Author Topic: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.  (Read 5223 times)

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Skorj

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Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« on: August 11, 2007, 04:39:50 AM »
Before the Black Mat was my portrait machine, this marvelous Ricohflex was my first and only TLR. I bought it from a little shop in Nihonbashi who apparently had sold either it, or very similar, to the previous owner originally in 1957 (my Japanese is pretty bad).


1957 Ricohflex VII.

For such a simple tin box, I was constantly astounded by its marvelous results. It was this Ricohflex that taught me the value of a TLR in formalizing my portrait technique. TLRs have an entirely different feel and process to conventional cameras. Modern SLRs and digitals with rear mounted TFTs are held differently and are engineered for convenience and speed.


A young girl who works a tourist bus who was very busy but still took the time to pose. T-Max 100.


Cammo. T-Max 100.


A pretty young girl who told me she wants to be a designer.

A full manual TLR by comparison is a slow and formal process. Subjects asked to pose - provided they have the time - respond to metering, camera setting, and composition process with a very different attitude than just sticking a lens in their face and tripping the shutter. They pose. They think about posing. While this is perhaps not ideal in all circumstances, it does result in some great output. The VII also has a `sport finder` to be used at arm`s length for those sporty style photographs.


Sporty. T-Max 100.

As an entry level TLR, it is hard to beat. Later Super Ricoflexes have 1/250 (instead of 1/100) as a maximum shutter speed. All are full open at f3.5. Their best attribute of course is price; reasonable condition VIIs can be found for USD50, and even with the optional 35mm `Color Back` adapter, and perhaps in mint condition, they still sell for under USD100.



Next time: The Polaroid 195. Have fun.

 

 

« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 04:49:41 AM by Skorj »

jerry alan

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 02:26:27 PM »
The ricohflex was my first medium format TLR then i found a SuperRicohflex. The photos form these cameras are so unique that i perfer using them when i photograph my freinds children.  I will post some

jojonas~

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 01:05:50 AM »
as you say, skorj, those are some impressive results! the camera looks very basic with it's simple looking design (and slow top shutter speed, though that haven't stopped lubitels from taking some great photos)

the color back looks massive by the way! do you just insert it into the camera or does one have to swap some parts out for it to fit?
/jonas

Flippy

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 04:07:36 AM »
The Ricohflex cameras have a removeable "cone" like most box cameras - the color back just replaces the normal cone. There's also a special advance knob that has to be fitted when using the color back.

I've had several Ricohflex cameras and the Super is the way to go IMO. It has a much, much, much, much better shutter than the earlier cameras. The shutter used on the older ones is a two blade deal that's regulated by spring tension which means that by now they're usually wildly inaccurate. The Super has a three blade shutter with a conventional clockwork type retarding mechanism and I've never had a problem with them. Also the Supers are commonly found with the auto-stop mech fitted which allows one to advance the film without looking through the red window, a very convenient feature that makes using the camera much more enjoyable.

The big thing to watch out for is frozen focus, the grease Ricoh used turns to wax basically and the focus sticks. If somebody tried to force the focus they can damage the camera - these cameras are actually pretty fragile. Luckily re-greasing is pretty simple.

The best feature of the Richoflex is probably its light weight and very compact size it's not any bigger than average 35mm SLRs...
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 04:10:23 AM by Flippy »

6cmsquare

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 08:05:31 PM »
Nice! good to know, I've been spying a Ricohflex for a bit that has a frozen focus, sounds like a little heat and a regrets might be an easy fix.
As long as I'm learning something, I figure I'm OK - it's a decent day.
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Flippy

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 09:06:52 PM »
Nice! good to know, I've been spying a Ricohflex for a bit that has a frozen focus, sounds like a little heat and a regrets might be an easy fix.

Actually the best way is to loosen the grub screws on the geared outer rings - remove the rings - then douse the exposed helical threads with lighter fluid. After a few seconds it should be easy to unscrew the front elements all the way. Then just clean out the old grease, put a little dab of new grease in, screw it all back together and adjust the focus so it matches between the lenses (since the lenses are coupled by gears it doesn't matter which thread you start the helical on so it's very simple). For the last part it's best to have a tripod, a locking cable release, and piece of groundglass/old focus screen. But it requires no special tools - if you can handle a jewellers screwdriver you probably have what it takes.

mcduff

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 05:26:03 AM »
Boy this is an old thread that had come back to life. I have always been interested in the ricohflex . Those are lovely images and I like your description of composition.

So how bright is the finder on these? Is focusing reasonably easy?
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check out Don's stuff at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcduffco/

Flippy

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Re: Review - The Ricohflex Tin Box.
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 10:39:16 PM »
The screens are plain ground glass, but with a 3.5/80 lens it is a little brighter than some other TLRs with 75mm lenses. On the other hand without a fresnel screen the corner fall off is pretty abrupt.