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All ‘Made in Germany’ Rollei 35 camera’s have sequential serial numbers of 7 digits from the start of production in 1966. Most ‘Made by Rollei Singapore’ Rollei 35 camera’s also have sequential serial numbers of 7 digits. In the late 1970s a small number of Rollei 35 camera’s were produced without serial numbers. From 1979 beginning with the Rollei 35 TE and SE coded serial numbers of 9 digits were used.

Rollei 35 TE and Rollei 35 SE

Coded serial numbers of 9 digits are used on the Rollei 35, Rolleiflex SL 66 and Rolleiflex 6000 System. Take ‍004 230 028 for instance. The first digit plus 5 (the key) represents the year the camera was made, in this example 0 + 5 = 5. One has to guess the decade and the century! Knowing that this number belongs to an SL 66 E manufactured between 1982 and 1986, the year of production is 1985.

The second and third digits, (in our example 04) are for factory internal use and represent the engineering level of the camera. They are called the Index. It is possible that a camera was upgraded by the factory at a later date. In that case the serial number remained unchanged. This happened with some Rolleiflex 6000 cameras in order to make them fit for the 4560 magazine.

The 4th and 5th digits minus 20 represent the calendar week in the year of production. In our example the digits 4 and 5 are 23. 23 minus 20 is 3, so the camera was manufactured in the third week of 1985.

The digits 6 to 9 stand for the sequential number of a camera built in that week. In our example 0028 means the camera was number 28 manufactured in the third week of 1985 with an engineering level of 04.