Thursday, 30 June 2011

GXR Mount A12 - Q&A with Ricoh


Recently, I sent an email to my Ricoh contacts with questions regarding the new 'GXR Mount A12', the official name for the upcoming M-mount module for the GXR system.
Ricoh is busy finalising the module to be released but are happy to answer questions on it, so I thought instead of only me asking my own questions, I will collect questions from other people and send them all to Ricoh to answer.

So post your questions in the comments section below and I will submit them to Ricoh and update this post with the questions and answers I get. You can ask anything you like to know about the upcoming GXR Mount A12 module or the GXR system and I will try to get all questions answered.

Update 04/07/2011: I have forwarded all questions to Ricoh and will update this post as soon as I receive the answers. Please feel free to ask more questions in the meantime and I will forward them on after I receive the first answers.

Update 05/08/2011: I have not forgotten about the questions and neither has Ricoh so while some are now after the GXR Mount A12 announcement easy to answer, I will provide the answers to all questions.

Update 27/08/2011: Below are the questions and answers from Ricoh.

Lens

1. How is it possible to identify a compatible lens?
- There is a lens checker included with the mount and in addition we will inform our customers through our website, www.ricoh.com/r_dc.

2. Are there any known lens incompatibilities?
- Yes, the Hologon 15mm F8 from Leica.

3. Will it work with the Leica lens coding?
- No, the GXR mount is not compatible with the Leica lens coding system.

4. Will Ricoh produce any new M-mount lenses themselves to sell together with the M-mount module for the GXR? Maybe a re-release of the old GR lenses?
- There are no plans for Ricoh to produce any M-mount lenses.

5. Will Ricoh release any adapters for other legacy lenses or will this be up to the Chinese manufacturers? Especially an M to K mount adapter would be welcome in light of recent news, even if it's MF only.
- There are no plans for Ricoh to produce any adapters. 3rd party M to K mounts are currently available.

Focusing

6. Is there any rangefinder coupling in the mount so it knows when the focus ring is turned and can magnify the screen to aid focusing?
- There is no rangefinder coupling in the mount. Please use the picture display or the VF-2 (optional) to confirm focusing. User can magnify the image to aid in focusing. The magnification can be set either to the full image or centre, to aid in focusing but also maintain the framing. The magnified area can be moved using the directional pad.

7. Is the view in framing and focusing mode imaged from the main sensor or via an ancillary imaging system?
- Both framing and focusing are imaged from the main sensor.

8. Does it do focus confirmation, and how is that implemented? Will there be some type of "peaking" function to aid in MF?
- No focus confirmation, but there is a ‘Focus assist function’ which allow you to view the peak contrast point in the picture display.

Sensor

9. Will it use the same 12 MP sensor as used in the other A12 modules or will it be a re-designed sensor to work better with m-mount lenses?
- The GXR A12 MOUNT will use the same sensor as the other A12 camera units. However, the micro lenses are optimized for M lenses to ensure sufficient brightness levels even in the peripheral areas of the image.

10. Can we hope for a sensor without the anti-alias filter (like the sensors in Leica M8/M9), or at least a sensor with lighter anti-alias sensor?Can we hope for a sensor without the anti-alias filter (like the sensors in Leica M8/M9), or at least a sensor with lighter anti-alias sensor?.
- This sensor does not have an anti-alias filter.

11. Is there an image stabilizer in the module?
- No, there is no image stabilizer in the module.

12. Is there any sort of automated sensor cleaning system?
- No, there is no automated sensor cleaning system. There is an option to keep the shutter open even when the camera is turned off to allow you cleaning of the sensor. Please use air blower and be sure not to touch the sensor when cleaning.

13. Does the shutter stay closed to keep dust away from the sensor when changing lenses?
- Yes. Please turn off the camera when you exchange the lens. The shutter will remain closed when the camera is turned off (except the camera is in the cleaning mode mentioned at Q11).

Shutter

14. What is the timed shutter range? Does it support Bulb? What is the maximum exposure length?
- The focal plane shutter has range from 1/4000 to 180 seconds
- The electronic shutter has range from 1/8000 to 1 second
- The focal plane shutter supports both bulb and time, and its maximum exposure length is 180 seconds.

15. What is the X-sync shutter speed? Does it support high speed sync with a dedicated flash unit?
- The X-sync shutter speed is 1/180 second, however in the case of manual mode the speed is up to 1/160 second. It does not support high speed sync.

16. What is the shutter design, horizontal, vertical, cloth, metal, etc.?
- The shutter is a vertical-running type, and metal.

General

17. Why is the GXR mount is slightly larger on the left-hand side compared to previous camera units. What is inside this part?.
- The motor for the shutter is contained in this area.

18. Will there be a new GXR body released, maybe with integrated OVF/EVF and rangefinder styling like the Fuji X100 or Epson RD1?
- There is no information.

19. What is the maximum weight of lens the mounting rails of the body can support?
- There is no official announcement or guarantee but we have tested up to 5kg.

20. Will a full-frame module be produced?
- There is no information.

21. Will it work with the VF-2 viewfinder? In other words, is the M mount module Live View capable?
- Yes, the VF-2 will work with the GXR mount.

Software

22. Will there be an option to manually enter the focal length/aperture to EXIF?
- Through the My Setting menu option the user can enter the following, lens name, focal length, and F value.

23. What video specs are supported, if any? Are we going to be able to use the special filters in the movie mode?
- Yes, video is supported, 1280x720 HD, 640x480 and 320x240. There is no special filter function, however peripheral illumination correction, colour shading correction, and distortion correction can be used also in movie mode.

24. Will there be any more effects coming via firmware?
- Yes, we will continue to release function enhancing firmware for the GXR system.

25. What exposure modes will be supported?
- Aperture priority AE and manual exposure function are the supported exposure modes. In case of aperture priority AE, user will need to manually adjust the aperture ring of the lens.

26. Can it do sequence capture? How many raw exposures can be made in sequence, and at what speed? How many JPEG captures can be made in sequence and at what speed? Is the interval shooting supported?
- Yes, sequence capture is possible. In RAW mode 4 images (with noise reduction off or weak) can be made in sequence. In JPEG, 2.2 frames/sec can be captured. Finally, interval shooting is also supported.

27. Does it support all the same GXR A12 format proportions?
- Yes, all format proportions available with the A12 28mm / A12 50mm camera units are supported with the GXR MOUNT A12.

Other

28. Following the acquisition of Pentax will there be a K module or any other mount modules?
- There is no additional information apart from the news release on the 1st of July.


Thanks to Ricoh for providing the answers.

Update 03/09/2011: Find below links to Ricoh's official FAQ pages with more answers.


GXR MOUNT A12 FAQ
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/support/faq/bp/gxr/

Hardware specifications
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/support/faq/bp/gxr/08/

Hardware operations
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/support/faq/bp/gxr/08/index02.html

Accessories
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/support/faq/bp/gxr/08/index03.html

Software / OS compatibility
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/support/faq/bp/gxr/08/index04.html

Purchase/Repair/Other
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/support/faq/bp/gxr/08/index05.html


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Greenwich Maritime University


iPhone 4, f2.4, ISO 80, JPG, Hipstamatic app

Monday, 27 June 2011

Ranger's House


iPhone 4, f2.4, ISO 80, JPG, Hipstamaic app

If you are wondering where yesterday's post is, a friend has my SD card with the pictures so I can't post it till tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Photo Shoot


Today, I met with friends to do a small photo shoot. I am not big into portraits and posed pictures but thought it would be fun to do this and experiment with something different. We had a great time and got a lot of pictures out of it. I wanted to travel light so only took the GXR with both A12 modules with me but ended up using only the A12 50mm module, the EVF was great to have along and the ability to tilt it 90 degrees really helped so I was happy not to have an OVF instead.

These are a few pictures from the shoot I quite like.




Saturday, 25 June 2011

LPMG Shoot The Band 06/2011


Tonight, I went along with the LPMG to shoot some concert footage of bands in Notting Hill. The bands playing were ANDY MITCHELL, ED LAURIE, BEATIE WOLFE, POSTMAN OPERA, FEEN, CUTHBERT 80 and burlesque from VERONICA VENUS.
It was a great opportunity to use the Nokton but I also took the Canon FD 50mm f1.8 along. It was not always easy to manually focus while keeping an eye on the shutter speed and follow the action to capture the right moment.
This series contains my best picture of each performance I have stayed for and is a mix between the Nokton and the Canon FD with ISO ranging from 400 to 3200 for the last picture.









Thursday, 23 June 2011

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Green


RD1, f2.0, 1/500, ISO 200, RAW, 53mm (Voigtländer Ultron f1.7 35mm)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Monday, 20 June 2011

Walking


RD1, 1/1000, ISO 200, RAW, 53mm (Voigtländer Ultron f1.7, 35mm)

I always wondered why there are not that many pictures taken in portrait orientation with rangefinder cameras and I got my answer today. The ergonomics of a rangefinder camera make it very difficult and cumbersome to take pictures in portrait orientation and focusing is a pain.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Taking the RD1 for a Spin around Greenwich


Doing street photography with a rangefinder is like waving a big, flashing sign around with "Smile For The Camera" written on it. I am sure rangefinders were all the hit in the 60s and 80s for street photography but today, they just stand out too much.
The best cameras for street photography are not rangefinders or rangefinder lookalikes like the X100 but small compact cameras like the Ricoh GRD. Nobody cares if you take pictures with a compact camera but as soon as it's bigger people notice it and the shutter noise does not really help either compared to the silent shutter on a compact camera.

This is a small series from my trip around Greenwich market with the R-D1, I have to say I did not enjoy it as much, having to raise the camera to my eye to take a picture just interrupts the flow and attracts a lot of attention. The pictures were not as good as they could have been with a smaller, live view capable camera.




Saturday, 18 June 2011

Friday, 17 June 2011

Just a Rose


GF1, f2.0, 1/50, ISO 400, JPG, 50mm (Voigtländer Nokton f0.95 25mm)

Not a great picture but it was raining the whole day so I was not inspired. Instead I just wanted to see if I can edit a full-size picture from the GF1 on the iPhone 4 using Photoshop Express.
After importing it using the Photo Sync app, it opened just fine in Photoshop Express and although there was a bit of lag in all operations it handled processing it very well. Saving it was again no problem and it saved it at the actual resolution.
You can see the result on the top and the starting image below.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

On the Way to the Dinner


RD1, f2.8, 1/2000, ISO 200, RAW, 53mm (Voigtländer Ultron f1.7 35mm)

Did not get the focus in the right place but I quite like it anyway. I am still trying to get to know the Epson R-D1 and focusing with a rangefinder is not as easy as focusing with the magnified view on the GF1.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Between the Darkness and Light


GF1, f8.0, 1/160, ISO 400, JPG b&w, 50mm (Holga f8.0 25mm)

I might have got a bit carried away with my eBay purchases recently but I always wanted to try a Holga lens on my GF1 and since they are very cheap on eBay it's worth getting one for fun. It is actually very good and I like he results.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Waiting for the Photographer


RD1, 1/1783, ISO 200, RAW, 23mm (Voigtländer Heliar f4.5 15mm)

A new addition to my camera range arrived today, my new Epson RD1.
It's a camera I always liked but never had the need or use for. In the spur of the moment and while looking at Fuji X100 prices, I decided to bid on one on eBay and got it for a very good price including the Voigtländer Heliar 15mm lens. I am looking forward to taking it out some more but now I will probably end up spending even more money on lenses.