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Reader Comment: Ricoh GXR With Zeiss ZM Lenses

Emanual R writes:

My name is Emanuel L and the purpose of writing this email is to ask if it is possible for you to write an article about Ricoh GXR Mount A 12 with different Carl Zeiss ZM lenses.

I have Ricoh GXR body, with Mount A 12 and two ZM lenses which are Distagon f4/18 mm and Biogon f2/35 mm. These lenses are excellent. I am learning the Ricoh's system and trying to understand how the lenses work best. I would greatly appreciate if you can do the review, and if there exists one, I would like to subscribe to receive the articles.

DIGLLOYD: The Zeiss 18/4 Distagon and Zeiss 35/2 Biogon are very sharp lenses, as I show in my Guide to Leica. Whether they perform well on the GXR is something that has to be determined by shooting pictures; one cannot predict how a given sensor will react to the ray angle of such lenses (that statement is not just based on my research, it is also from Zeiss). Ray angle interaction with the sensor influences both color shading and sharpness, and can severely degrade lens sharpness off-axis.

Let’s take the Ricoh GXR as a proxy for every ALLVIEW camera out there. A review presumes I have the GXR and the A12 mount— I do not, so getting those items is one challenge. Could be done, but read on for why not in the GXR and general case.

Reviewing cameras is very time intensive, yet camera reviews for point and shoots also have a very short shelf life. And lens behavior on ALLVIEW cameras (such as color shading) cannot necessarily be predicted even from one model to another (e.g. Sony NEX-7 vs NEX-5N). Which makes a review of any particular camera not relevant to another model (even of the same brand), and devalued as soon as the next-gen model appears. Except for cameras like the Leica M9, which is stable in design and evolution. Not so with the consumer and prosumer markets.

With regards to the Ricoh GXR, I saw marginal interest out there (there is one Fuji X100 comparison with the GXR is in my Fuji X100 review). As my time is limited, I must pick my reviews carefully based on reader interest and significance; while the Ricoh GXR is a nice camera, I deem it a footnote in comparison to much more exciting recent cameras , such as the Sony NEX-7 and Fuji X-Pro1. The GXR is of the same genre, well executed, but already stale. I liked the GXR, but I would not buy one with the NEX-7 and X-Pro1 out there, and I think that’s true of my readership also.

Add in the Nikon D4, a high-res Nikon D*** body, the Canon 1D X, the Fuji X-Pro1, the NEX-5N supplement, the Zeiss ZF.2 25/2 Distagon, the Nikon 85/1.8G, and so on, , and I will be severely overloaded for at least several months.The GXR just does not make the cut.

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