A handful of workers are clinging on to their jobs at Franke & Heidecke, German maker of the famous Rolleiflex twin lens cameras as closure looms and 119 staff are axed.

A handful of workers are clinging on to their jobs at Franke & Heidecke, German maker of the famous Rolleiflex twin lens cameras as closure looms and 119 staff are axed.

Among 16 staff still employed at the firm, from a full complement of 135, is Katrina Hartje, part of the company’s sales administration team.

Speaking this morning to Amateur Photographer (AP), Katrina expressed shock at news of the demise of the 89-year-old firm, even though it filed for bankruptcy protection some four months ago.

Katrina, who has been in the job for four years, said employees have not yet been told when the firm will close but added: ‘I think we will stop work at the end of this month.’

She said news of the firm’s impending closure was delivered to staff on 30 June.

Franke & Heidecke was set up in 1920 by Reinholf Heidecke and Paul Franke.

The company, based in Braunschweig, also made high-end 6×6 digital cameras for Leaf and Sinar.

Famous photographers favouring the legendary Rolleiflex film camera system included David Bailey and Helmut Newton.

Franke & Heidecke’s closure is set to shake up the professional medium format camera industry.

The firm had yet to issue an official statement on its future when approached by AP earlier this week.