Point & Shoot

Ricoh Shotmaster Zoom Super Date Review – By Gavin Bain

What a name right? Ricoh Shotmaster Zoom Super Date. I couldn’t imagine having to walk into a store to order this camera when it first came out. Speaking of which, I have no idea when that was because there is very little info about this camera online.

I payed $20 on Facebook Marketplace to buy this off an old lady on a whim. Best case, I’ve payed $20 for a unsung hero and worst case? I can likely sell it on for the amount I payed. As soon as I got it I sent a message to Hamish, our all powerful and knowledgeable leader, and asked if anybody had reviewed it before on this site. The answer was a friendly no, you’re it buddy!

I’m not going to write a technical review, because there isn’t a lot to it. It’s a plastic auto focus point and shoot camera that just does what you ask it to.

The Ricoh Shotmaster Super Zoom Date, I’m going to get sick of typing that, is a fairly large point and shoot camera but it sits nicely in the hand. It has a finger grip on the front and a thumb grip on the back which feel very comfortable actually.

It takes a CR-P2 battery; depending on where you live that’s either good or bad. For me its bad because they’re about $12 and there’s only one store in my town sells them. The zoom function takes you from 38mm to 80mm. Personally, I never shoot longer than 50mm and usually stick to 35mm if I can, so it’s a comfortable focal range before you need to zoom. I would say the best thing about this camera though is the giant LCD display (compared to some P&S cameras).

I found only one review of a similar camera online and the poster banged on about its poor autofocus abilities. I only had one frame out of focus. It’s actually very snappy and responsive. The only thing I found off-putting was the viewfinder. Personally I’ve never had a camera where the frame lines are in the bottom right of the viewfinder. I tried to get a photo of it to show you but it just wasn’t happening.

I took it to work with me one day with a roll of Ilford HP5 shooting at box speed. I developed the roll at home in Ilfosol 3, which adds a bit more grain, and scanned with an Epson scanner (excuse the dust I got lazy), and that’s all. I haven’t touched the images in any other editing software to keep it authentic. And I must say, I was impressed! Lots of contrast for box speed.

All in all I could use this as a regular shooter, but it wouldn’t be the first camera I would grab. Not because I wasn’t happy with it, it just wasn’t enough to make me drop everything else I own to use this one. These days I grab my Yashica Electro or Zorki 4. If it’s a point and shoot day, my Nikon TW Zoom. I had anticipated reviewing and selling the Ricoh Shotmaster Zoom Super Date, but I’ve decided to keep it… for now…

Instagram: @gavinbain

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  • Avatar
    Paul Hendren
    March 20, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Hey Gavin. Nice review. About a month ago I picked one of these fine point and shoots up for $7.99 Canadian. Tossed some Kodak 200 through it and I was impressed. it certainly punches above its weight. I also own a little Ricoh rangefinder (35FM) that also is a magical beast. I’m now considering a Ricoh SLR

  • Avatar
    david hill
    March 20, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    This one is circa 1992.
    Very capable, as long as you’re not trying to focus on your own coffee cup. No need to sell that one on 🙂

  • Avatar
    Greg Williamson
    March 28, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Hi Gavin

    I suspect the positioning of the framelines is for parallax correction. They probably move towards the top left for close focussing.

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