Ricoh KR-5 Super II
|KR-5 Super II|
image by Bernard Faure (Image rights)
Ricoh's success with its cost-reduced, beginner-friendly KR-5 (no suffix) from 1978 led to successor "5" models including the CR-5 and KR-5 Super. All are SLRs for 35mm film and accepting K-mount lenses. The KR-5 Super II introduced in 1993, is smaller and feels more light and plasticky than its predecessors, and its pentaprism features Ricoh's redesigned "outline" logotype. The body styling somewhat evokes Ricoh's electronic flagship XR-X; but close examination reveals this budget model was manufactured by Cosina, based on that company's CT1 Super, as was done with the Nikon FM10 and Olympus OM2000.
Where the earlier KR-5 models had a limited range of shutter speeds, the Super II offers 1/2000 to 1 second, plus B; and flash sync at 1/125th. The Super II also replaces the mechanical match-needle exposure indicator with three LEDs. These are visible at the left of the viewfinder when the shutter is partly depressed: Green for correct exposure; or a red plus or minus, for over- and under-exposure, respectively. However the mechanical shutter remains fully usable even if the meter circuit lacks the power ordinarily provided by two LR44/SR44 1.5v batteries.
As with several Cosina-made SLRs, the shutter release of this model is locked until the advance lever is pulled outwards from the body. This is to avoid having the meter batteries run down due to accidental pressure on the shutter release.
It is often recommended to students of (film) photography that they begin with a "back to basics" manual-focus/manual-exposure SLR, such as the venerable Pentax K1000. While retaining all those same virtues, the Ricoh KR-5 Super II is arguably a more versatile choice, with its more modern shutter, robust LED display, and self-timer option. However, this model does still lack a depth-of-field preview, and a PC terminal for connecting off-camera flash.
The Super II was available in some markets as the XR-8. The Ricoh KR-5sv is a similar model with a few cosmetic differences. While the KR-5 III was theoretically the 1994 replacement for the Super II, in practice this model stayed available for several years afterwards.
- KR-5 Super II features description via Mike Butkus' OrphanCameras.com
- Ricoh KR-5 Super II online manual from Mike Butkus' OrphanCameras.com
|Asia-market branding as XR-8|
image by ume-y (Image rights)