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Ricoh Auto Half EF2, 35mm half frame camera, c1979

This Ricoh Auto Half EF2 is a delightful auto-wind all metal gem from the Japanese manufacturer giving 70 exposures 24x16mm from a 35 exposure film. The EF2 was a development of the similarly all black EF. The EF and EF2 have a built in flash unit, but a more compact variant without the flash and battery compartment known as the SE was also available. Silver models predate these all black versions and appear more common. Although it takes standard 135 35mm film cassettes, the picture goes across the film, which is where the "half frame" comes from as 135 film used in still cameras was intended to be used along the film, typically giving a negative of 35x24mm. Fully automatic exposure control varies aperture, the selenium sensor for which surrounds the fixed focus lens. The short focal length ensures a reasonable depth of field. The camera is fitted with a manually deployed internal pop up flash that takes two standard AA sized batteries and a mechanical delayed release. The earlier EF version had the flash mounted contrary to the format, the EF2 stowed it correctly orientated, making the camera better looking, more compact and better illuminating the subject. The nicest feature of all though is the spring powered wind on mechanism. Delightfully simple in operation, a spring is manually wound up and after each exposure a catch is automatically released allowing the spring to advance the film which passes over a sprocket. The sprocket in turn sets the shutter then resets the catch stopping the spring until the shutter release is pressed again. The spring is not intended to allow the entire roll to be shot in one winding, but should allow 15 or so exposures to be made before it needs to be wound up again. Continuous shooting by holding down the shutter button is not catered for, it must be released between each picture. Should the spring run out of tension, the shutter release will be locked. One tripod bushing is fitted to one end, orientated for landscape format. Donated to the collection August 2004 by Mr. E. Phoeby.

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Ricoh Auto Half EF2, 35mm half frame camera, c1979

Body No. 55 131928
Shutter fixed speeds. 1/30th when using flash, and 1/125h in normal operation
Lens Ricoh 25mm f/2.8
Condition, 5F

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