Ricoh TF500-D

RicohTF500D-8981 RicohTF500D-8982

The Ricoh TF500D is interesting in that it provides two focal lengths (35mm & 70mm)  it does this by swinging a second set of lens elements into the optical path.  This differs from a zoom lens of course where all the elements are used for all the focal lengths.

I certainly like that the Ricoh TF-500D provides a 35mm f2.8 lens but how useful is the 70mm f5.6 option?  First off the lens is surprisingly good and gives nicely rendered out of focus backgrounds at 70mm. However deploying it is an aggressive noisy display with things whirring and clunking into place. It’s best not done while pointing the camera at someone.  Even the movement of the lens for focusing is noisy but such is the price of using a camera that is around 25 years old.  The LCD top panel is great for providing useful information such as the ISO and the number of frames remaining.  The level of user control is very limited though, primarily being the +2EV backlight compensation and the two focal lengths.  The D in the name of the camera denotes that it has a date function which will continue to be relevant until the end of 2019, at which point I will throw the camera into a recycling bin, take it apart or set it to 1985, at this point I’m not sure 4 years seems a long way off.  All joking aside the camera surprised me with its fine results (factoring in the fact I used terrible outdated film).  The 35mm lens alone is comprised of 4 elements with the 70mm adding an additional 4 elements behind the shutter.  At 35mm the lens is as good or better than any of the alternatives from that time and the 70mm is actually usable too.


3 Responses to “Ricoh TF500-D”

  • Joanne Millares Says:

    Hi! Do you know how to turn off the date on the Rico tf 500 D so it wouldn’t show on the photo?

  • Wallace Says:

    I don’t have the camera in front of me but you should just be able to press the date button until you see ‘——’. Which will then not imprint the date

  • Max Says:

    I just found one of these for $3.50 at a second hand store along with some out dated Fuji film. Excited to try it out.

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