Ricoh KR-5 Super

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Ricoh KR-5 Super

Ricoh KR-5 Super user manual

Some cameras do not get the respect they deserve. The Ricoh KR-5 Super is an example of that. As a beginner’s camera, it is a perfect tool. It does not offer many specs, but the same as a fresh golfer could do with half a set, this camera offers enough to any aspiring film photographer. The exemplar I have come with several others from an estate sale. Never tested or looked at for a few years till its time has come. It is scantly mentioned online, and when found little information is given. Good old Butkus offers a user manual, being compiled by him it is a tad confusing. A search for a service manual leads to a shady web page which I steered away from.

It is a nice midsize SLR, neither overly big to hold nor too small for big hands. Comparing it to the Chinon I looked at recently, it looks and feels much better. A solid build and finish, no gimmicks, all controls naturally fall where you expect them to be. The original lens is a K-mount  1:2 / 50, more than enough for a starter camera. Speed selection is on the slim side, B, 8 – 1000. Again, more than enough for its target market. Horizontal metal curtain agile and quiet, good and bright finder makes shooting fun.

When toying with it the shutter fired intermittently. It took some time to realize that it only fires when the winding lever is pulled out past a red dot on the top. It is to lock the trigger and to conserve battery, as I  found later. Guess reading the manual beforehand could help.  The camera can be operated without batteries. They are needed only for the exposure meter and the red light that flashes upon shutter release and when is activated. Replacing batteries, the meter was still dead. After cleaning both threads with my world-famous sonic toothbrush, it came to life. The viewer shows a lollipop and a needle. The first simulates the shutter speed, while the latter the exposure. Both need to match for correct exposure.

This able camera is offered for small change and is worth buying. Same as Chinon, Ricoh sold many rebranded cameras. Under its own brand, Ricoh produced three times more models than Chinon. The early models can fetch several thousand and many Ricoh models sell for hundreds of dollars.

The same model is offered as A-50, XR-5, CR-5 in different markets.


List number 4733
Brand Ricoh
Format 35mm
Model KR-5 Super
Introduced 1981
AKA A-50, XR-5, CR-5
Country Japan
Type SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight, gr 540 w/o lens
ASA range Dec-00
Kit lens 1.2/50
Lens make Rikenon
Filter size 52 mm
Lens mount K mount
Mount size
Aperture 2-16
shutter Focal plane vertical metal
Light meter TTL
Winder Lever
Lock Yes
Speeds B,8,15,30,60,125,250,500,1000
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Hot
External sync No
Sync speed 125
Timer Mechanical with indicator light
Battery SR44 2ea
Battery style Button
Battery voltage 1.5





6 Responses

  1. I have been asked by my 83 year old neighbor, to try and find out what the possible value of her Ricoh, KR-5 Super camera would be worth.
    Her husband purchased the camera around 30 years ago, and never used it. It comes with the flash, and carrying case etc.
    I ‘m not familiar with cameras in anyway, so if you can give us any info on the value, and where she may be able to sell it, it would be greatly appreciated…..thank you.

    • Thanks for your note. Regrettably the KR-5 Super has little value for collectors. Its main use these days is with students or hipsters that make first steps in film photography. The estimated value is about USD 25, perhaps a little more or less per it’s condition and what lens it carries.

    • If your neighbour bought this item 30 (exactly 34 years ago in early 2024 now) and has never used it complete with flash, I think you need to sell it a little more expensively. From what I know, the Kr-5 Super lens is quite good, has a large aperture and of course, the Ricoh Kr-5 Super has a K/PK mounting. Same mounting as Pentax’s lenses/lenses. And since film cameras are quite popular out there, I think you should sell them at a slightly better price

  2. I have one that I purchased around 3 yrs ago in a thrift shop. Mine doesn’t have the original lens anymore but came with a Sigma 70-210 mm, 4-5.6 lens. It took me also a while to figure out how the shutter worked but this camera is everything that you write in your article. A camera that feels like a camera in your hand.

    • Thanks for your note. The Sigma lenses are very good so I trust you will not notice any difference in a day to day photography.

  3. My grandfather had one of these and when he passed away in 1989 it was given to me. I used it extensively while in high school in the 1990’s.
    Over Christmas, I was cleaning out a cupboard and rediscovered it with the manual. Mine has a Makinon 35 – 135mm f3.8 lens. I also found my Canon EOS 30 from circa 2005
    I plan on giving it a good clean buying some film and taking it out. I really want to do a side-by-side comparison with my modern-day Canon.

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