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Ricoh FF-1 - so good I bought a second one
Old 12-07-2019   #1
Huss
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Ricoh FF-1 - so good I bought a second one

I've gone through (still have) a bunch of super compact 35mm scale focus cameras.
I've settled on the Ricoh FF1 as my favourite. Superb handling, excellent single stroke film winding, super easy to use, excellent meter and fantastic lens.
I like it so much I bought another just to have one for each hand...

Shot using Fuji C200:





And here it is on top of a regular size camera....

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Old 12-07-2019   #2
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These pics are pin sharp. The super crappy Flickr algorithm removes that when posted..
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Old 12-07-2019   #3
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I always liked the Ricoh lenses. I have quite a few good pics from a 500G and then I got a pancake 50f/2 for peanuts that stayed for years on a Pentax ME. Lovely optics and very cheap.
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Old 12-10-2019   #4
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Ricoh FF1, Lomo Berlin Kino 400, Z7 scan

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Old 12-10-2019   #5
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Are they as “reliable” as famous Ricoh in real use? Minox and Oly aren’t due to tiny electronics age.
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Old 12-10-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Are they as “reliable” as famous Ricoh in real use? Minox and Oly aren’t due to tiny electronics age.
I have no idea. But I hope so! They are very nicely made, the one "issue" is that the VFs become a little hazy - just like my M4-2 (which I cleaned). No hints anywhere how to open up the camera so I have not bothered as it works fine and does not effect actual shooting. Plus I'd hate for something to break while a cleaning attempt is made.
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Old 12-17-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
These pics are pin sharp. The super crappy Flickr algorithm removes that when posted..
I think it might be your settings in Flickr. When I click on the pix here, it takes me to a Flickr page that says the pix are private.

I have mine set so that when someone clicks on them, they're viewed full size, but right-click downloading is not allowed. Does it work for you when you click an image of mine? (just checking, in case it doesn't work like I think it's working...)

By the way, if you haven't already, click the little switch to try Flickr Beta; it is a lot better than the previous version, and not buggy at all.

PC052580 by Jeremy, on Flickr
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Old 12-18-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
I think it might be your settings in Flickr. When I click on the pix here, it takes me to a Flickr page that says the pix are private.

I have mine set so that when someone clicks on them, they're viewed full size, but right-click downloading is not allowed. Does it work for you when you click an image of mine? (just checking, in case it doesn't work like I think it's working...)

By the way, if you haven't already, click the little switch to try Flickr Beta; it is a lot better than the previous version, and not buggy at all.

https://flic.kr/p/2hVzc4P
I found the same thing: Huss' photos are private and only a specific rendering resolution is posted, so whatever RFF's imaging is set to affects their quality. Yours work fine.

This Ricoh FF-1 seems to be identical in almost every way to my Minox GT-E. Sheesh, I haven't had that camera out for a shoot in years! I remember it being a great pocketable with a superb lens, used to carry it a lot. Perhaps I'll drag it out for a walk.

...Yeah yeah, I say that all the time. There are simply too many cameras in my closet and not enough days to walk! LOL!!!

G
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Old 12-18-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I found the same thing: Huss' photos are private and only a specific rendering resolution is posted, so whatever RFF's imaging is set to affects their quality. Yours work fine.

This Ricoh FF-1 seems to be identical in almost every way to my Minox GT-E. Sheesh, I haven't had that camera out for a shoot in years! I remember it being a great pocketable with a superb lens, used to carry it a lot. Perhaps I'll drag it out for a walk.

...Yeah yeah, I say that all the time. There are simply too many cameras in my closet and not enough days to walk! LOL!!!

G
It is very similar to the Minox, but it has nice differences like a single stroke film winder, sweet big shutter release. And it works!

Interestingly if you put anything in the hot shoe, it pushes down a switch that activates the 1/60 sec flash sync speed. A well regarded Youtube reviewer Eduardo Pavez Goy tested it, did not realize that , put a GoPro in the hot shoe, and all his shots in his review came out overexposed!
He thought the camera was broken. I like Eduardo and he is a really smart guy (just got his pHD ), but I'm not sure why he doesn't just google the owner's manuals before he reviews cameras. Instead of winging it.

I'll have to look into my Flickr settings.
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Old 12-18-2019   #10
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Shot on Lomo Berlin 400

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Old 12-18-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
It is very similar to the Minox, but it has nice differences like a single stroke film winder, sweet big shutter release. And it works!

Interestingly if you put anything in the hot shoe, it pushes down a switch that activates the 1/60 sec flash sync speed. A well regarded Youtube reviewer Eduardo Pavez Goy tested it, did not realize that , put a GoPro in the hot shoe, and all his shots in his review came out overexposed!
He thought the camera was broken. I like Eduardo and he is a really smart guy (just got his pHD ), but I'm not sure why he doesn't just google the owner's manuals before he reviews cameras. Instead of winging it.

I'll have to look into my Flickr settings.
The Minox 35GT-E has essentially the same things ... both with the hot shoe and the film wind (it's a knurled thumbwheel wind, IIRC; I can wind a frame with one swipe of my thumb if I position it right). The Minox has a nice "+1.5 EV" switch, very convenient. Never saw anything wrong with the shutter release on the Minox so I don't know that that's very significant.

The Minox is a great little camera, I'm sure the Ricoh is too. I also have the copy stand and close up lens for the Minox, very handy to capture a Polaroid or other small image with onto 35mm film. (Now, how often do I need that nowadays...? LOL!)

I think I'll dig out the Minox today and load it with some Ferrania P30, just for the lark of it.

G
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Old 12-18-2019   #12
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I really wanted a Minox 35 which started me down this path. At the time I had not even heard of the Ricoh. But after reading so many horror stories about them failing I gave up on that plan.

Here's RRF's own Giganova's account of it:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...&postcount=112

All 10 that he owned failed..

I'm glad that yours works G - I actually bought the lens in a hacked LTM mount and use it on my Bessa L.
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Old 12-18-2019   #13
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The Minox 35ML has program AE and aperture preferred AE modes.
LEDs in finder show shutter speed selected by camera.

The Ricoh FF-1 has program AE only. Manual aperture selection is for flash only.
Single LED only indicates slow shutter speed/shake warning for speed <1/30.

I have two Minox 35ML cameras. The shutter on one failed years ago. DAG fixed it.
They are great true pocket cameras. Image quality is excellent.

I had a Ricoh FF-1. Images were properly exposed but never super sharp.
I dropped it on soft sand on the beach at Fort Tilden. The shutter never fired again.
I was unable to find a repairer. I have a Sears mini 35 aka Ricoh FF-1s somewhere.

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Old 12-18-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I really wanted a Minox 35 which started me down this path. At the time I had not even heard of the Ricoh. But after reading so many horror stories about them failing I gave up on that plan.

Here's RRF's own Giganova's account of it:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...&postcount=112

All 10 that he owned failed..

I'm glad that yours works G
...
I've had three Minox 35s over the years ... one the original 35EL, then a 35MX, and the current 35GT-E. All have worked perfectly. The first two were bought used and just succumbed to the usual "sell it to buy something else" thing. The 35GT-E I bought new in the middle 1990s.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

G
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Old 12-18-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

G
I dunno. Chris above u had one fail. Gig had 10 fail. I think Raid had one fail. And that’s just on this site! All were shutter failures.
On apug/photrio the pattern is the same. As on the flickr group. etc etc.
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Old 12-18-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
I had a Ricoh FF-1. Images were properly exposed but never super sharp.
I dropped it on soft sand on the beach at Fort Tilden. The shutter never fired again.
I was unable to find a repairer. I have a Sears mini 35 aka Ricoh FF-1s somewhere.

Chris
Luckily both mine are super sharp. Pics above.. (And much sharper looking at the actual files not contaminated by Flickr).

If you find your Sears Mini, and it works, let me know. Perhaps we can work something out.
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Old 12-19-2019   #17
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Just did a search for Minox 35 on ebay. Out of about 90 results, only 3 or 4 claim to be working.

ergo my discovery and v happy use of the Ricoh!

Ricoh FF-1, Fuji C200, negativelabpro.com



And 1:1 crop in case anyone thinks this lens isn't sharp! Check out the girl's braids.

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Old 12-19-2019   #18
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We have had three Minox 35 during their lifetime in the 70s/80s in our family. All had failures
sooner or later. I think that it is the right decision to get a Ricoh today.
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Old 12-19-2019   #19
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I have one Minox 35 crapped out as soon as I started to use it and received one as parts in the plastic bag after it crapped out with another user, after actual use. But it might work for some who used it just once a year...ten years ago.
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Old 12-19-2019   #20
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You never hear of FF failing because nobody has them
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Old 12-19-2019   #21
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You never hear of FF failing because nobody has them
lol. I just picked up my 3rd on ebay for $35. It's actually the Sears Mini 35 rebadge - thank you Chris for reminding me of those!
Money back guarantee so if it is a brick I'll send it back.

Ok, the worst thing about these cameras is changing the foam light seals. I hate doing that, I need to cut my own from a sheet I bought, it is messy, fiddly etc and I always swear I'll never buy another vintage camera after doing one.

Oh well, here I go again..
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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I pulled my Minox 35GT-E out of the box where it's been sitting for a decade. Along with its dedicated flash unit, close up lens, and copy stand. All are in perfect working condition, as all of mine have always been. This one I bought new in about 1997, I think.

I used to carry it literally constantly, back in the day, and probably shot a couple of rolls of film a week with it until the early '00s. Never had any problem with it.

I've loaded it with a roll of HP5 and have it in my cycling bag now, so it will get used again. Perfect size camera for that purpose!

Oh yes: It's a double stroke wind for the film, not a single stroke.

G
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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I bought two more Minox 35 ML last week, both in "mint" condition and looking fabulous, but both have the same issue: light meter works, LEDs come on and exposure time sounds correct when I cock the film advance only once. When I cock the film advance one more time, no more LEDs and the exposure sounds way too short.

So for the record: I bought 12 (!) Minox 35 over the past two years, all in EX+ or MINT condition, and none worked! I'm done with that crap.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Looks like physics law. It is not working well in small body.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Well then some of us must be incredibly lucky.
Gotta go now; I'm off to buy a lottery ticket...

Chris
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
I bought two more Minox 35 ML last week, both in "mint" condition and looking fabulous, but both have the same issue: light meter works, LEDs come on and exposure time sounds correct when I cock the film advance only once. When I cock the film advance one more time, no more LEDs and the exposure sounds way too short.

So for the record: I bought 12 (!) Minox 35 over the past two years, all in EX+ or MINT condition, and none worked! I'm done with that crap.
I'd sell you mine, but it would likely stop working. And it's too nice a camera to lose that way...

G
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #27
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lol. I just picked up my 3rd on ebay for $35. It's actually the Sears Mini 35 rebadge - thank you Chris for reminding me of those!
Money back guarantee so if it is a brick I'll send it back.

Ok, the worst thing about these cameras is changing the foam light seals. I hate doing that, I need to cut my own from a sheet I bought, it is messy, fiddly etc and I always swear I'll never buy another vintage camera after doing one.

Oh well, here I go again..
The Sears Mini35 came in today. Rebadged FF1-S. The only difference between it and the FF1 is the selftimer and iso placement.

And, like all the others, it works perfectly.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #28
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Nice.

Seven frames to go on my roll of HP5 in the Minox GT-E ...


Thank you for reminding me about this camera. I'm really enjoying having it out and shooting again!

G
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #29
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Nice.

Seven frames to go on my roll of HP5 in the Minox GT-E ...

Thank you for reminding me about this camera. I'm really enjoying having it out and shooting again!

G
Man that is a good looking camera!
Cameras like this are just so fun to use and give great results.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #30
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Because they are lightweight and genuinely pocketable,
one can carry a camera like these at all times.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I have no idea. But I hope so! They are very nicely made, the one "issue" is that the VFs become a little hazy - just like my M4-2 (which I cleaned). No hints anywhere how to open up the camera so I have not bothered as it works fine and does not effect actual shooting. Plus I'd hate for something to break while a cleaning attempt is made.
Inspired by you, Huss, I dug mine out, changed the light seals, and tried to get to the finder which is fogged on mine, too. I got the top cover off but the finder is underneath a flexible circuit board which seems to be soldered to stuff on both sides, and even so it is unclear if the finder is a closed unit. I gave up.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #32
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Quote:
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Inspired by you, Huss, I dug mine out, changed the light seals, and tried to get to the finder which is fogged on mine, too. I got the top cover off but the finder is underneath a flexible circuit board which seems to be soldered to stuff on both sides, and even so it is unclear if the finder is a closed unit. I gave up.
Yeah they all are hazy, but still totally useable so I have accepted that that is how it is.
Doesn't effect the output!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #33
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It would be kinda cool to get a broken one, open it up and see if the vf can be cleaned.
But the cheapest one on ebay is $40 (including shipping) which is kinda pricey for a 'cheap' broken camera.
I was looking more at $5...
This one looks like it took a swim.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
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I cleaned the finder. There is a small electronic board you have to remove. Underneath that board there is some kind of strong black tape which is the housing for the finder. Peel that tape off, clean the finder‘s lenses and you‘re done.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #35
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Haha there's an answer to almost every question on RFF! Good to know, I might venture in there again. It is foggy enough to put me off using it (along with the unfortunate lack of a proper distance scale).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #36
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Shot on Lomo Berlin 400

Yum,Quite Fab!!!
Need to get one of these cameras

My M6 is with Don/Dag
So I need a film camera

Thank You Huss !
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #37
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Yum,Quite Fab!!!
Need to get one of these cameras

My M6 is with Don/Dag
So I need a film camera

Thank You Huss !
I’ve got 3. you can borrow one until u get ur M6 back.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #38
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Quote:
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It would be kinda cool to get a broken one, open it up and see if the vf can be cleaned.
I took one of my Minox ML apart because it was broken anyway. Easy to disassemble and putting it back together. But OMG, its all super flimsy plastic inside, nothing of substance. No wonder that they break so easily. Or I should better say: getting out of alignment. The fatigue of the thin material is what kills them. Most screws are tiny plastic screws into tiny plastic threads. You take out a screw and it will never be secure again and needs Locktite to hold in place. With skills, you can bend things back into shape again, but that requires knowing how things are supposed to be. They are build to such low specs that barely makes them work in the first place!
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What's in *your* pocket?
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #39
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What's in *your* pocket?

These cameras and many other similar models discussed here:

http://www.subclub.org

Chris
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #40
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Using Fuji C200, Negativelabpro, Z7 scan:

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