135compact.com 35mm half format cameras Ricoh Aauto Half SL
Ricoh Auto Half SL is a 35mm half-frame camera introduced in 1970 by
Ricoh. The camera is based on the Ricoh Auto Half "zone focus", but it
has a much better 1:1.7 lens, it has a Cds meter and a variable
shutter. All Auto Half cameras have automatic exposure and film wind
via a spring motor. This camera is the most interesting of all
Auto Half camera models. The camera's main features are:
35mm film half-frame camera, picture size 24 x 18 mm Rikenon 35mm f/1.7 (4-group 7 element) lens, 3 focus zones, 0.9m-∞, hyperfocal setting Automatic shutter 1/30 - 1/250, 1/30 for flash with manual aperture selection Size 75 x 90 x 54 mm, Weight : 395 g ISO 25-400, no accessory shoe
Front. Self timer, lens and viewer, Cds meter window.
view. Finder, it shows a yellow dot, if exposure is fine.
from above. "Control center", inner disc: ISO setting, dented
ring, selection: off, aperture for flash (1/30), A (automatic
shutter speed and aperture). Shutter button.
from below. Film rewind, exposure counter, spring wind, rewind unlock
(and spring release) in the center of the spring wind.
Right side. Flash socket and tripod screw.
Left side. Camera back opening knob and grip.
Camera back open
The Ricoh Auto Half SL is a well
designed compact camera, its handling is very easy. With variable
shutter speeds it's for outdoor and indoor use, a flash is necessary
for dark interiors. Pictures are sharp and well exposed. It's sturdy
and very heavy. Today's full format cameras are not bigger and they
weigh a third. There is no indication of shutter speed or aperture
selected by the camera. No indication of focus either, you have to
remember to set it properly. So even this is a nice vintage camera of
limited use, but it's fun. In my opinion the focal length of 35mm is a
bit long. It's good for photographing people in the street at daylight.
Set to hyperfocus you are fine for about quick 75 shots on a 36 roll.