5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

By theoldsmithy

Since getting back into film about 18 months ago, I’ve tried many different cameras and never really gelled with any of them. But when I read about the 500G I knew I needed one. A shutter priority rangefinder with a sharp 40mm f2.8 lens, and really compact too – what’s not to like?

Well, I found one on eBay for £25 with dodgy light seals (a very common problem, apparently). Indeed the seals were largely just black gunk, but after a couple of hours work with various wooden implements, a can of WD40, a craft knife and some new 2mm self adhesive foam, I had the seals looking pretty neat.

After this surgery, the little fella has proved to be the camera I could, finally, really like using. Its compact size suits my small hands perfectly. It’s well built out of metal with leatherette patches for grip. The viewfinder could be bigger but it’s plenty clear enough, the 40mm FOV is very versatile, and there is a bright aperture needle on the right hand side; just move the shutter speed ring to get the aperture you want – perfect! Focussing with the yellow RF patch is quick and, so far anyway, accurate. The winder operates smoothly and doesn’t need a huge throw. And the shutter makes a pleasing quiet snick sound. It all just feels right.

I’ve tried a few films through the 500G. Fomapan 400 gave lovely contrast and tones in both landscape and street scenes. With my favourite colour film, Lomography 400, I’ve got rich warm colours with a distinctly filmish appeal if that doesn’t sound obvious!  My preference is for mono films, though, so some of my stock of Acros 100 is next in line and I can’t wait to see the results.

Lomo 400
Lomo 400
Fomapan 400
Fomapan 400
Fomapan 400

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Comments

In which I try a Ricoh 500G, a Minolta X700, and an Olympus XA2 - Photographs by Martin Connolly on 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

Comment posted: 27/02/2020

[…] Ricoh 500G. I wrote an article for 35mmc describing the experience. You can find that article here but suffice to say I loved it, and still do (= I still have […]
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5 frames with a Pentax Auto 110 - by Martin Connolly - 35mmc on 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

Comment posted: 06/08/2019

[…] My other content on 35mmc can be found here […]
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In which I try a Ricoh, a Minolta X700, and an Olympus XA2 – Martin's attempts at photography on 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

Comment posted: 08/01/2019

[…] Ricoh 500G. I wrote an article for 35mmc describing the experience. You can find that article here but suffice to say I loved it, and still do (= I still have […]
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Nigel Cliff on 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

Comment posted: 26/07/2018

Bridgnorth and Bewdley so local to me
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theoldsmithy replied:

Comment posted: 26/07/2018

Yes the 2 street scenes are Bewdley. The colour image with the church is Weobley in Herefordshire, and the scene in the woods is in the Croft Castle estate (also Herefordshire). The garden is mine :)

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Russ on 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

Comment posted: 26/07/2018

I have the re-branded Sears rf version. Not a bad performer.
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35mmc article – Martin's attempts at photography on 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G – by Martin Connolly

Comment posted: 26/07/2018

[…] 5 Frames with a Ricoh 500G […]
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