The Ricoh YF-28 Super is, as the name suggests, a point and shoot film camera with a 28mm focal length lens. I was interested in this camera because, in my experience, 28mm prime lenses are somewhat unusual on compact film cameras (or even digital ones for that matter).
Even when they do appear, 28mm lenses tend to be seen more often on ‘high-end’ compacts, such as the Ricoh GR series, the Fuji Klasse, Minolta TC-1, the Nikon 28Ti, or the recently reviewed Fujifilm DL Super Mini Cardia Tiara.
The 28mm focal length is an acquired taste, but has become popular amongst some street photographers. I’ve heard it described as the widest focal length that still keeps a sense of proportionality. That is, it doesn’t look too obviously wide angled. At the same time, for many common point and shoot situations, somewhere between 35mm and 50mm length may be more appropriate. And this seems to be the most used focal length range used in point and shoot film cameras, in my experience.
Lens & viewfinder
The Ricoh YF-28 Super is a fixed focus twin of the Ricoh AF-28. As far as I can tell, other than not having autofocus, it is pretty much the same camera. There was also apparently an earlier Ricoh YF-28 (without the ‘Super‘). The lens is f4.5, which is quite slow, but with fixed focus that is only to be expected. Shutter speed is 1/125 and there is a 10 second self-timer. The lens is described as a hybrid lens, which I presume is a reference to the ‘panorama’ feature. Like the Ricoh AF-77, the Ricoh YF-28 Super achieves a panorama effect by cropping the top and bottom of the film frame, rather than becoming a true panorama film camera – it’s no Hasselblad XPan.
The viewfinder covers around 80% of the image and, when in panorama mode, shutters appear to help simulate the panoramic view. Interestingly, the Ricoh YF-28 Super is the first point and shoot film camera that I’ve used which has a viewfinder dioptre (or diopter, if you prefer) adjustment feature, which is a nice touch. Like many Ricoh compact film cameras, the camera is switched on when the lens shutter door is slid open.
ISO & flash
ISO is set automatically using DX codes, at 100, 200 and 400 ISO, with no manual override. Similarly, the flash activates in low light, with no manual override. There is a button on the front of the camera which forces the flash to activate, allowing its use as a fill-flash. The Ricoh YF-28 Super also has a red-eye reduction feature, which comprises of a red light at the front which activates when the shutter button is pressed half way. Film loading is automatic and it is possible to rewind a partially used roll of film.
And that’s pretty much it. Another cheap and cheerful point and shoot film camera.