The two variations of the Rollei 16mm quarter frame cameras were made between 1963 and 1972. Rollei film is called Super 16 perhaps to denote that the negatives are 12x17mm compared to the 10x14mm of the Minolta cameras of the time. Single sided perforated 16mm film was used and the perforations are required to advance the film so a simple slitting of 35mm film is not possible as it is in the case of the Minolta 16mm format.

The Rollei 16 cameras are heavy compared to Minolta 16mm cameras but instil confidence in their built and endurance. The accessory range includes tripod attachment, flash bulb units, wide angle and telephoto lens, filters, close up attachments, measuring chain and copy stand.

After 9 years of production why did this format disappear? In the early 1970s Kodak, the supplier of all Minolta film, produced a larger 16mm cartridge with film on a paper backing, the 13x17mm 110 format. The paper backing meant that the film was not held flat in the camera, unlike in the Rollei (the pressure plate on the Rollei 16 is very long, only bettered by the Golddeck 16) and Minolta 16 cameras. The Kodak and most 110 had plastic lens. A few such as the Agfa and the more expensive Rollei A110, Minolta and Minox versions had quality glass lenses. This larger, yet inferior format won out by marketing muscle and support from a large range of camera manufacturers. 

Franke & Heidecke Rollei-16

Franke & Heidecke Rollei-16S

Go to the 16mm Collection index Last Updated on 12th June 2005