The Ricoh 500G is one of my “accidental” cameras – I bought it on a whim from the Germantown Goodwill store on Rte 355. It took me a while to get around to replacing the light trap seals — I took one look inside, and lost heart – it was really that bad. Everything in there was gooey gunk and the seals were extensive and needed some precision cutting. Certainly not as easy to replace as the light seals on an Olympus Trip 35.
However, I finally got it done, and it’s a wonderful little camera to carry around. Very quiet, and very discreet. The 40mm f/2.8 Rikenon is a fantastic lens, and ideal for street photography or just for slipping into a jacket pocket, just in case. The Automatic setting and meter needs a 1.35v mercury battery, impossible to get, and the replacement 1.5V equivalents are flaky at best, and underexpose terribly. I use the Ricoh in its manual mode, and it works pretty well. All the pictures below were taken with the Sunny f/16 rule settings.

Ricoh 500G #1; 1/250 sec at f/16
Ricoh 500G #2; 1/250 sec at f/16
Ricoh 500G #3; 1/250 sec at f/16
Ricoh 500G #4; 1/250 sec at f/16

It’s great for people photography too. The Rikenon 40mm f/2.8 fixed lens works magnificently even in low light.

Ricoh 500G #5; 1/250 sec at f/5.6
Ricoh 500G #6; 1/250 sec at f/5.6

Photographed with a 1972 Ricoh 500 G rangefinder (40mm f/2.8) that I recently restored, on Fuji Super HQ 200 film. Exposure as described on captions


Also, compare these 2 photos taken from the same vantage point — with the Ricoh 500G and the other with the OM-2n with a Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 lens. Both images had exposures of 1/250 sec at f/16, on Fuji 200 film

Ricoh 500G -fixed 40mm f/2.8; 1/250 sec at f/16
Olympus OM-2n, 50mm f/1.4; 1/250 sec at f/16

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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