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RolleiRollei A110

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1974-1980. 110 cartridge camera.

Rollei: Rollei A110 camera

Camera featured in these collections: mobilene macro-switar padiro mtu71 groznim84 hell_se hjh67 Foto OliMonster bill339 Lorenzini67 Arndt

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by bill339 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:55 am

When the Rollei A110 appeared on the market it was advertised as the world's smallest pocket camera. Utilizing the new pocket film standard of the 1970s, the 110 film cartridge, it was the smallest serious camera yet introduced to the market. Heinz Waaske's camera construction team needed 2 years from construction to mass production. In 1974 the prototype of the A110 was a sensation at the camera fair "Photokina" (in Cologne) since it was smaller than the cardboard boxes in which the single pocket films were sold. But mass production was delayed until late 1975. The efforts needed to make that miniature camera consisting of 260 parts and with consistently high quality, was time-consuming. The camera entered the market high-priced at $300.00. By 1978, before its production was moved from Braunschweig to Singapore, it had already reached a lower price level of about $190.00.
The camera has a typical 110 film camera design and has to be pulled open. When it is closed the viewfinder is covered by the camera body and the lens cover is activated, so this pocket camera can really be carried in the pocket. The difference to the average pocket camera is the use of mainly metal parts for its construction. Most of the few plastic parts are made of the durable Delrin (High-Quality Polyoxymethylene). This choice of quality materials was necessary for reaching a high level of miniaturization and quality.
The A110 worked differently than other cameras as the shutter blades are open and the aperture blades are shut before film exposure. The actual exposure begins with the opening of the aperture blades to the programmed f/stop (f/2.8-f/16) and ends with the closing of the shutter blades. Exposure control is also different because the silicon-photo-diode has its own aperture blades whose opening varies as those in the lens. Both apertures are driven by the same mechanical element. Between the aperture opening and the shutter closing the lens's aperture blades are kept in position by an electromagnet. Advancing the film (i.e. closing and opening the camera) resets the aperture and shutter to their original positions. All the electronic components are powered by one PX27 6V battery kept in a compartment on the left side of the camera. The battery is released by pushing the orange latch release to the left of the eyepiece of the viewfinder. You can check the battery by pressing the green button over the viewfinder and if the light located in the same area flashes green the battery is good. Despite the cameras short focal length, the lens focuses from 1 meter to infinity via the orange focusing slide on the camera's front below the lens. A distance scale with a combination of meters/feet figures and symbols is displayed in the viewfinder. In the right hands, with a suitable film such as Verichrome Pan, and the correct photofinishing, the Rollei A110 was capable of making very good 5x7 prints and even passable 8x10s. The camera was manufactured in Braunschweig, Germany from 1974 to1978 (124,000 units), and in Singapore from 1978-1981 (72,000 units). It has a Rollei Tessar 1:2.8/23mm lens and an electronically controlled Rollei-Prontor leaf shutter with speeds of 4 seconds to 1/400 of a second. The camera came with a flash unit that attached to the left side with a very clever one step proses. You mount it simply by pressing it to the side of the camera using the guide pin on the unit. To release it you press the protruding orange button on the flash unit. Anything colored orange on this camera denotes function and is a testament to its design.

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