Ricoh Auto 66

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by mwelsh, May 18, 2010.

  1. mwelsh

    mwelsh Member

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    I have an opportunity to purchase a Ricoh auto 66. I haven't seen this camera but am confident it is in excellent condition. I have tried to research some prices but can't find anything. He wants 200.00 for it because it was appraised at 200.oo five years ago.
    Does anyone here have any experience and/or advice on this camera? Its appreciated
    Mark
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have no experience with Ricoh cameras, but just because a "person of importance" set a value on something does not mean that is its true worth. The item is only worth what the market will bear. Does everything function as it was intended? will it continue to do so for however long you want it as a user? I may be wrong, but doesn't that model rely on the meter functioning properly for the camera to work? Can the auto function be overridden? IMO, the price is a tad bit high. Maybe get a try out clause from the seller that allows for a full refund up to so many days(long enough to run a roll through it) if it doesn't function properly.
     
  3. mwelsh

    mwelsh Member

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    That's what I'm thinking too. My question is can I get my money back out of it? He's had it for sale for a long time. Those are also good questions on the meter part. I'll have to look into that some more. Thanks Rick.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    A few years ago isn't today and the market is no where near the same. $200 for a Ricoh 6X6 is way to much IMO.
    $300 will buy a 645 or even some 6X7 cameras with a little shopping around. Tell you friend that two years ago a Hassleblad was $600+ & now you can find them for less than $400.
    See if he'll take $100, if not, shop around.
     
  5. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Well, here is one that sold on eBay for $69.98 recently. There is another that has been listed and relisted at $250 or best offer and hasn't had any takers. I'd be concerned about the light meter, if I were buying. Bill Barber

    ebay# 370371633207
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Walk away and don't look back. You can do better, much better. If you can get it for $75, ok. More than that, forget it. You can get a good functioning Mamiya RB67 for $400 these days that will make an even bigger negative and blow the doors off the little Ricoh.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2010
  7. mwelsh

    mwelsh Member

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    you guys are right. RB 67. That's what I really want. Thanks for all the replies. Its settled.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Good choice amigo.
     
  9. BobD

    BobD Member

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    Most camera "appraisals" are way too high in my experience and do not take
    into account the working condition of the camera. People inexperienced in
    actual vintage camera sales tend to think a particular camera model has
    a set value regardless of condition. People who think this also will not listen
    when you try to explain the realities of the matter and seem convinced you
    are trying to scam them. I've been involved with film camera buying and selling
    since the 1970s and I run into this all the time. Another common pain is the
    person who wants me to appraise a camera without my looking at it. They
    often become quite peeved when I tell them I have to see the camera to give a
    realistic appraisal.

    The way many people "appraise" a camera is they do a search on eBay for
    the highest asking price which they then think is its value. Or, they
    find a similar camera which sold at a high price but it was in mint condition
    and had high value accessories with it while the camera being appraised is in
    junk condition. Trying to explain the fallacy of this approach is often a
    waste of time.
     
  10. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Member

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    I bought a brand new Ricoh Auto 66 for $29.95 in 1968 or '69. It's a decent picture taker until the selenium meter cell goes out (which mine did within six months), then you have a nice paperweight. With a bit of shopping around, you can get a nice Minolta Autocord or Yashicamat 124 for your $200 (or less). Walk away from the Ricoh.
     
  11. gzhuang

    gzhuang Inactive

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    Slow but effective selenium meter. Full auto or full manual B mode. Lens tend to favour green/yellow hues. Dim viewer but overall well constructed heavy body. :tongue:
     

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  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well now, I think this is too much money for the Auto 66 too, a camera I had to look up to find I wouldn't pay that for it, but I happen to like TLRs and a 6x6 TLR and an RB67 are just not comparable. Apples and oranges. Yes, the 6x7 negative from the RB67 will yield better print quality than a 6x6 negative, especially if you crop the 6x6 to the same aspect ratio giving you effectively a 6x4.5. And Mamiya lenses are superb. But the RB is much bigger and heavier and has interchangeable lenses, backs, viewfinders etc. - a system camera. The revolving back is great allowing for either horizontal or vertical composition without turning that big lovable camera awkwardly on its side (and it also yields 7x7 images on Fuji instant with the Polaroid back) but means you have effectively the size and weight of a 7x7 camera.

    To use on a tripod I'd take the RB. For a leisurely stroll down the street where the main object isn't photography but the stroll, with a camera just in case, I'd take a decent little TLR in a heartbeat, in my case my Yashicamat 124.
     
  13. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    I had one. $200 is way too much money, $50 would be fair. For $200 you should be able to get a Rolleicord or even a SLR like the Kiev 60.

    Mine had the selenium meter working perfectly without problems.

    Pros
    Lens (three element, front cell focusing) was surprisingly good and sharp, at least in most of the frame.
    Focusing was easy and smooth
    Very easy to set exposure, easy and quick to operate
    Well built, solid and reliable.
    Double exposures possible.
    Flash hot shoe
    Light

    Cons
    Viewfinder a bit dim (but still usable)
    You need to cock the shutter manually.
    Meter only useful for outdoors
    No real "fully manual" exposure, except selecting pre-chosen aperture/speed combinations from EV6 to EV17. Also, you can select 1/30 shutter speed + your choice of aperture. Plus "B".

    I did some of my best pictures with the Auto 66, perhaps because i liked to carry it with me. At the end i gave it away to a cousin once i got the Rolleicord. But the rolleicord got no use!

    As for the Mamiya RB67, i own two, and it's my favorite medium format camera.