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 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


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.


9 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!!


  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!


    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.


      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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