Ricoh 500/519 Disassembly

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by davecaz, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. So, I now have a third 519, purchased for the accessories it came with, which I intend to sell on, but it has a couple of problems I'd like to address beforehand. I'm hoping someone here can give me some pointers on how to disassemble the necessary parts.

    One issue is a sticky shutter. I've been exercising it a lot, and it now works most of the time, but not all the time. I tried using the bottle-cap-and-rubber-sheet trick to remove the front element, but I couldn't budge it. Maybe that approach doesn't work with these cameras. I don't know. But, I used more force than was needed to remove the lens on the Konica S II, and no go. So, I'm looking for suggestions.

    I'd also like to remove the top cap, so I can clean the viewfinder. The rangefinder patch is barely visible, so it's difficult to focus on most subjects. It seemed like it would be an easy one, with just a few screws and not much else on it, but it's not cooperating. I even removed the flash/accessory shoe, but that doesn't seem to be the issue. Something at the left end, when holding it for shooting, with the shutter button on the right end, is holding fast and refusing to let go. But, I don't see anything on the outside at that location, so it may just be stuck. I don't want to force it without knowing more about what I'm doing.

    I'm actually attempting my first disassembly on a 500 that was also purchased for its accessories, with the intention of treating the camera itself as a catch-and-release. But it, too, could use a viewfinder cleaning and they sell for much less, so it gets to be the guinea pig. If I can figure it out, then I'll move on to the 519.
  2. Well, yes, in a sense that helped. It convinced me that it's beyond my abilities. :(
  3. Despite my last comment, I'd still be interested in learning what's involved in removing the top cap, if anyone knows of a resource for that.
  4. SCL


    You need to remove the rewind lever assembly. Hold the fork at the bottom with a pencil or whatever you can fit in it and rotate the knob at the top until it comes off. Then with a two prong spanner, remove the tray it fits into. It should take all of about a minute, just remember the disassembly steps to put it back together correctly.
  5. Awesome! Thanks!
  6. Well, SCL was absolutely correct. Thanks, again!

    Once I followed those steps, the top plate slid right off. One nice design feature is that the wire for the flash terminal comes off with the top plate. It's not attached to anything in the body. Makes things easy. One not so nice design feature is the shutter button which is not attached to anything, at all, and simply plops out if you turn the top plate right-side-up without holding the button in place. And, if you're me, it then bounces and skitters off the counter on which you were working and dives into the darkest, least convenient crevice available. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, here is what the inside of the top plate looks like. Mercifully little going on there.

    And, here is what is now exposed on the top of the camera body. Not as horrifying as it could have been. There are mercifully few wires in view, none of which I intend to touch. But those parts look SO much larger in the photo than they do in real life! In the photo, they look manageable. Not so much, in real life. But, we'll see. 20180426_190934-SM.jpg

    And a less oblique angle, for anyone who may care. 20180426_190943-SM.jpg
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  7. Always appreciate buck-nekkid camera P O R N. :p
    davecaz likes this.
  8. Okay, so this has gone from pathetic to disastrous. I finally got around to attempting to clean the viewfinder/rangefinder, and turned it from cloudy to horribly out of focus (but clean, I think).

    First off, I wasn't able to disassemble the camera any further for cleaning. I'd hoped to remove the box that houses some of the system, so that I could clean inside it, but that's not going to be possible. At least one of the screws holding it in place, and there are at least six, which seems like overkill, is "welded" into place. Being soft brass, instead of loosening the threads, the metal forming the slot gave way, turning it basically into a one-way screw. So, I think it would take a tiny screw extractor, or something similar, to remove it, now. And I didn't notice this until later, but one of those screws is under the rangefinder focusing mechanism, which I didn't even want to remove.

    So, I cleaned the accessible glass, using cotton swabs and glass cleaner, then turned to the tubular viewport. This may or may not have glass in it. There is none on the outer end. I can't tell if what's on the inner end is part of the tube or the box. In any case, I think that attempting to clean that surface may have pushed it out of position, because it's now completely out of focus.

    It used to be cloudy and somewhat dark, when looking through the viewfinder, but the scene being viewed was in focus. Now, it's brighter, but so far out of focus that it only becomes clear if I hold the camera a foot away from my face and squint through it. When I do that, I can get it to "focus" (this probably isn't the right word, but I don't know what else to call it). I'm not sure if it's my imagination, or if the whole scene is now yellowish.

    It's all very disappointing.

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