Japan 1956 – Reflex TLR – 127 film – Infrequent.
While not incredibly rare, the Ricohmatic 44 serves as a captivating example of an ambitious yet largely unsuccessful attempt to enhance the user’s photographic experience.
Ricoh’s engineers dedicated their efforts to crafting an appealing design, highlighted by a stylish semi-transparent flip cover (though it unfortunately hinders camera usage). They introduced what they believed were user-friendly simplifications, such as replacing speed settings with abstract numbers 1 to 3 that required matching through a cryptic table on the back panel. Similarly, the centrally and awkwardly positioned shutter button under the taking lens created operational difficulties.
Though the Ricohmatic 44 boasts a beautiful and seamless build, its reputation is rooted in its comically non-intuitive and cryptic nature, which engenders fascination among enthusiasts.