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Minolta, Repo, 35mm half frame camera, c1962

The Minolta Repo is an innocuous looking half frame camera dating from c1962. Solidly made, with all controls precise and nicely damped, the pressings are crisp and the chrome well applied. Half frame cameras enjoyed some popularity as they would take around 65 images on one roll of 35mm frame. The term 'half frame' is really only applicable to still cameras, as movie cameras (for which the film was originally developed) use the film exactly the same way - it is 'normal' 35mm cameras that use the film contrary to that originally intended. Construction is sturdy, built around a cast metal alloy body with pressed metal top housing and base. The top housing has a meter read out from the selenium cell mounted in the front, the aperture being set by moving the aperture control until the match meter aligns with the meter reading. You could decide to under or over expose by under or over matching, with a bit of practice. Winding on the next frame requires pushing a serrated thumb wheel around, it's perfectly good for the task as the half frame format only requires about 18mm of film to be advanced for each frame, so the thumb wheel is quick and efficient. The shutter and aperture are locked to each other. The rear hatch is stamped from steel sheet and the covering a faux skin. Like the vast majority of 35mm film cameras, the exposed film is wound backwards into the supply cannister after the last exposure on the roll. Available as black or chrome from 1962, the top housing design changed to this version, likely around 1963. The Minolta Repo-S followed in 1964. This example was donated along with a Canon Demi in January 2008 but this Minolta was much more resilient and survived neglect somewhat better, merely requiring a good clean.

Minolta, Repo, 35mm half frame camera, c1962

Body No.102737
Shutter, step less between 30 and 200th sec. and B setting.
Lens, Rokkor 30mm f/2.8
Condition, 5F

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