Ritz Camera

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Ritz Camera was a former chain of retail camera stores based in the United States. From their 1936 roots in the Washington, DC, area,[1] Ritz and their sub-brands eventually grew to be the largest photo retail chain in the country, peaking at around 1,200 stores. Ritz locations combined equipment sales with (higher-margin) photofinishing, a winning formula to keep customers visiting. In addition much of their growth (led by 2nd-generation David Ritz) came from acquisitions, notably of their major competitor Wolf Camera,[2] as well as Kits Camera, Inkley’s, Proex, and The Camera Shop.

Ritz was one of the founding retailers of P.R.O. (Photographic Research Organization) and prominently advertised their products through the 1970s. But in later years Ritz was able to launch its own exclusive private-label brands such as Quantaray and Dakota. Items branded as Quantaray appeared c.1975,[3] eventually including house-branded cameras.[4]

In the 1990's they worked with camera manufacturers like Minolta and provided exclusive distribution of cameras with special features like panorama modes or date backs, that were not available to other distributors in the US. Tech-10 and Ray Enterprises Inc. were also brands used by the company.

Ritz filed for bankruptcy in February 2009, closing half their stores in trying to reorganize. David Ritz with other investors under the name RCI (Ritz Camera Image) acquired the company out of bankruptcy which caused conflicts with creditors. However this reorganized company also struggled, and the entire chain was liquidated in 2012.[5] Some assets (including a handful of stores and the online sales division ritzcamera.com) were acquired by C+A Global; but the final brick-and-mortar storefront (in Bethesda, Maryland) closed in 2018.[6]



Exclusive distribution



Manual focus (very incomplete)

  • Quantaray Auto Macro 55mm f3 - for Canon FD
  • Quantaray Wide-Auto 24mm f/2.5
  • Quantaray MC 28mm f2.8 - for Canon FD
  • MC Quantaray Auto Zoom 28 to 80mm f3.5-4.5 Macro - for Canon FD
  • MC Quantaray Auto Zoom 75 to 200mm f4.5 Macro - for Canon FD
  • MC Quantaray Auto Zoom 85 to 210mm f3.8 Macro - for Canon FD, Olympus OM


  • Zooms for Minolta, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax AF mounts, sometimes under "Tech-10" branding


  1. Ritz national advertising beginning c.1954 names five locations: Two in DC, two in Baltimore, one in Philadelphia.
  2. A pre-merger 1999 Washington Post profile about Ritz's growth phase notes that the Ritz and Wolf families are relatives.
  3. See this November, 1975, Ritz Camera ad in Popular Photography (Vol. 77, No.5; page 170). Quantaray-branded lenses were added by January, 1976, (Popular Photography Vol. 78, no. 1; pages 160–161).
  4. An example is this Delta 2-RZ (rebadging an abandoned Topcon) from 1979.
  5. "Ritz Camera & Image to Liquidate, Website & Some Stores Acquired by C&A Marketing" Sept. 10, 2012, from Digital Imaging Reporter.
  6. "Ritz Camera Closes This Week in Bethesda" May 1st, 2018, Bethesda Magazine.