Wednesday, October 23, 2019
The Ricoh FF3-AF Point & Shoot
The Ricoh FF3-AF is an autofocus camera with a 5 element 35mm f/3.2 lens. The lens cover slides back and forth across the front of the camera. Uncovered, the camera is ready to go. You set the ASA (ISO) by rotating a dial to the L of the lens, and film speeds range from 25 to 1000. This was 1983, remember? The film advance and rewind are motorized. The self-timer is 10 seconds, and I think the close-focus distance is about 1 meter, There is a window on the film door, so I don't recommend the camera for IR film. A green light shows up on the L side of the top deck to indicate that the film is winding properly. Just below it, a light indicates the self-timer is operating. You manually select the flash (a good idea) by pushing a tab to the L on the front of the camera. Best of all, the camera needs only 2 AA batteries to operate. There is a tripod socket on the bottom. No fiddly controls, and everything makes this autofocus point and shoot a bargain buy if you find one. I especially like the fixed focal length of 35mm, making it a good candidate as a street camera. As I said, there are no truly outstanding features, but the sum total is a compact, easy to use camera with a very good lens.
I did something I rarely do with a new camera -- I loaded a long-expired roll of b&w film. I used a roll of 1988 dated Agfapan 400. Because of its age, I set the ISO at 100 on the front of the camera. There is no DX sensor inside to set film speed, which I really appreciate.
Loaded up with film, the camera weighs 12.8 ounces. It fits into a pocket on my photo vest (which is a vest from Duluth Trading). I took it around with me on several outings, and shot the roll of old Agfapan 400. While there was some base fog, the scans came out pretty well. In fact, I am quite pleased with the results from this old film!
My conclusion -- it's an underrated point and shoot camera that isn't particularly common. I think if you find one for less than $10, pick it up. It fits into a coat pocket quite easily, and the images from it will be just fine.
Now, some of the images...