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.