fully mechanical camera meant lots of metal and weight. Eventually it was decided that the time for mechanical cameras was running out and the future was in electronics. All this lead to the development of the Rolleiflex SLX. It has about the same weight as the SL 66 and as far as I can see only the focusing screens are shared by both systems.

The Rolleiflex SLX and the Rolleiflex 6000 System inherited a number of focusing screens from the SL 66. All Rolleiflex SLX and the Rolleiflex System 6000 screens were also shared with modern TLRs like the Rolleiflex 2.8 GX, 2.8 GX, 4.0 FT and 4.0 FW. The screens are of the same size and are interchangeable.

Finder systems

Finder system components

Part Produced Particulars
Standard folding hood 1976 - ? Swing-out interchangeable 3.3× magnifier, exchangeable magnifier lenses.
Rigid magnifying hood 1976 - 1991 Increased viewfinder image brilliance. Adjustable achromatic magnifier enlarges the screen image 2½× times and by rotating it, the magnifier will adapt from +0.6 to -2.1 diopters. Three identically built but differently named versions: #208 9641 (Rolleiflex SLX), #760 087 (Rolleiflex 6006) and #760 097 (Rolleiflex).
6×6 cm Magnifier with base frame 1992 - ? The magnifier hood consists of the Rollei 6×6 cm magnifier and a base frame. The Rollei magnifier may be used to view full-frame 6×6 cm slides, negatives or paper prints. The loupe with 3× linear magnification is highly corrected and excels by outstanding colour fidelity and freedom of colour fringes over the entire field. With the interchangeable base, the pictures can be viewed both in incident and transmitted light. Placed on the base frame the magnifier becomes a rigid magnifier hood. Magnifier and base frame were sold separately and as a set. #59 5512 (magnifier), #63 048 (base frame).
Rotating 45° prism finder 1976 - ? The 45° Prism finder gives an upright and unreversed image. It has four click stops at intervals of 90° and thus ensure convenient viewfinder observation even in the case of difficult shooting angles. As these viewfinders are attached, their displays are automatically modified so that they will appear unreversed With Rolleiflex 6008 and later cameras. Three identically built but differently named versions: #208 962 (Rolleiflex SLX), #760 095 (Rolleiflex 6006) and #97 814 (Rolleiflex).
Rotating 90° prism finder 1980 - 1993 The 90° Prism finder gives an upright and unreversed image. It has four click stops at intervals of 90° and thus ensure convenient viewfinder observation even in the case of difficult shooting angles. With Rolleiflex 6008 and later cameras as these viewfinders are attached, their displays are automatically modified so that they will appear unreversed. Three
identically built but differently named versions: #208 961 (Rolleiflex SLX), #760 096 (Rolleiflex 6006) and #98 181 (Rolleiflex).
90° Telescopic prism finder 1994 - 90° Prism finder gives an upright and unreversed viewfinder image. It has four click stops at intervals of 90° and thus ensures convenient viewfinder observation even in the case of difficult shooting angles. With Rolleiflex 6008 and later cameras as these viewfinders are attached, their displays are automatically modified so that they will appear unreversed. It can be set for various magnifications and has an eyesight correction from +2 to -4 diopters. #62 903.
Rollei V-finder 1993 - 1997 To be used with video cameras. Two versions were offered, #63 984 (Rolleiflex 6000 System) and #65 531 (Hasselblad).

Focusing screens inherited from the SL 66

A number of focusing screens from the SL 66 era was already available for the SLX and 6000 System. They are listed in the following table. I don’t know when production ended. Some screens were replaced for new ones with frame quidelines rather than grids at a later time.

Bright screens

Screen type Produced Particulars Screen Size
Bright matt screen 1966 - 1988 Focusing screen with microfine structure for full-area focusing and unobstructed composition. Also suitable for small-aperture lenses and for depth-of-field monitoring. Grid lines. #560 040, #560 045 56 × 63 mm
Finely ground glass screen 1966 - ? Finely ground glass screen for ultra-precise focusing, especially in macro photography, at all apertures and with more powerful focusing magnifiers. No grid lines. #560 030, #97 054 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
split‑image wedge
1966 - ? Universal screen for the most demanding focusing requirements, with wedge and matt screen. The split-image wedge gives extremely precise focusing on vertical lines, e.g. for architectural photography. Grid lines. #560 050, #94 911 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
micro-prism spot
1966 - ? Universal screen for rapid shooting with micro-prism spot and matt screen. Allows trouble-free focusing even in poor light. Sharpest focus is marked by a ‘shimmer-free’ image. Grid lines. #560 060, #560 065 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
clear-view spot
1969 - 1988 Special focusing screen for macro‑photography and photomicrography with clear-view spot, measuring scale and matt screen. The clear-view spot allows parallax-free aerial image focusing at extremely small apertures. e.g. through a microscope. Reproduction ratio is set on a scale. Grid lines. #560 100 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
central split-image wedge
and micro-prism ring
1976 - ? Universal screen with split-image wedge, micro-prism ring and matt screen. Split-image wedge for precise focusing on vertical lines. Micro-prism ring for focusing to a ‘shimmer-free’ image. Matt screen with microfine structure for full-area focusing. Grid lines. #560 180, #97 069 56 × 63 mm

Super bright screen

Screen type Produced Particulars Screen Size
Super bright matt screen
with split‑image wedge
and micro-prism ring.
1987 - 1995 Special focusing screen for extreme unfavourable light. Grid lines. #560 170, #97 070 56 × 63 mm

Focusing screens introduced with the SLX and 6000 System

Some screens were updated, mainly with respect to grid lines. Often the grid was omitted or replaced for 4.5×6 cm horizontal and vertical guidelines. In the next table only new or updated screens are listed.

Bright screens

Screen type Produced Particulars Screen Size
Bright matt screen with
micro-fine texture
1988 - 1992 Micro-fine structure for focusing anywhere in the frame and easy composition, also suitable for very low-speed lenses and for checking depth of field. No grid. #97 052 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
micro-fine texture
1993 - ? Micro-fine structure for focusing anywhere in the frame and easy composition, also suitable for very low-speed lenses and for checking depth of field. Guidelines for horizontal and vertical-format 4.5×6 cm shots. #64 911 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
split‑image wedge
1993 - 1995 Micro‑fine structure and split‑image wedge for higly precise focusing. Guidelines for horizontal and vertical-format 4.5×6 cm shots. #64 913 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt screen with
micro-prism spot
1988 - ? Universal screen for rapid focusing with micro-prism spot and matt screen. For easy and precise focusing even in poor light. Focusing criterion: no image shimmer. Guidelines for horizontal and vertical-format 4.5×6 cm shots. #97 074 56 × 63 mm
Bright matt LSC screen 1966 - ? Special screen for use with Digital Scan Pack. Guidelines for 41.2 ×35 mm shots. #61 396 56 × 63 mm

The brightest screens are the high definition High D screens. Two generations of High D screens have been available. The most recently produced TLRs and 6000 System cameras had the second generation High D as factory fitted screen. I have a first generation High D screen in my Rolleiflex 2.8 GX (model 1, black series).

High D screens

Screen type Produced Particulars Screen Size
High D‑screen with
split‑image wedge
1996 - ? Super‑bright focusing screen for outstanding brightness of viewfinder image and precise focusing even in critical lighting conditions, such as in twilight or in a portrait studio. A central split-image rangefinder facilitates focusing on vertical lines. Guidelines for horizontal and vertical-format 4.5×6 cm shots serve to align the camera with high precision. #10 772 (1st generation) 56 × 63 mm
AF-High D-screen 2002 - present Ultra-bright focusing screen with marks for auto-focus metering fields. Brilliant image even in low light. No focusing aids. Guidelines for horizontal and vertical-format 4.5×6 cm shots serve to align the camera with high precision. Standard screen of the Rolleiflex 6008 AF, Hy6, Hy6 Model 2. #56 704 (2nd generation) 56 × 63 mm

Suppliers

Original Rollei finders and focusing screens

Rolleiflex System 6000 finders and most original Rollei focusing screens can only be purchased in ‘used’ state. The present Rolleiflex Hy 6 is equipped with screens of the same size. New Hy 6 screens should be available from the factory and from remaining dealers.

Third party focusing screens

The High D screens, especially the second generation, are of extremely high quality and said to be as bright as it gets so there is no point in replacing them. The earlier bright screens are still perfectly useable but some photographers may prefer a brighter screen and delivery of original parts from the factory is uncertain. In this situation a third party screen comes in the picture when a desired used screen is unobtainable.

Quality third party screens in several sizes with or without a choice of focusing aids are made by Maxwell Precision Optics and Rick Oleson BrightScreen. Mr Bill Maxwell has no website but he can be found on Facebook. His screens are of the highest quality and he can advise which screen to use. His prices reflect the quality. Expect to pay a few hundred US$. I do not have any of his screens in my Rolleiflex but I do have one in my Linhof. I am very happy. Mr Rick Oleson does have a website. You can order on line, choosing camera brand, type of screen and size. His screens are said to be of high quality and his prices are under US$ 100. I have not yet been a customer. For a comparison between a Maxwell and an Oleson screen read Mr Edward Goodwin’s blog3. His comparison is not entirely valid because he compared a screen without focusing aid with one having a micro-prism focusing aid. Never the less he gives a fair assessment of both screens and a good view on the differences.

Contact details

Rolleiflex USA
The Rolleiflex dealership in the U.S.A. New and used cameras, lenses, focusing screens, etc.

Maxwell Precision Optics, P.O. Box 33146, Decatur, GA 30033-0146,U.S.A.
Telephone (404) 244-0095,
e-mail: Maxwell Precision Optics
Focusing screens for Rolleiflex and other cameras.

Rick Oleson BrightScreen
Focusing screens made for Rolleiflex and other cameras.

Notes

[1]
The 6 digit number is the order number, now defunct. Back
[2]
The 5 digit number is the (present) identity number, that replaced the order number. Back
[3]
Edward Goodwin Photography: Maxwell and Oleson focusing screens side-by-side. Back

References