Skip to main content

Franke & Heidecke, makers of Rollei, files for insolvency

Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik & Optik, based in Braunschweig, Germany, has filed for insolvency.

The Hans R. Schmid Beteiligungs GmbH, Offenburg, acquired the majority shareholding in the company in September 2008. For majority shareholder Hans R. Schmid, a devoted supporter of the company’s products, who had described his commitment as a matter of personal importance, there was no alternative to filing for insolvency any more.

Although it had already been obvious at the time of the take-over that a successful restructuring would cost substantial effort, Schmid accepted the responsibility and
acted determinedly. Additional specialists were employed, weak points in the company were examined and millions were invested et al. in production and quality management.

Due to these measures quick progress could be made, however, the massive failures of the past could not be resolved in the required time. When recently financial and other old liabilities turned up, which had not been known to the new shareholder at the time of the take-over, it became evident that a financial reorganization would not be possible even by investing further millions. This all the more, as additionally negotiations with important business partners, banks and the attempt to obtain public funds failed.

In spite of considerable risk of loss the new shareholder invested repeatedly until the very end and has preserved the company and the hope to maintain 131 jobs for a long time. Now the insolvency could not be avoided any longer. In total Schmid invested millions in the two-figure range.

Franke & Heidecke partnered with Jenoptik to develop the medium format Rolleiflex Hy6 and Sinar Hy6-s65r, using a Sinar/Jenoptik digital back. The camera is also sold as the Leaf AFi-II, using a Leaf designed and manufactured back, so this announcement casts a shadow over several highly-respected manufacturers.



Popular posts from this blog

Hasselblad H4D-60 review

UPDATE 18 May, 2012: Hasseblad is set to reduce the price on the H4D cameras by as much as $11,000 / 6,200 Euros on the H4D-60, bringing the price to 23,900 euros ($30,995 / £21,995). Please see here for more details.

The last couple of decades have been turbulent for medium format camera manufacturers, but now after several well-known names have withdrawn, the market looks healthy. Two new unexpected entrants, Leica and Pentax have added to the dynamic at opposing ends of the pricing scale, forcing the two established system players to compete fiercely in their traditional rarefied role as well as the entry-level.

Partnering with both Leaf and Mamiya, Phase One has developed a trio of entry-level Mamiya DM models starting at under $14k/ £9k while continuing to offer a wide range of Phase One and Leaf backs, up to 80-megapixels. Through various offers and incentives these backs, are most likely to be partnered with the 645DF body but they are in fact compatible with a wide range of …

Fujifilm IS Pro UV-IR DSLR review

Fuji’s IS Pro is the up-date to maker’s earlier S3 UV-IR camera, and like that particular camera, the IS Pro adopts a modified image sensor that’s not shielded from UV or IR light. Consequently, with various filtration methods, the IS Pro is designed for Ultraviolet (UVA), visible and near Infrared photography.

Although there is a healthy demand for DSLRs with IR capability especially, and there are number of independent vendors (mainly in the US, but the UK also) that offer IR dedicated and full-spectrum conversion of current Nikon and Canon bodies, it’s anticipated the IS Pro will appeal largely to the scientific and forensic communities. With the departure of the S3 UV-IR, Fuji’s IS Pro continues to be the only dedicated full-spectrum interchangeable lens based DSLR that has professional-level support from a camera maker. As well as official product support and 12-month warranty, for government agencies and the like, the OEM status of the IS Pro will be particularly reassuring an…

Mitsubishi CP-D70DW dye-sublimation printer review

Roll-fed dye-sublimation transfer printers are often used in photo-kiosks but with their fast operation and touch dry photos, they’re also the printer of choice for event photographers.

Mitsubishi Electric CP-D70DW


£1214 (£999 ex VAT) $1,399.95
Mitsubishi Electric;
Mac OS X 10.5 or Windows XP later
Print quality, job times, low media costs, durability, build, noise levels
Noise levels, paper handling niggles, colour profile on request

Buy at Adorama Camera (US) at $1,279.95, plus mail-in rebate available. Buy at Amazon US (sold by Adorama).

Buy the Dual deck CP-D70DW at Adorama now at $1,939.95, plus mail-in rebate (was $2,950).


Unlike the process of dithering liquid ink in an inkjet, dye-sublimation printers produce authentic continuous tone images with an analogous look like that of a conventional lab-produced print. They achieve this using thin c…