Ricoh 35 Flex
Another honourable entrant to the same-name-not-same-camera list is the Ricoh 35 Flex. Born in 1963, the first SLR from Ricoh, it was equipped with an uncoupled selenium meter. A year later it saw a change to a CdS meter, under the same name. Rest features and appearance unchanged. The CdS bulbous meter housing was carried over to the Singlex line. Ricoh stopped making serious cameras in the mid-’90s and withdrew altogether in 2002. Recently someone high up at Ricoh had remorse build-up which ended with Ricoh buying the Pentax camera line. Assume it was easier this way rather than rebuilding back the Ricoh name in photography, a name that was hardly associated with high-end products.
The camera is modest even for 1963 standards. Unassuming body with prism housing almost blending into the body. On top, there are two curved windows, for film speed and a counter. The film speed is controlled via a dial at the back. The lens barrel is equally bland. Easy to handle focusing dial at the end and a square window on top of the barrel displaying the shutter and aperture settings. Both settings are operated by levers mounted at the bottom of the lens barrel, easy to reach and move. An ‘A’ setting on both, combined with positioning the light meter needle in the viewer to the centre represent optimal settings, sort of manual auto. Shutter speed is up to 300.
Fixed lens with a leaf shutter limits the optical options. A non auto-return mirror completes the modest specifications list.
|Model||35 Flex Selenium|
|Mode||Auto / manual|
|Weight||750 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||790 gr, Body with lens|
|Filter size||52 mm|
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|
|Light meter||Selenium, external|