The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

A shout-out - 2020 and 'Rolleiflex' still alive.

Just a shout-out for (a now) small camera brand that many photographers assume died back in 2009 when Franke & Heidecke GmbH went bankrupt. (Disclaimer: I have no affiliation, etc., with the company or anyone working for them.)

As some of you will know, the 'Rolleiflex' brand is still alive, morphing into the present day DW Photo. Run by a small number of people from the original Franke & Heidecke set-up, they are still located in Braunschweig, Germany. US photographers will know about them if you've ever dealt with Rolleiflex.us.

DW Photo (previously DHW Fototechnic) concentrate on producing the Hy6 (as the Hy6, no Rollei name attached) along with associated lenses, and they still carry out repairs of the Hy6, 6000-series, SL66, SL35, and all the TLR's. If anyone is interested, the Hy6 takes film backs as well as digital backs made by Leaf (Credo, etc.).

Anyway, this isn't an advert. I'm just glad to see that they're still going, and I hope a few here will give them some love. Got to give them kudos for sticking with it.

Their website is DW Photo if you're curious.

Cheers,
Duff.
 
Last edited:

nameBrandon

Active member
Out of curiosity, what is the draw with the Hy6? Is this just so people with an already substantial investment can continue to get support and equipment? I'm curious if there is a differentiator that sets Rollei and the Hy6 apart from other manufacturers, or is it primarily the draw of the name and the history?
 

anyone

Active member
6x6cm platform with autofocus. I suppose that’s unique. And excellent glass from BOTH German premium manufacturers: Zeiss and Schneider. Some Schneider glass is seriously tempting, such as their 80mm which is reported to be a bit better than the already excellent Zeiss Planar 80.

Backwards compatibility seems to be also very good. That said, I never had the chance to try one, but it would be fun!
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
The Hy6 was often ranked best of its kind, along with the Contax 645(also AF 6x6). I have no idea how they stack up to their modern descendants. I was seriously considering it in my digital back days, but it was already vanishing.
 

anyone

Active member
Mat, you can still buy it new for 5.950 EUR from the link above. Hefty price tag for a film camera:)
 

Paratom

Active member
first there are some really excellent lenses for the Hy6.
second its the (only?) one where you get AF and exposure metering even if you just use the WLF.
it has a great viefinder as well.
the problem (IMO) is the film msgszinr 6x6 is quite expensive.
 

buildbot

Member
I had a leaf AFI (pre firmware 3.1.0 and pre mod2) with an AFI 5 back and then later a Credo 60 back (who's serial was in the tens - I wonder how many were even made?!) With a 120mm PQ and the 80mm PQ lenses, both of which we just superb. I'm sad I sold it, I had a kit with both the WLF and 45 degree prism. However the autofocus couldn't be tuned on my body and was somewhat off, and it was somewhat unreliable and a bit fragile compared to a 645 DF even.

I think someday if I ever see one for sale again I might try to grab it, there's an AFI 5 back on eBay currently...

The 6060 magazines where incredibly pricy - I think at least 2k used?
 

Geoff

Member
Not so easy to explain - compared to the 6008 its a bit more fragile, but oh so much more capable. I've had mine for about 8 years, its been in Amazonian jungles and mountain tops; used mostly with digital back, first Leaf AFI II7 (with rotating sensor!) and now with Credo 60. There are many many features to the camera - think of a Hassy V totally updated to work in the modern age: dampened mirror, motor drive, all sorts of metering settings, adjustable focus settings, AF or manual, compatibility to older manual lens with confirmation that is spot on (still using 1994 Curtagon 60 without problem), film capability (645 or 6x6), macro options, a whole host of different lenses, including the Schneiders, an update on the older Zeiss. Someone once made the argument that Mandelman's ownership of Rollei and Schneider in the mid-1990s led to the most progressive group of medium format lenses ever assembled, and there are lots to choose from. Focus trapping, bracketed exposures, adjustability in every way.... there are lots of things to like. Big viewfinder and glass, and modular. You gain about 1-2 stops of hand-foldability over the 6008, from the better mirror dampening, and it has improved digital back compatibility, although this is now getting a bit long in the tooth.
DW is great on service - I sent mine back in for a new mother board and some other fixes, and had it back in two weeks. Lot of personal communication.
Dislikes? The handle with all the info on it (metering and other info) is adjustable, but just a bit too big and not removable. Not easily packed for travel - the form factor is a bit awkward. And bluntly speaking, its a bit big for walk around, and for studio there are other options. There is a bit of plastic on the side with all the knobs, so it could suffer although mine never has. So its an answer to questions whose time may have passed. But it is superbly capable and a delight to use.
 

drevil

Active member
on the website they state digital backs are available from leaf in 3 different sensor sizes, wonder how up to date that is, considering that leaf isnt really operational, or am i wrong?
 
I've always hankered after a Hy6, I priced one out just before they went under and decided not to go for it, I regret that now. I had a 6008 for a couple of years and the glass was fantastic, I loved the viewfinder too and the whole system, apart from the old batteries was really nice to use. It's a shame we will never see new db's with a Hy6 mount, but as a modern 6x6 film camera, I think it would be great to have the latest Mod2 version.

I may be off to ebay now.

Mat
I loved my 6008i too, with great glass and viewfinder, along with that really functional grip and of course, the darkslide(less) backs. What I didn't like at all, and the reason I got rid of that camera quickly, was those stupid batteries that were always dead at the most un-opportune times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mjr

Geoff

Member
With regard to digital backs, the best are the Credo series, the last backs with the AFI mount - came in 40, 60 and 80mb, with the 60 having the largest sensor. I use that back on other tech'l cameras too, as there are (were?) adapters available, and am still happy with it. Its part of the IQI series, so its a bit dated now - mostly its live view is primitive, but the shots are still lovely.
At one time Phase was offering back mount conversions, don't know if they still do.
Eric H. (Rolleiflex USA) had an AFI 80mb back with one of the zooms (maybe 60-140) and the detail he got out of that was impressive. He deals in these, and is recommended.
At the time, the lenses were really impressive, only surpassed by the best view camera lenses and Leica S. That has changed with many new fine lenses out there which are smaller and lighter. For now, I'd say the platform offers access to top glass (especially manual focus versions) at modest pricing, allowing one to assemble an upper tier medium format system for not mega-dollars.
Best lenses? There are a few - the 60 Curtagon, 90 Macro (super sharp), 300 APO (although I gave that up for a 250 Zeiss which is much smaller and if stopped down, quite sharp), and the 150 4.5 (just an incredible lens). The stock 80 2.8 is very good. And there is the 110 Zeiss, the magic lens known from the Hassy world. The others are all fine - the only weakness is a wee bit of softness on the Schneider 40 at the edges if pixel peeping. The Schneider lenses are all nicely color matched, so the tones are fairly consistent. There can be a bit of CA, removed through software. Any distortion in the Schneiders is of simple barrel shape, much easier to deal with than the Zeiss "moustache".
Some years back, wrote this up:
 
Last edited:
Hmm... Just a thought.

...and I'm going slightly off topic on my own thread.

Imagine if Sinar (okay, they're owned by Leica now) produced a 56x56 digital back. The only self-contained 6x6 SLR camera would be the Hy6. The remaining manufacturers (Phase One, Pentax, and Hasselblad) are firmly in the 645 camp. Any development on their part to go the 6x6 route would involve a new body and new lenses, at a considerable financial layout (okay, Hasselblad could bring back the V series, but the tooling for those has either gone or is limited). The Hy6, on the other hand... 🤔

Anyway, just a thought. 😉


Cheers,
Duff (who, if he had the millions, would invest in the development of such a back for such a camera still in production).
 

anyone

Active member
All of us V system users would love it as well! Really liked my square p20+ but I was always bothered about the crop factor. A full frame 6x6 back would be neat! Preferably as CCD.
 
All of us V system users would love it as well! Really liked my square p20+ but I was always bothered about the crop factor. A full frame 6x6 back would be neat! Preferably as CCD.
True! At least the P20‘s crop factor of 1.5 is pretty much the most simple one to work with in the field.
 

buildbot

Member
If anyone want's to build there own back, there are big enough sensors out there!
https://www.gpixel.com/products/area-scan-en/gsense6060/ only 14bit though apparently. 10um pixels though!
It's used at least one astro camera: https://www.flicamera.com/spec_sheets/KL6060BI.pdf
It's a bit more than most phase backs it seems though :( https://optcorp.com/products/fl-kl6...-illuminated-scmos-camera-with-grade-1-sensor
These look much smaller: https://www.saber1.com/product/ximea-pcie-scientific-gpixel-gsense6060-mx377mr-gp-f/

With the proliferation of good hybrid FPGA+ARM SoCs like the Zynq chips, it wouldn't be impossible to build a small digital back for one of these sensors with a view good EE engineers :)
 

TheDude

Member
Imagine if ... produced a 56x56 digital back. The only self-contained 6x6 SLR camera would be the Hy6. The remaining manufacturers (Phase One, Pentax, and Hasselblad) are firmly in the 645 camp. Any development on their part to go the 6x6 route would involve a new body and new lenses, at a considerable financial layout (okay, Hasselblad could bring back the V series, but the tooling for those has either gone or is limited). ...

You may have very well stated the grounds why we very likely won't see a 56x56 digital back.

The Pentax 645Z uses the IMX 161 Sony sensor which is sized 43.8 x 32.9mm, not as its name suggested the larger Sony sensor 53.7 x 40.4mm, which is close to the 645 format size (56 x 42mm).

There seems to be a general consensus that Hasselblad's H system is going the way of the dodo.

This would leave P1 as the only remaining medium format camera maker.
 

TheDude

Member
If anyone want's to build there own back, there are big enough sensors out there!
https://www.gpixel.com/products/area-scan-en/gsense6060/ only 14bit though apparently. 10um pixels though!
It's used at least one astro camera: https://www.flicamera.com/spec_sheets/KL6060BI.pdf
It's a bit more than most phase backs it seems though :( https://optcorp.com/products/fl-kl6...-illuminated-scmos-camera-with-grade-1-sensor
These look much smaller: https://www.saber1.com/product/ximea-pcie-scientific-gpixel-gsense6060-mx377mr-gp-f/

With the proliferation of good hybrid FPGA+ARM SoCs like the Zynq chips, it wouldn't be impossible to build a small digital back for one of these sensors with a view good EE engineers :)
Software?
 
Top