The Ricoh 500G - It Lives!

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by lou_meluso, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. This cute little shooter is a Ricoh 500G. They are fairly common and nice little rangefinder with a good lens. I’ve must have had three or four of these at various times over the years but they all had mechanical issues so I gave them all away except one. It is very clean and in perfect working order, except, like all the rest, the seals had turned into a gooey mess. Don’t even think of using this camera without good seals. Light just pours in. It sat in a drawer for many months till one day I decided I would try to reseal it. I contacted Jon Goodman (Interslice) directly to see if he had a foam kit for this…yes he does!
  2. For some reason, there is a lot of foam in this thing. That means a lot of goo to clean out. Fortunately, there are no deep or hidden channels to dredge so clean up wasn’t too bad. I have got to hand it to Jon. These kits are the bomb! I don’t know how he does it but not only are they a perfect fit, but his illustrated step-by-step instructions make it easy even for me. After licking and noodling the foam bits into place you have to let it sit open overnight. The next day my Ricoh was as good as new. Finally, the 500G lives!

    Of course, I ran right out to test it by shooting some images for a personal project I’m working on called Urban Flora. Here are a few images from the 500G on Fuji Superia 400.
  3. Urban Flora #9
  4. Urban Flora #11
  5. Urban Flora #12
  6. Urban Flora #16
    A special thanks to Jon Goodman for all his help and fine seal products. They give new life to cameras.
  7. Very nice, Louis. I had one of these up until late last Spring when I sold it to someone who I thought would get more use out of it than I was at the time. It's a cool little camera and if the opportunity to acquire another one presents itself, something tells me I will.
  8. Nice job Louis! I love those litle full frame RF's.
  9. Louis, what a gorgeous camera! I can't get enough of these little gems.
  10. "Holy-a-FOAM-mania" - I've never seen a camera that used soo much foam. But is def. a camera worth re-doing! Like the last pix....
  11. Distinctive styling on the body, very timeless design. Really handsome.
    Strangest set of light seals I've ever seen -- huge expanses of goo! But I do appreciate very much how it's nice not to have to big the goo out of deep grooves.
  12. Very sharp. Thanks for posting.
  13. That mess of foam reminds me a lot of the Canon Demi S, which wasn't quite so extensive, but was a real trial to replace. I have another one that needs foaming, too, but am not so motivated to do it at present.
  14. You did a great job, Louis, and thanks very much for the compliment! Before I go any further, please let me direct some praise to 2 friends in the for creating this website years ago and leaving it up: And another for loaning me his 500g from which I made the kit. Super camera and super pictures. Thanks for sharing. (Lot of fun cleaning that camera up, wasn't it?)
  15. Great pictures Louis, the have a raw urban look to them, and are well composed. Keep the postings going.
  16. Hey, that looks exactly like mine did!
    I used Jon's kit to re-foam mine, and now it's as good as new and ready for another 20 odd years service. It's a nice little camera to use, and having manual and battery-less options to go with the shutter priority is great. I know there are other cameras of this ilk that are more sought after, but the little Ricoh costs less and looks great too. Somewhat cheaper than a full-frame digital rangefinder ;-)
    Here's a some pictures from mine (Kodak BW400CN):
  17. I bought a Ricoh 500G for my brother as a present in the late '70s. He was only a casual snapper and it came back to me a couple of years ago when he bought a Nikon Coolpix which suits him much better. He reckons the Ricoh had less than 6 rolls through it. The last one was removed for processing after sitting in the camera for about 15 years and the prints from the roll of Kodacolor Gold look fine. Needless to say the camera is in near mint condition except for the seals. The original mercury battery still activates the meter sharply and the original lens cap and hotshoe cover are still there. (It even has the little squares of soft plastic to stop the D-rings on the strap from scratching the body.) The self-timer spring seems a bit weak so I probably won't use that. Luckily I have one of Jon's large generic kits which has been used to fix three camers already. I have printed the UK Ricoh page as a PDF so I now have the dimensions for the 4 pieces of foam required. About time to get this little guy up and going again. Will make a good briefcase camera loaded with TMax 400.
  18. It's a looker in all black. Mine was stolen out of my home when I was having insulation work done.
  19. Thanks to all for your comments and contributions. This camera is so small, it easily fits into my brief case. I also have the nice little zippered leather pouch for it and the plastic strap. It works much better with a wrist strap I think.
    PC- Nice shots!

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