Lomopedia: Ricoh Mirai

2014-05-15 3

Another interesting and quirky-looking autofocus SLR camera, the Ricoh Mirai was also introduced in the late 1980s and marketed as a complete SLR system in a small package. Another major Japanese optics company co-developed this camera with Ricoh — find out which in this installment of Lomopedia!

In 1988, the same year as the Yashica Samurai X3.0 was released, Ricoh introduced the Ricoh Mirai, their own version of a curious-looking bridge camera that they co-developed with Olympus. The Mirai series were the only autofocus SLR cameras made by Ricoh.

Photos via dcview.com, E Magnuson on Flickr and Rob Johnson on Flickr

If the Samurai looked like a video camera, this 35mm autofocus SLR camera sported a design that was somewhat like a cross between a video camera and a projector (has to be Ricoh’s idea of a “futuristic” design, so to complete the concept, they named it Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese). It has a fixed 35 – 135mm zoom lens, an aperture of f/4.2 (wide) to f/5.6 (telephoto), shutter speeds of 32 sec – 1/2000 sec, TTL autofocus, and other useful features.

Not surprisingly, since they partnered with Ricoh, Olympus also included it in their roster of cameras, and called it Olympus AZ-4. It was nearly identical with the Ricoh Mirai, only without a remote control socket and uses different batteries.

First photo: Ricoh Mirai; Second photo: Olympus AZ-4. via dcview.com

Technical Specifications:


  • Zoom Range: 35mm – 135 mm
  • Lens Speed: F4.2 – F5.6
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.2m
  • Macro Distance: 1.2m – 0.49m (by Focus Aid)
  • Macro Magnification: 1/4.9 (at 0.49m)
  • Macro Type: Tele Macro
  • Filter Size: 52mm
  • Front Lens Diameter: 44mm
  • Lens Construction: 15 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Lens Retraction: By 8mm (When Main Switch is Off)
  • Zooming: Power Zooming


  • Type: TTL Type
  • Magnification: x0.80 (at 50mm)
  • Field of Coverage: 87%


  • Mode: Automatic Back Light Control Mode; Center Weighted Average Mode
  • AE Lock: Yes
  • Exposure Compensation: + or – 4EV
  • EV Range: EV4-20
  • ISO Setting: 25 – 5000


  • Type: TTL Automatic Focusing Single AF Type
  • AF Distance Coverage: 1.2m – inf.
  • AF Range: EV4 – 17 (without Beam Illuminator)
  • Beam Illuminator: Automatically lights in low light up to about 5.5m
  • Focus Aid: Possible by Power Focusing; at Macro Mode Use Focus Aid for AF


  • Mode: Program AE with Automatic Shift Capability (35 – 44mm: Wide, 45 – 70mm: Standard, 71 – 135mm: Tele Program); Manual Program Shift Possible with Up/Down Button Bulb


  • Type: Flash Matic Type Built-in
  • Shooting Range: Wide: 1.2 – 5m/Tele: 1.2-4.0m (ISO 100 Negative Film)
  • Pop-up: Manual Pop-up
  • Sensor: Yes When Popped-up
  • Fill Flash: Possible by Fill-Flash Button
  • Strobe Effective Range: Can be checked before Shooting
  • Additional Strobe: Can be attached (G. NO. 30)
  • Synchro Speed: 1/100 sec.


  • Type: Focal Plane Type
  • Speed: 32 sec. – 1/2000 sec. and Bulb


  • Screen Information: Matt Only (Not Interchangeable) with AF Frame; In Focus, Too Far, Too Close, Strobe Charge (by LEDs) F-Stop; Shutter Speed (pulsates as slow shutter warning), Exposure Over, Under, AE Lock, Macro, Exposure Compensation


Focusing Distance, Focal Length, Film Loaded, Film Set, Continuous Winding, Average Metering, Self Timer, Fill Flash, Exposure Counter Battery Condition


  • Covered: Exposure Compensation, Manual Rewind, BLC/Average, Bulb/Auto Exposure, Single/Continuous Winding


  • Remote Control Socket: Yes
  • Databack: Can Be Attached
  • Self-timer: 10 Seconds
  • Battery: Lithium (CR-P2), or AAAx4
  • Size: 135mm (W)x126mm (D)x81mm (H)
  • Weight: 1010g
Credits: jonobridge, deadbuggy & samgaler

All information for this article were sourced from Camerapedia, Butkus.org, and Wikipedia.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-15 #gear #35mm #review #olympus #ricoh #slr-camera #bridge-camera #lomopedia #ricoh-mirai


  1. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    cool camera...^..^

  2. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    cool camera...^..^

  3. deadbuggy
    deadbuggy ·

    One thing not mentioned here is that the Ricoh Mirai's automatic film rewind feature makes it easy to shoot double images on the same roll of film. Which is how I got the 'Detroit Takes Over the Universe' photo. Thanks for including my shots here...and thanks to my Uncle Jim who gave me the camera!

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