Styled in a unique and quirky way, the Ricoh Auto Half captured the hearts of eager snappers during its 20 year production. Read on to find out why the Ricoh Auto Half was a popular half-frame shooter in this instalment of Lomopedia.
Even with fixed focusing, two shutter speed settings and a simple design, the Ricoh Auto Half was a popular half-frame camera during the heyday of compact analogue shooters. With an estimated production period from the years 1960 to 1963, this half-frame camera was a crowd favorite due to its easy-to-use features and quirky accessories.
The Ricoh Auto Half has the spring-drive auto crank feature that allows the shooter to shoot 25-30 half-frame shots in one winding; similar winding feature is employed by the Fujica Drive half-frame camera. This made the Auto Half a suitable camera for street photography especially when the need for a quick snapshot arises.
Aside from the spring-drive feature of the Auto Half, it also has an unusual shutter placement – the shutter release is located at the front of the camera, near the lens and selenium cell. Not only that, the Auto Half can also be used with various accessories like a tripod attachment to the side of the camera, specialized filters (made in a rectangular shape to accommodate the selenium cell and lens) and a cold shoe flash.
The Ricoh Auto Half was also sold as the Standard Gatling 72 and the Ansco Memo Automatic cameras. Later models of the Auto Half improved in design and functionality – notable models are the Ricoh Auto Half SL and E2 and EF variants.
Ricoh Auto Half Technical Specifications:
- Lens: 25mm
- Film: 35mm
- Meter: Selenium Cell
- Shutter Speeds: 1/30s with flash and 1/125 for normal shots
- Aperture: f2.8
- Winder: Spring-drive wind
- Flash: Cold Shoe Flash
Check out these photos from the community taken with the Ricoh Auto Half: