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Ricoh KR 10

Erol Abaka , Sep 01, 2005; 08:51 a.m.

Dear All I'm about buying a Ricoh KR 10 for my girlfriend who is beginner in photo. Is this camera reliable?


Sean Buckley , Sep 01, 2005; 09:05 a.m.

Much will depend on the age of the camera and how it's been treated; I'm not sure when they stopped production, but the earliest will be around 20 years old and may therefore be nearing the end of their useful life. I bought mine in 1988, and it's still going strong, despite having been dropped a couple of times; it certainly isn't fragile, and there's plenty of metal in the body.

Assuming it is in working order, the camera is ideal for a beginner. The centre weighted metering is pretty reliable and you will soon learn when to compensate (I think the manual includes a diagram of the metered area - it's weighted to the bottom of centre).

Note that there are a number of different models - KR10x, KR10 super (IIRC). Mine, a KR10x, has additional features over the original KR10, of which exposure lock is by far the most useful.

I don't use it often, but every now and then I take it out with the 50mm lens as a lightweight alternative to my F80 + zoom. It also looks nicely weathered now...

Andrew Hall , Sep 01, 2005; 04:04 p.m.

Graham Serretta , Sep 02, 2005; 04:07 a.m.

I have two examples of the KR10. One appears to have been well cared for as it is in as new condition, the other is well used. On both the mirror occasionally locks up even with fresh batteries. The problem can be cleared by removing the bottom cover and tripping the shutter mechanically. Both have been CLA'd. I suspect the cause may be electronic, such as a failing capacitor in the shutter circuit. Based on my experience, I don't think one can presume that these cameras are that reliable now. I would recommend that you rather look for a good Pentax ME or ME Super, or an Olympus OM1n.

Brian Southward , Sep 02, 2005; 04:35 a.m.

You won't get from here any accurate reliability data on the KR 10 in general, and you'll get no data at all on the particular example that you are going to buy (unless the previous owner chips in). Buying old cameras is a lottery. That said, if I could get one with a warranty from a dealer, I'd go for it.

richard oleson , Sep 02, 2005; 11:25 p.m.

Generally speaking, Ricohs are well designed and well built cameras. The majority of them, including the KR10s, are electronically controlled, though, and while electronic cameras are very accurate and durable, when they do go they tend to go completely and without warning. I would rate a KR10 as equal to most other electronic cameras of its age, but a mechanical camera like an OM1 or a Nikkormat is a better investment for the long haul.

On the other hand, since they all need film, there may not be a "long haul" ......

Adam Maas , Sep 06, 2005; 11:54 a.m.

Richard, I'd have to disagree on most Ricoh's being electronically controlled. While that's likely true if you look at the product line, when you look at the available bodies, there's probably 3-4 KR-5's for every other Ricoh out there, and teh KR-5 is purely mechanical in all of it's variations. It's also reasonably reliable (The KR-5 is a Cosina, same basic camera as the Nikon FM10 in it's later variations, essentially a Yashica design).

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