Thursday, February 23, 2012

The User's Review: Ricoh XR-S 35 mm Film Camera (released in 1981), The First Green, Solar-Powered Body



Before seeing the camera in its case, I had felt the special feature of XR-S. The sun-roof of the case indicates that the camera needs light.



There is a white button on the side wall of battery well. By pressing it, Battery-S switches the solar charge system on.

The unique thing on the camera once it's out of the case is the two solar panels on each side of the camera roof. The solar panels convert light power into electricity which is used to charge a rechargeable battery (Battery-S) at the bottom of XR-S. Battery-S can be used for ~ 5 years as the manual says. However, the replace part is not available nowadays. I put the solar panels under a room light and measured their output voltage as ~ 3.5 v. I believe that there is a way to find a rechargeable replacement for Battery-S and let the XR-S goes green again. Except the solar power, there is not much different between Rich XR-S and XR7 (= Sear KS-2), which has a smaller roof.






The changeable film door (XR Data Back) and the viewfinder cap





The price tag on XR-S body box shows a price of USD 259.95. 
Saw a XR-s on Ricoh power grip PG-4. Checked both manuals, they do not say the two are compatible. 

6 comments:

  1. have you found a replacement for the battery yet ?

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  5. I had a Ricoh XR-S, with the f2.0 Normal lens, the solar cell was dead but I could use LR44's for shooting (they of course didn't charge via the solar panels.) I traded it for a Minolta X700, the guy either found a replacement that worked or was able to bring the old battery back to life!!! Sadly he would NOT share any info on the details, (I learned on his Facebook page that the Solar functions were now back and nominal) and scouring the Internet a few years back did not bear fruit. I've never run across another XR-S although I was able to pick up a XR-7 which is the same camera without the Solar application (unfortunately the case on the XR-S was the best part.)

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