Monday, September 24, 2012

Ricoh Mirai 35-135 Zoom

Ricoh Mirai 35-135Bar none, the oddest camera in my entire collection is this one.  The Ricoh Mirai 35-135 ZOOM Bridge SLR.  It is a remarkable camera though, as it has a tack sharp lens, brilliantly fast and accurate autofocus, which uses and Infrared Beam, MACRO mode, nice zoom with the flip of a switch, Program Shift including a BULB mode, pop-up flash, including an attachable proprietary flash, and a lit LCD inner display, well, if it's viewed under dim lighting.
The strange design, including plastic body and weird ergonomics, make this a very odd camera indeed.  The flip-down handle gives it a "Speed Radar" kind of design, and many drivers have slowed down when I am using this camera near a road way.
The thing is, the lens is amazingly sharp, and renders beautifully out of focus areas.  Film is AUTO-SET VIA DX-Coding, but can be +/-EI over-ridden.  Provided you remember that + is for slower film, and - is for faster, which is great if you are using bulk rolled or non-DX coded rolls of film.

This camera has proven many times over, again and again, proving to be a great amateur's camera, and an instant head turning camera.  I've gotten asked, "Is that a video camera?" many times over this one, as it truly looks like a video camera, instead of a stills camera.

The simple operation, and relatively easy one-handed use of this camera, has easily made it an instant favorite of mine, even if I don't use it as often as I should.
It has some very interesting quirks, but nothing that cannot be over-looked, as it is, after all, an older camera during a time when camera manufacturers' were trying many radical new things with their cameras.
The Mirai 35-135 is actually the successor to the Ricoh/Olympus joint venture of the Mirai 35-105.

Camera tech-specs;

Ricoh Mirai 35-135mm 35mm SLR (Bridge Program)
Rikenon 35-135mm ƒ/4.2-5.6 15-elements in 13 groups Fixed Lens
52mm ø Filter size
TTL Metering
Program Mode w/Smart Shift & AE-L + Aperture Priority Mode
Single A/F w/IR Focus Assist
Compound Vertical travel Focal Plane shutter 32s to 1/2000s +B
1010g w/o batteries film or accessories

And a couple of sample images taken with this camera;

Locking Combination
"Combination" - Fuji Neopan 400CN
Victorian - Not Colonial
"Victorian" - Polypan F 50
Taking A Lonely Walk
"A Lonely Walk" - Ilford FP4+ 125


  1. Hi, I just bought the Ricoh Mirai 35-135 Zoom, and it is indeed weird! Anybody got any idea where I can get a hot shoe flash for this baby?

  2. Any idea what this camera is worth as i have one to sell