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 the Shotmaster 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 the Ricoh Shotmaster Zoom Super Date 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, but I’ve decided to keep it… for now…