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Hanimex RF35d Reflex Flash favori envoyer Print
Photos by RP text by RP. From the collection of RP
France Version française

Chronology of the Hanimex brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from Circa 1978 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 9658

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Hanimex RF35d Reflex Flash

The Hanimex RF35d Reflex Flash is one of the last fixed lens, single focal length SLRs, with the Hanimex 35 Reflex Flash and the Fujica ST-F. Some sources say it was released in 1978 which would make it the first plastic SLR, and the first with an integral flash.

It has not been seen under any other names, so it was probably designed and made exclusively for Hanimex. Hanimex acted as distributors for several Japanese firms including Cosina, Fuji, Mamiya, Minolta, Nikon, Ricoh and Sedic, most of whom made cameras under other brands. It also sold lenses made by Tokina and Makina and by 1978 it had its own lens factory in Hong Kong. It is not clear whether it was making camera lenses or projection lenses or both. 

(The production of the 35 Reflex Flash was shared with Naigai of Japan as the SRF and the SRF Panorama. There were several 'copies' of the Fujica ST-F in the 1980's including another Naigai SRF. These were made in Hong Kong and mainland China.) 

The lens on the RF35d Reflex Flash is a 2.8/45 mm 'Hanimar', and it is "automatic" in the sense that setting the exposure is done at full aperture. Correct exposure is obtained by means of three diodes, two red and one green, in the viewfinder. The iris is an irregular shape which closes to the centre of the lens, and the shutter appears to be a simple mirror type.

In the late 1970s Hanimex had its own design department and commissioned its own designs, including the Electronic 35If and VIF110 made by Sedic in 1979, and the DR-1 SLR made by Cosina circa 1982. The RF35d Reflex Flash appears to be an older, more conventional design (than the 35 Reflex Flash) with a large lens barrel taking 49 mm filters. The prominent flash head with a wrap around diffuser is an obvious design fault, and it is also a little under powered with only two AAA's. The flash is raised manually with no buttons or springs. The 45 mm lens is marginally 'shorter' than most standard SLR lenses of the day.

It was designed as part of a simple 'system' with two optional conversion lenses, like the Mamiya 528TL / AL. The magnification of these lenses is not known, but the wide angle would give about 35-36 mm equivalent and the telephoto about 65-70 mm.

The lenses were custom made because it was necessary for the wide angle lens to have a 'window' in the mount so that the CdS meter could 'see' through the front elements of the lens. This lens was aligned and fixed to the camera with a floating 'sleeve' and a threaded adapter ring. It was in two parts; the rear element could be used as a close up ("macro") lens providing focus from 10-15 cm. (Similar lenses were made for the Naigai SRF (Panorama) and the Hanimex 35 Reflex Flash.)

Today the RF35d Reflex Flash is occasionally found in Britain, Japan, the western USA and South America, but it is most frequently found in Hungary. This one was bought in Budapest as a graduation present in 1980, but it had been on the market for some time before that.

My thanks to Gabor Oszlanczi for this example.