Monday, April 1, 2013

Hanimex Compact R

Hanimex was a company started after WWII to import cameras and other photo equipment to Australia. Sometimes Hanimex rebranded or co-branded cameras made by other companies.  Other times they actually did the design work and had the cameras manufactured by another company.  The Hanimex Compact R appears to be a slightly altered version of the Ricoh 500 G.  Introduced in 1972 the Hanimex Compact R is one of the compact fixed lens rangefinders that were popular in the 1970's.  Originally the Compact R used a mercury PX675 battery to power its aperture priority exposure option.  However if you can't find a battery the Compact R will still work in manual mode.  The range of shutter speeds is from 1/8 to 1/500.  The lens stops down to f/2.8.  At least on my version the rangefinder spot is quite good and remains usable even in fairly dim light.  The shutter is quiet and the camera is light and small.  Not quite shirt pocket small, however easy to fit in a decent sized pant or coat pocket.  As far as usability I think the Hanimex Compact R is in a league with the better compact rangefinders of its era.  As far as picture taking results it may be just slightly below what some of its brother compact rangefinders can do.  Although the difference probably isn't all that great.  However if there is a difference  I don't think it is great enough to detract from an otherwise well-made image.

The Hanimex Compact R must not appear often on Ebay.  I couldn't find any recent listings for it. However the Ricoh 500G is common and usually sells for between $10 to $25 dollars on Ebay. There is also a version made for Sears called the Sears 35 RF. 

I made a few images with the Hanimex Compact R that were not made under the best of conditions.  Basically I just popped outside on a cold snowy day to take some pictures to make sure the camera was working.