15 comments on “Workshop: Rollei 35 Film Ripping on Rewind

  1. What sort of oil did you use, and how did you get it into the necessary spots? I’m looking at my Rollei, which just ripped a roll of film tonight, and I can’t imagine getting any screwdriver I own into those spaces.

    • I used CLP, which is a stable light oil primarily used to lubricate firearms. To apply it, I put a drop on a small probe (anything similar will probably work here – an eyeglass screwdriver, the tip of a pin, or something along those lines) and let it flow into the indicated points. There was a small amount of excess, which was cleaned off immediately, but otherwise it was a fairly neat operation.

      It’s a procedure that requires some degree of precision, and perhaps a few things you might need to acquire if you don’t have a well-stocked workbench, but it’s not terribly difficult otherwise. Some gun oils come in bottles with integral needle dispensers, which should be precise enough for this job.

  2. Pingback: Rollei 35

  3. Interesting reading, although it gives me slight shivers reminding me of my own Rollei 35 repair adventures. The two advance gears under the top plate somehow became disengaged, and it was very little fun getting the piece behind the rewind lever out and back in (because of the wire around it.) Amazingly it happened once again after coming back from a later repair, but I had the shop immediately redo it. Other than that, the camera is quite excellent.

    • They are not the easiest cameras to work on, that’s for sure; at least they don’t fail too often. And when they do work properly, I agree with you – they are excellent cameras.

  4. Hi Filmosaur!

    First, sorry for my bad english, i guess sometimes i get too “creative” using this language…

    I have a very similar problem with my Rollei 35, maybe i can have some advise from you.

    When unloaded, everything looks is working fine, so i don´t think the take-up spool might need lubricant, it spins softly, neither do the notched gears where the film holes fit in, when released it goes back and forward without problem.

    But the camera is ripping the film, not when rewinding but on advancing, with the holes broken, it doesn´t move. If i open it and trigger the advance lever the film then flows freely, but when i place the back it got broke and stuck again, so i supposed it was the pressure plate. I opened it again and pushed down the plate with my fingers, not too strong but not too softly, in that case the film ripped again,

    so it is maybe that the pressure plate is too tight?, maybe that flexible metal piece between the plate and the back got lose?

    and here comes the tricky thing, i´ve realised that this depends to some extent to the type of film you are using, i´ve tried with two fujifilm pro400, one fuji c200, a fuji velvia and and two kodak ektar 100, with the fuji ones, -all of them- i had this issue but not with those of kodak, it is maybe that kodak uses stronger plastics? Or could it because of the kind to canister? with the kodak ones there is a black seal around the mouth where the film comes out that places some separation (milimeters) between the canister and the edge of adyacent cavity where the film surface is exposed, maybe this separation relieve some of this pressure, this seal cannot be found on those of fuji, well i´m just lucubrating what the problem could be.

    • My first question is how the problem appeared: suddenly or gradually? If it started all of a sudden, it’s possible something broke or came loose. If it was a more gradual development, I’d suspect a lubrication problem somewhere. The pressure plate makes sense, but I’m not sure how it could start exerting too much pressure on the film gate. The fact that it happens with some films and not others makes me wonder about the canister side. Have you checked that the battery compartment cap is screwed in all the way? If it isn’t, it might be exerting downward pressure on the canister and impeding the rotation of the spindle.

      • Thank you very much filmosaur! (and sorry for the late response, it seems the email ended up at the spam box)

        After playing with the toy this summer, most of the rolls have gone well, though last week it teared one when rewinding (i could save it by using a black bag).I don´t know it the problem appeared suddently or not, i bought it on ebay and already came with this problem.

        The trick i´ve used is to spend three more shots at the beginning, even before i close the back, by this way it seems the film is more trapped on the shaft, it seems that so, the pressure on the film is lower, and by advancing and rewinding very very gently and slowly, with this last roll i lost, i learnt neither should i get to the last shot, too much pressure then also. I guess i should fix it entirely, it´s not a good thing to waste that amount of film

        When i finish this roll i will try to lubricate it as you suggest and check the battery compartment.

        (Thank you again)

  5. Hi there. I was wondering if you could describe the right way to replace the shaft for the rewind lock. I know I put it in wrong initially because the function is not reversed. I know I could just try again, but knowing what I’m doing would be so much better than going blind. Thanks!

    • I never dealt with that part of the mechanism, so I can’t offer any real guidance except to suggest that you trace the mechanism and observe its function before proceeding. It’s essentially a binary switch – just look at how it works once you’re inside and hopefully it will become apparent.

      • You spoke about cleaning the viewfinder, though. Don’t you need to take the lock out to remove the top case?

        • Not saying I didn’t have the top off, just that I reassembled the rewind lever without paying much attention to it.

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