July 24, 2024

Archie Wertheim

Technology Integration and Foundations for Effective Leadership

MiNT’s Rollei 35AF film camera is coming this year, and it looks dope

2 min read
MiNT’s Rollei 35AF film camera is coming this year, and it looks dope

The analog film resurgence continues marching forward, as MiNT’s Rollei 35AF camera seems poised to release this year. The Hong Kong-based camera manufacturer first carved its niche making boutique instant film cameras that remixed classics like the Polaroid SX-70. Now, it’s launched a website with a waitlist for potential customers interested in this diminutive 35mm camera.

The Rollei 35AF is a reincarnation of the original Rollei 35 from 1966, but while one foot remains in the analog past, the new design incorporates lidar-based autofocus for its 35mm f/2.8 lens and options for automatic exposures. It’s still built with a boxy metal body like the original and seems to keep a very compact size. According to MiNT, via PetaPixel and Kosmo Foto, the Rollei 35AF is expected to sell for $650 to $800 when it launches later this year.

With Leica rereleasing its M6 rangefinder in 2022 and rumors that a new Pentax film camera may be imminent, new film cameras that are more than just the equivalent of reusable disposables seem to be on trend. I personally shudder at the current prices of film and lab development costs these days, but I still love that analog photography’s bubble hasn’t yet popped.

I recall using the original Rollei 35 in college a bunch of years ago, and it was a fun little camera — albeit one that asked a lot of its users. The original didn’t just have a manual focus lens (which was 40mm on the original), but it relied on zone focusing by way of the focus scale and some muscle memory. It will be really intriguing to see what an autofocus remix of the little Rollei is like.

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