Mastering the Classics: An In-depth Review of the Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 Camera

In the heart of the film camera era, Japanese manufacturer Ricoh released the Ricoh AF-60, also known in some markets as the AF-606. This 35mm autofocus point-and-shoot camera, launched in the late 1980s, quickly became popular due to its compact size, automatic functionality, and the quality of images it produced.

This camera model was a successor to the earlier AF-50, carrying forward many of the same features with minor upgrades and a refreshed exterior design. A model variant with a databack, the AF-60D, was also released, adding even more versatility to this robust camera line.

Another camera, the One Take AF, is often mistaken for the AF-60 due to their identical designs. However, there’s a key difference between the two: the One Take AF utilizes a slightly slower 3-element Ricoh lens, compared to the 4-element Rikenon lens found on the AF-60. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the details, features, and operation of the Ricoh AF-60.

Design and Features

The Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 is a testament to Ricoh’s commitment to compact yet powerful designs. It encompasses a variety of automatic features housed in a sleek casing, making it a desirable companion for any photography enthusiast.

At the heart of the AF-60 is its Rikenon 35mm f/3.5 lens, made up of 4 elements in 3 groups. This lens is a major contributor to the camera’s capacity to capture sharp and well-defined images. The lens couples with a single-point active autofocusing system, offering a focusing range from 1 meter to infinity. This makes it versatile enough to capture a wide array of subjects, from close-up portraits to expansive landscapes.

The programmed shutter of the AF-60 offers speeds ranging from 1/30 to 1/500 seconds, allowing for a decent level of control over the light entering the camera, thus enabling the creation of a diverse range of images under various lighting conditions. The Albada type bright-frame viewfinder, with a magnification of 0.47X and a field of view of 84%, provides a clear and accurate representation of the scene to be captured. This allows the photographer to precisely frame their subjects and scenes.

Adding to the automatic nature of the AF-60 is its built-in flash with a guide number of 10 at ISO 100. The flashmatic system automatically pops up when required, ensuring the lighting is always optimal for the scene being captured. Further enhancing the camera’s ease of use is a self-timer feature. This function allows photographers to include themselves in shots or delay the shutter release for moments that require extra preparation.

The AF-60 is powered by two AA-type batteries, making it easy to keep the camera operational even while on the go, as these batteries are readily available worldwide.

In the next sections, we’ll discuss the film and film format, power source, exposure control, and usability of the AF-60 / AF-606. We’ll also delve into its durability and any known issues that users might face.

Film and Film Format

The Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 is designed to handle the versatile 35mm film format. This offers you the liberty to choose from a myriad of film types depending on your creative vision and the nature of the photographic subject or environment. Unlike its predecessor, the AF-50, this camera does not include a manual film speed selector. Instead, it employs a DX-code system to automatically read film speeds ranging from ISO 100 to 1000.

Given this broad ISO range, you can comfortably photograph in diverse lighting conditions. For instance, lower ISO films like Kodak Ektar 100 or Fujifilm 200 would be perfect for bright, sunny outdoor environments due to their fine grain and vibrant colors. On the other hand, a higher ISO film like Ilford HP5 Plus 400 will prove more beneficial for indoor or low-light conditions due to its higher sensitivity, rendering rich tonal detail in such environments.

You have the option to use both color and black & white films with this camera. The choice between color and black & white would largely depend on your creative inclination. Some photographers might prefer the vivid and life-like hues of color films, while others might be attracted to the timeless and dramatic appeal of black & white. After having your film developed, many photo labs also offer the convenience of direct printing and digital scanning services. This means you can get physical copies of your beautiful memories or have digital files for easy storage, sharing, or further editing.

Power Source and Battery Life

Operating the Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 is a breeze with its power source being two readily available AA-type batteries. You have the flexibility to use either alkaline or manganese batteries, depending on your preference and availability. This makes the AF-60 / AF-606 an excellent choice for on-the-go photographers and travellers as replacements are easy to find worldwide.

Moreover, the camera’s power management is efficient, enabling a long-lasting battery life. This gives you the confidence to carry the AF-60 / AF-606 on extended photo shoots or trips without the worry of running out of power in the middle of capturing your precious moments.

Exposure Control and Light Metering

The Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 features a programmed automatic exposure control system. This means that the camera takes care of setting the right exposure for each shot based on the incoming light, allowing you to focus on framing and capturing the moment. This ease of use makes the camera particularly appealing to beginners or those looking for a hassle-free point-and-shoot experience.

The AF-60 / AF-606 does not offer manual control over exposure settings, meaning the camera is largely in charge of determining the best settings to correctly expose your images. While this may be limiting for more advanced photographers seeking full creative control over their exposure, it significantly simplifies the shooting process for novices and casual photographers.

Moreover, the AF-60 / AF-606 is equipped with a built-in light meter. This tool measures the intensity of light in the scene and uses this information to set the appropriate exposure, ensuring well-balanced, well-exposed photographs. It’s an invaluable feature that helps avoid under or overexposed shots, contributing to consistent, high-quality results.

Size, Weight and Ergonomics

Compactness and portability are key features of the Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606. It retains the pocket-friendly design of the earlier AF-50 model, making it a perfect companion for travel photography or casual everyday shooting.

The ergonomics of the AF-60 / AF-606 deserve praise. The camera is designed with user-friendliness in mind, with straightforward controls that are intuitively placed for ease of use. This simple design streamlines the shooting process, making it quick and easy to adjust settings on the go.

User Base: Beginners or Advanced Photographers?

The Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 is best suited to beginner photographers and casual users. This camera offers simplicity with its point-and-shoot mechanism, automatic exposure settings, and built-in flash. These features eliminate the need for users to make complex manual adjustments, making it a fantastic choice for those new to the world of film photography.

The automatic focusing system further simplifies the shooting process, removing the need to manually adjust the focus before taking each shot. The film speed is also automatically set by the DX-code system, leaving users with one less thing to worry about.

Despite being beginner-friendly, the AF-60 / AF-606 can still be a handy tool for more experienced photographers seeking a compact and reliable camera for casual shooting or when they don’t want to carry around a more cumbersome professional camera.

Technical Specifications

Here are the technical specifications of the Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 camera:

Type of CameraPoint-and-shoot, 35mm film
Lens35mm f/3.5 Rikenon Lens, 4 elements in 3 groups
FocusingSingle-point active autofocusing system
Focusing Range1 m to infinity
ShutterProgrammed AE, 1/30 – 1/500 sec.
ViewfinderAlbada type, bright-frame, 0.47X, field of view 84%
Film Speed RangeISO 100 – 1000 by DX-code system
Built-in FlashYes, with automatic pop-up
Power Source2x AA-type battery (alkaline or manganese)
DimensionsNot specified
WeightNot specified
Other FeaturesSelf-timer, automatic pop-up flash, Flashmatic system


The Ricoh AF-60 / AF-606 captures the essence of simplicity and the charm of film photography, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and enthusiasts. It provides a seamless experience with its automatic features and compact design, offering the delight of creating timeless images with a nostalgic touch.

As with any vintage gear, proper care and regular maintenance are crucial. This camera can be a reliable companion on your journey into the fascinating world of analog photography.

Happy shooting!