[Rollei] Rolleiflex SL2000F Hands on manual and instruction


Disassembled SL2000F

Rolleiflex SL2000F is unique stuff in Camera world

You will notice how much it is different from other 35mm camera at a single glance.

There are some camera in medium format which are capable exchanging film back in the middle of photo session, but only 2 exist in 35mm camera,

Zeiss Ikon’s Contarex and Rolleiflex 2000 / 3003 series.

I am thinking re-visit film work in this year. I stop film processing since 2006 to move digital world, therefore it’s coming back after 10 years.

At now I want to invest time and effort to 120 type which is medium format film photo (+ affordable digital backs continueing from the project last year)

but I also remember a bunch of 135 film is in my sealed-and-forgotten box in refrigerator. Unless throw away, need to install into something to take exposure, then SL2000F is excellent candidate for the ‘something’ I believe.



SL 2000F, right side


Handling film back



4 different switch mode

1: SE (single exposure), this is what we (photographers) normally expect to camera. It transport film to next after a picture taken.

2: ME (multiple exposure), in this mode, film stays even though shutter continuous activated. Pictures will be overlapped as much as taken

3: (Film catridge shape), this is position to rewind film, also film insert can be drop out to install new emulsion.

4: (Rectangular shape), this is position to detach film back itself

Sequence of film back detachment

1) Set film back switch to #3 (You can not install dark slide to the slot at #1, #2 position)

2) Insert dark slide into slot

3) Set film back switch to #4

4) Push sliding lever nearby #4 (locate white triangle) to detach film back. Be aware the hinge is located at the left side.

(not top or bottom like medium format)

Sequence of film back attachment

1) Put film back to the hinge (left side of camera) and swing to the body (right side) to connect firmly

2) Remove dark slide (you can not move switch to #1, #2 if not removed)

3) Set film back switch to #1 position. Now ready to shot


36 / 72 Setting

You will notice 36 or 72 shot setting on Rollei film back. You may mis-understand it would be ‘half frame’ which doubles 36 film to 72 shot exposing

only half of film area than full frame 35mm, so called ‘Half Camera’. It is NOT in short. Typical 135 catrige fully loaded when 36 shot length of film

installed. But there were special films which has thinner gelatin base than normal film (when the peak of film era, of course).

They are not available any longer. Even you are so lucky to find them you still need to swap film pressure plate which is not readily available too.

It is the next to impossible to find….

Film loading

Film rewinding

Battery installation (AA or NiCd)

ㅇ At previous picture, locate arrow mark down. To remove battery pack, push down while pull out to backside.

You can use either regular AA side dry cell (1.5V) or rechargerable Ni-Cad (1.2V), 5 cells.

According to my experience, battery hold the life pretty long. There is no sign of leakage while storing.



SL 2000F left side

There are 2 dials located at the left side of film back, Upper one is film counter which starts from 0, counting how many you shot instead of how many

left. Lower one is film sensitivity dial described in ASA / DIN (old standard before ISO). Film back has 4 contact point at upper side of housing to

communciate with camera’s exposure system. Thus camera knows automatically film sensitivity to calculate correct exposure value even multiple

backs used with different film sensitivity. Electronics like this function looks too simple nowadays but was top notch then, saying 1980s….



2 finder system

2000F has 2 finders in a body. Waist level finder is located at top and eye level finder like other 35mm camera at back side. Some 35mm camera have

capability to swich finder system but not common to find 2 finders installed at one body like 2000F. I remember ex-East German made KW Praktina

has couple of models which has penta prism and plane view finder at one body. Then, no more example…..right?

You can not use 2 finder at the same time though due to its design structure. If waist level finder folded out as above picture, reflex mirror which used for

eye level finder retracted from its position thus blocked the eye level one. Waist level finder is very bright and easy to use but eye level finder is dimmer

even though it is pretty much usable. 2000F / 3003 uses reflex mirror instead of penta prism which has lower efficiency to re-direct light.

There is large diopter dial at eye level finder, making easy and precise focusing.



Extra film back

You can use black and white / color film at the same session or use different type, sensitivity of films

Switch setting B, T, Memo

Depth of field

Lens installation

Shutter speed setting, X=1/100s

2 shutter release






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