Ricoh SE2

I thought this was such a funky looking camera, coupled with the fact it still had the lens cover…I had to try it. Then I found out it was a half frame. Did I still want it? Yeah, ok.

The seals on this 1976 camera were completely shot and disintegrated on touch. So I changed them before I even thought about trying it. The selenium cell seemed to be working fine, but what was that weird dial on the bottom? It turned out to be a spring loaded film winder. It worked intermittently, I was never sure when and how to charge the spring. If it didn’t cock the shutter you could also wind it manually.

There is a great blog post here in Chinese, (use Google Translate), that really explains how to use the camera, plus there are example shots of some pimped up versions. It almost made me want to do that to my camera. The review explained the red dot in the middle of the viewfinder. If there is not enough light a red dot will appear, it there is enough light the dot will be yellow. Mine camera’s dot was a little light and I didn’t really think about it too much. If you leave the camera on auto the speed is 1/125th, if you use it on manual aperture then it is 1/30th. That is way too slow for me so I left it on auto most of the time, but really…one film speed?

I took the film to a festival and then around and about. This camera got more attention and comments than any other I have walked around with, but did it work?

Yeap it worked. But as a half frame, it took forever to finish the film and there were a lot of shots. There are so many shots that this time I could not be bothered to remove all the hairs from scanning. I didn’t think the quality of the shots was worth the effort.

Keep or sell: I gave this one away because I don’t really like half frames…though this camera was one of the coolest I have tried.

7 thoughts on “Ricoh SE2

  1. yashicachris says:

    Another great review on another camera that I’ve never seen! But that’s good. Crazy cool looking camera and you got some wonderful shots out of it.


  2. Jim Grey says:

    What a funny looking camera. Ricohs aren’t very common over here in the Great Midwest; I’d never seen this one before. But it looks like a reasonable performer. Holy cow, you replaced the light seals before knowing whether you liked the camera! I would have just electrical-taped the seams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. windswept007 says:

      It was an easy fix and they were huge and blocky. I suspected it would work when inspected it, the shutter opened and closed as it should so worth the time.

      Liked by 1 person

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