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My Father's Camera: Ricoh KR-5

When I started to get interested to analog photography, I asked my father to give me his camera. I fell in love with her! The Ricoh KR-5 is considered by many to be a great starter camera for novices.

The Ricoh KR-5 is a standard 35mm SLR camera made by a Japanese company that is still in existence and currently produces digital cameras as well as office equipment. It was manufactured in 1975. The only electronic component in it is the exposure meter; users have to learn to manually set everything else. That so many people still use this film camera is a testament to the camera’s quality and durability. Once a photographer knows how to use this, it makes using other cameras easier.

It offers superb optics and outstanding mechanical performance and reliability. The KR-5 featured a built-in, through-the-lens, full aperture CdS exposure meter which measured the light coming through the lens, enabling the photographer to set the proper exposure for a given lighting condition. The correct exposure is obtained by setting the shutter speed and f-stop in the right combination for the type of film, subject, and lighting conditions.

The KR-5 was equipped with a Riconar 55mm f/2.2 standard lens made of 4 elements arranged in 4 groups. The camera had a mechanical metal focal plane shutter with speeds from 1/8 to 1/500th of a second.

Here are some photos:

Specifications:

Camera Type: 35 mm SLR
Film Format: 24 × 36 mm
Film Size and Capacity: 35 mm perforated film in 12, 20, 24 or 36 exposures.
Filter size: 52 mm screw-in type
Lens Mount: ‘’K" type bayonet with 65° rotating angle
Shutter: mechanically-controlled, vertical-travel, shutter with speeds from 1/8 to 1/500 second plus B (bulb); flash X sync was from 1/8 to 1/60th of a second
Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism
Focusing screen: Diagonal Split-image spot in microprism-image band surrounded by Fresnel field
Exposure Meter: Two CdS photocells TTL full open metering for center-weighted average light reading coupled to shutter speeds, film speeds and f-stops.
Film Speed Range: ASA 12 ~ 3200 (DIN 12 ~ 36)
Exposure Meter Power Supply: Two 1.5V silver-oxide batteries
Flash Contact: "X’’ contact on hot shoe for cordless electronic flash unit
Exposure Counter: Additive, automatic resetting.
Dimensions: 139.9 (width) x 91.3 (height) x 48.0 (depth) mm (Body only)

The KR-5 is very easy to use. Just load the film, set the ISO, focus on your subject and adjusts the exposure by playing with the shutter speed and f-stop. That’s all!

The camera does not allow double exposures, but by rewinding the film, you can get some beautiful photos.

written by tsingtao

24 comments

  1. alex34

    alex34

    Great article!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. sonliang

    Good review!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Excellent!!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. litleandi

    litleandi

    I need to get one!!! =) Great writing. =)

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    Thank you @herbert-4 @litleandi!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. brandkow93

    brandkow93

    Great article and lovely photos, if you havent already try to definetily pick up some Pentax K mount lenses.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    Thank you @brandkow93! Unfortunately I don't have any pentax ..

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. clickiemcpete

    clickiemcpete

    Nice review! I think what brandkow was saying is that the Pentax K mount lenses are compatible with the Ricoh and so there is a big variety out there that you could use. ;)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    @clickiemcpete Oh!! Thank you for the info.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. emanuele

    emanuele

    Great article!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. sanfong

    sanfong

    Great!! I'm a Ricoh fan too!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    I love Ricoh @sanfong

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. realmustache

    realmustache

    great review. i have a rikoh kr-5 super. it was my first camera and i love it. i bought the base, a kiron f/4.5 80-200mm macro lens, and a mc seikanon f/3.5-4.5 28-80mm lens for $40 at a swap meet back in 2004, i think.. i didn't know anything about photography or basic camera functions when i got it. i had to ask my then-girlfriend's dad why my pictures were coming out all dark and he told me that the batteries for the light meter were dead and needed replacing. i didn't even know older cameras took batteries, that's how little i knew. i later bought a smc pentax-a f/2 50mm lens for $10 when i was in college 3 or 4 years ago. i adore it and use that lens almost exclusively

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    Wow @realmustache. You have a really long story to tell about this camera!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. sudhashunmu

    sudhashunmu

    wonderful article tsingtao .....the camera must be lucky to be in ur hand as ur pictures speake volumes of the camera

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    Thank you very much @sudhashunmu !!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    @rkraneis I'm really happy with your purchase! Your website is very interesting, thanks!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. miniatuurmensje

    miniatuurmensje

    I bought this camera last year, I must try double exposures with my next roll.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  21. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    @miniatuurmensje And after i want to see the results!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  22. superlighter

    superlighter

    i paid 15 euros for mine, body and rikenon 50mm f1:2 lenses! is a lovely small SLR! great review!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  23. jcollet21

    I love my kr-5!!! Found her up in the loft in a box in a box and almost ripped my dads head off for not telling me about it! Got the original 50mm kit lens and a 300mm tele lens and the results are amazing!! I you can find one on eBay and are looking for a 35mm SLR, GET ONE!
    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  24. tsingtao

    tsingtao

    @jcollet21 it's an amazing camera!

    about 1 year ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano & Deutsch.