Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > 35mm Film Range Finders > Fixed Lens RF

Fixed Lens RF This forum is dedicated to the numerous and popular fixed lens rangefinders, including but not limited to the Canon Canonets, Konica III and S series, Minoltas, Ricohs, Vivitars, and so many others. Note fixed lens Olympus , Yashicas, Argus and Retina have separate forums.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

Ricoh Fice One Nine ponderings.
Old 01-16-2012   #1
Yksisarvinen
Registered User
 
Yksisarvinen is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Ricoh Fice One Nine ponderings.

First of all I want to say Hi! to everyone on RFF. I've been lurking around these forums for a long while, but have never participated in any threads. I like the atmosphere of this forum and the general passion people share here. I myself have been a photog for a while now and still consider myself a novice both in the art and the culture. I have collected cameras for about 7 years now, and more cameras have gone through my hands that I care to admit. I've shot medium format and still do(and actually like the results more than my from 35mm shots), My SLR manufacturer of choice is Nikon, for the intuitive design, rugged quality and beautiful lenses. But my heart has always had a place for rangefinder cameras. And currently more than often I tend to take one of my rangefinder cameras with me rather than my SLR, even though it has a very small footprint.

The reason I decided to finally write something on this forum is that I quite simply need some help. My current user RF is a Voitländer Vitomatic IIb, a beautiful device, rivaling the built quality of the M:s (some might say). The camera has everything I need even the selenium meter works rather accurately. The cameras footprint is tiny, the viewfinder is a gorgeous 1:1, it has a deliciously silent leaf-shutter, every aspect of the little thing oozes quality and utilitarianism. I love it. But. I have large hands and more than sometimes I fell that my grip on the camera is not sure and fast. The lens on the vitomatic is a Color-Skopar 50mm F:2.8, wich consistently gives nice results both on BW film and Color negatives. On to the tale of the Ricoh F-O-N.

I acquired the Ricoh for the reasonable price of 20euros, the camera is in minty condition, except for the leaf-shutter and the focusing ring. When I acquired the camera, it had sticky blades but no oil showing on them, so as per usual I started to exercise the cocking lever and shutter release. And actually got the camera to work for a while, although sometimes the shutter blades stuck. I decided to leave the camera be, and send it to a repair-shop for a CLA. The camera stood in a cabinet for a few days and when I decided to send it for the CLA I shot off a few blank frames just to confirm that the shutter stuck sometimes. Well, the shutter stuck, and it stuck good this time. I cant cock the shutter(it's in mid stroke) and the focusing ring jammed at the same time. Now it moves just a bit, compared to the smooth and buttery actuation it had a couple of days before. I rang the repair shop and asked how much would they charge to unjam the focusing ring and unjam the shutter. The quota was 120e plus shipping. That's too steep for me, at least at the time. I would try to fix the shutter myself, I've done it a couple of times on some Voigtländers, but I am not familiar with the Seikosha MXL shutter. I found some service manuals on the net and also some other enthusiasts repair project documented with pictures. But I still do not feel confident enough to try it myself.

The Ricoh fits my hands perfectly, it has a lens that is closer to my preferred focal length and a brighter maximum aperture F1.9. On the downside, the viewfinder is tiny(at least compared to the Vitomatic II). The thing I want to know is: Is there any sense in repairing the Ricoh? It is very difficult to find good High Resolution scans of negatives taken with the F-O-N. To my knowledge the camera is actually quite uncommon and rather exotic.

So please could someone give some insight on the quality of the camera, the quality of the lens and the feasibility of the repair. Does anyone know any vintage camera repair shops in the UK, Germany or Sweden, capable of repairing an Seikosha MXL shutter for a reasonable price.

As soon as I held the Ricoh in my hands, I fell in love the design and built quality.

I thank you all in advance for any advice on this matter. I myself come from Russia but have been living in Finland for the last 22 years, I apologize for my possible inadequate English language skills.

- Dennis

Here's the Vitomatic

__________________
RF: Ricoh F-O-N (Five One Nine),Yashica Electro 35 CC , Voigtländer Vitomatic II.

SLR: Nikon F, Nikon FM2 black, Nikon FE2 Silver, Nikkormat EL black, , Nikon F-401, Zenit ET, Zenit 122.

DSLR: Nikon D700

My Stream
We Found It
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2012   #2
thegman
Registered User
 
thegman is online now
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Age: 34
Posts: 3,662
Dennis,
Welcome to RFF, I know nothing about these cameras but wanted to say that your English seems perfect to me. In fact it's better than many native English speakers/writers.

All the best

Garry
__________________
My Blog
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2012   #3
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 3,358
Dennis, I've got a Five-One-Nine with a sticky shutter too, but I can see the oil on the blades, and have never shot it. I too like the feel of it, and the winder on the botom could be a real conversation starter. I've read it is not the easiest camera to open up, and looking at the front of the lens, I can see why.

I would venture a guess there aren't many camera repair places in Finland, just as they are disappearing here in the US. I think that what money one puts into a camera repair would depend on how much you are going to use the camera, and whether there are less expensive alternatives out there. Personal likes taken into consideration, it may be the only rangefinder you ever own, and thus it would economically feasable to repair it, as you won't be spending money on any other gear. If it has sentimental value (such as a family heirloom), that makes it a good cadidate for repair.

It all comes down to how you intend to use it. Being a fixed lens mount camera, you can get the auxilary lens set for it, but I don't put too much value in those, image quality or operational use wise. And getting the original finder for them is next to impossible. It will however do electronic flash, and was one of the first rangefinders with a hotshoe.

It's a beautiful camera, and even if you never shoot it, it is a collectable that will look fine on the shelf with the other cameras you will eventually accumulate. Maybe someone else here can direct you to a repair facility that is not so expensive, and closer to you. Post again in the Repair forum about the camera problem, and ask about a shop.

PF
  Reply With Quote

Hopefully I can help...
Old 01-16-2012   #4
matthew J Shaw
Registered User
 
matthew J Shaw is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 80
Hopefully I can help...

Hi Dennis

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of the Ricoh!!! (We'll, in my opinion anyway).

I don't have a 519, they are rarely seen in the UK, but I do have a Ricoh 500 from the same period, which is exactly the same camera but with an f2.8 lens fitted.

The camera came to me in less than good health, but as soon as I picked it up, everything felt right, the look, the weight, the feel, the trigger wind, the eyepiece... The list goes on, to me it was the perfect camera.

Mine had issues with the slow shutter speeds, which I lived with for a while, the aperture blades where very oily and the focussing was very very stiff, but it kept working, and I kept using it, and even managed to add to the original kit it came with (pics here:-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54415620@N02/5208438897/
)
I had the period minicam flash converted to use modern batteries instead of the frightening 415 volt original!!!

It was all perfect, and then, out of the blue, the flash sync stopped, so I was left wondering what to do, the other issues I had lived with, but the flash helped me work around the slow speed issue, now that was gone, I was a bit stuck.

So I sent it to repair with these guys in London:-

http://www.cameracity.co.uk/

Now, I will be honest, the turn around wasn't quick, partly because they are very busy, and partly because it is an usual camera and parts where hard to get, but they did a full CLA, made everything as good as new, and re built the flash circuit, and put a guarantee on there work. I could not recommend a team more highly, and as I say, they fixed my camera perfectly so they should be able to do a 519 too.

It wouldnt be fair for me to say here what they charged, as it will obviously differ depending what needs doing, but if you PM me, I will send you information of what it cost me...

As I say, the Ricoh is a great camera, and capable of amazing results, so I would get in touch with them and see about getting it serviced.

Matt
__________________
For Fun
Contax G1 + 21mm + 28mm + 35mm + 45mm + 90mm + TLA200.
Contax II + CZ 50mm f2/CZ 85mm f2/CZ 135mm f4
Super Nettel with Triotar f3.5 5cm
Konica Hexar (Black Stealth Model)
M.P.P. MkVIII + 150mm Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 4.5
Horseman SW612 + 90mm f6.8 Rodenstock
Ricoh 500 (full vintage kit)
Koni Rapid 200 + 58mm + 90mm + 180mm
And far to many lovely shiny old rangefinders, SLR's & Point & Shoots
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2012   #5
Jack Conrad
Registered User
 
Jack Conrad's Avatar
 
Jack Conrad is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,336
Just getting some lighter fluid on those shutter blades might free it up. If you can open a Voigtlander, I imagine you can open a Ricoh.
Just take your time. Look up everything you can find on Seikosha shutters. It's probably very similar to other Japanese rf's during that time period, like my Konica III. A beauty ring that unscrews with pressure, and the front lens group unscrews from there, leaving the blades exposed.... hopefully.

Good luck.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2012   #6
Brian Legge
Registered User
 
Brian Legge is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,208
I've only used the older Ricoh 500 but can say that the camera takes excellent pictures. I only sold mine because the ergonomics didn't work for me - if i was going to take a fixed lens 50mm camera out, I preferred something a little smaller.

Zero complaints about the results from the lens though and from what I've heard, the 519 is better. I can't speak for the feasibility of repair though.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4870616272


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4870615720


http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4870003267
__________________
Shooting whatever I can get my hands on.
Recent Work
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-16-2012   #7
VictorM.
Registered User
 
VictorM.'s Avatar
 
VictorM. is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Toronto
Age: 67
Posts: 1,599
I had a 519M with built in meter back in 1965 (!)-my first real rangefinder camera. Here's an old post with a very useful link: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=68736 Remember to search for "519" as well as "Five One Nine".
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-18-2012   #8
Yksisarvinen
Registered User
 
Yksisarvinen is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
A huge thanks for all of you who contributed to this thread. I will be contacting cameracity.co.uk for an estimate on the repair. And have decided that I will get the Ricoh repaired, it deserves it. It is a truly beautiful camera, and I love the fact that it is all mechanical.

Yesterday I went on a small scavenger hunt at my local flea market. They don't usually have anything of interest, apart from some crappy point and shoots and the usual "super zoom do-it-all" wonders of the nineties. But this time I found a scuffed up ever-ready case with the oh-so familiar "yashica electrons" logo, i opened it up expecting it to contain a badly misused cheapo Yashica rangefinder but instead found the alluring Yashica Electro 35 CC. Yup, I couldn't believe it myself. It was rather dirty and dusty and had a piece of tape on it witch said "not tested, no battery" in finnish. I bought the little thing, brought it home, cleaned it off with a brush, then compressed air(from a can), then a moist rag with some mild dishwasher solution(just the leather parts), then it i cleaned every nook and cranny with q-tips. I plugged in a fresh LR44 inside and voila the thing sprang to life. Not it is loaded up with some Fuji Sensia 200, I want to see is the lens as sharp as they say it is. I really lucked out on this one, the camera cost less than the roll of Sensia 200, and it is in marvelous cosmetic condition. Some things need to be addressed still, cleanup of the viewfinder, replacing of light seals and re-attaching the wind lever(it came with the camera taped). And if I don't like the results I can sell it off to finance the repair of the Ricoh.

Here are some photos of the Ricoh and the Yashica.



__________________
RF: Ricoh F-O-N (Five One Nine),Yashica Electro 35 CC , Voigtländer Vitomatic II.

SLR: Nikon F, Nikon FM2 black, Nikon FE2 Silver, Nikkormat EL black, , Nikon F-401, Zenit ET, Zenit 122.

DSLR: Nikon D700

My Stream
We Found It
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-18-2012   #9
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 3,358
Or you could keep the Yashica as a nice wide-angle complement to the Ricoh. It's already cheaper than trying to find the auxilary lens set for the 519. And it won't weigh you down too much carrying both of them. I've got a Yashica GX I like to use along with my Nikon F2, and have a neckstrap adjusted so that it hangs just above the F2's finder.

PF
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-18-2012   #10
Joe Vitessa
Registered User
 
Joe Vitessa's Avatar
 
Joe Vitessa is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 265
Congrats on two great purchases! The Ricoh 519 is one of my favorite fixed-lens rangefinders. The lens is EXCELLENT and the ergonomics are great, too. I love the bottom winder. They are rare but do pop up on eBay. (I got mine several years ago; it already had a CLA. Whew!) It's definitely worth repairing, in my opinion, especially if it's in as nice condition as yours.

I've been meaning to post images as a tribute to this fine camera, but haven't had the time. Your post might give me the kick in the butt I need. Good luck with yours!

Joe
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-27-2012   #11
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 3,358
I finally got around to working on my 519 after doing a 300 shutter repair. Seems that Ricoh really went upscale on the 519. There is a little screw that secures the shutter cover retaining ring, you see this on almost all shutters. Most of them, it is a flat head with one side ground off to allow the retaining ring to rotate for removal, and usually is slotted. Not on the 519, oh no. They used a pin-head screw, so that is where I stopped and put the lens back together. But not before using some Ronsonal to get rid of some of the oil. It's still there, but since there is less of it, the shutter now runs on all speeds, and the slow ones are in proper time. So the next thing is to take it for a trial run. Just don't know what film to use. Depends on the weather, I guess.

PF
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-27-2012   #12
btgc
Registered User
 
btgc's Avatar
 
btgc is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,266
Ricoh FON is great camera, I agree to Jack Conrad comparing it to Konica III - this two are my favourites from Japanese FL RF's along with Yashica Lynxes. Solid camera with great lens. Is it worth repairing? Depends on you. On a good day you probably could sell it and recoup repair price, if that's question. And it's worth keeping if you do not have too many cameras.
__________________
MyFlickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-28-2012   #13
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 3,358
It's true what they say about doing a job only halfway. After a couple of days, and even with regular excersize, this morning the shutter started sticking again. Actually just sort of running slow, so either I buy a lovely set of pin wrenches, or I ship the little jewel off to Essex in New Jersey. One way or the other it's going to cost me, but I would rather do it myself.

PF
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-21-2012   #14
KoNickon
Nick Merritt
 
KoNickon is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hartford, CT USA
Age: 55
Posts: 2,851
Just saw this thread, and I agree the 519 is a really nice camera. I have a F-O-N that needs a cleaning of the viewfinder. For the life of me I can't figure out how to remove the top cover. I have removed the rewind crank, removed the screws attaching the hotshoe, the screws flanking the eyepiece, and the screw on the righthand end of the camera. It seems there's still something keeping the cover in place, especially on the left side. Or have I removed all the necessary screws, and it's just really tightly fitted? Thanks in advance.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-21-2012   #15
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 3,358
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Just saw this thread, and I agree the 519 is a really nice camera. I have a F-O-N that needs a cleaning of the viewfinder. For the life of me I can't figure out how to remove the top cover. I have removed the rewind crank, removed the screws attaching the hotshoe, the screws flanking the eyepiece, and the screw on the righthand end of the camera. It seems there's still something keeping the cover in place, especially on the left side. Or have I removed all the necessary screws, and it's just really tightly fitted? Thanks in advance.
The rewinder recess needs to be removed also.


Rewinder Removal 3 by br1078phot, on Flickr

http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyd8ZUX

PF
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-21-2012   #16
KoNickon
Nick Merritt
 
KoNickon is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hartford, CT USA
Age: 55
Posts: 2,851
Thank you, sir! I don't think I would have figured that out. Looks like it just screws out, with friction I guess? I don't recall seeing pin spanner holes.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-21-2012   #17
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 3,358
Nick, if you look at the photos on Flickr from the link I supplied, you'll see the two pin holes. I can see them on my 519 by lifting the rewind crank handle, and turning the knob till the holes show. Ricoh shared a lot of the engineering design features over the model range of the 300, 500, and 519. Just wish they hadn't gotten so enamored with making the 519 a premier camera, and put a regular slotted screw where the retainer ring for the shutter cover goes. They used a pin head screw, so I just buttoned the camera back up.

PF
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 16:23.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.