Equipment & Techniques > Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs – and Large Sensor Photography

Franke & Heidecke closes

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The legendary company was formed in 1920 by Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke when they launched the Werkstatt fur Feinmechanik und Optik, Franke & Heidecke workshop. The company developed and successfully marketed the Rolleiflex brand and became a major player in the medium format camera market.

When digital took over, Franke & Heidecke developed the 6x6 body it marketed under the Rolleiflex Hy6 name, and licensed to Leaf and Sinar, which respectively sold it under the AFi and Hy6 brands.

On 01 July, the company told its employees it would close down its operations. According to the German newspaper Spiegel, only 15 employees out of the 121 working for Franke & Heidecke were kept in their positions to work on last orders and customer service.

However, the lights will be turned off one last time on 30 September, according to the German newspaper, bringing to an end almost 90 years of photographic history.

Meanwhile, Leaf has withdrawn its Leaf AFi camera system, which used to be manufactured by Franke & Heidecke, from its product offering on its website, confirming BJP’s reports that the system would be shelved, especially after Phase One’s acquisition of Leaf’s assets.

Ernst Dinkla:
More domino stones topple:

F&H belly up.
Phase One buying Leaf parts but no intention to continue the Hy6 business.
Jenoptik loosening ties with Sinar and no further development of the Hy6.
Sinar in a management buy-out phase and very unlikely to continue its Hy6 business.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Dinkla Gallery Canvas Wrap Actions for Photoshop


--- Quote from: Brent Daniels ---There is some good news for the owners of Rollei products. F&H has set-up a service centre that will not be affected by the financial situation and will offer service into the future.

The quoted items below are direct from inquiries made of F&H as of 2 days ago:

we, F&H, are still doing the service on all shutters, lenses and cameras. Of course you can send the
shutters to us for repairing, even in the future.

Best regards, Rolf Daus

No, service is not effected by the financial situation, also a small production-team is here.


Brent Daniels
--- End quote ---

Hope that the service centre is as good as it used to be when it was ROLLEI, I had a terrible experience with F&H about 2 years ago.


Something new ? (In German)

not new, but interesting to know:

"Inzwischen gingen die Rechte von Jenoptik an den amerikanischen Konzern Eastman Kodak über. Jeder Investor, der die Hy6 gerne weiterbauen möchte, muss erst einmal an diese Rechte rankommen."


"In the meantime, the rights of the Hy6 camera went from Jenoptik to Kodak. Any (potential) investor willing to continue manufacturing the Hy6 has first to get the rights".

Best regards,

--- Quote from: PdF ---Something new ? (In German)
--- End quote ---


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