Agfa Isoflash-Rapid C

Agfa Isoflash-Rapid C

The Agfa Isoflash-Rapid C (also sold as the Iso-Rapid C outside of the United States) is a 35mm viewfinder camera introduced by Agfa AG in 1966. The Isoflash-Rapid C is just one of many models in the Iso-Rapid line of simple compact cameras that make 24x24mm images using Agfa’s own Rapid film cartridges.

Taron Chic

Taron Chic

The Taron Chic is a vertically oriented 35mm half-frame camera introduced by Taron in 1961. The only other camera that I’m aware of that bears any resemblance to the Chic is the Yashica Rapide. However, since they were both introduced in 1961, it’s unclear as to who copied whose vertical design or if there was indeed any copying done at all.

Agfa Parat-I

The Agfa Parat-I is a fixed-lens half-frame 35mm cameras introduced by Agfa in 1963. There are a total of three nearly visually identical cameras released in 1963 that use the Parat name with a few key differences: the Parat-I (no meter), the Paramat (fixed shutter speed, automatic aperture control), and the Optima-Parat (automatic exposure system, different lens options).

Acro Model R

The Acro Model R is a relatively obscure World War II era rangefinder camera introduced in 1940 by the Acro Scientific Products Company of Chicago. Like Spartus, Acro was part of the “Chicago Cluster,” a group of Chicago-based camera brands that produced a series of nearly identical Bakelite cameras. However, unlike the vast majority of those cameras that were designed to be simple and cheaply made, the R is an upscale model for advanced amateurs.

Ansco Memo

The Ansco Memo is an unusual 35mm half-frame box camera introduced in 1927 by Ansco. The “Memo” name has been used by Ansco and Agfa Ansco on several different 35mm models (for example the Memo II Automatic) over the years which can sometimes lead to confusion. To combat this, collectors will usually differentiate these models by including the year of introduction to avoid confusion. This particular model—which was the very first camera to bear the name—can also be referred to as the “Ansco Memo (1927 Type).”

Yashica Rapide

The Yashica Rapide (also sold as the “Rapid”) is a vertically oriented 35mm half-frame camera introduced by Yashica in 1961. The launch of the unusually styled Rapide completed Yashica’s entrance into all segments of that era’s consumer camera market with the exception of medium format SLRs. The only other camera that I know of that looks like the Rapide is the Taron Chic. However, since they were both introduced in 1961, it’s unclear as to who copied who or if there was indeed any intentional copying at all.

Ansco Memo II Automatic

The Ansco Memo II Automatic is a 35mm half-frame camera introduced in 1967 by Ansco. The Memo II Automatic and the Ansco Memo Automatic from 1963 are actually the same exact camera, just re-released to reflect the name change from Ansco to General Aniline & Film (GAF). In turn, both cameras are rebadged versions of the Ricoh Auto Half and were manufactured by Ricoh for sale by Ansco. The Memo Automatic from 1963 is not to be confused with the original Ansco Memo, a 35mm half-frame box camera from 1927.

Olympus Pen EED

The Olympus Pen EED is a direct descendant of Japan’s very first half-frame camera: the original Olympus Pen. As it was one of the smallest available 35mm cameras at the time, the Pen was named as such because its portability could be compared to that of a (very oddly shaped, large, metal) pen. Seven years after the Olympus Pen debuted, the Germans launched the hallowed Rollei 35 which was just as small but could make normal 35mm frames and effectively heralded the end of Japanese half-frames. In defiance, this EED variant was released one year after that supposed end and, quite stubbornly, Olympus continued making Pens well into the 1980s and then revived the name in 2009 for its line of Micro Four Thirds cameras.