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06-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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I am also interested in the Ricoh XR-7 and saw this Pop Photo back cover ad for it

Like to full size -> http://www.fototime.com/5BC42A67DDD06BB/orig.jpg

06-23-2012, 01:16 PM   #17
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My Ricoh ownership experience (5-6 XR-series bodies) was not nearly as positive as the glowing testimonials here.
Though they offered some nice features in use my Ricohs were balky and unreliable. Even Eric couldn't save them.

On a positive note, my time as a Ricoh user has made me appreciate Pentax quality even more!

Chris
06-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The XRS was essentially a XR7 with two solar cells on the top of the prism housing that charged a second power system to supplement the regular batteries

Not exactly; as I have two of the Ricoh XR-S bodies; one in showroom mint condition.

Let me be a bit more specific... Thr battery compartment has a two stack option of batteries for the battery compartment at the base of the camera. Such batteries can be purchased just about anywhere - and are basically 2x of the single battery that would power a Pentax K1000. IF you would use those two batteries the solar function would be basically cut out by default for the camera - although there were a few variations of the XR-S (quite rare) that were produced that do allow solar suppliment to battey power; basically a type of hybrid system that almost cuts out the battery.

But for the XR-S to function properly one needs a modified battery that was made specifically for the camera - no different in battery specs besides it has a type of switch that engages within the battery compartment that allows the battery to actually be recharged.

Here a link to someone whom has explained this in a much better way...

Ricoh SRL Systems, manuals, instruction
06-23-2012, 02:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
My Ricoh ownership experience (5-6 XR-series bodies) was not nearly as positive as the glowing testimonials here.
Though they offered some nice features in use my Ricohs were balky and unreliable. Even Eric couldn't save them.

On a positive note, my time as a Ricoh user has made me appreciate Pentax quality even more!

Chris
I knew I could count on you Chris to provide counterpoint Sorry you had such poor luck with your Ricoh's. For the sake of helping the OP and others who might read this thread, could you indicate the models and problems you had with each?

My personal experience with Ricoh K-mount is limited to the models I own (both made in the late 1970s and early 1980s) and to times when I was actually in the market to purchase. As a result, I hesitate to recommend Ricoh models made after about 1985. My general feeling has been that quality started to decline for most consumer-level film cameras (across brands) after the mid-1980s and that Ricoh was not a particularly attractive option in those later years.

As for the models I own, I can vouch for the XR7 as being robust enough to endure years of swinging from the frame of my backpack in all kinds of weather here in the Pacific Northwest and never failing. When it does fail, I don't have any notion that Eric or any other technician will be able to bring it back to life. Ditto for my Super Program, Olympus XA, or any other of my vintage full-electronic cameras. No parts = no repair and no parts is pretty much the rule.

An 80's vintage consumer-level SLR can be counted on to have the following features and vulnerabilities:
  • Almost all have tough polycarbonate housings
  • Many, if not most, have resin chassis as well and are vulnerable to damage when dropped. There are significant exceptions to this rule (my XR7, for example).
  • Fully electronic shutters by Seiko and Copal are ubiquitous. Excellent accuracy (they do not need and can not be adjusted) and reliability (few parts) is the hallmark here. Unfortunately when they do fail, there is nothing to adjust or service.
  • Exposure as well as features are accessed by electric switch. The most common type consist of a rubber cup with a conductor on the inside surface of the dome. Depress the cup to make contact across two points on a printed circuit. Unfortunately these switches degrade with time and exposure to ozone and such and when they are gone, replacement can be a problem.
  • Excellent meters and exposure automation. These electronics are based on integrated circuits and linked with ribbon connectors. The connectors become brittle over time and can fail with no mean to replace when they break. Ditto for the odd marginal solder joint on an IC.
Bottom line is that almost all 35mm SLR cameras from that era offered incredible performance at the time they were sold and were arguably the best-made cameras ever built in terms of initial quality and time to initial failure.

The advice I give is to buy wisely and not spend too much, test all features immediately after purchase and be prepared to pay for a replacement camera when it fails. I give this advice for Pentax too. We are fortunate that Eric has a stock of parts for most K-mount bodies. That is not true for most shops. My repair guy (Mike Knight at Knight Camera here in Vancouver) is Pentax-trained, but, except for CLA, won't touch most Pentax consumer models after the K-series bodies. LX, yes...MX, yes...ME, ha! ha! ha! In his words, "they were never intended to be serviced and not worth the trouble...not that I have or can get parts".


Steve

(FWIW...when heading out to the field the $20 XR-2s is in the bag while the $200 (post CLA) KX sits on the shelf....ditto for the $45 Super Program...)


Last edited by stevebrot; 06-23-2012 at 03:12 PM.
06-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
But for the XR-S to function properly one needs a modified battery that was made specifically for the camera - no different in battery specs besides it has a type of switch that engages within the battery compartment that allows the battery to actually be recharged
Thanks for the clarification here. I was going on memory and we all know what that means. You are absolutely correct regarding the proprietary rechargeable battery and the option to use standard silver cells as a non-solar option. Part of my confusion probably came from Ricoh's use of the word "battery" to refer to the solar cells as well as the storage battery. As for the "other" Ricoh solar camera, there was the Ricoh XR Solar that was made several years after the XRS and which also had solar cells on the prism housing, but NO storage battery. The solar cells charged a capacitor that provided voltage to the meter and LCD meter display. All other functions were fully mechanical.


Steve
06-23-2012, 03:06 PM   #21
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Steve, You state the XR-7 is "CNC aluminum chassis under polycarbonate skin" as well as "and now Almost all have tough polycarbonate housings". However, the ad I just posted state, "lightweight aluminum diecast body for durability no plastic version can touch." Since you own one can you clarify.

Also, do you know how long an aperture priority autoexposure it can hold. Is it like the LX that will stay open until the exposure is satisfied? TIA.
06-23-2012, 03:24 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Steve, You state the XR-7 is "CNC aluminum chassis under polycarbonate skin" as well as "and now Almost all have tough polycarbonate housings". However, the ad I just posted state, "lightweight aluminum diecast body for durability no plastic version can touch." Since you own one can you clarify.

Also, do you know how long an aperture priority autoexposure it can hold. Is it like the LX that will stay open until the exposure is satisfied? TIA.
The camera has polycarbonate top and bottom plates over "diecast" aluminum chassis. It is my understanding that dimensionally critical portions were CNC machined (to the extent that was available at the time) before assembly. At the time (1982), several major makers, including Pentax and Canon, had gone to plastic chassis for most models and were getting heat from the press as a result. The review for the XR7 in Modern Photography called this feature out and scolded the competition.

As for exposure length: 16 seconds both in Av and M modes and until the battery fails at the B setting.

FWIW, the XR7 was not a particularly inexpensive camera and was priced at about the same level as the Pentax ME Super. I made my purchase decision at the time based on features (chassis, AE Lock, DOF preview, and conventional controls) and battery life. No LEDs...


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-23-2012 at 03:34 PM.
06-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #23
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My first camera was a Ricoh XR-500. It is still around somewhere - I think my brother has it. It was a sound performer, but a bit limited in some features, such as max shutter speed of 1/500. Nice to get a feel of photography. It shipped with 50/2 lens, which was rather large compared witht he Pentax M50/2, which I got on my MX when I got it 2 years later. It was a bit chunky to hold.

06-23-2012, 03:30 PM   #24
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The most advanced Ricoh was the XR-X (European name - not sure if it made it to the US): Ricoh XR-X

It offered a lot for the money compared to Pentax offerings and the self timer could be set to zero seconds and used as a left-handed shutter release.

As for lenses, almost all independent 'KA' lenses also had the Ricoh pin (the reason why they can be a problem on Pentax bodies).
06-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
It shipped with 50/2 lens, which was rather large compared witht he Pentax M50/2
So very true. While the XR Rikenons were average size, the Pentax-M lenses were very compact. I have both the XR Rikenon 50/2 and Pentax-M 50/1.7 and it is the Pentax-M that mounts to my Ricohs on most outings.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-23-2012 at 04:14 PM.
06-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #26
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I have a 'broken' KR5 Super (missing the screw-in battery holder) and a fully-operational XR-10. I shot parts of the recent solar eclipse with the XR-10. It has a nice feature set and is compatible with a motor drive. It's been so long since I used a film SLR (y2k in fact) I hardly know how to describe let alone use some of the features. They are both in nice shape.. some day I must find a new battery holder for tke KR5.
06-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #27
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The Ricoh SLR models I remember owning were Singlex II, XR-1, XR-2,
Sears KS1000 (Ricoh XR-1s), Sears KS auto (Ricoh XR-2s) and XR-7.

IIRC every one eventually developed a non-functioning exposure meter.
On the electronic models this meant the shutter would not fire as well.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 06-24-2012 at 10:50 AM.
06-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The Ricoh SLRs I remember owning were Singlex II, XR-1, XR-2,
Sears KS1000 (Ricoh XR-1s), Sears KS auto (Ricoh XR-2s) and XR-7.

IIRC every one eventually developed a non-functioning exposure meter.
On the electronic models this meant the shutter would not fire as well.

Chris
Looks like you went through a fair number of cameras in a fairly short period of time, assuming all were purchased new. If purchased used as vintage gear... Either way, your experience is definitely a consideration and worth noting.


Steve
06-24-2012, 12:40 PM   #29
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The reason i went to used Ricoh bodies back in the day was that an insurance company replaced a damaged ME super with a new plastic p30T as "equivalent new".
P30T had so many different problems through and after warranty I just left it at the dealer and got the 2 Ricohs which still work fine.
06-24-2012, 12:59 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The Ricoh SLR models I remember owning were Singlex II, XR-1, XR-2,
Sears KS1000 (Ricoh XR-1s), Sears KS auto (Ricoh XR-2s) and XR-7.

IIRC every one eventually developed a non-functioning exposure meter.
On the electronic models this meant the shutter would not fire as well.

Chris
My XR500 had a light meter failure after about two years. Becaseu I had the MX by then I did not fix it for a long time. Turned out to be a wire that needed to be resoldered. The repairs cost $10 (about 1982) and I wished that I had fixed it earlier - even on a student budget.
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