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  1. #1

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    A couple of garage sale cameras

    A neighbor down the street dropped off a Ricoh 500, dated Jan 1970, at by brothers garage sale. I of course picked it right up and am considering buying it but wonder if it is worth adding another 35mm camera if the optics are run of the mill. Lens is a 45mm F2.8. Bottom trigger wind, not great viewfinder but RF patch is pretty good for focusing and the camera is in very nice shape and speeds sound good.

    Also dropped off was a Petri 7 with working meter. I guess these were CDS meters. Nice frame outline in the viewfinder and clean.

    Maybe someone can relate their experiences with either, thanks.

  2. #2
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    A neighbor down the street dropped off a Ricoh 500, dated Jan 1970, at by brothers garage sale. I of course picked it right up and am considering buying it but wonder if it is worth adding another 35mm camera if the optics are run of the mill. Lens is a 45mm F2.8. Bottom trigger wind, not great viewfinder but RF patch is pretty good for focusing and the camera is in very nice shape and speeds sound good.

    Also dropped off was a Petri 7 with working meter. I guess these were CDS meters. Nice frame outline in the viewfinder and clean.

    Maybe someone can relate their experiences with either, thanks.
    From my memory the Ricoh is a piece of junk.
    Don Bryant

  3. #3
    reellis67's Avatar
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    The Ricoh 500 looked something like an older Contax if I remember correctly. I never used one, but I have a link in my bookmarks for more info on it

    http://www.photoethnography.com/Clas...html~mainFrame

    - Randy

  4. #4
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    The Petri 7 is a nice clonker!
    noisy like hell when you wind it, but the lens was OK and the meter has to be adjusted.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  5. #5

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    I'm trying to figure out if the Ricoh flat top 500's came after the stepped top? I've a stamp inside the rear cover that notes 1970 and supposedly were produced till 1959 according to the link above. I've no series nomenclature.

  6. #6
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    I'v got a Ricoh 500 too, given to me by my uncle, who picked it up at a garage sale. Nice solid little metal camera. Mine's cosmetically great, haven't shot with it yet. I've been told the lens is nothing special, but I do like the look of the camera.

    Does anyone know how to set the counter? It's free to turn when the shutter's not cocked, and then locks when you cock the shutter. So, if it needs to be reset, do you cock and fire the shutter until it's at 0 before reloading the camera? Or is mine not working properly?

    Have fun with your new cameras!
    Bill

  7. #7
    DBP
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    I really like the handling and feel of mine, but unfortunately can't say the same for the lens, which is really mediocre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowenburg View Post
    Does anyone know how to set the counter? It's free to turn when the shutter's not cocked, and then locks when you cock the shutter. So, if it needs to be reset, do you cock and fire the shutter until it's at 0 before reloading the camera? Or is mine not working properly?

    Have fun with your new cameras!
    Bill
    The counter should reset when you remove the back.

  8. #8
    jbj
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    I picked up a Petri 7 for pretty cheap. I think less than 15 dollars if I remember. The meter works fine, no batteries needed. It's the camera I usually toss in my backpack if I'm out on the town, going to/from work etc. There's always a roll of HP5+ in it and it takes reasonable pictures. The shutter is pretty quiet compared to an SLR. The shutter is probably off a bit but nothing that a little dodge/burn can't fix. My lens has a large feather pattern in it likely caused by elements unglueing (or fungus?) But it doesn't affect the picture quality. What is this?

    It could easily double as a bludgeon if I was in a bad situation.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowenburg View Post
    I'v got a Ricoh 500 too, given to me by my uncle, who picked it up at a garage sale. Nice solid little metal camera. Mine's cosmetically great, haven't shot with it yet. I've been told the lens is nothing special, but I do like the look of the camera.

    Does anyone know how to set the counter? It's free to turn when the shutter's not cocked, and then locks when you cock the shutter. So, if it needs to be reset, do you cock and fire the shutter until it's at 0 before reloading the camera? Or is mine not working properly?

    Have fun with your new cameras!
    Bill
    The thing about the frame counter is there were more then one. The one I have is a turn it yourself affair with two very small pins sticking above a rotating dial. Then there are ones that have a small readout underneath glass. Those are usually the flat topped cameras and the dial resets on the back opening. There were also two models of the stepped top design. One stepped on the right only (from the back) and one stepped on both ends.

    My lens is coated. Were they all that way?

    The Petri now looks to be a parts camera. The shutter button will work for awhile and then it's soft and won't.

  10. #10

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    I have a Ricoh 500, and have put several rolls of film through it, and I like it as a nice solid feeling manual camera. It is definately a mid to late fifties camera, although Ricoh made a similarly named camera, the 500G in the late sixites to early seventies, I beleive, but it is a very different camera.
    When I first saw the bottom advance, I thought it was pretty strange, but I find it very convient to use now, and quite like it.
    The lens on mine is decent, and is coated, and yes I have read that they are not well regarded, and although not in the Leica class, I find it very usable and have made good looking prints to 11X14 with negs from it. As good or better than my Yashica Lynx, but not as good as the Yashica GS I also have.
    Perhaps there were quality control issues, and some batches of them were better than others? Ultimately everything is up to the users expectations!

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