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According to MiNT, the lovely instant film photography camera people, their new 35mm film camera will be an AF redux of the good old Rollei 35. Yay!


As Gary Ho said on the MiNT blog:


"The original Rollei 35 is renowned for its compactness and unique design, earning it a special place in the camera hall of fame. However…


Not everyone can master the manual zone focus system as the focus can only be guessed.


The flash can only be added as a separate accessory at the bottom of the camera, resulting in an ergonomically strange and aesthetically displeasing setup.


Repairing these cameras is becoming increasingly challenging due to the scarcity of skilled technicians and parts. […]


We are about to change that.”

In an agreement with the current owners of the Rollei brand the camera will be sold as the Rollei 35 AF and will echo the old Rollei 35 series of cameras at least in form factor although it will use a lidar AF system instead of the old "guestimation" zone focussing of the latter, will now have a built in flash and will feature "skeuomorphic controls".

What Gary also does is to manage expectations in that MiNT's aim is for simplicity of function mimicking the original Rollei 35 and not trying to emulate the design sophistication found in much more advanced compact cameras of the 90's and 00's of the likes of the Contax T2/T3, Leica Minilux and Ricoh GR1. 

The projected cost of this new Rollei 35 AF is USD650-800 and it is scheduled for release in Summer this year (2024). Just by comparison a used Contax T3 in decent condition in the used market will cost you around GBP2300 if you can find one, ouch!


So here's to Gary Ho and MiNT's new 35mm compact camera, may it shine out in the doleful digital gloom that has descended on the once bright photographic world.

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.