It has been almost a year since Ricoh announced that a new Pentax film camera is in the making. Recently, they provided an update on where they stand in the process.
Recently Ricoh executives Makoto Iikawa (manager at Pentax Division) and Takeo Suzuki (Product Planner and Designer) gave an interview at the Japanese Barfout! magazine on the status of this project. Not many features of the new camera are clear from the interview. However, they reveal some characteristics of the camera:
- Manual rewind lever
It has a manual rewind lever that is also present on classics like the Leica M6. Remember that many point and shoot cameras that are popular today have an automatic rewind mechanism. Pentax has chosen for a more tactile approach. This puts the photographer really back in touch with the mechanics of rewinding the film
- Half frame format
The new camera shoots half frame 35mm format, which means you can get 72 exposures from a 36 frame 35mm film. This is an approach that is Kodak has also followed for their Ektar H35 point and shoot camera, released about 2 years ago.
Pentax are currently at the prototype stage, which means the camera is tested by a select number of people. The release date of the camera is still unknown as are many of the other features of this camera. You can read the full interview here. Moreover, the interview also includes an image of the camera prototype in use. However, this only provides some sense of the dimensions of the camera.
Clearly, Pentax will be the second major camera manufacturer that introduces a serious line of film cameras. Leica was the first with their revamped M6, which shows where they stand on tradition. Pentax now is next and given the popularity of film photography I would not be surprised if more manufacturers will follow.
On the Ricoh site you can find some updates on the process as well, including the recently published video you can watch below.
Header image copyright (c) Pentax