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03-08-2018, 09:05 PM - 10 Likes   #1
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Beautiful, Practical, GR

I've shot quite a few of these, both film versions and digital over the years, and honestly there are few cameras I've loved as much, particularly non-film cameras. I took a GRDIII around the world for a year and a half. I sold that camera reluctantly about 3 years ago and it's one of the few I regretted letting go, and I regretted it almost immediately. The newer APSC versions are exceptional, but there's something to the older "GR Digital" cams that are just a little scrappier, a little faster, a little lighter and honestly, a little more "film-like". I also sold my GR1s last year, and though I miss it as well, (a lot) it was starting to have LCD issues which are common on those, so figured I got out ahead while I could. But the GRDIII I still missed...

On a whim I happened to price the GRDIV the other day - their value holds amazingly well - and noticed the new stock had dried up. To ebay I went and it was as expected, except for one very, very clean IV model that had the factory-replaced woodgrain handle. I'd never seen one for sale... and so, mostly for sentimental reasons, I added one to the stable. But ain't she a beaut? Digital cameras receive little-to-no admiration from me at least as far as aesthetics are concerned, but the GR line just has something to it, in the lines, in the subtlety... at least to me.

This was, of course, shot with a GR.



03-09-2018, 03:43 AM   #2
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Looks like a cool little camera to me. no nonsense functionality.
far from obsolete imo

Wouldn't mind getting my hands on a grd III or IV.
03-09-2018, 05:25 AM   #3
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What a great looking camera! Congratulations

All of the GR series are very appealing to me - the form factor and build quality are excellent. I've never owned one, but I've been tempted on several occasions. I guess it's only a matter of time
03-09-2018, 08:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
What a great looking camera! Congratulations

All of the GR series are very appealing to me - the form factor and build quality are excellent. I've never owned one, but I've been tempted on several occasions. I guess it's only a matter of time
When first I picked one up, they seemed finicky and with too many buttons, oddly placed. All of that evaporated once I used it for a day. It's one of the more brilliant designs, period. A true one-handed, yet powerful little beast.

03-09-2018, 07:37 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I queued up on the first day of release to buy a GRD1 at the main store of Yodobashi camera in Shinjuku back in 2005 - a bit like people queue up to buy new game consoles. It was a camera that really made me think seriously about photography. I've always loved the results from it. It amazes me how right Ricoh got the design from the very first version. Everything feels just right about it.

I was always more impressed by the APS-C GR in theory than really compelled to buy it. By the time it came out, I already had a K-01 and DA21mm, so didn't feel I could justify something that would produce quite similar results. I also think some things were lost in the transition to APS-C. The DOF characteristics are definitely different on the GR, it got bigger, the PDAF and IBIS were removed, and lenses got slower from the GRD IV.

Ricoh has been hinting pretty clearly in the last few weeks that a new GR is coming (Facebook page / poster at CP+). I'm going to see what they come up with. If it's not for me, I might get a second hand GRD IV. They go for 25,00-30,000 yen, which is quite a lot for such an old camera, but there is nothing else quite like it.

In the meantime, your post has inspired me to charge my GRD up to take with me today. I hope it still works. Something seemed to be making it freeze the last time I tried to use it.
03-10-2018, 05:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I queued up on the first day of release to buy a GRD1 at the main store of Yodobashi camera in Shinjuku back in 2005 - a bit like people queue up to buy new game consoles. It was a camera that really made me think seriously about photography. I've always loved the results from it. It amazes me how right Ricoh got the design from the very first version. Everything feels just right about it.

I was always more impressed by the APS-C GR in theory than really compelled to buy it. By the time it came out, I already had a K-01 and DA21mm, so didn't feel I could justify something that would produce quite similar results. I also think some things were lost in the transition to APS-C. The DOF characteristics are definitely different on the GR, it got bigger, the PDAF and IBIS were removed, and lenses got slower from the GRD IV.

Ricoh has been hinting pretty clearly in the last few weeks that a new GR is coming (Facebook page / poster at CP+). I'm going to see what they come up with. If it's not for me, I might get a second hand GRD IV. They go for 25,00-30,000 yen, which is quite a lot for such an old camera, but there is nothing else quite like it.

In the meantime, your post has inspired me to charge my GRD up to take with me today. I hope it still works. Something seemed to be making it freeze the last time I tried to use it.
We're of like minds. I used the K-01 for just a short time, borrowed, and must say the feel is nothing like the GR, and though the new APS-C versions are a tad larger than older GRD and film versions, the feel is somehow nearly identical. Still entirely pocketable but the grip being just a *fraction* larger I actually quite like. The IQ is unquestionably better --- astoundingly so at times and the DOF as you mention is different, it is narrower oddly enough at smaller apertures which is quite pleasant, and my stars is the lens sharp at every aperture. All that said, I do have gripes - namely the lack of phase-detection in the newer AF makes it far more sluggish, and in low-light (though they've drastically improved it via fimware updates since laucnh - another amazing and regular perk of a GR) it can hunt and fail more regularly than I think is acceptable, at least considering how well the previous versions did otherwise. The lens is indeed slower, but only in number: f2.8 on the much MUCH larger sensor equates to a similar amount of light as the f/1.9 on the smaller and with much better high-ISO performance, it's never bothered me even a little, even though I *thought* that it would before buying. My only real complaint is the AF.
But the lens/sensor combination on the GRD III and IV is just something special - hard to pin down what exactly it is. It's just nice. There's a character to the images and the way the digi-noise manifests that is pleasing and sharp and reminds me of film. And, the thing can focus in the pitch dark. Love it.
03-11-2018, 04:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I guess it's only a matter of time
It's funny, I checked my gear & i don't really have something close to 28mm (due to apsc..). I go from da15 to fa31.
Probably i'm just building a case to get one.. ;-)

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
But the lens/sensor combination on the GRD III and IV is just something special - hard to pin down what exactly it is. It's just nice. There's a character to the images and the way the digi-noise manifests that is pleasing and sharp and reminds me of film. And, the thing can focus in the pitch dark. Love it.
I used to own a leica digilux 2. Gave me very nice rendering. Sold it, as i considered it too big to carry around. Got me an mx1 instead, although very nice & more compact camera, it never gave me the same feeling. I think the new GR might be the same compared to GRD series.. ? ..

ps: saw quite nice images on your flickr account. A lot of 'feel' and very nice colors..
03-11-2018, 04:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
It's funny, I checked my gear & i don't really have something close to 28mm (due to apsc..). I go from da15 to fa31.
Probably i'm just building a case to get one.. ;-)
A few weeks back I picked up a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art, so that satisfies my needs around this focal length very nicely... but it's not a small lens, and fitted to the K-3 it makes for quite a chunky combo Having a similar field of view and big sensor on something that fits in a coat pocket is rather appealing...

03-11-2018, 04:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
A few weeks back I picked up a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art, so that satisfies my needs around this focal length very nicely...
what i meant is that my fa31 (or your 30 1.4) behaves as 43or sthing on the k3. I don't have anything that resembles the (FF) 28mm fov of GR..
03-11-2018, 04:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
what i meant is that my fa31 (or your 30 1.4) behaves as 43or sthing on the k3. I don't have anything that resembles the (FF) 28mm fov of GR..
Apologies, I'm not quite awake this morning The DA21 is a very nice option, and compact... my favourite DA Limited. Still a bulky combo compared to a GR though...
03-11-2018, 05:16 AM   #11
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I find it quite incredible that Ricoh has both Pentax and GR. Very different gear but strangely both appeal to me a lot. I don't own a GR but I have to admit to wanting one. I'm not a gearhead I own as little as I can and spend as little brain time as possible on potential purchases. But I do want a GR!

It's just odd that Rioch produces two rather different niche products that both appeal to me and it's not brand loyalty. I would never have any loyalty to a brand as I find the concept absurd and a bit offensive.
03-11-2018, 09:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I find it quite incredible that Ricoh has both Pentax and GR. Very different gear but strangely both appeal to me a lot. I don't own a GR but I have to admit to wanting one. I'm not a gearhead I own as little as I can and spend as little brain time as possible on potential purchases. But I do want a GR!

It's just odd that Rioch produces two rather different niche products that both appeal to me and it's not brand loyalty. I would never have any loyalty to a brand as I find the concept absurd and a bit offensive.
I shot Pentax K cameras and Ricoh GR series cameras well before Ricoh purchased Pentax... so it was strange when they did take over the company, effectively scooping my two most-used and favorite lines into "one roof". Now I'm a captive.

---------- Post added 03-11-18 at 09:23 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Apologies, I'm not quite awake this morning The DA21 is a very nice option, and compact... my favourite DA Limited. Still a bulky combo compared to a GR though...
I have focal-lengths for PK ranging from 20 to 35mm, all in the "neighborhood" of a the GR, but none shoot similarly or even render similarly. The 28/2.8 of the current GR is astoundingly sharp and lovely across all apertures edge-to-edge... and I'm not one to give much of a crap about "sharpness". Ever since I begun shooting the GR I'm often amazed, even now, at the crop potential of each image that combo captures. The thing just works, and the fact it's as tiny as it is... it's a little beast.

---------- Post added 03-11-18 at 09:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
I used to own a leica digilux 2. Gave me very nice rendering. Sold it, as i considered it too big to carry around. Got me an mx1 instead, although very nice & more compact camera, it never gave me the same feeling. I think the new GR might be the same compared to GRD series.. ? ..

ps: saw quite nice images on your flickr account. A lot of 'feel' and very nice colors..
I had the MX-1 for a while, and bought several more on behalf of family members that loved and used them far longer than I did. A great camera but it never held that something special for me personally, other than being nice to look at. The MX is go-to film-era camera (I have three) and the one I'd keep above all others, but the digi version just wasn't as versatile.
03-14-2018, 08:29 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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I just picked up a grd iii on an impulse buy.
Damn you ;-)
03-14-2018, 10:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
I just picked up a grd iii on an impulse buy.
Damn you ;-)
Hahahaa
03-14-2018, 09:10 PM   #15
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Omg, looks awesome!
I really like the woodgrain handle, fits the design of the camera perfectly!
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