Camera repair · film photography · How To · Rangefinder Camera

The Ricoh 500G – Changing the Light Seals

This article will not be a proper review, just my experience with changing the Ricoh 500G light seals. The review will come later. To watch the video demonstrating the whole process, scroll down to the end. However, I encourage you to read through to see some photos I took with the camera before and after the change, and to read my experience.

The Beginning

My Uncle B sent me a box of cameras last February (2020) that included the Ricoh 500G. I was immediately excited because I hadn’t had much experience with rangefinders at that point. It was pretty beat up with a missing handle on the rewind lever and some pretty degraded light seals.

I shot a test roll through it to make sure the mechanics and light meter worked correctly and I liked what I saw.

I put the camera aside in my queue to change the light seals and didn’t end up getting around to it for more than a year. To be honest, I was pretty intimidated because I wasn’t experienced with light seals at the time, and I’ve never changed seals that cover the back door.

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Changing the Ricoh 500G Light Seals

My Results

Kelsey and I took the Ricoh with us on a trip into town. I decided to shoot most of the Fuji Superia Xtra 400 roll from the car because it was 94 degrees outside.

Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G – Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
After Ricoh 500G Light Seals Changed
Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G – Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G – Fuji Superia Xtra 400

It’s not always that easy to take photos from a moving car, especially with a rangefinder, so I was surprised to see that the whole roll had turned out fine.

Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G – Fuji Superia Xtra 400

I set the lens to infinity most of the time and only changed the aperture when I passed areas of shade. The meter is surprisingly accurate.

Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Tradition, Florida
Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G - Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Ricoh 500G – Fuji Superia Xtra 400

Final Thoughts

I highly recommend Jon Goodman’s light seal kits. You can contact him by email at Jon_goodman@yahoo.com. He is a great guy, and has kits for several cameras. His kit was also the one I used in my Canon FTb light seals video. Check that out here if you like.

I’m really happy with the results I got on this roll and will definitely be using the Ricoh 500G more often now that it’s all cleaned up. I will do a proper review in the near future so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel and sign up for my articles to be sent to your email as I post them.

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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

Buy your own Ricoh 500G!

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