Ricoh R10 – PEACE and LOVE

Made in 2002, this is the last Ricoh compact film camera. (And as such is a poignant reminder that we live in a universe so cold that even the most beautiful must die and pass from us. I’m surprised Morrissey hasn’t written a song about it.)

Ricoh’s site tells us (via Google translate) that the R10 is:

“Same thing as ‘ELLE’ released in 1999. Two of naming has been made ​​in relation to sales channels.”

The ELLE being an R1 (a GR ancestor) without the panorama and 24mm modes. So the R10 is a simplified R1.

It’s got an f3.5 30mm lens and basic controls (flash, spot focus, infinity focus, self timer) set by the buttons on the top.

Though clearly related to the GR1 (look at the on/off button and the AF/flash indicators around the viewfinder) a GR1 it isn’t.

It’s made of plastic (the flimsy-feeling film door and hinge don’t fill one with confidence), the controls are more basic, you don’t get any info in the viewfinder and the lens is a simpler design.

That said, it’s small, feels nice in the hand (once you’ve shut the film door) and has those Ricoh touches that let you know it’s been designed by people who use cameras.

For example, it winds a new film all the way into the camera, then back into the canister as you take pictures. (So that if you open the back accidentally mid film, your exposed pictures are safe in the canister.)

And it’s got something the GR1 hasn’t; there’s a standard date print feature, but a less standard option to print messages on the film.

You can choose from:

  • HAPPY DAYS [curious smiley face]
  • I [heart] YOU !

To access the messages, hold down the date mode button for a couple of seconds; then press the button briefly to cycle through them.

Another nice thing about this camera is that it cost £10 rather than the £200 to £400 you have to pay for a GR1, GR1s or GR1v.

Do I have high hopes for it? Yes I do. I’ll post some pics as soon as I’ve run a film through it.


One film processed – see the gallery at the end of this post.

I’m really impressed. Especially with the close up flash portraits. Amazing detail, sweet film feel, nice colours, accurate focus.

What a great camera. And really fun to use; I was instantly comfortable with it.

And it can print ‘WORLD PEACE’ on your pictures. Be honest; this is now on your ‘must have’ list of features for the ideal compact camera, isn’t it?

If you are dithering about whether to get a GR film camera, save yourself a couple of hundred quid and get one of these.

Anyone got an R1 they want to sell me? (Update: No need, got one.)Links

On the Ricoh site (in Japanese):

Camerapedia on the ELLE:

Collection Appareils (French):

R10 gallery

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