Rolleiflex Twin-Lens Camera

The Rolleiflex or “Rollei” twin lens camera was originally introduced in 1929 by Rollei-Werke, a German company. This 2.8 lens model, was popular in the 1960s. The construction and design of this 6x6cm medium format camera with its superior optics, mechanics, bright viewfinder, and exposure controls allowed for its quick acceptance by prominent professional photographers. Today, the digital versions of this camera are available.
From its invention in 1839, the camera has evolved to fit many needs, from aerial to underwater photography and everything in between. Cameras allow both amateur and professional photographers to capture the world around us. The Smithsonian’s historic camera collection includes rare and unique examples of equipment, and popular models, related to the history of the science, technology, and art of photography.
Currently not on view
Object Name
camera, twin-lens
date made
ca 1960s
Franke & Heidecke
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 20.7 cm x 11.1 cm x 10.8 cm; 8 1/8 in x 4 3/8 in x 4 1/4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Franke & Heidecke

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