5 frames with...

5 Frames with the new Ricoh GRIII – by Stuart Andrews

May 15, 2019

Like many of you, I have been on a fairly tortuous and at times expensive (and weighty) journey with cameras. For me, this was largely resolved last year with the purchase of a good secondhand Leica MP and a 35mm Summicron lens. I say largely resolved because I like to carry a camera most of the time and whilst the MP is good for most things it is still fairly bulky and generally hopeless in low light.

My solution was to get a Ricoh GR, but since the 3rd version was anticipated I waited until it came to market. I have no use for a flash and the fact that it is smaller and higher resolution than its predecessor was enough for me.

I have to stress at this point that this isn’t intended as a camera review, but really an excuse to share some photos from a recent factory visit in West London.

Anyway, the main problem for me with digital is the availability of too many options. This time I have taken the deliberate step to set just three programme modes which can be accessed simply with the top dial. These are two high resolution black and white settings in aperture priority for normal and low light conditions ,and then a standard aperture priority setting. They all have the option of zone focusing which works really well.

I’ve had it for two weeks now and it hasn’t really left my jacket pocket. It came in particularly handy the other week on a visit to the Brompton Bike Factory in West London and the results are provided below. These are all taken as jpeg’s in a normal high resolution black and white settings and without any post production processing in lightroom.

I have to say the camera is quite good fun to use and this is particularly the case when you go with the design and use touch focusing on the back screen. I think it takes a decent picture, it is very dinky in the hand and really doesn’t draw a great deal of attention.

It isn’t prefect as it isn’t cheap, it is a bit fiddly to set up and it suffers quite markedly with missing focus in low light. However, if needed, you can overcome the latter issue with a bit of zone focusing.

So, so far so good! I hope you liked the pictures too.

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  • Reply
    May 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    I own the first version and while fiddly, it is the most customizable digital to date. More importantly, the out-of-camera B&W can scarcely be improved upon. One of the best digital imaging devices out there, bar none.

    • Reply
      May 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • Reply
    Salim Hafejee
    May 15, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    I think the Ricoh GR series are fantastic cameras. Sadly my recently bought GR III overheats after about 40 minutes’ continuous use. Ricoh are refusing to accept a return even though it’s only 6 weeks’ old. I’d buy again but only from a reputable dealer and not Ricoh direct.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      May 15, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      What have they said? That’s not cool at all!

      • Reply
        Salim Hafejee
        May 17, 2019 at 8:54 pm

        They simply insist it’s sent at my expense to their UK service centre for a warranty repair. I think their stance is that after the 14 day cooling off period, you lose your statutory rights to return faulty goods. Interestingly, if you’ve bought from Ricoh direct they also expect the customer to pay postage costs to return the cameras with faulty control dials.

        The camera is otherwise really good. But redundant as a tool if after 40 minutes it’s too hot to hold.

        Unfortunately, I broke my own rule of only buying new or expensive gear from reputable dealers.

      • Reply
        July 25, 2020 at 1:41 pm

        I thought this was a website about 35mm film cameras. Since when did it move to digital? That’s what made this site special. I guess it’s all about the $$$.

        • Reply
          Hamish Gill
          July 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm

          It’s not about the money, thank you! I put a lot of time and effort into the website and it hardly covers my time. In fact, I rarely get annoyed by comments, but that really pisses me off! This website is about photography experiences, film and digital content has been welcome for a long time. Read the about page, and if you don’t like it, do one!

  • Reply
    Dorian Farrimond
    May 17, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Heard a lot of good things about the Ricoh GR especially for street photography. I tried a Sony RX-100 which is ultra-compact and takes great photos but the form factor of the Ricoh looks more usable. Thanks for sharing the photos Stuart

    • Reply
      May 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks that is good of you.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Mine initially got very hot too. I am also having no luck with the wifi/bluetooth but worse things have happened. All the same, the more I use it the more I like it.

  • Reply
    Shan Cousrouf
    May 20, 2019 at 6:08 am

    … MP is good… and generally hopeless in low light.
    I love to hear how it’s “generally hopeless in low light.” ??

    • Reply
      May 20, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      You’re right of course, my mistake.

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