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Archive 2011 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?
  
 
licorisher
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Hi folks,
I have had the GXR for quite a while now. It ain't perfect, but it is great. It really is.

Since there is not too much information about this system I was thinking I'd get my act together and do a write up on it. I feel the system might perhaps not be underrated, it is merely misunderstood.

With the Leica M module on the horizon things are even more interesting.
Europe seem to be getting a limited batch at first, so I might not get my hands on one. But, I get to borrow the dealers demo unit over the weekends so I can use it and shoot it as a sidekick to the M9. Autumn colors are sure to break out anytime soon here in Stockholm and if I get the GXR A12 mount/M-module I am very tempted to get a ZM 18/4 for it, though there aren't any around in Stockholm at the moment. (The 18/4 would see use on the M9 as well, of course, it is just another excuse to get it...)

/ Henrik








Sep 13, 2011 at 07:17 AM
Sam N
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Not much love for Ricoh in general in the US. It's pretty hard to find them in stores and a lot of people are weary on spending $1000 on a camera they've never used.

Please post some of your photos and impressions. It certainly is an intriguing system.



Sep 13, 2011 at 07:36 AM
Doug D.
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


I'm feeling the love Henrik and have a GXR and A12 M on order and plan to try it out with my 35 ASPH Cron and 50 Cron. I would welcome any of your thoughts on the GXR in general and of course, the A12 M after you get it. I'm also tempted to order the A12 28mm but I plan to wait until I receive the M-mount module and can play around with the GXR.


Sep 13, 2011 at 07:57 PM
j.liam
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


I recall that Lloyd Chambers did a comparison to the X100 in July and it didn't fare all that well (the review is in his paid subscription section). The novel idea of an interchangable sensor was nullified by the permanent marriage of a lens or adapter to a single sensor. It is in my purely avocational opinion, a dubious decision.

If the lens itself were detachable from the sensor plate, well, that would have been the key to broadening the appeal and maximixing the potential of the system.



Sep 13, 2011 at 08:38 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Doug; I have mixed feelings about the A12 28mm module. In a way it is great, in another way I find it slightly lacking. It is a bit soft from f2.5 up to f3.2, maybe f4 before it starts to sing.
Also, I find the distortion a little annoying in some instances for close up work.
Overall it is a great unit and I don't regret the purchase as it is my most used module out of the two I have. When compared to the 28/2 Summicron and the ZM 25 on full frame I got the same feeling as I did with MFT, good but not grrreat. Also, when compared to the Leica R28/2.8 on the S*ny A900 it was the same story.

For general use it is great and very handy. I don't see it as a system on it's own, but as a fine complimentary outfit to a full frame camera.

J.Liam; considering the price of the A12/28mm unit I don't think it is that bad, considering what good wideangle lenses set you back nowadays. Though I might seem luke warm about the A12/28 I find it is better than most of what is offered by the competition.

I was getting the GXR with the hope of the M-module becoming reality and see the A12/50mm macro module (which is great, by the way) as a very good supplement to a few Leica lenses on the M-module since they won't focus that close.

After the initial disappointment by the M-module not being full frame it does have a few advantages over NEX, like a sensor that is customised for RF-lenses, user adjustable internal processing for wide angle lenses, no AA-filter (yeay), much better GUI, better focus assist etc etc so for me it feels like a whole new camera in itself. I had two GXR bodies but sold one when I got the M9. Here in Sweden the GXR bodies are actually quite cheap so I might even get a dedicated body for the M-module.

After returning the 28/2 Summicron and swapping for the ZM25/2.8 I can still get the ZM18/4 AND the GXR M module for the spare change. That is crazy! The ZM 18/4 would work nice on the GXR me thinks, a costly replacement for the A12/28mm but without the AA-filter and the presumably sharper Zeiss lens I think it would work for me. I plan on shooting it mostly 1:1, like a mini SWC.



Sep 13, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Doug D.
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Thanks for your additional thoughts about the 28mm module. My primary plan for the GXR with A12 M is to compliment my Leica MP as a digital back using the same lenses (but different crop of course). The best compliment to the film M would be a full frame digital M like the M9 but I'm just not ready to make that investment - I use my D700 and Nikon glass for FF. I use to own an M8.2 and maybe I should have held onto it but in anticipation of the M9 and wanting something even more compact and lighter I decided to sell it last year (but with some regret now).

With regard to the GXR and an alternative to the 28mm module, I was thinking of the Voigtlander 15/4.5 for the A12 M mount. The price is about the same as the A12 28. It seems like it would, together with my 35 & 50 Crons, cover pretty much what I want out of the GXR. Any thoughts about this lens for the A12?



Sep 14, 2011 at 07:10 PM
EOS20
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Ricoh unveils GR Digital IV 10MP enthusiast compact with Hybrid AF:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1109/11091520ricohGRD4announced.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/ricohgrdiv/




Sep 15, 2011 at 07:28 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Doug D. wrote:
With regard to the GXR and an alternative to the 28mm module, I was thinking of the Voigtlander 15/4.5 for the A12 M mount. The price is about the same as the A12 28. It seems like it would, together with my 35 & 50 Crons, cover pretty much what I want out of the GXR. Any thoughts about this lens for the A12?


I'm curious about this too as I already have the 15 and use it on an M9. I'm actually thinking of picking up the CV12mm for this purpose. The 15 does have pretty strong color shift towards the edges of the M9, which may also pose a problem on the GXR or NEX. The ZM18 seems to be better in this regard on the M9. If the NEX-C3 is any indication, it appears S0ny has resolved most edge color shift and softness issues and hopefully this continues with the 5N an 7.



Sep 15, 2011 at 09:29 AM
licorisher
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Doug; my GXR module will be arriving some time next week. I have it on good authority it will arrive to my dealer before the end of this week. Also, in anticipation of said module - plus the benefit of using it on full frame I picked up the Zeiss ZM 18/4 today.

All I can say is - wow - I honestly did not expect that performance from the 18/4 as web samples I have seen have ranged from mediocre to potentially great. But - wow - it is a hell of a lens on the M9. I happened to find a used Zeiss 18mm finder which will arrive with the GXR A12 mount/Leica M module but for the GXR I will see if I can source up a 28mm finder (Ricoh's own presumably). I haven't a coded 18mm lens but the images actually look fine straight from the M9 - there must be something wrong with my M9 .

To answer your question the Voigtländer 15 will work fine on the M module, there are web samples from that combo already. It looks good - with no peculiar color drift/edge problems. The two different sources who have tried it haven't posted very good images though; one of the sources has underexposed the image but no color shift and no smeared edges at least. The other source has induced vignetting in post pro... ...because it is his style. I'd rather judge the sensor from unaltered images. But he has one image that looks pretty good. I don't know the policy of linking to other web sites but I will PM you the link.

I assume since the Ricoh M module is designed with no AA filter and the M lens stable in mind it will be as good as, or better than the NEX sensors for that matter. With the added benefit of in camera processing (even RAW) for ultrawides. The lack of an AA filter makes me think it will be a very nice outfit, for sure. Sure, it is a few Megapixels behind the NEX but 12MP is sufficient for most applications. I think the lack of an AA filter will make up for some of the resolution difference.

The NEX samples I have seen have been a bit so-so and some of them doesn't look all that good with Zeiss/Leica/Voigtländer wides and I'd rather have a 12MP sensor that works great than an 16MP sensor that doesn't.

Last but not least there are rumors that a Leica camera that will take M-lenses will be presented some time in 2012 and that they will introduce smaller lenses as well... ...the system which will be smaller than M9 will have a sensor probably larger than APS-C but smaller than full frame and in the region of 18MP+. It will not be released next year but the concept will be presented as the rumors have it. I am guessing no rangefinder but a new mount based on the M-mount, no AF and no optical finder. But, hey, still rumors, but from fairly good sources. Price is said to be at roughly in between the M9 and the X1, presumably $3000 or so.

Edited on Sep 15, 2011 at 04:29 PM · View previous versions



Sep 15, 2011 at 04:16 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


PM
Sent to Doug and RScheffler.



Sep 15, 2011 at 04:25 PM
 

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licorisher
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


GRD IV seems like more than just a cosmetic upgrade, thank you for the heads up!
I have the GRD II and rarely use it nowadays (a backup to a sidekick gathers dust...) and I didn't think the GRD III was that much of an improvement but the GRDIV sure brings it up a notch.



Sep 15, 2011 at 04:57 PM
Doug D.
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Thanks for the PM Henrik. I'm not sure when my A12 M will ship but I am having some fun today reading about the GRD IV. I'm tempted but will wait and see how I like the GXR and decide later if a GRD IV is a good idea for me.


Sep 15, 2011 at 08:25 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Thanks Henrik. There isn't any restriction here on posting outside links (that I know of), so here it is: http://www.fotosidan.se/blogs/photo/lite-gatufoto-med-ricoh-gxr-a12.htm
This is his link for all his blog articles pertaining to the M module: http://www.fotosidan.se/blogs/photo/index.htm?tag=24868
If you go through those, you'll see there is one post where he has one 100% crop, which looks reasonable.

I just had a look at the NEX-7 samples posted on DPReview, and while I realize they frequently post lackluster samples, I'm a bit disappointed with the amount of NR I'm seeing in the images, even at ISO 100. I guess we'll have to wait for some RAW conversions. I like the form factor of the 7, but if image quality will be so-so, then the GXR may be a better option.

Ron



Sep 15, 2011 at 09:03 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Don't fret just yet. The first GXR/Leica M module samples I saw was plain HORRIBLE. I will not even point you in that direction. My heart sank when I saw them and I got to thinking all this wait - for nothing. Then I saw the dpreview samples which looked just like the NEX samples (uninspired) but definitely promising and hopes were raised.

More recent samples make me believe the sensor is quite good. There is another GXR/M-mount 15mm Voigtländer shot floating around the internet and that sort of convinces me that the sensor can handle the ultrawides.

As for the NEX samples I would not be so quick to dismiss them based on the web samples. Same goes for the GXR.

Well, I get to see that for myself in less than a week, if all goes according to plan. Will hook up the 18/4 on the GXR and get to it the very instant it arrives.



Sep 16, 2011 at 02:27 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


http://ricoh-gr-diary.blogspot.com/2011/08/gxr-mount-a12-first-impressions.html

Some more shots from the GXR A12 mount, several with the Voigtländer 15/4.5.




Sep 16, 2011 at 07:50 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Some more, some decent samples:
http://magazine.kakaku.com/mag/camera/id=508/

(I suggest Google translate from Japanese to English)




Sep 17, 2011 at 08:43 PM
SpanishDoug
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


I got my A12M on Monday and am enjoying it so far. I don't have much to show by way of examples, I'm still getting used to it, but I've shot a CV 35/1.2, 28/2 and Canon 50/1.4 on it and all three seem to do very well. I've been using the GXR since early summer with both A12 lensor units so in many ways converting the A12M has been very easy. The focus peaking works very well, especially with the second, full-screen magnified image.

While I was waiting for the A12M and collecting lenses for it, I bought an Epson R-D1. I'm rather falling for that camera...great files! I think I might sell both my A12 lensors so all my lenses can do double-duty...I just need to find a satisfactory wide (maybe the CV15) and macro solution, maybe an OUFRO ring. I loved the A12 units but can't keep everything. My original thought was to sell the R-D1 but I'm enjoying it too much.




Sep 20, 2011 at 05:13 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


Thank you for chiming in. My A12M will be arriving tomorrow.

You have a nice set of lenses for it, I have been eyeballing the 40/1.4 and the 35/1.2 Nokton and I am keen to see what they can do on the GXR M. I found some quality samples i.e. images taken with top notch glass that I downloaded and that put my mind at ease. I think I will be happy with the GXR M. It will probably do high ISO better than my M9 but will do worse in the low ISO, but still great.

I agree about the second, full screen magnified image - it works great and the toggle between magnified and full screen via the shutter button is well executed. It took me a while to figure it out. (No, I did not read the manual on that one...)

It bothers me to read when users or "reviewers" find the "enlarged pixels" distracting. I don't think they have the live view on the GXR figured out.
If you set it up properly it does not hamper the live view viewing and the "enlarged pixles" are just the one press before the actual magnified view and there just so you can move that area to your place of choice on the screen to shift the second magnification area around. Or leave it at midpoint.

I read today about a complaint on DPR/RicohTalk on the "enlarged pixels" but clearly that person hasn't figured out the proper use of the magnification process yet. I haven't an account there so I could not correct him, which is sad as people might think it is the camera at fault.

I will definitely keep the A12/50 macro module as it does things that alt glass can't do easily. Plus, it is a great lens. I am on the fence about the A12/28, it does well, but it is not as snappy as my Zeiss glass.

I don't think you should get rid of the R-D1, as long as you have cross platform lenses you can enjoy the different flavors of the cameras.

I might get one of the newer NEX cameras to widen my choices and see which one I feel comfortable with in the long run. The Ricoh is so well thought out that I will have a hard time parting with it though.

At the moment I have the ZM 18/4, 25/2.8 and 50/2 lenses. They are all keepers for the M9 but for the GXR I am looking at the Nokton 35/1.2 or 40/1.4 to replace the 50/2 and might go with the 18/4 and one of the Noktons as a base for the GXR (and/or NEX).

Edited on Sep 20, 2011 at 05:48 PM · View previous versions



Sep 20, 2011 at 05:23 PM
licorisher
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


I have had some spare time to go through some older images with the A12 modules and the 28mm serves me fine for "less critical work", i.e. excellent for web and small printing but less so for printing large.

I have some acquired experience with printing (as compared to web posting and pixel peeping only, I am still grappling with the pitfalls of downsizing for web) and I can tell from the files from the A12/28 that they will print well, but not quite up to par with my former dSLR, and not up to par with the M9 with a corresponding lens. The A12/50 looks better and prints better. The A12/50 requires a little extra work in post pro for me, just as with the A12/28. I write that down to the sensor used.

With the GXR M module I hope to find the lenses I have will yield better results and my only wish is that they will be "great enough".

Most GXR samples I have seen suffer a bit from the typical CMOS sensor hazy look (as with most Canon dSLR cameras of yesteryear and other CMOS contraptions) and they require more work to make them look good as good as the M9, or the Sony A900 I used to have.

The M-module samples I found the other day resemble my own post processing for print and with just a little touch up I got an idea of what to expect from the GXR M.
It definitely looks promising.

Another thing that I think has been overemphasized by pixel peepers is the grain like noise of the A12 sensors. It prints really well, when printed the grain diffuses well on paper and does not detract from the look as overly processed noise reduced files do.

But that is my subjective opinion, of course.



Sep 20, 2011 at 05:40 PM
SpanishDoug
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR?


To me noise has become almost a non-issue since Lightroom 3 and the Chroma noise reduction slider. What's left is just grain...

I just found a great trick, which is to set one of the four-way controller functions to the full-screen magnified view. This is instantaneous and you don't have to use the smaller, less detailed patch or press the center button a second time. Before I knew that existed I was going to wish for a firmware update to allow the user to choose the full-screen magnified image or the small box with the center button. This is even better.




Sep 20, 2011 at 06:21 PM
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