PF: That's a nice looking Ricoh. And I saw the photos posted in another thread which show that it works very well, pulling nice contrast out of a soft day. I hadn't heard of or seen a Ricoh 300 before. At my school around 1957 or so, the AV director used to recommend a Ricoh 500 (I think) to students who asked him what they should buy; he was an excellent Leica-using photographer so I figure that he knew what he was talking about. I think that you said in the other post that you had a 500 something coming up on your bench, so maybe I'll see if it looks like what I remember. (By the way, I didn't buy a Ricoh then; bought an Aires 35-III which I still have.) Bill D.
Bill, I'll post a photo showing the two together. The order of models is the 300 which has a 2.8/45 Riken Ricoh lens in a Riken 5 speed shutter (top speed 1/300, thus the name), hot shoe, LTM style focusing lever, and a swing open back.
It was followed by the 35S, which was a little bigger (wider), put the film advance on the bottom with a trigger winder, the back comes off for film loading, finger wings were added for focusing, and introduced the EV interlock method of shutter speed/aperture linking so that if you changed the shutter speed, the aperture changed too. Lens stayed the same.
Then the 500 (lens and body style did not change) with a top speed of 1/500 in a Seikosha shutter. Later, there was a 500 with an enlarged viewfinder.
Top of the line was the Five-One-Nine (in script engraving on the top, or known as the 519), with a Riken Optical Rikenon 1.9/45. This was followed up with the 519M, which added a meter.
I opened up the 519 today, but didn't get far, as it is a bit more sofisticated in it's construction, and I need a special pin wrench to get the shutter cover off. I did sop up quite a bit of oil after giving it a Ronsonal treatment, but was not happy with the results. The lens elements are all clean now, and I just hope the shutter doesn't stick anymore. Still don't have B though, since I couldn't get to it. Oh well, I hardly ever use that feature anyway.