Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Back to Basics - The Ricoh KR-5 Super II

Back in December, I discussed several 35mm SLRs made by Ricoh in the 1970s and 1980s.  The Ricoh XR-7 is certainly a very good K-mount body,  with excellent features to enable a photographer to do just about anything. More recently, I acquired another Ricoh SLR for $5.99 + 7.00 shipping. So, for the price of a pizza, I purchased another camera.
The KR-5 Super II sounds pretty advanced, doesn't it?  If the KR-5 was good, and the KR-5 Super was better, then the Super II must be awesome!  Well, hold on, there.  This is not a better camera than the XR-7.  Technologically, it looks like a lot of the cameras that were pushed out of the factory that were made by Chinon.  The camera has about the same amount of plastic as the Vivitar SLRs, the Nikon FM10, etc., that were made in the mid 1990s.  The KR-5 Super II is lighter for sure than the KR-5.  The shutter speeds go from B to 1/2000 sec.  it has X-sync in the flash shoe, and it has a self-timer.  Pretty standard, bare-bones features for an SLR.  Red/green LEDs in the viewfinder indicate the "proper exposure" and the ISO/ASA dial is adjustable from 25 to 1600.  This is a manual camera, so there is no compensation dial.  So, yes, it is a basic camera that will do anything one might ask of a Pentax K1000.  The manual can be found online at the usual site of Butkus.org.
A 35-70mm f/3.5 lens, carrying bag, cleaning kit, and manual came with the body that I purchased.  I have not yet had time to shoot a roll of film through it.  It definitely has more of a plastic lightweight feel to it, and I will update this page after I shoot a roll of film.  Ricoh sold a bunch of these, and they are plentiful online.  So, I imagine that if one is searching for a bare-bones K-mount SLR, this one should do the job, and with all the K-mount lenses available, you should be able to assemble a pretty decent kit for less than a good dinner. There nothing wrong with going back to the basics, either.

UPDATE (03-09-2015)
I finally shot up a roll of Arista.edu 100 b&w (=Fortepan 100) with the KR5 Super II.  Everything worked great, and I shot these with the Zenitar 50mm f/2.






2 comments:

Jim Grey said...

I recently bought a couple Sears-branded versions of these, or at least with this basic body. Plastic fantastic. But they seem to be screwed together all right. Film's in one of them now.

Photomaniac said...

Awesome thanks guys, I just won one today on eBay and have a roll of 400Tmax bnw waiting for it. Looking forward to shooting with it. Ricoh KRsuoer