Is a GXR in 2017 still worth buying?

Discussion in 'Ricoh GXR Forum' started by thepentaxguy, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. thepentaxguy

    thepentaxguy New to SC

    2
    Jan 29, 2017
    My local camera shop has some GXR kit with 5 lenses for $500.
    • GXR+24-85mm PLUS ff:
    • 24-72mm f2.5-4.4
    • 28-300mm f3.5-5.6
    • 28mm f2.5
    • Leica Mount A12
    Do you guys think its still worth considering?
     
  2. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    754
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    That's a pretty complete set (the 50mm f/2.5 module is missing). The best sensor is built into the 24-85mm module (same as the one used in the Nikon D7000, to give you an idea). But that one's pretty big, and the lens is far from fast; still, you'll get a very solid "standard" zoom. The smaller 24-72mm is redundant except if you need the smaller size - the sensor is a 1/1.7" type with old technology (Canon S95 standard - okay, still usable, but clearly sub-par). The 28-300mm with its small (and dated!) sensor is versatile - but that's it. The best lens you'd get is the somewhat big, but very nice 28mm f/2.5 - it's a predecessor of the lens used in the GR (V) and very nice - though slow to focus. The 12MP sensor is the same as used in the Nikon D90 (predecessor of the D7000) - still a very decent performer up to ISO 800. The same sensor is used in the Leica M module - now, if you intend to use that (i.e. have some M mount lenses around already), it's still quite interesting, but if you don't have the lenses to put on it - and they're expensive! - you'll not get any benefit from it.

    I find the price rather appealing - but I'd still hesitate before buying (even though I actually own M mount lenses) because frankly, you'd probably end up with quite a bit of dead weight. Is the EVF included? That'd be helpful ...

    On the other hand, you can get a very good and much more compact 1" sensor camera for that kind of money (or only a little more). If you buy used, a Sony RX100 III or Canon G5X might give you a more immediately usable setup at that price.

    M.
     
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  3. thepentaxguy

    thepentaxguy New to SC

    2
    Jan 29, 2017
    thanks for the reply MoonMind, EVF is not included. I was really attracted to the 28mm f/2.5 but since you said focusing is slow thats a deal breaker for me.
     
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I had a set and loved it, but it was very much of it's time and things have moved on. I'd say no.
     
  5. emerson

    emerson SC Regular

    47
    Oct 2, 2015
    David Emerson
    The first thing through my mind was that for a similar investment, a GR might be a better camera, provided the 28mm FOV offered sufficient versatility for your kind of shooting.

    The GXR offers a good UI, and the list you describe is relatively complete, but as M. points out - it's not the freshest kit. I also have to wonder if carrying all of this defeats he purpose [portability/simplicity] of a compact camera. That A12 model, though, those offer interesting possibilities.
     
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  6. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I have a slightly used GXR with the 24-85mm f/3.5-5.5 and 50mm f/2.5 APS-C modules. I could be convinced to part with them for a friendlier price than that. It's a fun little kit but I have too much gear. Time to thin things out.
     
  7. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I regularly look on eBay for a GXR kit with a VF and the two prime A12 modules for a nice price. I missed one awhile back that haunts me, but I have no use for those zooms, and without the VF, the kit isn't worth much (to me)....and it's too expensive on its' own. I reckon most here are correct that it's a bit long in the tooth, but at the right price and if you don't need blazing speed or performance above ISO800 (or 1600 depending on your noise tolerance).....sometimes it's fun to have something different.
     
  8. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    754
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    For all I said in my first post, I have to agree with Luke - your thread made me do a (casual) search for the GXR with the A12 M module on some auction sites ... I know that sensor very well (still got a sweet spot for my D90 - and it still serves me well at times), and I love my GR, so being able to get that handling (and performance) with some compact, yet capable M lens is very tempting ... On the other hand, it's just not really necessary, and I can get comparable results (to a degree - think DoF ...) when slapping the adapted lenses on my :mu43: cameras. Or I just use them on the Zeiss Ikon ZM - that's a match made in heaven (besides, I'm really totally nuts about shooting film anyway). Anyhow, I didn't say what I said to depreciate the camera - it's an iconic piece of technology. And if you take the caveats mentionend here into account, you might do very well with one ... though maybe not the set you described.

    M.
     
  9. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I have to say I loved the 50...
     
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  10. MiguelATF

    MiguelATF SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    932
    Aug 27, 2013
    Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
    Miguel Tejada-Flores
    I'm on the fence. Not having ever owned a GXR but having fancied one for some time, part of me thinks the answer should be Yes - although, I suspect that GXR multiple lens kits can be found for less. The Leica mount adapter certainly opens up worlds, however. I think I would be tempted also - except, like many others on this forum, it seems like I already have enough fine camera bodies (Lumixes, mostly, these days) and lenses that it would be hard for me to pull the trigger. But I suspect that even now, years after its heyday, a GXR would still be a fun and in many ways satisfying photographic tool.
     
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  11. Kompaktkameratyp

    Kompaktkameratyp SC Rookie

    16
    Jul 6, 2010
    I would buy the set right away, for the 28mm and the M mount: The 28 is a lovely lens and a very usable sensor in a very small package. Unlike the GR, the lens does not have to motor out of the body, making the camera quick to turn on (and more reliable mechanically, too). There is absolutely no issue with AF speed in good light, and in general the camera is extremely responsive when you use "snap focus" (a Ricoh specialty): If the camera does not focus quickly enough, you can full-press the shutter and the camera fires *that* instant, with the lens pre-set to the "snap focus distance". This distance is easily and quickly user-setable: Say, you are in a room and the action is roughly 15ft away – you just pre-set that (hold a button/turn a ring/takes about second with practice). If you have the time to let AF do its work, fine. If AF is too slow, you simply full-press and get a reasonably sharp image *that* instant. Given the inherent depth of field especially of the 28mm lens (remember: it's really only 19mm or thereabouts physically, so super-deep dof), this works really well. There is a good reason that Leica shooters of old used a similar technique, after all...
    Also, don't forget manual focus, which is implemented really well here: There is an excellent little distance scale on the back screen, together with depth of field indication in real time, based on the chosen aperture. With even the smallest amount of practice, this setup is quicker than most AF systems in low light: You twist the lens barrel and you're done. If at any point you think you are too slow, just full-press the shutter and snap focus goes again. I've had great success with "decisive moment" type photography with this setup. I would argue it's faster than even my Pentax K3 in low light (because the camera doesn't have to measure anything at all, it's limited only by user experience/practice/technique).

    The M mount is a superb piece of kit, with excellent IQ. ReidReviews continues to use the GXR M mount as a bench mark for APS-C M mount cameras. It beats the Leica T (a much newer camera, and much more expensive), when used with M mounts! I use it as a complement to a "real" Leica, and it is extremely useful: a) for macro (since you see through the lens, at working aperture), b) for tele (e.g. the crop factor means you get 200mm equivalent out of a Leica 135mm lens), and c) as a backup, should the M9 ever fail (which it never has, keeping fingers crossed). Thus, GXR M mount plus Leica is a set where each camera overcomes the other's short-comings really nicely.

    The small zooms are useful if you can pack only a very small camera on a trip, but yeah, the quality is S95-like. They are good if you can live with that. The APS Zoom I once owned, but sold: To me, personally, it was too bulky, and somehow just not a very inspiring focal length/aperture/size/weight package (ymmv).

    I would buy the set, sell the zooms you don't want, and be happy with one of the most intelligently designed camera systems ever to exist. It's a pleasure to use, phenomenally well thought-out, an ergonomic delight. Again, that's compared to a K3 and an M9, and I stand by that assessment with all my heart... I love the GXR!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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  12. Briar

    Briar SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    I dusted mine off the shelf a couple of weeks ago to shoot with the 50 and was pleasantly surprised how much fun/ease it was to shoot with. More importantly I was really, really impressed with the images it produced. For me the GXR is a most able camera for the way I shoot. The lenses are a breeze to swap. I just have the 28 and the 50, but it's no chore to carry. Very light!

    Would I be tempted to buy it today if I didn't have it? Probably not. I have too many cameras as it is. But I wouldn't be tempted to part with it either. For me it's a keeper.
     
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