Film News: The new MINT Rollei 35 AF is coming!
Good news everyone! Whilst the focus on a new film camera project has been mainly on Pentax/Ricoh, with their announcements, MINT have been busy as bees and keeping a low profile with their film camera project. That is until now. Because the new MINT Rollei 35 AF is coming!
I can truly say I have been waiting for this moment for years. I knew that there was enough passion, desire and determination in the community that someone would step up and make a new camera. And before you mention it, yes, I failed. I had no idea of the undertaking it would be. The financial and mental toll was immense and I was in over my head.
But thankfully there are brighter minds than mine out there, who also have the experience and resources to pull something like this off. Gary Ho and the lovely people over at Mint, in Hong Kong have finally released the details of their ambitious and brilliant film camera.
MINT has been working on this project for a couple of years now, which they have been documenting on their site. They have been quietly getting on with it and overcoming the many issues with making a film camera, the lens block, making a new AF system and making a camera that is reliable and easy to use. This is no small feat.
It is interesting that they chose the Rollei 35 body for the base, perhaps not the first choice for many. But it actually makes sense, the original Rollei 35 is a brilliant camera, but not the easiest to use. With a modern opeating system this camera can be great.
New Rollei 35 AF
Gary Ho said on the Mint website;
“The original Rollei 35 is renowned for its compactness and unique design, earning it a special place in the camera hall of fame. However… Not everyone can master the manual zone focus system as the focus can only be guessed.”
*JCH* For this reason I was never a huge fan of the Rollei 35. Whilst the lens is great it was just too inaccurate and I am rubbish at zone focus.
“I know many analog friends had high hopes when purchasing the original Rollei 35, attracted by its appearance, only to discover that the developed pictures weren’t exactly what they expected.”
“We are about to change that.”
And Change that they certainly have, this camera looks to be very promising.
Mint have teamed up with Rollei as well for the branding. Not Rolleiflex, but Rollei, trust me it is complicated.
But this is sure to bring a lot attention to this camera. For sure it is going to be a lot better than what Yashica did, smh.
In Ho’s words;
“Yes, you read that right. We are thrilled to announce that Rollei has graciously granted us permission to use their logo. This collaboration marks an exciting step forward for all parties involved. The Rollei brand will undoubtedly increase awareness for this camera. After pouring our hearts and souls into this project, I really hope the Rollei 35AF becomes accessible to a broader audience.”
You can see that the team at MINT have put a lot of work into this camera. It uses a Lidar AF system, which is very clever and has an integrated flash. Which is a big improvement upon the original Rollei 35. It also looks like there is a manual advance lever, which is a really nice touch. Exactly what I was hoping for.
The camera is not yet available, but you can register on the waitlist over on their new site rollei35af.com
There is no official word on pricing, but previously Ho has mentioned it would be around $650 to $800 USD. The camera is slated for a 2024 release. Which means that hopefully this year you can get your hands on one of these beauties.
Don’t forget, MINT make a whole load of other great stuff and are famous for their Polaroid camera rebuilds. You should check their site out. mint-camera.com
I know for sure I shall be getting one. How about you?
Comment and thoughts are welcome as always, just be cool to one another.