Super Ricohflex TLR Project Camera
- Produced 1956-? Riken Optical Co., Ltd. Japan
- Film type 120
- Picture size: 6cm x 6cm
- Weight 27.4oz (776.8g)
- Lens (taking) Ricoh Anastigmat 80mm f3.5 (stops to f16)
- Filter Size 36mm push-on
- Focal range 3.6′ to infinity
- Shutter Riken
- Shutter speeds B, 1/10 – 1/200
- Viewfinder TLR
- Exposure meter none
- Accessory shoe, PC sync (syncs at all speeds)
- Almost as old as me! Does that make me a fixer upper as well? Hmmm…
Given to me on a trip back to my old stomping grounds (Atlanta, Ga), this old gal has a few rough edges. She languished on the shelf for who knows how long, then when I got it, in a box for almost 2 years before I decided to look at it. She suffered from age, the lenses were seized, their grease hardened from time. Focus was locked at about 15 feet, dented and dirty. A pretty camera for the shelf to collect dust and nothing more. Well I retired a few years ago and as I still shoot film I decided it was time to give this old gal a CLA and get her up and shooting again. If you find one of these and the lenses are seized (a very common problem) please don’t force the lenses to move, send it off to a repairman like “Matt’s classic Cameras” , Matt has a love of old cameras and does repair if possible on these (the cost of his time & effort plus work is totally worth the end results) e-mail him for pricing and turnaround, he’s a busy fellow.
Anyway Matt has a few articles on his web page and also a few repair articles, mind you, teardown and rebuild are not for the faint of heart, (If you do disassemble your Ricohflex and botch it all up don’t expect him to just put it back together, that’ll cost you extra, so don’t do any repairs unless you have the skill set and are willing to except your mistakes if you make any).
First off it’s all metal, so even though it had a few dents and scuffs it was sound. I read a few repair articles and decided I could tackle the job, I already had the tools. The green grease (set up like plaster), well after a bit I had it disassembled to the point were I could soak the lens barrels in (lighter fluid) naptha . . . Work in a ventilated area and realize some of the stuff is flammable … NOTE: before we go any further . . . I take NO responsibility for you goofing your stuff up or injuring yourself . . . work smart. So I took the old gal apart, cleaned and re-lubed everything (my shutter is still a bit sticky, I’ll have to revisit that issue). The shutter is good at 1/200th sec. but some of the slower speeds hang open.
Don’t let the age fool you, the 8cm (80mm) anastigmat is a sharp lens. After re-assembly I had to re-align the focus of the viewing and taking lenses so what you saw in the viewing screen was indeed what the taking lens was focused on. If you search a bit you can find a document online as to how this is accomplished. Well, I managed to get mine aligned and have sent a test roll through to check my focus. I’ll be dropping that off to have it processed and scanned to a CD. I will post some sample photos from the test roll (I am checking focus & shutter speeds). I hope to have those photos back next week, so check back to see how well I did.
When done, I will have a sweet little 120mm TLR camera to go play with. So goes my little project camera. “An idle mind is a waste of time“, I like to keep mine busy, and this camera is much like a puzzle.
Have some fun, go shoot a roll of film.
As promised, photos from the old camera, The 1st roll (Testing the camera), I used Kodak TMAX 100, I am very pleased with the results of my work on the camera. The focus seems to be good between the taking and viewing lenses.
As you can see the old Super Ricohflex is working pretty good and the negs are sharp. I had the TMAX 100 processed and scanned to a disk for me at a local camera store. They do a great job, saves me time and trouble, looks like the outdated TMAX and old camera did me well.