Goodbye, Ricoh 35 ZF

It’s time again to say farewell to another camera. This time, the Ricoh 35 ZF leaves the flock. I didn’t have it long, only acquiring it in late June. A “summer fun” camera, I guess. That wasn’t exactly the intention, but after shooting a half-dozen rolls or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that the camera is not for me.

Why is that? First, while most pictures could have been considered okay, few really impressed me. I was hoping for a “magic moment”, but for the most part that didn’t happen. This wasn’t the case with the Konica C35 EF, the camera the Ricoh replaced. I was impressed with shots from the first roll! Then again, I wasn’t expecting much with the Konica, whereas I had a lot of hope riding on the Ricoh. And I read a pretty good review about the Ricoh that helped convince me to get it. How could I not be let down?

In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to not let go of the Konica. But I was annoyed by the broken rewind, limited shutter settings, and lack of control. Plus I got the C35 EF for just ten bucks. It was easy to pass it on to Steve M, who was eager to do some 35 mm shooting. And at first, the smallness and feature set on the 35 ZF made me look past the lack of oomph in picture quality. But that wasn’t enough.

Probably my favorite photo taken with the Ricoh 35 ZF.

The nail in the coffin was the light leaks. It’s ironic, since the camera was sold as having light seals replaced. I thought I found the offending felt and replaced it. I shot a couple rolls when I went to the Gorge at the end of August and…nope. Still light leaks on some shots.

So on it goes. It has found a new home, hopefully the new owner gets more joy out of the camera than I did. Between the big rangefinder (Minolta Hi-Matic 7s), the nice zone-focus compact (Olympus XA2, which does black and white good too!) and the superzoom compact (Pentax IQZoom 928), I think my photography needs will be satisfied for now.

I don’t think the Ricoh 35 ZF was a bad camera, per se, it just wasn’t for me. I will say one thing positive, though: The 35 ZF got me used to the concept of a shutter-priority exposure camera. At first I was a bit confused, but I got the hang of it. Now I can say that I enjoy this form of semi-auto exposure. Perhaps there will be a camera in the future for me that does the same thing…

Accordion Man Sculpture. Brookside area, 27 June 2020.
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3 thoughts on “Goodbye, Ricoh 35 ZF

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    1. It is! I treated myself to a Gordy’s strap recently, which of course is more expensive than any of the camera I’ve owned. Don’t worry, I didn’t give away the strap when I sold the camera!

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