MiNT, a Hong Kong-based camera manufacturer known for its boutique instant film cameras, has recently unveiled the Rollei 35AF camera, set to be released later this year. This new camera is a modern take on the original Rollei 35 from 1966, combining analog design elements with lidar-based autofocus technology and automatic exposure options. The compact size and boxy metal body of the original camera have been retained in this new model.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in analog photography, with companies like Leica and now MiNT releasing new film cameras with modern features. The Rollei 35AF is expected to be priced between $650 and $800, catering to a niche market of photographers who appreciate the art of film photography.

A Look Back at the Original Rollei 35

Having used the original Rollei 35 camera in college, I can attest to its unique charm and challenging user experience. The manual focus lens and zone focusing required a level of skill and muscle memory that may be off-putting to some modern photographers. However, the compact size and quality of images produced by the Rollei 35 made it a popular choice for enthusiasts.

With the release of the Rollei 35AF and rumors of other companies following suit with new film camera releases, it’s clear that analog photography is here to stay. While the cost of film and development may be prohibitive for some, the unique aesthetic and tactile experience of shooting with film continue to attract photographers looking for a different artistic outlet.

The launch of MiNT’s Rollei 35AF camera represents a blending of classic design and modern technology in the world of analog photography. As more companies embrace the resurgence of film cameras, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves and whether new innovations will continue to drive interest in this timeless art form.

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