Sunday, November 10, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet Camera for November - Ricoh 500G

Ricoh 500G, November's SFTC Camera
We are nearing the end of 2013, and I'm on my eleventh monthly SFTC camera. This month's selection is a fun choice, the Ricoh 500G, a 35mm rangefinder camera from the early 1970s.
I've always been partial to Ricoh cameras for some reason, probably because my first rangefinder camera was a fine Ricoh 35, which has a nearly silent leaf shutter and nice 45mm f3.5 lens.
The 500G sports a 40mm Rikenon f2.8 lens. 40-45mm is nearly the perfect focal length for a fixed lens rangefinder in my opinion. At f2.8, this one's certainly fast enough for most street photography. The camera is quite small, and looks old and cheap enough that people are unlikely to be concerned if they notice you pointing it at them.
Mine came along with the purchase of my higher-end Konica S1.6. See my SFTC posts from June to see what that camera can do. When I got the 500G, it's rear door seals were dissolved and sticky with old adhesive. I removed them and replaced them with new foam strips.
If you are looking for light seals, I bought mine on ebay from Jon Goodman for about $10 several years ago. I assume he's still there (seller name: interslice (J Goodman - Dallas, TX United States)). The kit had enough material to reseal several cameras.
Anyway, I only shot one roll with this camera, ever, before it went into the closet. So, hopefully it'll be ready to roll this month. Even though it has a built-in meter and does both fully manual and shutter priority auto exposure, I'll be using it in manual mode. It has a clean but empty battery compartment, and I'm not compelled to go find a modern battery for it. I'll just attach my Voigtlander Meter II and we're ready to go!