Rich-Ray 35 Junior

This camera is unlike any other I have tried. It is tiny.


…and my hand is ridiculously small. In fact, it is a sub-miniature…the camera, not my hand. And that sub-miniature can be related to the amount of information I found about this camera on the internet.

Most of the information about it can be garnered from the camera body itself.

On the front of the camera, there is a switch to choose between two aperture f8 / f5.6 and on top a switch to choose I or B shutter speeds. I have no idea of the shutter speed. There is a red door on the back, so whatever film it used had a paper backing or was in a cartridge. The two screws release the top which revealed an empty spool, so backed film then.

On the net I found the camera was produced in the 1950s. It used Bolta Film which was a 35mm film with a paper backing rather than sprockets. The film stopped being produced in 1950s, soon after production began. That must have been annoying.

I did notice the size of the spool was the same size as a 35mm film cassette. So I decided to load some film and see what happened. I taped the end of some random film I had in a reusable cartridge to the spool. I put that and the camera in a light-tight bag. I had covered the red window on the camera with black tape. So in the bag, I pulled out the rest of the film from the cartridge and rolled it up as tight as I could. I then loaded that into the camera. I could already tell the film would be scratched to death as it immediately unspooled and filled the chamber, but I wanted to try it anyway.

I had no idea how much to wind on the film to advance it but decided to do one and a half rotations.

The film was indeed scratched and the red hole still let light through, so if I tried it again I would need two pieces at least. The one and a half rotations seemed to be the right amount. I realized after that I had used really, really old film…like 1985 old. So I am surprised anything came out at all. I had simply forgotten what was inside the cartridge. I think given the aperture choices, 400asa might be a better choice. But I definitely won’t be using it again. I didn’t enjoy it. The camera is small, but not cute to me. There is nothing I really like about it.

In a funny coincidence, while I was out and about using the camera a friend messaged me. She was in a museum halfway around the world looking at cameras. She sent me a photo, they were sub-miniature.

Anyway, I am definitely selling this one. I know there are many collectors of these types of cameras. I will not be one of them.

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