Photography: Rollei Rolls Again

The West German city of Braunschweig owes its reputation to a pair of dissimilar products: smoked liverwurst and Rolleiflex cameras. To the dismay of the 48-year-old family firm of Rollei-Werke, Franke & Heidecke, the cameras have proved the more perishable of the two. Although Rollei's famed twin-lens reflex practically revolutionized photography when it was introduced in 1929, business began to go stale in the late '50s when its patents ran out, cheap imitations rolled in, and Rollei was caught without new developments of its own.

Now Rollei is rolling again. The company...

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