The Repo (reporter) was Minolta’s line of half-frame cameras in the early 1960s of which the Repo-S is the last and rare model.
It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but by eliminating an accessory shoe for example, the designers were able to make it extremely small, not to mention–with its clean lines–stylish. It’s very light and doesn’t feel as precious as other cameras, but the size can make it a bit fiddly for large hands.
The fast PF 1:1.8 amber coated 6 element lens, as to be expected of a Rokkor, is a highly competent performer. Images have great color, sharp when focused correctly and always with a nice quality to them. The Seiko shutter (as with Canon’s Demi EE17) has a good range of shutter speeds from B, 1/8 to 1/500.
The Repo-S features a built in match-needle selenium exposure meter but it isn’t coupled which is good as it’s a fully manual operation, setting aperture and shutter speed independently you can use the camera even if the meter is dead.
The viewfinder is tiny and portrait format clear from a focusing patch as it doesn’t have a rangefinder. That means you have to guess at focus using the distance markings on the barrel. Not a problem for infinity shots but if you crave precision this might not be the camera for you.
With limited features it might not sound or feel like a serious camera but it has a serious lens and what you get from the Repo-S is a fun and instinctual experience. You can’t be too concerned or preoccupied with composition or precise focus… just take the shot and see how it comes out, and see what it’s paired with when you get the prints.
|Type:||35mm half-frame 24x18mm|
|Lens:||ROKKOR PF 32mm 1:1.8|
|6 elements in 5 groups|
|Aperture:||f1.8 - f16|
|Shutter Speeds:||B, 1/8 - 1/500|
|Viewfinder:||Frame lines only|
|Focal Range:||3ft - ∞|
|Exposure Meter:||Selenium photocell [meter needle only, not coupled to shutter]|
|Winding Method:||Lever-type winding, automatic shutter cocking|
|Filter Mount:||39mm, screw-in|