Ricoh RT-550
POSTED 7-23-'03

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Locating the controls 13
Using the strap 14
Inserting the battery 14
Opening the lens shield 14
Checking the battery 15
Loading the film 16
Setting the film speed 17
Holding your camera 17
Viewfinder 18
Wideangle/Telephoto lens selector 18

Auto-focus shooting 19
Pre-focus shooting 20
Rewinding the film (Auto reverse) 21
Flash photography 21
Night photography 22
Using the self-timer 22
Using the continuous shooting mode 23
Proper care of your camera 25
Specifications 26

We are most gratified that you have selected a RICOH camera. Before using your camera, please be sure to read these instructions carefully.


1 Shutter Release Button
2 Lens Selector (Wideangle/Telephoto)
3 Photocell
4 Strap Holder
5 Lens Shield
6 Distance Measuring Windows
7 Self-timer LED
8 Viewfinder Window
9 Built-in Flash Unit
10 Flash Off Mode
11 LCD Panel
12 Self-timer Button
13 Continuous Shooting Button
14 AF Monitor
15 Viewfinder
16 Sprocket
17 Lens Shield Switch
18 Film Take-up Spool
19 Back Cover Latch
20 Film Guides

21 Tripod Socket
22 Manual Film Rewind Button
23 Battery Compartment Cover Latch
24 Battery Compartment Cover

25 Film Loaded Window
26 Back Cover
27 Film Rewind Shaft
28 Film Chamber
29 Flash Ready Lamp


Attaching the Strap

1. Insert the loop at the end of the Strap under the Strap Holder. (Fig. 1)
2. Insert the other end of the Strap through the loop and tie the Strap onto the Strap Holder. (Fig 2)

The camera will not operate unless the battery is installed. It is important to make sure that the battery is installed correctly.

1. Push the Battery Compartment Cover Latch by a pen etc. in the direction of the arrow and pull open the cover. (Fig 3)

2. Insert the 6 volt lithium battery, checking that+ and - on the battery are lined up correctly according to the polarity diagram inside the battery compartment. (Fig. 4)

3. Close the Battery Compartment Cover by pushing it in the direction of the arrow. (Fig. 5)

* When the battery is inserted correctly, the Battery Condition Mark *** appears on the LCD Panel when the Lens Shield is opened. (Fig. 6)

* When replacing the battery do so as quickly as possible, and avoid having film inside the camera.

* Do not remove the battery from the camera unless it is to be replaced with a new one.

Battery for use - Lithium battery (6V) Duracell DL223A (Only MADE IN USA ), Panasonic CR-P2 and BR-P2DR

1. Open the Lens Shield by sliding the Viewfinder Cover in the direction of arrow. (Fig. 7)

* You can only fire the camera when the Lens Shield is completely open.

* To avoid tripping the shutter inadvertently and wasting battery power, always keep the Lens Shield closed when you are not taking pictures.

* When the Lens Shield is closed, the Battery Condition Mark will disappear to conserve the battery power.

* Opening the Lens Shield while pressing the shutter release will release the shutter.

1. The symbol is displayed on the LCD Panel when the battery power is sufficient. (Fig. 8)

2. When the battery is nearly exhausted, the symbol will appear. (Fig. 9)

If there is film in your camera, finish the roll as soon as possible and obtain a new battery.

3. When the battery is completely exhausted the symbol will be displayed. (Fig. 10)

Replace with a new battery.

* Cold temperatures will reduce battery efficiency. In freezing weather, the symbol may turn off and only the or symbol may show in the LCD panel. When the camera returns to normal temperature, the Battery "ALL Right symbol should reappear. If you are taking pictures in cold weather, keep the camera warm and take it out only when you need it.

* If the battery voltage is insufficient, the shutter may not release or the film may not advance completely. In the following cases, replace the battery:

1) When the battery mark displays the C sym bolt
2) When the shutter does not release.
3) When film advance and rewind cannot be done.
4) When the self timer does not function.


Always avoid direct sunlight when loading the film.

1. Push the Back Cover Latch downwards to open. (Fig. 11)
2. Load the film cassette into the Film Chamber and pull out enough film leader to extend over the mark of the film leader position. (Figs. 12-A, 12.B)
3. Please make sure that the film is within the Film Guides (Fig. 13), and that the film is not slack.  (Fig. 14)
4. Press the Back Cover shut so that the Back Cover Latch returns to its original position. The film is automatically advanced until number 1 appears in the LCD Panel. As soon as you close the Back Cover, the LCD Panel will show the following signs. (Fig. 15)

  (1) Film Cassette loaded Symbol
  (2) Film Advance Symbols (these symbols will flash in sequence toward the right to tell you the film is winding.)
  (3) Exposure Counter

5. If the film has not advanced correctly and is not taken up onto the Film Take-up Spool, the Film Cassette Loaded Symbol, and Exposure Counter will blink for about 30 sec. (after 30 sec., they appear without blinking but start to blink when the Shutter Release Button is pressed and the shutter can not be released).


Please reload the film by following steps 1--4 shown above. (Fig. 16)

* Whether there is film in your camera or not can be confirmed by either the Film Loaded Window or the cartridge symbols in the LCD Panel. (Fig 17)

* Do not use special-purpose films such as 35 mm Instant Reversal Film, etc. because your camera may not be able to transport and expose them properly.

* You can load film in your camera although the Lens Shield is closed. However, the loading signs disappears after the film has advanced correctly.


DX coded films are provided with black-and-silver patterns corresponding to film speeds which the camera reads and automatically sets. Your camera accepts DX films with speeds ranging from ISO 64 to 3200.

Please check whether the film has a DX code system or not. (Fig 18)

When using a film with DX code, setting the film speed is not necessary Your camera automatically makes the correct film speed setting.

When using a film without DX code, your camera will automatically set itself to ISO 100.


1. Use both hands to steady your camera. (Figs 19, 20)

* When holding vertically always position it with the flash at the top.

* Be careful not to place your fingers over the lens flash, or focusing windows. (Fig. 21)


Field of View Frame:
The subject (such as people or scenery) that you wish to take should be set within this

Parallax Correction Marks:
When taking a picture of subject that is between 0.9 m--1.2 m away from your camera, the subject should be positioned within these marks. Anything outside the marks will not be included in the picture even if you can see it through the view" finder.

Autofocus Frame:
The auto-focus system focuses automatically on any subject that appears within this small circle.

1. Your camera's wide and tele lenses let you select the composition that best suits your subject. Just press the Lens Selector; the lens movement is motorized. (Fig. 23)

Wideangle (35 mm focal length)

Telephoto (70 mm focal length)

* When changing lenses, please make sure you do not have your fingers near the moving lens components.


For subjects that are less than 0.9 m (3.0 ft.) away from your camera, the shutter is locked with the flashing AF Monitor (Green LED) to prevent any unsharp focus even if you press the Shutter Release Button. You can concentrate in composing your photography. (Fig. 24)

1. Set the subject you wish to take within the Auto Focus Frame in center of the Viewfinder.
2. When you press the Shutter Release Button halfway, the AF Monitor will light up. If the subject is close than 0.9 m (3.0 ft), the AF Monitor blinks and the shutter locks.
3. Gently press the Shutter Release Button down to take the picture. (Fig. 25) The film will advance automatically as soon as the shutter has been released.

* The AF Monitor may be rare not to warn that you are too close to the subject depend on the surrounding conditions. Therefore, make sure the subject is at least 0.9 m (3.0 ft.) away from the camera.

* Avoid pressing the Shutter Release Button too abruptly to avoid camera shake or possible misoperation.

* Please be careful not to accidentally cover the Distance Measuring Windows at the front of your camera, as this will cause the incorrect focusing.

* Please keep the Distance Measuring Windows clean so that focusing is accurate. If they get dirty, they should be wiped clean with a soft cloth.

* There may be rare cases where the subject cannot be well-focused. (For instance, dark subject that do not reflect light well, glossy subjects, or subject taken through glass.) In the cases, it is best to use the Pre Focus technique to "lock" the focus on a more "normal" subject at the same distance. While holding focus, turn your camera back to the original subject and shoot. (See PRE-FOCUS SHOOTING for more details.)

When the main subject you wish to focus on is not within the Auto-Focus Frame, or if the subject is difficult to focus on, then you should use pre-focus shooting

When the subject is not within the Autofocus Frame: 
1. If you want to photograph two people, there may be cases where neither of them can be within the Auto-Focus Frame in the center of the Viewfinder. If you release the shutter then, only the background will be in focus, and the people, who are the main subject, will be out-of-focus. (Fig. 26)

2. Move the camera so that one of the people is within the Auto-Focus Frame

Press the Shutter Release Button halfway so that the AF Monitor lights up. Hold your finger in that position on the Shutter Release Button. (Fig. 27)

3. Now return the camera to its original position so that both people are in the Field of View Frame again, and press the Shutter Release Button fully to take the picture. (Fig. 28)

When the subject is difficult to focus on:
1. When you are photographing subjects that are difficult to focus on (such as a black dog, glossy surface or behind glass), find another subject at about the same distance from the camera You can pre-focus on that subject in the same way as described above.

* If you are shooting through a window, aiming the camera at a slight angle to the glass usually avoids any direct reflection of auto-focus

* When you remove your finger from the Shutter Release Button, the pre-focused condition is cleared, so that you can pre-focus again as many times as you wish.

1. After the end of the film has been reached, the film is automatically rewound.
2. The film rewind is indicated by three dashes flashing in sequence from right to left and the counter gives a subtractive reading. (Fig. 29)
3. When the f ilm is fully rewound, the motor stops automatically and "E" is displayed in the LCD Panel, you can now open the Back Cover to unload the film. (Fig. 30)

* If you wish to rewind the film before the end of the film is reached, push the Manual Film Rewind Button with a pen, etc. (Fig. 31)

* The shutter release is locked when "E" is displayed.

* When removing film, the rewind mechanism may occasionally operate briefly as the Back Cover is opened. This is not abnormal.

* The rewound film will still have part of the film tongue protruding out of the film cartridge. (Fig 32)

1. If flash is required, the Flash Ready Lamp blinks (Fig. 33) when the Shutter Release Button is depressed halfway. Then, the power source of the flash automatically turns on.
2. When the flash is fully charged, the Flash Ready Lamp lights up. Then take a flash photography.

* When the Flash Unit is charging, the Flash Ready Lamp and the Flash Indicator *** in the Viewfinder (Fig 34) blink. The Shutter Release Button can not be released. If you keep holding the Shutter Release Button down from when the flash is not ready, the shutter will be released immediately after the flash becomes fully charged.

* After the power source turns on (after Flash Ready Lamp starts to blink by pressing the Shutter Release Button), it will take about 2 seconds to charge fully.

* Recommended Flash Shooting Range (ISO 100)

Wideangle: 0.9 m - 4.4 m

Telephoto: 0.9 m ~ 2.2 m

You can easily shoot night photographs that take advantage of natural illumination by pressing the Flash ff Mode Button. (Fig. 35)

1. Press the Flash Off Mode Button.
2. Then, press the Shutter Release Button halfway while holding the Flash Off Mode Button down.
3. When the AF Monitor lights, press the Shutter Release Button fully.

* Using a tripod, or other suitable film support, is recommended to reject camera shake.

* If you wish to cancel the flash off mode once it has activated, remove your finger from the Shutter Release Button.

* Be careful! not to put your fingers in front of the flash window.

Daytime Synchronization
When taking pictures of backlit subjects, the camera automatically compensates for the lighting situation. If the subject is backlit and is within about 3 meters from the camera, the strobe turns on automatically and compensation is done via daylight synchronization.

Thus, even with backlit subjects, trouble-free, natural-looking pictures can be taken. (Fig. 36)

1. Press the Self-timer Button. The Self-timer LED on the front of your camera will light for approximately 8 seconds. Then, the LED will blink for about 2 seconds to indicate that the shutter will release soon. After a total 10 seconds have elapsed, the shutter will release (Figs. 37, 38)

* If you wish to clear the self-timer once it has started, close the Lens Shield or press the Self-timer Button again.

Using the Self timer for Flash Photography:
a. The Flash Unit will tu rn on automatically when the Self-timer Button is pressed if there is insufficient light.
b. Wait for the Flash Ready Lamp to light.
c. Press the Self-timer Button again (the camera will focus) to make the exposure as described above. Make sure that the Self-timer LED lights up.

* For backlit subjects within about 3 m from the camera, the Flash Unit will turn on automatically to compensate for the lighting situation.

Using the Self-timer for Pre focus Photography:
a. Select the subject you wish to pre-focus on. Move the camera so that it is in Auto-Focus Frame.
b. Press the Shutter Release Button halfway down to adjust and lock-in the focus.
c. While holding the Shutter Release Button halfway, press the Self-timer Button to activate the self-timer
d. The focus will remain fixed at the locked-in distance until the photograph is taken.

This mode allows you shoot continuously as long as the shutter is pressed.

You can accurately capture the continuous action of car races, competitive sport events, and even the movements of an infant without missing any important moments. (Figs. 39, 40, 41)

1. Press the Mode Button to set your camera to the Continuous Shooting Mode. Confirm that the *** mark appears in the LCD Panel. (Fig. 42)
2. Press and hold down the Shutter Release Button. Your camera will continuously take pictures at a rate of one f fame per second as long as the Shutter Release button is held down. (Fig. 43) * If you want to cancel the Continuous Shooting

Mode before taking any picture, close the Viewfinder Cover or press the Continuous Shooting Mode again until the mode marks go

Combining the Continuous Shooting Mode and the Self-timer:
1. Set your camera to the Continuous Shooting Mode.
2. Press the Self-timer Button. Your camera will wait 10 seconds, then shoot two sequential frames.

Combining the Continuous Shooting Mode and the Flash:
1. Set your camera to the Continuous Shooting Mode.
2. Press the Shutter Release Button halfway down.
3. If the amount of light is insufficient, the Flash Unit will turn on automatically.
4. The Flash Ready Lamp lights, when the flash is fully charged.
5. Press and hold down the Shutter Release Button to continue shooting. Your camera will automatically make another exposure each time the Flash Ready Lamp relights.

Combining the Continuous Shooting Mode with the Self-timer and Flash:
1. Set the camera to the Continuous Shooting Mode.
2. Press the Self-timer Button. If the amount of light is insufficient, the flash will turn on automatically.
3. When the flash is fully charged, again press the Self-timer Button. The Self-timer LED will light.
4. The Self-timer LED will remain lit for 8 seconds and then start to f lash for 2 seconds. After a total of 10 seconds have elapsed, the shutter will release.
5. As soon as the Flash Ready Lamp comes on again, the shutter releases a second time.


* If there is dirt on the lens or Distance Measuring Windows, do not touch with fingers. Use a blower to blow the dust away, or wipe the surface gently with a soft cloth. (Fig. 44)

* Camera malfunction can be caused by shock, humidity, salt etc. After using the camera at the beach or places where there are chemicals, wipe it carefully (Fig. 45)

* Take care not to expose the camera to sudden changes in temperature, as they may cause condensation on the lens or other malfunctions.  (Fig. 46)

* Do not expose the camera for a long period of time in extremely high temperatures, such as in your car or on the beach, as this may ruin your film, or cause other malfunctions. (Fig. 47)

* When using a tripod, do not try to force a long screw into the socket. The screw length should be less than 5.7 mm. (Fig. 48)

* Do not place the camera near equipment that has strong magnetic fields such as a television or radio. (Fig. 49)


Type: 35 mm wide-an gle/telephoto switchable lens sh utter type with automatic focus.

Lens: 35 mm f3.5, 4 elements/3 groups. 70 mm f6.6, 8 elements/6 groups.

Focusing: Automatic focusing with pre-focus facility Distance measuring (shooting)

Range: 0.9 m - 00. Distance less than 0.9 m: AF monitor (green LED) blinks and shutter release locks.

Shutter: Programmed AE type electronic shutter, 1--1/500 sec.

Self Timer: Built-in electronic visual type. Operating delay of approx. 10 sec. Can be com bined with continuous shooting mode to shoot two pictures.

Viewfinder: Al bade type bright-f fame viewf inder. Adjustable for telephoto and wide-angle by motor. 

Magnification: 0.70X (at telephoto); 0.38X (at wide-angle). 

Field of view: 87% (at tale); 84% (at wide).

Viewfinder Information: Field of view frame, parallax correction marks, auto focus frame.

Exposure Adjustment: With CdS photocell. 

Exposure coupling range: Telephoto EV6.4--18 (ISO 100), Wide-angle EV3.5--17 (ISO 100)

Film Speed Range: ISO 64--3200. Compatible with the DX code system.

Film Advance/Rewind: By a built-in motor. Automatic 1st f fame setting. Automatic f ilm rewi nd at end of film.

Film Loading: Ricoh auto-load system.

Exposure Counter: Additive counts down during film reverse.

LCD Display: Film loaded, film advance, exposure counter, film reverse and reverse completion, continuous shooting, battery loaded, battery low warning, flash charging indicator.

Built-in Flash: Electronic flash automatically activates in dim light or for backlight compensation.

Flash Range: Approx 2.2 m (telephoto), 4.4 m (wide-angle) with ISO 100 film. Exposure adjust ment through flashmatic system.

Interval Between Flashes: About 2 seconds.

Power Source: 1 lithium 6-volt battery (DL223A (Only MADE IN USA ), BR-P2DP! CR-P2).

Dimensions: 137 (w) x 73.5 (h) x 54 (d) m m.

Weight: 300 9 (without battery)

*Specifications are subject to change without notice.