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04-30-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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Help with Old Cameras

Hey everyone,

My Uncle gave me a box of some old cameras and I have no idea if they're worth keeping or not.

One is a Ricoh KR-30SP (it comes with 2 extended lenses as well)

The other two are Pentax MX's

I also have a Pentax Winder MX that has a busted battery compartment

Are these cameras worth anything?

Any information would greatly help!

Thanks again

Noah






Last edited by tinkapark; 04-30-2011 at 01:53 PM.
04-30-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
Ole
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If the MX is in working order and without any significant signs of use it could bring in $100 to $150.

It is not possible to evaluate the condition from the photo you have posted, but the self timer is cocked and if it has been that for decades the spring could have been damaged.

I don't know about the Ricoh. It has a Pentax KA mount and could thus be of interest to pentax users - if it works.
04-30-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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With old cameras you have to test them out by actually shooting film. Age is not a good thing.

Example: I have a Canon AE-1p, a good camera in its day. When I inherited it about a decade ago, I shot a roll and it worked perfectly except for the infamous and mostly harmless-but-annoying A-series shutter squeak. Since then I played with it occasionally, but when I took it out the last time the lens aperture control was broken. Age does bad things to cameras.

My point is, you should get the cheapest film and processing you can find and determine if the equipment works. If you have two camera bodies, you can switch film mid-roll and thus perform limited testing on multiple cameras with just one roll. If you aren't familiar with how the equipment should work but know someone who is, you might ask for help in testing. If the equipment works, sell it immediately. If not sell it anyway if you can, for parts. There is still demand for film cameras, a tiny percentage of which is from people who genuinely prefer film, but much more of which results from misguided teachers who think students should learn photography with film, and demand that their students waste money buying film cameras. But they'll die off any day now, so don't delay.

Paul
04-30-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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04-30-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help ya'll! I'm gonna buy some film and see if the cameras work.

One question though.. for outdoor photos without a flash, which speed film should I get and what setting should the camera be on?

The Green "B"? 1,2,4,8,15 or 30?

Also, what ASA?
04-30-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I don't know about the Ricoh. It has a Pentax KA mount and could thus be of interest to pentax users - if it works.
The KR-30SP is a nice camera, but it does not support any Pentax type K-mount lens in other than Av or M mode. With Ricoh P lenses (KR) it supports programmed exposure and Sv modes in additon and is approximately equivalent to a Pentax Super Program (Super-A) with a compatible lens.

As for testing the cameras, I would suggest not doing anything until your have checked the condition of the mirror bumper and light seals. This is fairly critical since operation of the camera with a disintegrating mirror bumper may result in gooey mess being flung onto the shutter and viewfinder focus screen where it is difficult and expensive to have removed. To test the seals and mirror bumper:
  • Remove the lens (Manuals for all three cameras may be found HERE) to expose the mirror box
  • At the top front margin there should be a thin strip of foam material that the mirror rests against when an exposure is being made. Touch this strip gently with a toothpick or something similar. If the foam is sticky, gooey, does not spring back, or is not there at all, it must be replaced before operating the camera.
  • Open the film door and gently probe the channels that run along the top and bottom edges of the film chamber checking for sticky/gooey mess. Best case is that there is intact foam in the channels.
  • Examine the metal edge that mates to the channels for foam residue
  • If there is foam in the channels and no residue on the edges the seals are probably good
Replacement of the seals and mirror bumper is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project. You can buy material kits on eBay from interslice (LINK). If you don't see the kit for your camera, contact the seller directly (Jon Goodman) regarding availability.

Beyond the seals and mirror foam, if the Ricoh shutter fires at all speeds and modes and the film transport (wind/rewind) works, the camera should be considered to be in working condition. If not, it is probably not worth attempting a repair. The MXs may require a visit to the shop to be cleaned, lubed, and adjusted (CLA). Most shops will replace the foam/bumper as part of that service. The "goto" person for Pentax CLA is Eric Hendrickson in Tennessee (LINK). The cost for the service is about $50-$70.

All that being said, your Ricoh is probably worth less than $50 if in excellent condition with normal lens attached. A CLA'd MX is worth $150-$250, body only, in my local market (Portland, OR) if in decent condition and much less if ratty. So the short answer is that the Ricoh is probably the better candidate to have as a user if it works. The MXs are worth doing something with if they are in reasonably good condition and also be excellent candidates for regular use if you like the camera.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-30-2011 at 08:45 PM.
05-01-2011, 07:02 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tinkapark Quote
Thanks for the help ya'll! I'm gonna buy some film and see if the cameras work.

One question though.. for outdoor photos without a flash, which speed film should I get and what setting should the camera be on?

The Green "B"? 1,2,4,8,15 or 30?

Also, what ASA?
Too much of a question:

You have to read up on the basics of SLR photography.

But for outdoor sunlight pictures, start with ISO 200 film. You will then, using your camera's built-in meter, adjust your lens aperture and shutter speed for proper exposure with this film's sensitivity and the existing lighting conditions.

ISO 200 is half as sensitive as ISO 400, and requires twice as much light. You achieve the amount of light needed by using a wider aperture to allow more light in (2.8 is wider/bigger than 4, 4 is wider/bigger than 5.6, etc.)...a slower shutter speed that keeps the aperture open longer to allow more light in (1/125th of a second is twice as slow as 1/250, 1/250 is twice as slow as 1/500, etc.)...or a combination of both:

In any conditions, it's the combination of ISO, aperture and shutter speed which allow you to arrive at proper exposure.

Generally speaking, you never want to hand-hold at the shutter speeds you mentioned--they're too slow\open for too long, and you can't hold the camera steady enough, or the subject is moving, so your shots will be blurred. Generally, the slowest you want to use for handheld (as a beginner, anyway) is 1/125. If you're shooting a guy running, you're going to want to use 1/1000! So...

With ISO 200 film at 1/125 or 1/250, you will use your camera's meter to tell you the proper aperture. And you will do this by using Shutter Priority mode (the camera will automatically set the correct aperture), or manual, where you manually turn the lens's aperture ring aperture ring to balance the dots or center the exposure needle. Your camera (I believe) automatically knows your film's ISO when it's loaded, so you don't have to set that. (It reads something on either the canister or film, which at the time, was an incredible invention at the time!)

This all being said, if you want to get into photography, I recommend you abandon the free camera and film idea and get yourself a DSLR (digital SLR). If you got lots of money, fine, but you're going to burn a lot of dollars with film and processing.

In addition, with film, you're locked into your ISO. Once your film is loaded, that's it. With a DSLR, you can go from shooting on a sunny beach to shooting in a bat cave, and change your ISOs as needed on a shot by shot basis. And there are many and IMPORTANT characteristics of ISO selection. The one you choose matters a LOT, because higher/faster ISOs like 800 generally result in grainier images (especially with film), although they allow you to use smaller apertures (F stops) for greater depth of field. Lower/slower ISOs like 100 result in cleaner photos, but require slower shutter speeds and larger apertures (less depth of field) to achieve the needed light.

It's always a balance of those three things, and its up to the photographer to decide which is most important for the shot at hand. If you're shooting in a bat cave, without flash, there's no getting around needing ISO1600, F1.8, and the slowest shutter speed you can handle.

Last edited by Ira; 05-01-2011 at 07:18 AM.
05-01-2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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The MX doesn't have a lens on it in that photo. It is a teleconverter of some kind. By its size, I'm guessing it's a 3X, intended to multiply the focal length of another lens by 3.

05-01-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The MX doesn't have a lens on it in that photo. It is a teleconverter of some kind. By its size, I'm guessing it's a 3X, intended to multiply the focal length of another lens by 3.
Could it be one of those variable macro converters?
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