A co-worker gave me one of these today; it's an early one, serial number 10322 with a Riken Ricomat 1:2.8 4.5 cm lens in a Seikosha-MX shutter. I've figured out most of it but there are a couple of widgets I don't understand and the only Ricoh 35 manuals I've found so far are for later models.
The details below are shown in the third picture.
First, there's a button on the back which slides to the right. There's a red arrow on the right side, pointing to a red "R" engraved in the back. Any idea what this does?
Secondly, I don't understand the film take-up at all. There are two posts on the take-up side, the left one is shiny steel and has the little cogs for engaging the holes in the film, but it's post is solid, no slot into which to place the end of the film leader. To its right is another post, with a spring on it. If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it. At this point I guess I'm just too dumb to figure out how to load the film (and when I finally got the back off, I thought I had it made!)
The film advance on the bottom of the camera is just a gas! The shutter seems to work fine and all the shutter speeds make different noises and seem at least approximately correct to my ear. A quick check of the rangefinder on a couple of things five feet and twelve feet away seem all right. The viewfinder is a bit dim but I think it is about average for the era; the yellow rangefinder patch in the middle of the viewfinder is more than adequate for reasonable lighting conditions. The camera itself and the inside, oddly, is rather dirty and needs a good cleaning. I like that it doesn't use foam light seals (just one more thing I don't have to mess with!) If I can figure out how to load a roll of film, I'll give it a try some time.
Thanks in advance for your help!