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Nick's Classic Corner - No. 7 - Hanimex Flash Reflex 35

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by Benchista, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's rather stretching a point to call this a classic - it is, however, a very bizarre camera and actually was a world first - the first 35mm SLR with a built-in flash.

    I first became aware of this camera when I was starting out in photography - back then, Boots, of all people, had a fairly decent photographic section selling a cross-section of reasonable cameras and published their own brochure - and this was in it. My scorn knew no limits at the thought of a camera that was really a cheap point and shoot masquerading as an SLR.

    I struggle to think of any SLR with a more basic specification, though; this plastic not-so-fantastic camera has a fixed lens, a surprisingly respectable 41mm f2.8 Hanimar, has a single (unsecified) "shutter" speed - the shutter is actually the reflex mirror itself. It has an external round-the-lens CdS meter, and a match-needle meter - you press a little green button on the top plate, and adjust the aperture until a green light shows next to 0. There are also red over and under exposure warning lights. Film transport is by means of a thumbwheel. The viewfinder has a split image/microprism screen, and the lens focuses from 1m to infinity.

    The flash is to the right of the lens (viewed from the front) - it's simply pushed up to activate it, the aperture set to the flash symbol, and when an orange light glows on the back of the camera, it's ready to go. The camera is powered by a couple of AA batteries.

    The whole thing looks like a joke, to be honest - the amazing thing is it's actually surprisingly good, and much nicer to use than expected. And the other amazing thing in this day and age is that it was made in Japan.
  2. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    While I wouldn't disagree that it's stretching the definition of the word "classic", weird and wonderful stuff like this is just what I like. Thanks for sharing it!

    Once I get a few minutes to put something together and pick some images (especially if we can post OK again) I will do a piece on my Purma collection. I think they pretty much define weird and wonderful...


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