Ricoh 500 any good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by trondsi, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. trondsi

    trondsi Member

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  2. filmamigo

    filmamigo Member
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    I think it’s a lovely camera - but 125 is a bit steep.

    The camera has everything I wanted in a fixed lens rangefinder. A good, largish, viewfinder with decent rangefinder patch size and brightness. It’s good proper manual shutter and aperture controls. The 45mm focal length suits me.

    The winder is in the bottom. It looks odd (like a Leicavit) but works fine. It’s a bit sharp and uncomfortable in the cold.

    I find the f2.8 lens to be a bit lacking in contrast, and not the sharpest. Folks report better results from the much rarer high speed versions, the 519 and the Jet, both with an f1.9 lens.

    125 might be worth it to you if the camera ticks ALL your boxes, and it’s in perfect working condition. After all, it’s not crazy money when compared to a much more problematic Yashica Electro 35 or the comparatively fragile Canonette 28.
     
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    trondsi

    trondsi Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Filmamigo!
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber
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    I acquired one about 3 month ago and have shot a couple of rolls of Tmax through it. It has a nice, solid feel and a VG viewfinder. No complaints about the lens performance but not a "wow" either. I agree that, at least to me, $125 is high. I paid quite a bit less. But I don't know what 's typical in terms of pricing.
     
  5. albada

    albada Member

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    These came with two kinds of lenses, the "Riken Ricoh" and "Riken Ricomat". One is 4-element and the other 5-element, and I can't remember which is which. A careful examination of the reflections in the front and rear elements will tell you. Anyway, the sharpness should be fine at f/4.8 or smaller. Also, I would not pay more than $50 for one in clean condition. Watch out for oil on the blades, making the shutter sluggish or sticky. Most of these have oily blades.

    Mark Overton
     
  6. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Member

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    I had a 500G, much more traditional layout. You can find those at lower price points.
     
  7. michr

    michr Member
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    I had a Ricoh 500. I enjoyed using the camera a lot, especially because of the rocking focus arms and the bottom winder. But my example would tear out sprocket holes, sometimes tearing out all of the holes in a section and making it unwindable, so I sold it. I wouldn't pay more than $40 for a fully functional version. I'm keeping an eye out for the 519 instead.
     
  8. albada

    albada Member

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    I would guess that the rewind shaft was stiff and needed a bit lube, creating so much resistance that the holes tore. You can apply a small drop of oil to the bottom of the shaft with the back off. When it rotates freely, I've found that there's little resistance and thus no tearing of holes.

    Mark Overton
     
  9. John Earley

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  10. michr

    michr Member
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    I've been concerned that I'd buy another one with the same problem, so this is helpful advice.
     
  11. outwest

    outwest Subscriber
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    Many moons ago I bought one of these for $2, cleaned it up and starting shooting. I entered a print made from one of its negs into a camera store contest and won 1st place with a $100 store credit. I used that to buy a 4x5. You can really get moving with that trigger winder!
     
  12. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member
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    Not a bad little Camera. I have one. But that one is way overpriced.

    Russ
     
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