Ricoh Xobbox: A Completely Transparent Camera


The Xobbox is a limited edition version of the model LF-22 manufactured by Ricoh in 1993. It’s a point and shoot camera that’s all transparent!

I am one of the lucky 10 tousand Xobbox’s owners. Only 10 thousand copies were produced all over the planet Earth and mine is numbered 653/10 tousand. It is not its rarity that makes me so happy but the fact that is all transparent!

Before I get one, I had never seen in my life a camera that lets me see its mechanisms, its springs, its gears without the need to disassemble it. And when you press the shutter button to portray a picture, the funniest thing is seeing these mechanisms move.

I found one online at the beginning, when I was just introduced to the world of Lomography. And to be honest, I have not paid much. Indeed, it was only after I discovered it’s worth a small fortune.

It’s a point and shoot in all respects, ideal for stealing shots in street photography because it doesn’t requires setup. It does everything automatically.

It requires 2 AA 1.5 volts batteries and of course a 135 roll film :D

It allows you to set the ASA value from 100, 200, 400 to 1000!

It has a lever that, lowering it, allows you to pose for a self-timer shot, giving you however, only 10 seconds to do it :)

It has a powerful flash, which works automatically, because the XobboX is accompanied by a photo-cell, which senses the light present, and only if this is scarce, when you take a picture, the flash fires.

The advancement of the film is automatic. Too bad! If it had not been automatic, I would have the ability to do the double and multiple exposures. Even the rewinding of the film is automatic. In the sense that when you take the last shot of the film, the camera starts to rewind, without anybody ordering it. It is so smart, because it just does not rewind the whole film, but leaves out, a tongue of 2 centimeters, which is very useful, if the film in question must to be sent to another Lomographer for a double (or film-swap, if you prefer).

Now we analyze the technical characteristics of this little jewel

  • Lens, 35mm
  • Diaphragm, 4.25 f
  • Focus, is fixed, but there is a lever-switch that puts the focus to infinity
  • Shutter speed, 1/125 of a second
  • Weight, 235 grams (without batteries)
  • The flash charging time is about 6 seconds

About the flash: never try to shoot at night, using the flash too close. As well as making your subjects blind, you’ll get photos too bright.

If you keep at a safe distance, no problems!

These two shots are the most fun of the XobboX test roll:

I’m just now appreciating this machine, that once I decided to sell it to the first bidder. Initially I hated it, because it is very different from all other cameras in my humble collection. Ironically,I found it inconvenient that it was all automated. It gave me the idea of something too modern, not analogue, almost digital, until I realized that its silence is its power. It is useful to steal shots without annoying anyone.


written by giovannidecarlo on 2012-09-04 #gear #review #limited-edition #point-and-shoot #vintage-camera #135mm #transparent #ricoh #ricoh-xobbox #lf-22


  1. baggypyjamas
    baggypyjamas ·

    I want one!!! nothing on eBay :(

  2. giovannidecarlo
    giovannidecarlo ·

    @baggypyjamas It is hard to find ! I'm sorry my friend (:

  3. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·


  4. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·


  5. giovannidecarlo
    giovannidecarlo ·

    @hervinsyah LIMITED EDITION yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! ! ! (:

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