Tag Archives: shutter

Ricoh KR-10

Sometimes, I am enough lucky to be given cameras to try or am offered great swaps. This camera was one of those swaps. It is a basic SLR from 1980. It has manual mode or aperture priority depending on the lens. Two regular button batteries can power the coupled light meter guide in the viewfinder, but does not control the camera.

As you see it looks like a classic SLR should. It would be perfect for a beginner or someone who is not bothered by bells and whistles. You can find a few technical details here. The camera is activated by moving the film advance to uncover the red dot. Without a battery the mirror can lock up if the shutter is activated, but the red X will release it. The film advance has one of the shortest movement I have experienced.

The first time I tried it I didn’t particularly enjoy using it. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. Maybe I foresaw the test photos.

As you can see the lens worked fine, but everything was underexposed…and these are the best ones from the roll. At this point I was not sure if it was the camera or the film. I was using the light meter scale as a guide.

Everything seems to be working so I gave it a second chance. I loaded it with fresher film, Kodak Ekta 100, and tried a different lens. I also put on a shutter release button as I have not tried one before. I thought pimping the camera might make me like it a tad more.

It worked, I enjoyed using the camera much more this time. Ironically, it was only spoiled by the button. It made the shutter much more sensitive. When I wanted to get a light meter reading by a half press, the shutter would fire.

Anyway, here are some of the photos from the second test.

Well, much better. If you want to get into film photography this camera is simple to use and cheap to buy. It is basic, no bells and whistles at all. But it is a Pentax K fit so lenses are easy to get. It is slightly bigger than a Pentax ME Super which I prefer, but much smaller than some SLRs.

I have many cameras like this so I won’t be keeping this one.

Olympus OM-1

I am so excited by this find. Firstly I love olympus cameras, secondly it is an OM-1, thirdly it was less than $20 (without a lens). Luckily I have OM lenses to test it with. So I plonked on a lens and got to loading a film, that is when I discovered the shutter curtain was jammed shut. Many junk bin camera are in plastic sealed bags so you can’t do the checks you want to. If I have to be honest I probably wouldn’t have bought this if I had check it.

But it was now mine and mine to fix. After a bit of internet searching I discovered that this is a common issue with this camera. I am in Japan and there are Olympus service centers, but I didn’t want to pay for it. I found this website and decided, ok in for penny in for a pound and took the bottom off. I couldn’t quite figure it out from the website what to do, but by carefully pressing a few things I found the right lever and pushed it back into place. Low and behold the shutter was free, but when I pressed it again it jammed again. Every time.

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IMG_3885

I used lighter fluid to clean it as it evaporates quickly. I then used a non-greasy, light bike chain oil to very lightly lube the relevant parts. Then just kept cocking and pressing the shutter then pushing it back until it finally went back on its own. I then put the bottom back on and loaded a film. I was so chuffed with this find and fix that I took it to Tokyo and bought a second hand 1.4f 50mm lens to test it with. I can use it on another camera (OM4 which I also love).

This camera was first manufactured in 1972. It has a light meter that uses the old mercury based battery, so if you have one you will need to find an adapter or buy an expensive alternative. I have a few other olympus cameras so I have some adapters. You can use it manually, but I tested this one using the metering system. Basically when you look through the viewfinder there is a + and – with a needle that moves up and down. If it is too low you open the aperture, if it is too high you close the aperture….or change the speed accordingly. When the needle is between the two marks you are good to go. If there isn’t enough light it will still take the shot, it does not lock the shutter.

Ok moment of truth, does it work….

Yes, oh yes it worked. I was so excited by the whole fixing thing that I forgot about the dangling lens cover and it covered the side on a couple of shots, that is the black part on the right of some photos. But the rest are so sharp. The new lens had a bit of dust, but it didn’t affect the photos. I loved using this camera so much that I almost gave up all the point and shoot cameras right then and there. I am going to sell, keep or give away…I have seen this camera for sale in Japan for over $200 so I don’t think I will have an issue selling it. But oh I so want to keep it. I might be tempted to give it to a friend, but not with the new lens, that’s mine, a 1.8f 50mm is more than enough.

Look at me fixing cameras 🙂 (that is a big, fat, wide grin and head wobble)