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GRDII and GT-1 (40mm)

Just today I received 40mm adapter from Ricoh. It was a very nice surprise, because I did not get any email from Ricoh for a some time. I'm planing to do some GX100/GRDII comparison shots. But it will have to wait to weekend.

At the moment, I can only comment the build quality. It's a very well build piece of metal and glass. There is some visible flaring but not visible corner shading. However, it's too early to tell anything about image quality. Just one more comment. It seems to me that the background is more blurred in case of GRDII with 40mm lens than with GX100 set at 50mm. But I only judged it from LCD without taking the picture. I will do such comparison as well.

[Updated 25/01/08]
OK, here we go. I finally get some time to do a basic shootout with GRDII + GT1, GX100 at 8.3mm (cca 40mm - 35mm film eq.) and Olympus E400 with 14-42mm kit lens set at 20mm (40mm - 35mm film eq.).

All cameras were set to as close to the same F number as possible. Unfortunately, it's impossible to set them all to the same F number. The lowest F number for 14-42 kit lens at 20mm is f4.1 and in case of GX100 it's f3.1. GRDII can use also f2.4 (definitely an advantage of GRD/GRDII + GT1 solution). I had to stop the cameras down in case of ISO400 shots because GRDII does not allow faster time than 1/1000 at f3.2.

All crops were taken from RAW files converted to tiff with dcraw and these parameters -w -W -f -q 3 -T
I believe, that these parameters produces the most neutral and best out-of-raw details. Professional RAW converters will most probably help with lowering the noise, but in some way, they also alter the image sharpness, WB, exposure or highlights. In my opinion, using dcraw (which is in fact mother and father of most RAW developers) is the best way to judge the out-of-raw quality.

All cameras set to -0.7EV. This is why the E400 crops are slightly underexposed while the GRDII should have been set even to -1.0. I forgot that the GRDII is slightly more sensitive than GX100. Also, the GRDII prime lens is a bit more contrast.

The first test crops taken from photos at ISO100:








The second test crops taken from photos at ISO400.








[Updated 27/01/08]
Today I did an extreme test to see how good/bad is the GRD2+GT-1 chromatic aberration and the image distortion. I'm happy to report that the GT-1 has zero to none effect on the image quality!

At first, here is the chromatic aberration test. All photos taken in DNG + Fine JPEG. The below crops are 100% crops form DNG and JPEG. At first, I compared GX100 and GRD2 with as close to the same F number as possible. The last column is GRD2 + GT1 at f2.4. First row DNG (processed with dcraw), second row is out of camera JPEG. All I can say is.. "chromatic aberration? what chromatic aberration?" Both GX100 and GRD performed very well in this test. And the GRD2 CA performance is especially nice, considering the attached teleconverter.



This second test shows the amount of barrel distortion. Unfortunately, both GX100 and GRD2 were not 100% aligned, hence the distortion in top right corner. But I think it's clearly visible that the amount of barrel distortion is impressive low in case of GRD2.

First GRD+GT-1..


Second GX100 at 40mm.. (if you don't see the red lines, click inside the image to show the full size image)


Conclusions:
GRDII and GT1 seems produce sharp images as if the GT1 is an integral part of the camera optics.
There is no visible corner softness, vignetting, barrel distortion or pronounced chromatic aberration. This is a very nice surprise! If nothing else, I would expect visibly higher chromatic aberration or corner softness. But there is neither visible nor pronounced any of these problems with GT-1! Well done Ricoh!
It seems to me that the GRDII + GT1 solution is still sharper than GX100 lens.
None small sensor camera can beat the camera with larger sensor ;) But as in previous comparisons, it definitely looks that the GRDII signal-to-noise performance is greatly improved over the GX100. It still cannot match the E400 performance, but considering it's a "tiny" sensor camera, it definitely provides great and very usable results (DNG)!

At the moment, I think that the only real downside of GT1 (aside its size, which makes the GRDII significantly less pocketable) is the lens flaring. I will upload some examples of the flaring problem later this week. I will also try to make a home-made lens shade, which could help with this problem. However, my initial tests says that any shade attached on GT1 would make the camera really big and unpractical. So it would be better to avoid the flaring by other techniques (e.g. retargeting the camera).

Yesterday, I've taken around 50 shots at squash with friends and the flaring was visible only on few of them and only in left or right-bottom corner. So I think it's not that big problem if you learn how to avoid it and how to live with it. This is a very small price considering the GT1 build quality and virtually zero negative effect on the output image quality.
 

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Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Pavel,
My Gt-1 should be here tomorrow, tracking shows it to have just hit Dallas.
*bounces impatiently*
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

I've ordered one, but it takes some time to get it here in Sweden apparently. Since you have just received yours I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask a few questions I've been thinking about since ordering mine. The information available from Ricoh and from my local dealer is rather thin...

Does it come with some kind of case or bag or any other protective gear? I'm thinking that sometimes I would like to shoot with the 28mm and sometimes with the 40mm, and while shooting 28mm how do I keep the extender safe? For SLR lenses you usually get lids to put on each end, but how is it with the GT-1? What do you do with it when it's not on the camera?

Can I fit a skylight filter on the GT-1 to keep the glass from getting scratched? If it's possible, which diameter? From the few pictures of it I have seen the front lens doesn't look too protected.

When using the GT-1 does the camera get front heavy? From the looks of it the extender is almost as big as the camera body, how much does it weigh? (not in grams, but in "feel", if you know what I mean).

Thanks. Hope to see some pictures soon.
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Hi iconara,

The 40mm lens comes with two protective caps and protective bag. Front cap can be easily attached/removed. The back cap is slightly tricky to pull off due to lens thread. But at least you will not lose it easily (unlike the front cap, which is probably too easy to remove) ;)

The protective bag, in which you can carry the lens, is unfortunately not padded. So if you wish to protect the lens from accidental bumps and hits, I would suggest you to get something padded. On the other hand, the bag is enough large to protect the GRD with attached lens and viewfinder. But it's only a basic protection. I use it like that, because I don't wish to carry my rather large dslr bag and I don't have anything else that would fit.

The lens is neither lightweight nor too heavy. It's a solid piece of metal and glass and I definitely like the feel when it's attached on the camera. If nothing else, it makes the camera more stable due to increased weight. GRD2 with attached metal CV minifinder and GT-1 is 350g. The lens with tube is around 125g. Definitely not a cheap piece of plastic like seen from other manufacturers.

Unfortunately, there is no front thread, so you cannot attach the filters on GT-1. However, I would not recommend to attach anything in front of GT-1! Each new glass in front of lens degrades its quality and most filter makes the lens even more prone to flare. And I'm afraid, flaring is the only but biggest GT-1 problem. The lens seems to have a very nice and visible anti-flare coating on all lens elements. It's probably the lens construction, which makes the things worse? The front lens element is practically a half-sphere made of solid glass!

Some flaring is visible on most shots with light sources in view. Flaring is often visible also on LCD when composing your shots, so you can avoid it by moving the camera to a slightly different direction. And because the flaring is visible mainly in corners, you can completely avoid it by shooting in 1:1, where the corners affected by flaring are out of the visible area ;) I know, it's not a very nice solution. But in my point of view, the GT-1 is made mainly for 1:1 portrait shots?

I'm planning to do some GRDII/GX100 comparison shots during the weekend. At the moment, I can show you only two usable shots I posted here:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=765
I will try to process some more pictures tomorrow or so ;)
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Hi Odk,

If you have time, could you also check in your little tests if the flare issue for the 40mm occurs in most daylight shooting scenarios or only in some extreme cases?

I'd really like the 40mm for some environmental portraits, but if the combi flares too much, then I may have to reconsider buying it.
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Pavel,
I agree with all you've said about the GT-1.
However it wobbles a bit on my GH-1, making me nervous :cry:
So I've ordered a new GH-1 from Popflash, hopefully the new one will be more secure.
My old one is fine with the Lighter GH-1 BTW.
This Macro shot was done with the GT-1.
2215783750_4b5dcfd47e_b.jpg

:D
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

This is an interesting find Lili! My lens is super tight. Not even a little evidence of lens wobbling? Are you sure you fully screwed the lens on GH1? The nice people from Ricoh sent me (probably by accident) second GH1 & GT1 sample. I got it next day after the first sample ;) But I don't want to unpack that second GT1 until they approve I can keep it as a contest prize. Then I may try it as well.

Rurouni, I will definitely do a thorough test of the GT1 flaring and try to figure the best way how to avoid it. But generally, you don't need to worry about it. If you are aware of such problem, it's easy to live with this limitation. It's only visible in

I already did a GX100, GRDII and E400 shootout with all three cameras set at 40mm. I just need to process the RAW files with dcraw and make some crops. I hope to do it this evening. Stay tuned! ;)
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

odklizec":1up06u2e said:
This is an interesting find Lili! My lens is super tight. Not even a little evidence of lens wobbling? Are you sure you fully screwed the lens on GH1? The nice people from Ricoh sent me (probably by accident) second GH1 & GT1 sample. I got it next day after the first sample ;) But I don't want to unpack that second GT1 until they approve I can keep it as a contest prize. Then I may try it as well.

Pavel, yes, the lens is tightly screwed in.
The wobble is in the GH-1, where it attaches to the GRD.
However, this was a used hood adapter so it might be damaged or worn just enough to show with the added mass of the GT-1.
I ordered a brand new GH-1 from Popflash.
It should be here next week and we will see :)
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

The initial post is now updated with some pics and comments. I will add some more later this weekend.
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Pavel,
It is nt so much a 'wobble' as just slight movement or click.
it does not affect sharpness as you can see
2219121607_e5bc8798a8_b.jpg
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Thanks for the lens test results! Looking forward to the flare tests :)

Do post a couple more 'real world' shots if you can, after I stare at the monitor for a while, all the 100% crops start to look the same :D
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Just tried my new GH-1 adapter with the GT-1.
No play or wobble what ever.
Guess I had defective one :(
Much happier with the GT-1 now :)
Pavel, appreciate your tests. Your point about having a much faster 'normal' efl with the GRD/GT-1 combo than the gX-100 is well taken :)
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Added chromatic aberration and barrel distortion test images. I'm really impressed by the GT1 performance!

Lili, I'm happy to hear that new GH-1 works fine! Now you can fully enjoy the GT1, which is a great addition to already superb GRD performance. BTW, is there any meaning of the badge in your "bunny" shots? It looks familiar to me, but I cannot remember, where I saw it previously?

Rurouni, I'm sorry delay with flare example shots ;) But I hope to post something soon. I'm still testing this issue and trying to find the best way how to avoid it or minimize its impact on the image quality. At the moment, you can see some more "real world" GT1 shots for example here:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=780
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

odklizec":1wq9uinw said:
Added chromatic aberration and barrel distortion test images. I'm really impressed by the GT1 performance!

Lili, I'm happy to hear that new GH-1 works fine! Now you can fully enjoy the GT1, which is a great addition to already superb GRD performance. BTW, is there any meaning of the badge in your "bunny" shots? It looks familiar to me, but I cannot remember, where I saw it previously?

Rurouni, I'm sorry delay with flare example shots ;) But I hope to post something soon. I'm still testing this issue and trying to find the best way how to avoid it or minimize its impact on the image quality. At the moment, you can see some more "real world" GT1 shots for example here:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=780


Pavel, that is belt buckle from my "Goth" days :)
I have not seen any flare yet with the GT-1, the scene outside that window was birghtly sunlit so you'd think if there were any it would have appeared.
 
Re: GRDII and 40mm lens

Lili, I think there might be several reasons why you did not see any flare in your photos. First, you were just lucky ;) Second, the GRD performs differently than GRDII?

I will give the GRD + GT1 a try, to see if there is any difference. But I think it's just just a luck you did not spot any flare yet. It really depends on the angle between the camera and light source. From my experience, there is no (or very faint) flaring if the light source is directly in a view. But things rapidly changes if the light source is let's say in 45° angle with lens and out of the visible area. And of course, the problem is less (if ever) visible in B&W mode.
 
I've just ordered a GT-1 from my local dealer, will give it a go when its in to see how troublesome the flaring is. So far the pics have looked good, esp coming from a teleconvertor connected to such a small lens. :)
 
Rurouni, I'm sure you will like it! The flaring issue is usually visible only in extreme corners. So it can be cut out form the picture or masked by some advanced photo editing techniques. But in most cases, it can be avoided during the composition phase.
 
Hmm just got a call from the shop about some sort of delay in getting the GT-1 due to a technical issue. Wonder what it is. I think I'll have to wait another month at least for some new stock to arrive.
 
This site is developing into quite a useful resource for Ricoh cameras and photography in general. My compliments.

I've put my GX100 up for sale as I intend to replace it with one of the two 28mm (equivalent) prime lens compacts on the market.
Quite likely the Sigma DP1, although the GRDII is still on the list as well.

As to the combination GRDII + GT-1 my question would be - why?
One of the GRDII's main advantages is its extremely light and compact form.
Adding a GT-1 makes the kit considerably heavier, so why not buy a GX100 instead if you need the zoom?

Björn
 
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