Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sad News: Franke and Heidecke file for insolvency

According to sources on the internet (though no statement appears on their website yet) Franke and Heidecke GmbH have filed for insolvency.
Founded in 1920 by Paul Francke and Reinhold Heidecke, they are famous for the production of the Rolleiflex camera which was introduced in 1928.
Recently the company has introduced (along with Sinar and Leaf) a digital medium format system called the Rolleiflex Hy6 which used their 6000 series lenses.
I have always enjoyed using Rollei cameras especially the Rolleiflex which is probably my favourite camera, and find it sad news indeed especially as the Rollei TLR has just celebrated its 80th birthday.
I guess film TLRs and a niche MF market along with the current financial crisis means the majority shareholders no longer feel they can pump the millions needed to keep Rollei alive (I think they have already put millions of Euro into the company infrastructure).
I wish the majority shareholder and the Rollei employees well and hope that the situation is resolved soon.


Sander said...

I have been playing around and making some pictures with a borrowed Mamiya C220 today. It's a great camera in its own right, but both the pictures (developed straight away) and the handling make me long after my ugly old 3,5 F.

Tonight I have been googling for nice 3,5 F pictures from others. I just like looking at what that camera is capable of. I also went to your blog to check if you have any Rolleiflex pictures online...

It seemed unavoidable that Rollei would go out of business soon. If today is the day then it's bad one. Great pity.

Photo–Smith said...

Yes it is sad the Rolleiflex is my favourite camera, I love the image it produces. The new ones are expensive and there are loads of S/H ones available.
Their digital products are a niche product and not high volume like DSLRs so it must take quite a while to recoup their investments. Lets hope their partners Sinar and Leaf along with Jenoptic can rescue them in some way as the investment has been spread, either that or Rollei could cause their demise in a domino effect.

cafe selavy said...

My Rollieflex has been in the shop for two months now. Two more days, they say. Can't wait.

Glad I stumbled across your site.

Photo–Smith said...

When you get it back you'll love the way it feels, if done well the camera should last years.
Since I had mine CLA'd it is as smooth as silk.