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Ricoh GR Bokeh, and Its Unusual Lens

Ricoh GR

I came across this image while reviewing some more Ricoh GR photos (still have not gone through them all!).

When I pulled it up I was struck by a combination of qualities that I would rate as superior to anything I might obtain with either Leica 28mm M lens, for a wonderful combination of qualities: some present, some conspicuous by their absence (in a positive sense).

A lens engineered and optimized for a sensor with no constraints on how close to the sensor it can go is hard to beat: lens + sensor are what counts in the end.

But readers are welcome to form their own opinion—I’ve added an especially large retina-grade image to the Ricoh GR bokeh page.

I reiterate my recommendation for the Ricoh GR. It is neither an ordinary camera nor is its lens fairly lumped in with anything except the best Leica M or Zeiss glass. One could say it is a lens with a camera included for free. Because if I could get the quality on NEX or Fujifilm, I’d pay full fare for just the lens. But as noted above, being able to perfectly optimize a lens for a specific sensor (and build it in) means no design compromises so this is probably not realistic.

Get Ricoh GR at B&H Photo.

Bristlecone Graveyard at dusk
Ricoh GR , f/2.8 at 1/20 sec handheld

Donald L writes:

I have been following your ongoing review of the Ricoh GR. I took your advice on purchasing this fantastic little imaging device.

The image quality is hard to believe at this size and price point; and this is coming from someone whose bulky mainstay is an Alpa STC, Rodenstock 40 & 70 attached to an IQ 160 supplemented with an rather extensive Canon collection. At the advancing age of 64 it is a welcome alternative for routine use and certainly spared me the unnecessary expense of the Leica M system.

DIGLLOYD: It’s a gem. And not just sharpness, but bokeh and total image rendering. I am getting antsy for more models with other focal lengths, say a 20mm (equiv), and a 50mm. Add a high-res EVF (at least an optional one) and perfect.

But the big prize goes to the company that can do the Ricoh GR in full-frame with the same imaging quality. What is Ricoh waiting for? I like the Ricoh controls and menus and fatures far more than the NEX or RX1, but maybe Sony will deliver something better designed in full frame soon.

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