Rolleiflex is back, or is it?

On March 20th an account suddenly appeared on Twitter, you know that place that is a total nightmare now. But this one piqued the interest of photographers everywhere as it was Rolleiflex. You know, THE Rolleiflex. The storied brand is back and with a big announcement. So, Rolleiflex is back, or is it?


Now obviously I am not going to run through the entire history of Rolleiflex, but safe to say it is long and fascinating and you should totally read about it. They made some truly iconic and quirky cameras. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to and end. And it did, back in the heady days of 2014, the company that now owned the Rolleiflex brandname,  DWH Fototechnik released its final cameras and then went into insolvency and auctioned off all remaining parts. (Note, this should not be confused with the Rollei brand name, which is owned by Maco in Germany as a film brand).

So it came as quite a surprise that out of nowhere Rolleiflex was reborn. Were we seeing a Yashica all over again? Was this true or just another cash in a-la-Polaroid and their rebranding of literally anything. Speaking of which, have you seen these from Kodak? Surely they have more pressing matters to attend to?

Anyway, Twitter went absolutely mental. Everyone was retweeting and commenting. People were seriously excited. Loads of “shut up and take my money” memes were flying around. Even if it was supposedly going to be a digital camera, who cares? It is a new Rolleiflex and that is all that matters.

Something smells funny

But my JCH senses were tingling. I have seen a few of these announcements in my day, and I felt like this was not entirely what is seemed. So,l I sat back and let it play out to see what would happen. The account was following me, and I contemplated sending them a DM, but I decided to wait. The big news sites got a hold of the story and ran with it.  Everyone got a tidy amount of impressions based entirely on a single tweet from a new account for minimal effort. Good work if you can get it I suppose.

And then ‘Rolleiflex’ tweeted some more. Some tech specs. Which looked, somewhat vague and ambitious.

Hahaha gottem

Something still felt off, people were all over the tweets, the photo news media had run with it, and speculation was wild. But there I sat just looking at the announcement date. Call me a cynic but that was just too obvious for me. It is like troll meme 101, so much so that even space Karen has been using it. I am surprised they didn’t say it had 69 megapixels or something.

And then, just like that, the account was gone.

Wait, what? What happened? Did everyone…just…get…trolled? It certainly looks that way. Some wee scamp managed to trick everyone, including some big websites into running pieces without doing a shred of fact checking. Did someone say fake news?

So there we go, unless I am wrong and there was some kind of mistake on the burning ashes of what used to be Twitter, it looks like this was all a bit of a giggle for someone out there. It wasn’t a scam, just a bit of trolling. Bravo, you got us.