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Fixed Lens 35mm 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.

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Sears 35|rf Arrives!
Old 04-04-2007   #1
dazedgonebye
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Thumbs up Sears 35|rf Arrives!

My little Sears 35|rf (Ricoh 500G) camera has arrived and wonder of wonders…it works!
The rangefinder seems accurate. The meter is responsive and accurate to sunny 16 and the aperture is controlled in A mode! Heck, it even works with the 1.4v hearing aid batteries I had waiting for it.
Ok, the extensive and odd light seals are a gooey mess…but I can fix that easily enough. I’ll snap a few pics of the seals then clean them off with what, lighter fluid, goo-be-gone? I just happen to have a Jon Goodman light seal kit on hand, so I’m good to go.
As an added bonus, it even has an original lens cap with the cute little Sears and Roebuck “butterfly” symbol on it…how cool is that?
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Old 04-05-2007   #2
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It took about 90 minutes to scrape the gunky light seals out and replace them. What a mess.
But...now we're cleaned up, light tight (I hope) and loaded with film.
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Old 04-11-2007   #3
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What does this camera look like?

Post pix when you get them!
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Old 04-16-2007   #4
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I've still got to get pictures taken of mine. I've been busy shooting and doing my taxes, so little time for camera shots right now.
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Question About Sears 35rf camara
Old 04-30-2007   #5
Sears 35rf Model 444
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Question About Sears 35rf camara

Hi, I have the same camera model, and I was just wondering if you can help me identify what kind of battery it uses. Also, what would you suggest in restoring the foam light seal inside the camera? You help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.





Quote:
Originally Posted by dazedgonebye
My little Sears 35|rf (Ricoh 500G) camera has arrived and wonder of wonders…it works!
The rangefinder seems accurate. The meter is responsive and accurate to sunny 16 and the aperture is controlled in A mode! Heck, it even works with the 1.4v hearing aid batteries I had waiting for it.
Ok, the extensive and odd light seals are a gooey mess…but I can fix that easily enough. I’ll snap a few pics of the seals then clean them off with what, lighter fluid, goo-be-gone? I just happen to have a Jon Goodman light seal kit on hand, so I’m good to go.
As an added bonus, it even has an original lens cap with the cute little Sears and Roebuck “butterfly” symbol on it…how cool is that?
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Old 04-30-2007   #6
dazedgonebye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sears 35rf Model 444
Hi, I have the same camera model, and I was just wondering if you can help me identify what kind of battery it uses. Also, what would you suggest in restoring the foam light seal inside the camera? You help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Welcome to the forum!
You're looking for a 1.4v zinc hearing aid battery to replace the PX675 that was original to the camera (a 1.35v battery, believe).
Radio shack sells them prety cheap.

Light seals cover almost the entire back cover of this camera around the film pressure plate. I've never seen anything else like it.
If you have a digital camera, take some pictures of the seals to help you remember where to place the new seals. Then, you'll have to remove that whole goey mess. I used some lens cleaner and a piece of popcicle stick with cotton cloth. It took about 30 minutes of steady cleaning to get it all off.

I had one of these light seal kits laying around. The thin sheet, marked number 1 on that listing, seemed the right thickness. You just need to cut bits and adhere them to the back of the film door till you've replicated what was there before.

All in all, it was a bit more than an hour's work to replace the seals. I'm pretty clumsy at these things and mine seems light tight.

Don't hesitate to contact me if this is not clear once you start to work at it.

Good luck.
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Old 04-30-2007   #7
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Thanks much. I'll keep you posted once I finish resealing it.
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Old 01-19-2008   #8
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ok so i am new to the whole non digital photography thing but im really interested in it and i just found an old sears 35 rf that was my dads and i was wondering exactly where the 1.4v hearing aid batteries are suposed to go and it came with a flash thing that was attached to the top of the camera and i dont think it works if any body can help me out it would be GREATLY appreciated
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Old 01-19-2008   #9
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also there is a guide on the back of the flash thing (sorry dont kno what its actually called) and i was wondering what that was suposed to be used for as well? again any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 01-19-2008   #10
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You're back...

If you look on the bottom of the camera, you'll see a small silver cover that has a slot in it. Use a penny or dime to turn the cover and remove it.
With any luck, it'll be clean in there. If you see a lot of corrosion, you'll have some cleaning to do. Anyway, that's where the batteries go.
As far as the flash is concerned, I'd have to see what you have.
It's likely a manual flash and the guide on the back is used to figure out flash exposure. That's a bit much to go in to here.
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Old 01-19-2008   #11
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I just realized that I never posted a picture of this camera. I also realized it has half a roll in it and I've got to go finish that off.

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Old 01-19-2008   #12
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yea thanks i found the lil silver cover about 3 min after i asked that while i was messing with it and yea everything is clean except it has alot of dust around the lens dials and do you know where i could find a guide to explain what everything does??? like the dials on the lens and the exposure guide on the flash
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Old 01-19-2008   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsuperman09
yea thanks i found the lil silver cover about 3 min after i asked that while i was messing with it and yea everything is clean except it has alot of dust around the lens dials and do you know where i could find a guide to explain what everything does??? like the dials on the lens and the exposure guide on the flash
I have a manual for the Ricoh branded brother of this camera. It's in my desk at work.
Google for it and maybe you'll find it online. If you don't contact me on Monday and I'll see about scanning the manual for you.
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Old 01-19-2008   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazedgonebye
I just realized that I never posted a picture of this camera. I also realized it has half a roll in it and I've got to go finish that off.

Very cool camera in the black finish.
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Old 01-19-2008   #15
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I think all of the Sears branded versions were in black.
The Ricoh look pretty handsome in an unusual two-tone.
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Old 01-19-2008   #16
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thanks i found a short online version but as for what the letters represent it was kinda confusing but it did answer the questions that i had thanks alot
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Old 01-19-2008   #17
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Google the online manual for the Ricoh 500G.
The cameras are identical.

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Old 01-19-2008   #18
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Except for the shutter button, that looks mighty like my Vivitar 35ES!

Regards!
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Old 02-02-2008   #19
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ok so the picture u posted is exactly the same as the camera i have except for the numbers between the DIN and ASA what are these for??? and also i just got some rayovac357/303 batteries that i was told was a cross reference to the original battery that i handed them will these work??? and what exactly are they used for???

Never Mind!!! i feel like a dumb a** I found another online manual and I figured it all out thanks alot for the help here!

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Old 02-02-2008   #20
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The 303/357 is a silver oxide battery of 1.55V which is not a direct replacement for the original 1.35V mercury cell. Does it matter? Without comparing readings with each, I can't say. But a 1.4V hearing aid battery would be my choice to start with.
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Old 02-02-2008   #21
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The hearing aid batteries work well. They don't last long, but they're cheap and you can keep spares easily.
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Old 11-21-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazedgonebye View Post
My little Sears 35|rf (Ricoh 500G) camera has arrived and wonder of wonders…it works!
The rangefinder seems accurate. The meter is responsive and accurate to sunny 16 and the aperture is controlled in A mode! Heck, it even works with the 1.4v hearing aid batteries I had waiting for it.
Ok, the extensive and odd light seals are a gooey mess…but I can fix that easily enough. I’ll snap a few pics of the seals then clean them off with what, lighter fluid, goo-be-gone? I just happen to have a Jon Goodman light seal kit on hand, so I’m good to go.
As an added bonus, it even has an original lens cap with the cute little Sears and Roebuck “butterfly” symbol on it…how cool is that?
Cool. It's a decent little rig.
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Old 11-21-2008   #23
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It's a great camera. I've got a 500 G that I found at a Goodwill grand opening some months ago for $3.99 in very nice condition that works perfectly and takes beautiful photos. Have fun with it and post some pictures.
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Old 04-22-2009   #24
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Hey, congrats on the camera. I, too, just picked up a Sears 35 RF but mine appears to be a stripped down (no me switch) version of the Ricoh 500 ME:



It also takes decent pictures:

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Old 04-22-2009   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazedgonebye View Post
I just realized that I never posted a picture of this camera. I also realized it has half a roll in it and I've got to go finish that off.
Yep, sweet little low-cost camera. With the Sears logo, it's so anti-cool it is cool again, and it's no toy - great lens. Yes, the seals are usually a gummy mess, and just as you said - lots of seals, acres of seals. Like a skindiver this thing is mummied up.

But it is small, quiet, and unobtrusive, and I doubt it could get stolen in Barcelona if you left it and walked away for ten minutes (don't test that).

I put it in the same class as the Oly RC, but it tends to cost less due to the Sears logo. The lens is every bit as good, IMHO. I think the lens on the Oly RD or SP beat it, but really, not by that much, and of course it is a 2.8 lens, which is a tiny bit slow. But it is a fun camera, worth having. And one gets tired of it, you can surely get your money back by selling it - just don't pay some nutso price for it. I got mine a couple years ago, don't think I paid more than $5 USD each on eBay - both needed seals, but the shutters were fine. I don't bother with the batteries, so I don't even know if the meters work on mine - don't care, use an external meter.
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Old 04-22-2009   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsuperman09 View Post
yea thanks i found the lil silver cover about 3 min after i asked that while i was messing with it and yea everything is clean except it has alot of dust around the lens dials and do you know where i could find a guide to explain what everything does??? like the dials on the lens and the exposure guide on the flash
DIN/ASA is film speed (ISO = ASA). Don't need to set it unless you have the meter working and you want to shoot with the shutter speed on 'A'.
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Old 04-22-2009   #27
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All your spinning around 35|RF made me to purchase 500G (old style, with front plate instead of top cover) - surely for educational purposes, e.g. compare feel and usage against 35RC

Both have "slow lenses", with "limited range of speeds" - but I must admit that 35RC is pure joy to use, and guess that 500G will be very similar.

Already one cool thing about 500G - it has native softie, while late 500GX (with raised shoe) and Sears 35rf (without pipe) don't. At least on 35RC softie makes whole business a candy, because AE mechanism makes throw longer and stiffer.

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Old 04-22-2009   #28
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I have had a Ricoh 500RF for about a week and it's really a nice camera. What I like best about it is it can be fully manual, and its small size allows me to slip it into my cargo pants pocket.

I had to tighten the focus wheel on mine as it was wobbling a lot, and it's really easy to do even for a newbie like me. All in all a great, cheap little camera.
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Old 12-05-2009   #29
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I purchased a Sears 35|rf on ebay and it seems to function and I have gooey seals and all. I have a question, though. What size of lens cap does it use? There was no lens cap with mine. I can't wait to get the seals cleaned up and expose a roll.
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Old 12-05-2009   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMc View Post
I purchased a Sears 35|rf on ebay and it seems to function and I have gooey seals and all. I have a question, though. What size of lens cap does it use? There was no lens cap with mine. I can't wait to get the seals cleaned up and expose a roll.
It takes a 46mm lens cap! I have a 46-49mm step up ring on mine since I own a variety of 49mm lens caps and filters!
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Old 12-05-2009   #31
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Quote:
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It takes a 46mm lens cap! I have a 46-49mm step up ring on mine since I own a variety of 49mm lens caps and filters!
Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-05-2009   #32
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Quote:
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I can't wait to get the seals cleaned up and expose a roll.
If you haven't gotten a seal kit yet and still want to try it out, just use gaffer's tape (or duct tape, black electrician's tape, etc) around the edges after you get the film in and go shooting. You don't want to pay for a kit and spend time installing it and find out the shutter or rangefinder is wonky and it needs a CLA or something. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2009   #33
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Quote:
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If you haven't gotten a seal kit yet and still want to try it out, just use gaffer's tape (or duct tape, black electrician's tape, etc) around the edges after you get the film in and go shooting. You don't want to pay for a kit and spend time installing it and find out the shutter or rangefinder is wonky and it needs a CLA or something. Good luck!
Thanks for the tip! I certainly appreciate it.
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Old 12-05-2009   #34
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Old 10-14-2011   #35
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Sears stuff prior to the 80s used to be of very high quality, then it all went downhill fast/ deep.
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My Sears 35rf
Old 11-12-2018   #36
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My Sears 35rf

I bought a Sears 35rf back around 1979 while working part-time at Sears.
I just found it among my parents belongings after their deaths. It is in pristine shape, as I don’t recall ever using it. The seals needed replacing and the pictures are amazing.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/161249.../shares/J86191
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Old 11-12-2018   #37
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Strange how things come around (including this thread. I see I commented back in 2008!).

I like your photos.
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Old 11-12-2018   #38
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Later Sears 35rf was based on Ricoh 500 ME (which replaced the 500G):



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Old 11-13-2018   #39
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Shot a roll of black and white two weeks ago. Should receive them back this Friday. I have the original camera case only missing the original lens cap.
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Old 11-17-2018   #40
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