The Ricoh 519 is a 35mm rangefinder camera made by Riken Optical Industries, Ltd. of Tokyo in 1958. The 35mm rangefinder field was extremely crowded in 1958 with Yashica entering the market with its first rangefinder at about the same time. Almost every major and relatively unknown Japanese camera maker had at least an entry in the marketplace. In general, the designs of cameras during this period could range from downright ugly to beautiful – I would place this Ricoh in the beautiful category. I love its lines and thoughtful engineering details. The build quality is exceptional – everything fits nicely and the finishes are extraordinary. Who wouldn’t love the extra attention to detail with the “519” written out in a script?
Thanks for stopping by! – Chris
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