Ricoh AF-55
posted 8-4-'03

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We are most gratified that you have selected a RICOH camera. Before using your camera, please be sure to read these instructions carefully.  We suggest that you become familiar with your new camera by shooting and processing at least one roll of film before using your camera to record an important occasion.


1. Film Counter Window
2. Shutter Release Button
3. Strap Holder
4. Lens Shield
5. Distance Measuring Windows
6. Built-in Flash Unit
7. Self-Timer LED
8. Photocell
9. Viewfinder Window
10. Sprocket Drive
11. Viewfinder Eyepiece
12. Flash Ready Lamp 
13. Self-Timer Button

14. Back Cover Latch
15. Film Take-up Spool
16. Manual Film Rewind Switch
17. Film Guides
18. Tripod
19. battery Compartment Cover Latch

20. Battery Compartment Cover
21. Film Loaded Window
22. Back Cover
23. Film Rewind Shaft
24. Film Chamber
25. Film Counter Switch

Fig. 1 - 6 Fig 7. - 15 Fig. 16 - 24
Fig. 25 - 29 Fig. 30 - 34  


Attaching the strap

1. Insert the small loop at the end of the Strap under the Strap Holder. (Fig. 1)
2. Insert the other end of the Strap through the loop to 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. Use a pen to push the battery Compartment Cover Latch in the direction of the arrow and pull open the cover. (Fig. 3)

2. Insert either a 3 volt lithium battery or 2 AA-size alkaline/manganese batteries, checking that + and - 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 replacing the battery do so as quickly as possible, and avoid having film inside the camera.

* Please finish any roll of film in your camera and then remove the battery from the camera when you do not use the camera for a long period of time.

Battery for use

Lithum battery (3V) (Panasonic CR-123A, Duracell DL-123A) or 2 Alkaline penlight batteries or 2 Manganese penlight batteries  (Nickel Cadmium can not be used.)

1. Slide the Lens Shield in the direction of arrow to open. (Fig. 6)

* You can only take pictures when the Lens Shield is completely open.

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

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

* When opening the Lens Shield the Flash Unit is automatically supplied with power, and the Flash Ready Lamp is turned ON. This to make sure that the Flash is ready to be used whenever necessary

1. Cover the Photocell with your hand and press the Shutter Release Button down halfway.
2. If the Low Light Warning LED lights, then the battery power is sufficient. (Fig. 7)
3. If the low light warning LED does not light the battery is insufficient or the battery is not inserted correctly into the battery compartment. Replace the battery or re-insert the battery according to the polarity diagram inside the battery

* Generally, in cold conditions, the capacity of the battery decreases, and in some cases, the camera may not operate correctly. You should either warm the battery or keep a spare in your pocket, inserting them just before you use the camera. If the capacity of the battery has decreased in cold temperatures, it usually will regain full capacity in normal temperatures. Do not throw the battery away without checking 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

a. The shutter cannot be released (apart from when the Lens Shield is closed).

b. The Flash Ready Lamp takes more 30 seconds to light up.

c. The Film Advance or Film Rewind does not operate.


Always avoid direct sunlight when loading the film.

1. Push the Back Cover Latch downward to open. (Fig. 8)
2. Load the film into the Film Chamber and pull out the film leader. (Fig. 9) Press the film cassettes outlet so that the surface becomes level with the rail surface, and place the film leader over the Film Leader Mark. (Fig. 10)
3. Line up the film within the Film Guides. Make sure that there is no slack in the film and that the edge of the film stays over the Film Counter Switch. (Fig. 11)
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 Film Counter Window. (Fig. 12)
5. If number 1 does not appear in the Film Counter Window, the film has not advanced correctly. The motor may not stop. Reload the film by following steps 1 - 4 shown

* Whether there is film in your camera or not can be confirmed by the Film Loaded Window. (Fig. 13)

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

* You can load film in your camera with the Lens Shield closed.

DX-coded Films are provided with black-and-silver patterns corresponding to film speeds which the camera reads and automatically sets. Check whether the film you're using is DX-encoded. (Fig. 14)

DX-coded Film with ISO 100 -1000: Setting the film speed is not necessary. Your camera automatically makes the correct film speed setting.

Film without DX-code: Your camera will automatically set itself to ISO 100.

1. Always use both hands to steady your camera. (Figs. 15, 16)

* When holding the camera 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. 17)


(1) Field-of-View Frame
The subject (such as people or scenery) you wish to photograph should be positioned within this frame.

(2) Parallax Correction Marks
When taking a picture of a subject that is between 1 -1.2m (3.3 - 3.9ft.) away from the camera, the subject should be positioned within these marks. Subjects outside the marks will not be included in the picture even though you can see them through the viewfinder.

3 Auto-Focus Frame
The Auto-Focus system focuses automatically on any subject that appears within this small

(4) Low Light Warning LED
If the Low Light Warning LED lights when you press the Shutter Release Button halfway, the flash is required due to insufficient light. Confirm that the Flash Ready Lamp lights, and fully depress the Shutter Release Button. The Flash can now be used when taking a picture.

1. Position the subject you wish to take within the Auto-Focus Frame in the center of the Viewfinder. (Fig, 19)
2. When you press the Shutter Release Button halfway, the subject is focused. (Fig. 20)
3. Gently press the Shutter Release Button to take the picture. The film will advance automatically as soon as the shutter has been released.

* Avoid pressing the Shutter Release Button too abruptly to minimize camera shake or possible mis-operation.

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

* Keep the Distance Measuring Windows clean to ensure accurate focusing. If the windows get dirty, they should be wiped clean with a soft cloth.

* There may be rare cases when accurate focusing is difficult or impossible. (For instance, with dark subject that do not reflect light well, glossy subjects, or subjects taken through glass.) In these cases, it is best to use the Pre-Focus technique to "lock" the focus on a more "nominal" subject at the same distance. While holding focus, turn your camera back to the original subject and shoot. (See PREFOCUS SHOOTING for more details.)

When the Subject you wish to focus on is not located within the Auto-Focus Frame, you should use Pre

Focus Shooting.
1 If you want to photograph two or more people, there may be cases where none of your main subjects 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. 21)

2 Move the camera to one side so that one of the people is within the Auto-Focus

Press the Shutter Release Button halfway so that the Focus locks. Hold your finger in that position on the Shutter Release Button. (Fig. 22)

3. Now return the camera to its original position so that your main subjects are in the Filed-of View Frame again, and press the Shutter Release Button fully to take the picture. (Fig. 23)


1. After the end of the film has been reached, the film is automatically rewound.

2. As the film is being rewound, the Film Counter gives a subtractive reading.

3. When the film is fully rewound, the motor stops automatically and "S" is seen in the Film Counter. You may now open the Back Cover to unload the film. (Fig. 24)

* If you wish to rewind the film before the end of roll is reached, slide the Manual Film Rewind Switch in the direction of the arrow with a ball point pen, etc. (Fig. 25)

* You can close the Lens Shield when the film is being rewound.

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

When the Shutter Release Button is pressed in halfway and the Low Light Warning LED lights up, the Flash will be necessary when taking a picture.

Even if the Low Light Warning LED lights on this camera, you can safely depress the Shutter Release Button to take a picture with the Flash, as long as the Flash Ready Lamp lights. (Fig. 26)

After you have taken a picture with the Flash, and you want to take one more picture using the Flash, please wait until the Flash Ready Lamp lights up again.

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

Flash Photography Distance
Shooting Range: 1 - about 3.6m (3.3 -11.4ft.)

* If the Shutter Release Button is kept pressed halfway down before the Flash Ready Lamp comes on, Shutter Lock operate and the flash will not fully charge.

* If the Shutter Release Button is pressed before the Flash Ready Lamp lights, the shutter will not be released.

* You can also use the Flash Unit as a fill-in light for daytime photography. Momentarily cover the photocell with your hand and press the Shutter Release Button in halfway. Then the Flash Unit will fire.

Now it's your turn to get into the shot!

1. Push the Self-Timer Button fully. Then the Self Timer LED (red lamp) on the front of the camera begins to blink on and off. The shutter will be released about 10 seconds after activation. (Fig. 27) The LED lights steadily two seconds before the shutter is released, to indicate that the shutter is about to be released.

* If you wish to cancel the self-timer once it has started, press the Shutter Release

* When using the self-timer with flash photography, you must (re)activate the Self-Timer Button after the Flash Ready Lamp is lit.


Nomenclature of the date imprinting feature (Fig, 28)

(1) Display panel

(2) Month indication

3 Imprint mark

(4) Set button

(5) Selector button

(6) Mode selector button

Imprinting mode

Examples of date imprinting (Fig. 29)

(1) 1991 July 21 st

(2) 21 st 15:59

(3) No imprinting

(4) July21st, 1991

(5) 21stJuly, 1991

The date imprinting mode can be divided into 5 types; date, time, and no imprinting.

Selecting imprinting mode (Fig. 29) 
Each time the Mode selector button is pressed, the display changes as shown below. 
(1) Date (Year/month/day) 
(2) Time (Day/hour/minute) 
(3) No imprinting Date 
(4) (Month/day/year)
(5) Date (Day/month/year)

Checking imprinting After shooting, the imprint mark--flickers in the display panel for a few seconds for correct imprinting. The mark and the letter "M" are not imprinted on the picture.

Resetting the date and time (Figs. 30A - C) 1. Each time the Selector button is pressed the flashing digits change in the order of year, month, day, hour, minute and colon (:). 2. When the digits to be reset flash, press the Set button until the desired digits appear. When the Set button is kept pressed, the digits change rapidly.

Accurately seeing seconds (Figs. 31 A - C)
1. Press the Mode selector button for Time display mode.

2. Press the Selector button so that the colon (:) flickers.

3. Press the Set button according to the radio or telephone time signal. The time count starts form 0 seconds.

* It is recommended that the second digits be adjusted after adjusting the minute digits.

Battery Replacement
The date/time function draws power from the camera battery. For detailed information on the battery, refer to the page 12. When replacing the battery, if the display does not blank out, setting the date and time after battery replacement is not necessary. But if there is nothing on the display, set the date and time after installing new battery. Note that even when the battery is removed, the display data will be retained for several minutes.

Notes on the date imprinting feature

* At temperature of below 0 C (32 F), the battery performance deteriorates. The date imprinting feature may not function correctly and imprinting may become impossible.

* When the battery is replaced, the display panel sometimes shows wrong digits. Reset the digits for correct indication.

* The date is sometimes illegible if it is imprinted on the following objects.

(1) "Warm"-colored objects, such as red, yellow, orange, etc.
(2) Objects with details similar in size to the imprinted date (gravel, leaves, etc.)
(3) Objects of high (sky, white wall, etc.)

* imprinting is not possible in the following modes. (1 ) Print off mode (2) Reset mode (3) Battery check display mode (The display panel flashes.)


* 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. 32)

* 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. 33)

* Do not expose the camera to sudden change in temperature, as they may cause condensation on the lens or other malfunctions. (Fig. 34)

* 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 camera malfunctions. (Fig. 35)

* Do not place the camera near equipment that has strong magnetic fields such as a television or radio. (Fig, 36)


Type: 35mm lens shutter type with automatic focusing.

Lens: 35mm f3.9 Ricoh lens, 3 elements, 3 groups.

Focusing: Automatic focusing with pre-focusing facility. Distance measuring (shooting) range: 1 m - 00.

Shutter: Programmed type electronic shutter 1/125 -1/600 sec.

Self-Timer: Built-in electronic type, operating delay of approx. 10 sec. with LED indicator

Viewfinder: Reverse Galilean viewfinder. Magnification 0.46x. Field of view 83%.

Exposure adjustment: With Cds photocell, Exposure Coupling Range EV10.5 - EV15 (ISO 100)

Film speed range: ISO 100 -1000 (DX auto set).

Film loading: Ricoh auto-load system.

Film advance: Electronic motor with film transport monitor. Automatic 1 st frame setting.

Film rewind. Automatic rewind at end of roll. Mid-Roll rewind is possible

Exposure counter: Additive, automatic resets to S when the camera back is opened.

Built-In flash: Electronic flash. Automatic sensor flash.

Guide number: 10 (ISO 1 OOm)/33 (ISO 1 OOft.) Exposure adjustnient through flashmatic system.

Flash recycling time: Approx. 6 sec.

Flash shooting range: 1 m - approx. 3.6m

Power source: 3V lithium battery, or 2M size Alkaline batteries or Manganese batteries Cadmium batteries can not be used).

Number of shots possible: With new Alkaline batteries (under nommal temperature of 20 C) without using the flash unit: more than 100 rolls of 24 exposure film: when using the flash unit for every exposure: more than 10 rolls of 24 exposure film.

Dimensions: 132mm (W) x 68mm (H) x 50mm (D).

Weight: 23Og (without battery).

* Specifications are subject to change without notice.