Introduced in 1982, the Ricoh 35 FM was the pared-down version of Ricoh's 35 mm rangefinder line. While it shared the look of its other cousins like the Ricoh 500 ME, RF, ST, and ZF, it had far fewer features and components, essentially making it a point-and-shoot rangefinder.
This model has no manual controls that can be adjusted which gives the photographer more time to focus on their composition. However, at its heart is a Rikenon 40 mm f/2.8 lens that can deliver crisp shots in partnership with the CdS-powered auto exposure system. Even without manual controls, the Ricoh 35 FM is more than capable of producing clear shots under the right lighting conditions. The fixed glass lens can capture details quite well. The responsive zone focusing system also contributed to its overall performance.
If you're a stealthy photographer, then you will love the form factor of the 35 FM. It's small, relatively slim, and discreet. You can even take quick street shots with this camera without attracting attention to yourself as you compose your frame. The 35 FM was available in a black and satin silver finish that made it blend into the background—just the thing you'd want in a street photography camera.
Despite being the "economy" version of the compact 35 mm rangefinders, the 35 FM wasn't that popular with consumers. An argument could be made that it was overshadowed by its more popular cousins in the rangefinder line which had more features to offer. Regardless, the Ricoh 35 FM is still a good option for anyone who's looking for a simplistic approach to photography without sacrificing image quality.
Sample Photo Gallery
Film: 35 mm cartridge film
Film Transport: manually advanced with film advance lever, film take-up spool
Lens: 40 mm f/2.8 Rikenon lens
Viewfinder: optical finder
Focusing: zone focusing
Exposure: automatic CdS meter
Shutter: 1/125 sec.
Film Speed Range: ISO 25-400
Dimensions: 111W × 71H × 56D mm
Weight: 420 g (14.8 oz)