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  1. #1

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    old rangefinders

    I recently bought a couple range finders. I found some basic info on the internet, but need a little more. One is a Clarus MS35. It still had film in it so I'm assuming it works. I would like to shoot a roll of film through it but don't have a clue on how to set it. The other is a Ricolet II I think it might not be in working order, because there is a little vane in the viewfinder that doesn't seem to turn when you turn the focus wheel. There is also a wheel that won't turn. The wheel has a pin on it and it doesn't move. I think it's for the film speed. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks much

  2. #2

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    The Ricolet sort of reminds me of a Kodak with that wheel. The Clarius looks like a nice camera. You may need to experiement as back then when it looks like this camera was made, the speed had to be set before the film advanced and shutter set.

  3. #3
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Your best bet would be to sell both on ebay for whatever collectible value they may have. The Clarus almost certainly doesn't (or soon won't) work and the Ricoh has small odds of working. Neither is repairable unless you want to do the job yourself. If they are made to work the picture quality will be poor.

    If you are looking for an old rangefinder you will be happier with a working Yashica Electro, Minolta Hi-Matic, Canon Canonnet and the like. Some of these require battery adapters or Wein cells as the original mercury battery is no longer available.

    Only buy a camera in known working condition, from someone who knows cameras, and will take it back if it turns out it doesn't work - say on APUG's classified section. Stay away from ebay cameras that are described as: "I pressed the button and it clicked so I know it works"; "I don't have a battery so I couldn't test it"; "I don't know anything about cameras, but I am sure that you will be pleased with it" and anything else that even hints that something might be wrong.
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  4. #4

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    Thanks for the help guys. I only paid $10 each for these. I think I'll take the Ricoh apart, to see what makes it tick. The Clarus is the older of the two. It was built from 1946 to 1952. The Ricoh os from 1953 I think.

  5. #5

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    Mustafa, do you have these cameras and have you put them through their paces? If not how can you judge them? As for repair, these cameras are typically fairly simple and any competent repair person should be aboe to assess them and get them running if needing cla. As for Leica being the best rangefinder, even though I am a Leica lover and user, I can not say it it the best. It may be the better for those with interchangeable lenses but then many Contax users would still dispute it.

  6. #6

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    I agree with BrainL!

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    There was a repairmen up in Flagstaff for some time...don't recall his name, but he did test my shutter speeds about 5 years ago. I think the local lab recommended him to me, so maybe call around?
    K.S. Klain

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