Ricoh Do not know if this good or bad news for the GXR

ayewing

New Member
Feb 4, 2012
3
Peterborough, UK
The announcement of the changes in management bringing together the Pentax and Ricoh brands should lead to cross fertilisation of technology between the brands and perhaps also stronger marketing of both.

At present in the UK it is difficult to find a shop demonstrating Ricoh gear and while Pentax is a little better many of us have to buy without the opportunity of handling the eqipment. Perhaps a Pentax/Ricoh physical presence in retail outlets backed up by advertising would increase public awareness and sales.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
I've been using the GXR only going on 8 months. I have a few observations that bother me.
First off I live the camera and the interface. I love the 2 A12 units and use them all the time. I even have a special relationship with the S10.

Some of my best recent work comes from this camera. It has never failed me nor has never failed to capture the moment.

So what bothers me? Ok...
Does the M module send a signal to Ricoh that maybe they don't need to make more lensors?
Many that use the M module don't use or need lensors. I get this.
I'm not using the module because I choose not too. I have my friends who has since moved on and have Leica glass but won't use them.

Reason 1. I use this camera for making images not playing with. Not everyone plays but I would and loose sight of my work.

Many are asking fo an EVF body. Sure it's a great idea but when? When the Nex 8 or X Pro 2 come out?
Ricoh has always been a niche camera. That's fine as long as you service your niche users.
I see more users leaving the GXR then coming to it.

It's not the camera. It's not the interface. It's not the lensors.
It's the time lapse for advancing the system that's hurting the GXR.
I love it and I use it all the time but it's the first time in over 45 years that I feel I'm using a camera that is in a state of limbo.

I love watching the Twilight Zone but I don't want to live in it...
Don
 

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
103
Western NC
Morning Don, I too get into this defensive mood about my GXR. Having not ever shot with say an M3 or maybe a Nikon F, but for those that did, did you have these same feelings when those camera bodies did not change for years or new lenses weren't announced every year?

I think today we see things in the digital world we live in change very rapidly making many things we use seem obsolete.

My fear is that with this digital obsolescence, my GXR for example, can't be repaired in the future, whereas, an M3 is mechanical and there are enough of those around providing parts to keep using one.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Interesting points, Don.

I write as a fellow GXR user, albeit one with the A12 50mm and Leica M modules. I bought into the system specifically to get to the M Module and from that point of view I have not been disappointed; performance is all that I wanted and more. I really like Ricoh from a form factor and handling point of view and the performance is what I want and expect. I have the 28-300 module (it came with the camera) and regard it as my "pocket telephoto" (on very rare occasions) and my "hand to a waiter compact" for those "look at the size of this cocktail!!" holiday shots. I also have the 50mm lensor which, again, offers different results and I am eyeing up the new A16 lensor but if I go for that I will probably have to lose the 50mm to pay for it - not something I am ready to do right now. BTW I use the M Module with Leica R glass having adapted them to Nikon mount, with the LEM/NIK adaptor from Novoflex. Best combination I have found is with Zeiss glass - I use it with the 50mm Sonnar and 35mm Biogon - and it is a match made in heaven.

Sonnar stuff:
View attachment 52561

I fully recognise the point you are making; Ricoh in trying to attack two different market segments is cannibalising its own sales if it is not careful. There needs to be clear positioning and market differentiation between the lensors and the M module with a clear set of pros and cons for each, eg:

M Module:
+ Takes a range of focal lengths from other manufacturers natively or with adaptors (M, LTM, etc)
- not a sealed unit
- not autofocus

Lensor:
+ Autofocus
+ Sealed unit
- one or zoom focal lengths

...etc

I think you are right - a road map that is adhered to is necessary. The GXR body is starting to look long in the tooth, as is the separate viewfinder when stacked up against recent offerings from other manufacturers. That doesn't mean it performs any less well today as it did yesterday, but for new market entrants, looking for the "latest and greatest" the Ricoh increasingly doesn't figure in their buying plans. Like others I would like to see a "GXRII" with a built-in EVF but I don't see it on the horizon...
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Duane,
In the old days this scenario did not exist.
If you used Leica's then every decade or so a new body came out but the older ones never went obsolete.
Even today, Leica will repair any camera.

Today in the new world, Cameras are being replaced or upgraded very fast.
It's all part of planned obsolescence.

So while the GXR sits somewhat idle, the X Pro1 is gaining momentum.
Realistically, if I had the money, I'd have that outfit.

As far as long term repairs go, in 20 years if it ain't a Leica, it's not getting fixed.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I never really saw the GXR as a system to buy into. I saw the GXR with the 28mm lens as the best available low light street camera in my favorite focal length. I bought it as a one off and was very happy with it. In retrospect I shouldn't have because now I've got the X-Pro with the 18 and 35 and don't know when I'd use the GXR again - a classic mis-judgement on my part. I'll always have the GRD3 for when I just gotta have the snap focus function, but even that is something that I'm finding less overwhelmingly better than other options than I originally thought. Any m43 cam with the Olympus 12mm essentially has snap focus too (with a manual focus ring that even easier to change "snap" distances on) - just a slightly different implimentation. And the manual focus on the X-Pro, while probably not great for precision focus, is more than good enough to quickly get in and out of zone focus mode for bouts of street shooting interspersed with scenic and other more contemplative shooting. I like the Ricoh interface a lot, but I never saw it as the ONLY good one, just A very good one.

So I'm gonna sell the GXR and X100 and maybe epl3 - I've already sold the X10. If I can get enough and do sell the epl3, I'll get the EM5. And I'll just be down to the X-Pro for the best IQ and best low light camera I've yet tried (at least in a form factor I'm willing to use) and m43 for more versatility and faster reflexes, which also come in handy. A LOT. Based on how much I like the EPL3 and my impressions after handling the EM5 at a shop a couple of days ago, I'll probably use the EM5 the bulk of the time as my street camera, as I do the EPL3 now. The GXR did exactly what I wanted it to do - I just anticipated it was gonna do it for a year or two, not just a few months. But that's my fault - not the camera's - I'm just an idiot about forecasting my own actions. I should learn. Hell, if I was smart, I'd just double down on m43 and skip the X-Pro, but I'm not smart - I love shiny objects that work in a certain way and the X-Pro has that in spades. And I seem to need SOME variety. And the images are gorgeous, which I never care about but Fuji manages to make me care somehow (did with the X100 and the X-Pro too). But even if I'm not THAT smart, I am gonna consolodate down to two cameras and a bunch of lenses and probably a compact to keep around - the GRD3 has already lost just about all its value and I just like it for those rare occasions. I sort of doubt I'll buy more Fuji lenses. I've already got my favorite focal length in the 18 and the ultimate low light lens in the 35 (a focal length I don't generally use BUT for very low light). For more versatility, I've already got the whole damn spectrum covered in m43 glass and their bodies and sensors are getting really really good and are only gonna get better.

But the whole lensor thing never made sense to me as a full system, just maybe one or two special purpose cameras if they met your needs. I don't see it as planned obsolescence as much as the technology is just exploding right now. When I compare the EM5 to the m43 cameras that were available two years ago when I first got back into this, they're not even in the same universe. Every single thing about the new camera blows the doors off of the EP2 or GF1 that were pretty much state of the art at the time. Nex didn't exist yet. The GXR may have, barely, but the 28 wasn't around. The EM5 also betters the GXR in about every way - its as good or better in low light now (didn't see that coming so quickly), has a great EVF, has insanely fast AF, has highly useful snap focus with one lens, has fast write speeds, and of course has a whole variety of lenses. Its not quite as quiet, but I've never found that to be a problem in actual use. I don't see Ricoh moving quickly enough to keep up, even if I DID see it as a viable full system. I sort of hope they hang in there, because I like people and companies that are willing to try it a whole different way. But I'm not going along for the ride. I'm one of those people Don talked about, moving away from GXR rather than moving toward it. The only question is how big a loss I take for my short dalliance with it.

I'm a gear-head - I know it. I'm not a measurebater, but I love gadgets. But I also like them because of their usefulness and I USE the hell out of them. And the GXR is very useable but not uniquely so, and its not competing in some other areas...

-Ray
 

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
103
Western NC
For those that can afford them.
Well there are third party m mount lens that one can buy new or there are the older Leica lenses that aren't out of sight. But when we use the term afford what does one mean?

Take the new X Pro whatever from Fuji. I would consider that a major investment for me. $600 or so for each lens and the body is what $1,600 or so? (I'm on my iPhone boarding a plane so can't look up the prices. )

So what does a Fuji shooter do if they change their next system makes those $600 lens obsolescent?

Right now one can buy a couple Zeiss M mount lenses ($2,000) that covers what the X Pro offers and would bet that one will always find a body to put these on.

I guess that's why I'm rethinking the GXR and not worrying about new lensors and will take advantage of the M mount system.

Ricoh's internal challenge is figuring out this merger with Pentax. Until that's figured out I don't see anything new for the GXR.

(Btw, finally bought my first ND filter for my Summicron 40mm so I can shoot it wide open in bright light)
 

Michael Penn

Veteran
Sep 14, 2010
68
Philadelphia
I would expect something new for the GXR or it's replacement in the Fall. It's only been out for 2.5 years and Ricoh has never been one to flood the market with cameras, that is driven by people such as on this forum that feel the need to "upgrade" every time a new camera is released. They are actually the anti-market. I don't rethink, I shoot. If the camera was good enough for me yesterday it's still good enough for me today and tomorrow. Also......Ricoh is involved with the Leica M10.

Mirrorless Rumors | Blog | Leica M10 with Sony B&W sensor and Ricoh collaboration?
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
I think you are right and Ricoh is happy to just let the m module be the answer for different lenses. I gave up on the GXR because of this reason, the lack of new lensors as well as my disappointment with the 50 modules ability to focus . I also think the new GRD will have a sensor size like the new Canon GIX, which will also bite into GXR sales
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
123
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
I would expect something new for the GXR or it's replacement in the Fall. It's only been out for 2.5 years and Ricoh has never been one to flood the market with cameras, that is driven by people such as on this forum that feel the need to "upgrade" every time a new camera is released. They are actually the anti-market. I don't rethink, I shoot. If the camera was good enough for me yesterday it's still good enough for me today and tomorrow. Also......Ricoh is involved with the Leica M10.

Mirrorless Rumors | Blog | Leica M10 with Sony B&W sensor and Ricoh collaboration?
A great way to think about it with the other guys' extremely short, marketing/sales driven product cycles. A lot of these seem to be just incremental updates... okay to skip a couple generations.

I do think the GXR zoom was a misstep for Ricoh given what I think their market looks like. If they would have released a new prime, maybe 35mm or maybe a fast-ish portrait, with an updated 16 mpx sensor, it would have really helped the system. Nothing against the zoom, I know some people are getting great images out of it, but just seems like a strange release for a company with such a tight focus (street, enthusiast).
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I would expect something new for the GXR or it's replacement in the Fall. It's only been out for 2.5 years and Ricoh has never been one to flood the market with cameras, that is driven by people such as on this forum that feel the need to "upgrade" every time a new camera is released. They are actually the anti-market. I don't rethink, I shoot. If the camera was good enough for me yesterday it's still good enough for me today and tomorrow. Also......Ricoh is involved with the Leica M10.
With more stable technology, 2 and a half years wouldn't be that long a time. The way sensors and mirrorless cameras are progressing right now, its a lifetime. Yeah, if it worked for you then, it'll work for you now and that's fine if you don't care if something else might work a lot better. I could still be shooting with an EPL1 and it would still work as well as it did 2 years ago. But the EPL3 and the new EM5 work SOOOOO much better in so many ways that I wouldn't still be shooting with the EPL1 unless I just couldn't afford to "upgrade".

I have two hobbies - they're related but separate. One is photography. I shoot a ton, not as well as you do but with all of the passion and much of the committment (not all of the committment - I don't do it for a living). The other is cameras. A new camera will never make me a better photographer, but it might facilitate certain types of shooting which, in the long run, might just make me a better photographer. Whether I ever learn to see as well as you do is totally unrelated to this, but that doesn't make the camera hobby any less useful.... or fun.

-Ray
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
What I find interesting is that most people see the GXRM as a way to use M glass. True it is but many feel that it's a move in itself. Not true.
Many say Leica has to wake up...
Believe this... Leica is wide awake, they always were and always wil be.

Shooters go to the GXR to try M glass. Leica wants to work with Ricoh ...because after a shooter uses Crons, Luxs, Elmarits... The taste is to hard to resist.
Next step that Leica sees is... These people will eventually find an M camera.

I know quite a few that are using M8's etc.
Ricoh is no threat, they are just an appetizer and Leica just has to wait....

As far as using the GXR, I still believe there is nothing better for me but that doesn't mean for you.
I moved out of M43 for this exact reason. Shooter support. I didn't see it. Now exciting things are there. Real exciting. Too exciting!

I hope Ricoh can see the light of day.
 

Michael Penn

Veteran
Sep 14, 2010
68
Philadelphia
What I find interesting is that most people see the GXRM as a way to use M glass. True it is but many feel that it's a move in itself. Not true.
Many say Leica has to wake up...
Believe this... Leica is wide awake, they always were and always wil be.

Shooters go to the GXR to try M glass. Leica wants to work with Ricoh ...because after a shooter uses Crons, Luxs, Elmarits... The taste is to hard to resist.
Next step that Leica sees is... These people will eventually find an M camera.

I know quite a few that are using M8's etc.
Ricoh is no threat, they are just an appetizer and Leica just has to wait....

As far as using the GXR, I still believe there is nothing better for me but that doesn't mean for you.
I moved out of M43 for this exact reason. Shooter support. I didn't see it. Now exciting things are there. Real exciting. Too exciting!

I hope Ricoh can see the light of day.
Do you have any idea how many Leica film shooters I know that sold all their Leica gear over the last two years because they couldn't afford to drop $7000 for an M9 body. Hopefully Leica can see the light of day when the mirrorless camera they release can use an M lens and not cost $3000 for the body alone.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
Do you have any idea how many Leica film shooters I know that sold all their Leica gear over the last two years because they couldn't afford to drop $7000 for an M9 body. Hopefully Leica can see the light of day when the mirrorless camera they release can use an M lens and not cost $3000 for the body alone.
Maybe so but Leica still holds an allure that is more than they actually deliver, used M3 and M4 prices are pretty stable and high, M6 body prices have fallen, Leica lenses either new or used are still very high, thanks to all the other bodies they are being put on. I do not see how Leica can make that under $2000 body to put a $4000 lens on and still keep their allure of luxury quality and elitism. I look at Leica like a Rolex, there are plenty of well made watches that keep great time that cost a lot less but they are not a"Rolex", Rolex would no survive by making $1000 watches all of the allure would be gone, for people who can afford the "best" want to "pay for the best".
 

Michael Penn

Veteran
Sep 14, 2010
68
Philadelphia
Maybe so but Leica still holds an allure that is more than they actually deliver, used M3 and M4 prices are pretty stable and high, M6 body prices have fallen, Leica lenses either new or used are still very high, thanks to all the other bodies they are being put on. I do not see how Leica can make that under $2000 body to put a $4000 lens on and still keep their allure of luxury quality and elitism. I look at Leica like a Rolex, there are plenty of well made watches that keep great time that cost a lot less but they are not a"Rolex", Rolex would no survive by making $1000 watches all of the allure would be gone, for people who can afford the "best" want to "pay for the best".
So it's about impressing people or stroking one's ego over the act of photography.

Must feel great to pay $130 for a spare battery for your M9 just because it says Leica on it.
 

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