Ricoh 500G

The Ricoh 500G is a Taiwanese produced rangefinder camera that was manufactured firstly in 1972.

Uses a 1.35v mercury cell to operate its light meter but works even without it. A fully mechanical mechanism makes sure you will always keep on shooting even if you empty your battery.

All the settings are adjusted in the 40 mm Rikenon lens, even the ISO speed. The first times you need to look carefully at what dial you are really changing because they are all close together, specially the speed and focus. This is a manual camera, which means you have to set both the aperture and the speed manually, but there’s a lens mounted exposure meter which will help you get the correct exposure settings, the viewfinder has a needle which will show you which aperture to use.

There’s also an automatic aperture mode which you can set by rotating the aperture dial all the way to the left and just worry about the shutter speed.

On the bottom of the lens you can set your ISO speed, from 25 to 800 ASA. Not the most practical ISO changing mechanism ever produced but it gets the job done.

It has what Ricoh called a “Single-stroke Film winder lever”, which is a small winder and a fast/smooth one, there’s really not much effort needed to rotate the winder.

If you ever get your hands on one 500 G you should definitely get it, its a small fun camera to use. The all metallic body makes it a bit heavier than later compact cameras, and you don’t get the all automatic point-and-shoot no features like electronic compacts, but you can still have a lot of fun with this one.

Mine is in no pristine condition as you can tell, all I did was changing the light seals which were falling apart and I just took it out to shoot.

There’s some looseness on the dials in the lens and also on the backdoor but even so this still feels extremely sturdy.

Film Type135
LensRikenon 40 mm
From f/2.8 to 16, plus A
Shutter Speed
B, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 sec.
Shutter Mechanical leaf shutter with 4 blades
Filter Size 46 mm
Focal Range 0,9 m to infinity
From 25 to 800
Modes Manual aperture and speed, aperture can also be set to Automatic
Size 110 x 75 x 56 mm
Weight 420 g
Viewfinder Coupled rangefinder
Battery 1.3v PX675 mercury cell battery
Flash Hotshoe and sync connection wich syncs at all speeds
Self TimerYes
Negative Size 24*36 mm

One Comment

  1. 2015-11-09

    You know you need a shutter speed of at least 1/500s to get the aciotn to freeze, so you might as well set your shutter speed to that value. Now it’s merely a matter of finding the right ISO speed and aperture to balance everything out. At 1/500s, not that much light is entering the camera, so you had better be using a wide open aperture or a bigger ISO speed.

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