RIP the Ricoh XR-2. This was my first proper SLR camera and has soldiered on through everything that was ever asked of it. It’s been used underwater, in the rain and for everything and it just kept going. The light seals perished but were easily replaced.
And then I developed a film that was blank. A quick check found that the shutter was firing at a single speed, as there was no difference between 1/1000 and 1 second. The other obvious thing was that although the shutter blades were moving, there was no gap between them. Fresh batteries made no difference.
The shutter is a Copal Square and is electronically timed. So it looks like the electronics have died. I know that shutters have a life expectancy, and knowing how much I have used this camera over the years I guess I’ve just found it.
Forty years of hard service. Not bad for a consumer camera.
Am I going to replace it? No, I have more than enough cameras. I did have a Ricoh KR-10 for a while, but that was a bit too odd ergonomically. So if I’m not replacing it with another Ricoh I can just use one of the many other cameras I have, such as a perfectly serviceable Cosina.
On the other hand, it’s worth checking it over before throwing it away. It appears to be firing at the manual speed only. I understand that the shutter blades are held and released by a couple of solenoids. If they weren’t working or were covered in muck it could explain what the shutter is doing. What’s the harm in looking? Actually, quite a lot. I’m not the most gifted at fiddly repairs, or even repairs. I might be better sending this and some other casualties of time and hard use to one of the people who is still repairing cameras. That’s if they have any use as parts.
So what I actually did is take it, plus some other knackered SLR bodies and a lens, to the Photo Show in Birmingham. I donated them all to the Camera Rescue people. With luck they will either live to work again or donate components so that other cameras can have a longer life.