These pieces are all modified from small articles previously published in Classic Camera Magazine.
The Penti II is unusual on three counts: it is a 35 mm. half frame camera, and there are not many half-frame cameras that are European-made; it loads with the Agfa Karat (or the rapid) cassette; the film advance is by means of a plunger, rather after the style of the Voigtlander Vitessa but operating from the side.
The standard rapid cassette gives 24 half-frame pictures to a film. When the shutter is fired, the wind-on plunger springs out, so the film must immediately be wound on before the camera can be put away.
The lens is the excellent Tessar-type Meyer Domiplan, 30 mm. f/3.5. The shutter has three speeds and B, with X and M synchronisation via a standard 3 mm. socket. A built-in exposure meter gives match-needle setting of shutter and aperture, with film sensitivities between 15 and 24 DIN. Focusing is by scale, with parallax marks in the bright-line viewfinder for close-ups.
The Ricohmatic 44 was launched in Japan in about 1956 by Riken. The Ricoh Super 44 followed about two years later. Both cameras take 127 film. They were not available in the UK until around 1960 and even then, they were subject to severe import restrictions.
Both cameras have 'duo-lever' focusing, which means there is a lever to operate the focusing on both sides of the camera, permitting focusing by either hand.
The Ricohmatic 44 has matched 60 mm. three-element f/3.5 lenses mounted on one panel. The match-needle metering is linked to the aperture settings: f-stops are not marked on the lens. The folding hood has a sports finder and a magnifier, and the ground glass screen has a fresnel lens to improve brightness. In 1960 this camera cost £36.
The Ricoh Super 44 is a simpler and cheaper camera, with no meter. In 1960, it cost £16 including an ever-ready case.