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Friday, 08 April 2011


I had the film version of this camera, and it was a killer camera, but I needed service (the flash stopped functioning), and I never did get it fixed. I kept looking on-line for a Ricoh authorized service center, and it kept redirecting me to an indie guy and they couldn't give me any information and sort of sounded like they weren't that up on the model. Maybe B&H wasn't carrying them for a long time because they didn't have a certified factory support system in the US?

That's correct. Ricoh cameras were not imported into the U.S. then.


I find it mildly amusing that, while most camera manufacturers come out with all sorts of "pretty" shapes for their compacts, Ricoh has been using this shape since the 1980s.

I have the GX100 - which is basically a GR-D with a zoom - and it is by far the most comfortable-to-hold compact I have ever met: it is an extension of my hand. The camera is a terrific photographer's tool, spoilt by egregious noise, a poor EVF (at least it has one), and a wobbly zoom (to be fair, the wobbles have no adverse effect in practice).

Sigh. My lovely (film) GR-1, purhased in 1998, just died. It won't power up, RIcoh won't touch it, and C.R.I.S. tells me they can no longer obtain parts for repair. R.I.P., you wonderful little camera.

"I find it mildly amusing that, while most camera manufacturers come out with all sorts of "pretty" shapes for their compacts, Ricoh has been using this shape since the 1980s.", Mandeno Moments

I think it's actually excellent. The Ricoh GR line of compact cameras had a very devoted following, mainly in Japan and parts of Europe, long before photography joined consumer electronics. We most often admire Leica for delivering a digital M body that looks and feels like their film bodies. But Ricoh is really the leader on this scene!

The Ricoh GR1, GR1s, GR1v, and GRD-III Cameras

Having just purchased the GR Digital III this past weekend (from Amazon), I must say that the Ricoh is a "photographer's camera". I don't know if they consulted photographers when they designed the camera, but it certainly seems like they did. The controls are intuitive and highly customizable. The camera isn't gimmicky. It just feels right in-hand, kind of like the iPad. And the great thing is, with a fixed, sharp, high-speed lens, I can get back to just shooting and forgetting about the camera. That, IMHO, is its greatest achievement. As much as I love my D700, the Ricoh feels like an extension of my hand. Thank you, Ricoh.

I just bought the NEX-5 for my wife and up until a few days ago, you could get the NEX-5 with the 18-55 then and the pancake 16mm for $99. They changed it around in the last couple of days as per above. Weird but as long as I got the savings....


It's mildly amusing that while the photo of the GRDIII shows it as having a 6.0mm lens, the description at B&H goes on about how great the 28mm lens is. I suppose it might confuse the uninitiated to talk about a "28mm equivalent", but is that going to be more confusing than buying it and finding out it doesn't have a 28 mm lens when it arrives? Or are these only purchased by photo geeks who never even read the description?

If you'd like to see a Ricoh GR1 in nearly continuous action pick up a copy of Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog of Tokyo. Moriyama is one of Japan's most celebrated post-war urban photographers. You may not know the name but you've probably seen his most famous image, Stray Dog from 1971.

The Ricoh GR1 had long been Moriyama's tool of choice for street photography. In this video (Japanese with English subtitles) you can follow him as he does his thing through the streets of Tokyo. It's actually rather hypnotic...he's a very, very fast instinctive shooter.

I think most TOP readers will enjoy this documentary, even if they're not interested in a Ricoh camera.

Ken, I believe Moriyama had one when he came to Taipei a while back, and he shot a series with it during his stay.

In a first glance at the photo here, it looks like the lens is 60mm, which is in some ways even weirder. (Clearly says 6.0 if I click through to the no bigger but somewhat clearer underlying image.)

I bought a GR Digital when the original model came out as a camera to take places I didn't want to take my DSLR. I don't have the DSLR any more, but I do still have my GRD. Lovely little camera.
They're small enough to slip into your trouser pocket, but not so small as to be unmanageable by people with big hands (like me!).
They're lightweight enough to carry in a trouser pocket without feeling lopsided, but they're well constructed and sturdy.
There's nothing flimsy about them.

Ricoh crafted a little gem when they made the GRD, and they've been polishing it since.

I only wish I'd not lost the clip-on viewfinder for mine!

I really want a GRD since its first introduction, but the price really turns me off. The introduction price of the GRD III was $650, and for that price, you could get a canon rebel with a kit lens! I ended up buying a used film GR1s for $250, and learned to develop black and white film and home. I also have a GX200, but now almost exclusively using the GR1s. I had to say the film GR1s is in a class of its own whereas the GX200 feels like any other electronic gadget, even though the UI is excellent. I think Ricoh is making the same pricing mistake for their GXR module. I am hoping they can lower the price of the module to the point that they can be competitive with the panasonic and sony rivals.

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