Ricoh 800 EES

This is another swapped camera, I still have quite a few to go through from that pile of swaps.

This one is from 1974 and while searching for it online, the word rare came up a few times. It was quite tricky to find any information about it. From the information I did find, it has shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/800th. That is where the 800 in the name comes from. You can find all the technical details you need here..in French.

As you would have seen in the details I linked to, this camera uses an awkwardly sized battery. The person I got the camera from had a clever workaround which meant I could use the more convenient LR44. A pile of tinfoil wrapped in electrical tape. The other slot was a perfect size for 2 LR44, which are a slightly higher voltage. You might need to change the asa settings if you try this.

I took the camera to Bradford city center and Moses Gate Country Park. The weather, as usual, was rainy and cloudy. I used Fomapan 100 and pushed it to 400, though the camera does have a setting for 800asa film. I found the camera very quiet, but a little disturbing as there was no information in the viewfinder at all. The rangefinders second image was very faint so I added a piece of black tape to the viewfinder to aid focusing.

When I finally finished the film I developed it as usual and waited for it to dry. Then shock horror, my scanner would not turn on. SERIOUSLY!!! It is three months old and I haven’t used it often. I tried different cables, different sockets, but nothing I did would bring it back to life. I was left with the task of calling Canon. The guy on the line was very helpful, but it didn’t make it magically work again. I had to send it to their one and only service center in the UK. It came back in less than a week with a new power “thingy”. It was a bit of a worry as I am working part-time at the moment and scanners are not really essential or cheap. Anyway, I can recommend the Canon service center in the UK.

Moses Country Park

Bradford

I do also have a cheap portable 35mm scanner. Though the cheap scanner’s results are ok, it crops a lot of the image. Neither scanners are as sharp as I would like. Here are some side by side scans from the two ones I have.

Ok, my final thoughts. I love this camera. If you can find a good one get it but be aware, it will not work without batteries and the batteries might be an issue.

8 thoughts on “Ricoh 800 EES

  1. Us PR44 batteries also known as 675 hearing aid batteries instead. £1-2 for 6 from most big supermarkets. They are 1.45v as apposed to the LR44 1.5v takes away the hit and miss of ISO voltage compensation.
    Nice review and photos, be a cracking camera to just point and shoot on a sunny day. The top on these kinda Ricoh cameras comes off really easy if you wanna clean the rangefinder,. Use a aps-c size sensor cleaning swab and just dampen one side very slightly if stubborn to clean. No detergent whatsoever on the semitransparent mirror!!

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  2. The portable scanner handles the details better, but it’s certainly cropping too much out. What software are you using with your Canoscan? The built-in stuff or something like VueScan or Silverfast? I have a Canoscan 9000 Mk II here and the built-in software just doesn’t cut it and I’m going to have to get Silverfast.

    A 1/800 shutter in a small rangefinder? Whoodathunkit!

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    1. The stuff that was on the cd in the box, imagegarden I think. But you are right the portable one is better at details. This really showed me that. I might do some experimenting after this. I just used what was given thinking it was better designed for that scanner, maybe not.

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      1. I had Silverfast for my previous scanner, an Epson V300. Silverfast did 1000% better work than the software that came bundled with the scanner. Silverfast is complicated to use, but it has built-in profiles for scads of film emulsions. I’ve not used VueScan, which doesn’t have the film profiles, but everybody says is tons easier to use than Silverfast.

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