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12-12-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
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Ricoh KR-5 Super

Hey everyone,

I'm pretty new to the forum. I've been shooting with a K-r for a few years now and really enjoy it. But I've had a soft spot for film ever since my wife took a photography class and had to develop her own pictures. And then we were looking at some of my grandfather's old projection slides, and a number of other old film photos that just have such a rich quality to them. So I'm considering trying to get some kind of old film camera. And it'd be sweet if I could exchange lenses between it and my K-r. So I went into a local photo shop and asked about film cameras. After I told him I was thinking $100 or less he showed me a Ricoh KR-5 Super and said it would cost around $100. I can't remember what lens it had on it, but I think it was a zoom lens up to 70mm. He showed me a few different ones and I couldn't keep it all straight.

So I guess I thought I'd ask what your opinions are on this camera, and if that would be a good price for it. Or if you could recommend something else for the $100 or less price range. I know there's a wealth of knowledge here and I want to tap in to it

Thanks for any advice!

12-12-2014, 11:21 PM - 1 Like   #2
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stevebrot's Avatar

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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

That is too high a price for a KR-5 Super. It is a good camera, but market price is about half that, even with the zoom. As for suggestions in K-mount...There are many possibilities. Here are a few I have hands-on experience with, in ascending order by feature set:
  • Pentax K1000
  • Pentax KM
  • Pentax KX, MX
  • Ricoh XR-2, XR-2s
  • Pentax ME Super
  • Ricoh XR7
  • Pentax Super Program
The least expensive would be the KM or any of the Ricohs ($30-$45), followed by the ME Super or Super Program ($35-$55), and the KX ($55-$75), K1000 ($65-$100), and MX ($100+) at the top. These are street prices in very good to excellent condition with a 50mm standard lens or medium zoom attached. The price in a shop with CLA (Clean/Lube/Adjust) and 60 day warranty will be about $30+ higher.

All support full metered manual and several (the Ricohs, ME Super, and Super Program) have exposure automation. The XR7, ME Super, Super Program, MX are all compact bodies. All on the list are sturdy cameras.

A note regarding the Ricoh line...Ricoh sold a plethora of K-mount models in the 1970s through the 1990s. Most varied in one or two features only and all have similar names. The models I listed above are fairly common, are sturdy, and are full-featured. My XR-2s is my go-to film camera and my XR7 is my favorite SLR overall.

12-13-2014, 12:00 AM   #3
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I have a custom eBay search that I run, for film cameras under $100. The two most popular models, from what I have seen, are the Canon AE-1 Program and Minolta X-700. Those two always seem to get bid on and go in the 50 dollar+ range, with 50mm lens. Pentax bodies are always much cheaper. The closest Pentax bodies are the ME Super cameras, but you may need several tries to get a good one. Many have developed a faulty shutter wind. Steve is correct, the price is too high for that camera, especially with a crappy kit zoom. I bought a hard case with a Ricoh XR-7, winder, flash, 24mm, 50mm, 70-210 zoom, and complete set of extension tubes for 59 bucks.

Definitely try and get a 50mm lens and you'll get better pictures.
12-13-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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Thats way too much money for a Kr-5 super. For that price you can find a Ricoh Kr 30 Sp or Ricoh Xrp both are excellent cameras. Where you may run into difficulty swapping Ricoh lenses are with a few of the older Ricoh lens pins that do not depress can cause the lens to get stuck on your Pentax camera and be difficult to remove. The newer type Ricoh lenses the pin depresses and do not have that problem. I use that type on both my Kr 30 Sp, Xrp and K5 lls without a problem or needing to remove the pins. So it takes a little research and knowledge to know which Ricoh lenses to purchase without needing to remove the ricon Pin for use on the Pentax K mount.

Ricoh KR 30 SP 35mm SLR Camera w Rikenon P Zoom Sears Multi Coated Lenses | eBay

Ricoh XR P Multi Program 35mm Camera 3 Lenses Cases Accessories Instructions | eBay

Ricoh KR 30SP w Rikenon 50mm 100mm Lens Flash Excellent | eBay

Ricoh KR 5 Super II with Nice Zoom Lens | eBay

12-13-2014, 11:25 AM   #5
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While that price is too high, the KR-5 is a good camera.

There is a KR-5 Super on Etsy with the Rikenon 1:2 50mm for $59
That is also a good lens in my experience.

It is completely manual with simple 3-led exposure indication.
Small and light, it was a later model than some of the Pentax favorites.
The latest was the KR-5 Super 2 which I think was mid 1980's
I think being more modern, it is better made and should go longer before needing service.
This one has done a "million miles" with no light seal or lube problems etc.
With a bright viewfinder, and the split focussing aid,
it is just as good to use as the Pentax MX.
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12-15-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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I seem to have opened the genie's bottle here, with my disparaging comment about the ME Super line. I had a "reliable" ME Super out shooting this Sunday and lo and behold, when I developed the film I had several bad exposures - likely from a failing shutter.

This leaves me with one fully-working (knock on wood) ME Super SE.

Serves me right! I should know better than taunt the old camera gods.
12-16-2014, 04:05 AM   #7

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In terms of 3-LED manual, the Cosina CT1 Super is also good - simple, reliable and 1/2000s shutter although being a newer camera it doesn't quite have the feel of older, heavier ME Super types. Chinon CM-4/CM-4s too if you fancy something a bit more sturdy. If you find a CM-4 with the Chinon 50mm f1.7 lens that's a really good buy, because that lens is fantastic.

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