Ever since we set up shop with our leather custom camera straps, the little Ricoh 500G has featured prettily heavily in our images, to the point where it’s kind become our little mascot. Being a bit old school, it sits perfectly with the camera straps we’re making, and reminds us of what we’re trying to do, create beautiful leather camera straps, for cameras of all ages.
The Ricoh 500G was a compact rangefinder film camera first introduced to the market back in 1972, and although it has never quite achieved cult status like some rangefinders, such as the Yashica’s and Canonet's of this world, it does remain a popular camera of its age today.
Maybe it’s down to the fact that you can still pick them up in reasonably good condition for a few quid or so, and with a little love and attention you can experience the rangefinder magic that only film can create.
Armed with a very useable 40mm Rikenon f/2.8 lens, the 500G was in its day quite capable of surprisingly good images, and that’s still the case now too. You only have to check out the likes of the dedicated Flickr group it has to see just how good some of these images can be.
It’s a perfect size for a small compact Rangefinder, can easily slip into a jacket pocket and is fully featured. In spite of the difficulties sourcing batteries for it, it can be used in full manual mode, although I’m led to believe there are replacements around that will do the job.
I originally bought the camera as a bit of a winter project, as it needed a bit of work doing on it, such as light seals and such like.
Unfortunately, to let you in on a dark secret, they still haven’t been swapped out, so it’s a bit of a paper weight at present.
We still think it looks good though, and as a prop for our Laverton Leather neck strap or Garren Leather wrist strap, we think it adds something to help show the products off and remind us of what we’re trying to achieve here.
So, for those reasons we’re happy to keep our little Ricoh 500G, we’re hoping it brings us good luck!