Being Complicit: The “Original” Ricoh GR Digital

40 thoughts on “Being Complicit: The “Original” Ricoh GR Digital”

    1. I have been for the most part. Although I was happy to have a chance to try this haha. Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, I think I’ve basically been sucking the last little while.

  1. “My apologies to those who came here for a review.”…..

    But that’s exactly why I like your reviews! Technical aspects are futile. The important thing is what you achieve with your camera, old, new or anything.

    I shot my daughter’s wedding last week with my son’s beat up Fuji X10 as I didn’t want to lug around my Canon A-1 and lenses for the whole evening, and I’m more than happy with the results.

    Shoot what makes you feel good!

  2. So good to see you back Josh ! I always enjoy your posts and your thoughts. No one inspires me to go out and shoot like you do. Keep it coming man , we missed you !

  3. This is a great review. Because you show what it can do with real pictures. Most reviews go shoot for half a day, at walls, flowers, at fences. at a bookshelf and the same friends. Good work. Now you are getting me thinking.

  4. Stunning work, Josh. One point: if you want “simple”, can you use the GRD-IV in very basic setup and achieve the same? And, can one use the 21mm adapter across models or to each their own? 21mm is a great focal length, I’m getting to exercise my brain to use one… difficult, you really have to fill the frame up close and personal as you do. Timid distances do not work!

    1. I agree, that I could achieve something similar. I find though, that with the way the GRDIV works it tends to select f1.9 a little too often and there isn’t really a way to limit it aside from selecting the aperture myself. If I do that, I need to think about that as I go through different lighting situations. It isn’t a big deal, just I feel as though I have play with the settings a little more. Plus, and more importantly, the photos require much less attention after the fact. All I basically do to them is add a bit of sharpening and they are good to go.

    2. Oh, and RE the 21mm. I quite like being close. I like people finding me out. It is funny, but the best moment for me was when the Japanese girl asked me about why I took her photo. And you’re right, from a distance, no good haha.

    3. The original 21mm adapter (and a 40mm one that was only made for the first two models) only work on the GRD I and II. There is a different 21mm adapter that works on 3 and 4. And yet another one for the new APS GRs. The thread size is different and the filter adapter that is needed to fit it to the camera are different. You could hold the old adapter by hand in front of the new camera lens and it sort of works, but not that well.

  5. Thanks much for the inspiring and interesting post(s). Always happy to find a new really great combination of text and photos from you. Your look at the old camera with new eyes and the description of your experience is really worth reading! Many regards to Korea

  6. I really like your photography. I did not want to buy another camera, but who knows now. I shoot only in b&w mode, so I think it would work for me too. The problem with the old GR is that they get sometimes dust on their sensors.
    To me the grey scale looks a bit different, better on 8mp. You know when you work with grd iv you get sometimes unnatural skin look and you have to change it later on in post production.
    Also the adapter is doing it’s work, more light and you can get sometimes a nice lens flare & ghostlings . But I would like to see some picture without 21mm made by you.
    Your pictures don’t look like Trix, or they do look like a Trix with a different black and white filter added.
    GR cameras – simplicity, one pattern and consistency…

    1. Honestly, I’ve had three of the new GRs and they are way more prone to dust than the older ones. All three of the new ones I’ve had had dust on the sensor within months. I don’t think I know someone who hasn’t had dust on their sensor. Everyone who tells me they don’t I ask then to take a photo of a wall at f10 and there it is, ha. None on my grd or grd4..

      The only post production is really do is in vsco on my phone. I will sharpen a bit or something of the sort. I do find the skin tones to be ‘whiter’ on the GRD 4. I never shoot raw, so I’m speaking specifically of the regular bw mode. I don’t use the high contrast one.

      I was speaking more to the focal length than the flare but as you can see I used that several times during these photos. I shot these in a short span of time so didn’t bother to take off the adapter. I have it this weekend without the adapter though.

      As I said, not looking like TriX is a good thing. I don’t like TriX in the least bit. I shoot primarily with tmax or sometimes hp5. And I was half kidding about the TriX in the post, as I have spent quite a bit of time shooting film I know the grd doesn’t really look too much like film.

      Anyway, thanks for you thoughtful comment. Always appreciated.

  7. Funny enough the author of ‘cameralegend’ blog in his review of Rigoh GR 8mp ( is also mentioning the Kodak Tri-X look…
    Years ago when I was using extensively Konica Minolta Z6 , also a small size sensor camera, I have learned that nothing will fix your photography if you will not make a good first layer, the moment when you press the shutter button is vital.
    I always see in your photos great use of the first moment, anything else later does not really matter. Cheers.

    1. Thanks so much Robert. Interesting that, on the TriX. In any event, you’re right. Doesn’t matter much after the click. Ironically the other camera I still use most is an equally ancient leica x1. Whatever works I suppose.

  8. Great pictures and a good reading! You get a good reminder what photography is about when you simplify your tools, and just get out and shoot, instead of scrolling through endless menus or checking the sharpness on your highres lcd at 20x.

    If it looks like tri-x? Sometimes it might. Tri-x can look quite different, depending if its new or old stock, pushed or not, what developer is used, developing times etc.

    Anyway, I like the results from the grd a lot.

  9. Hello, awesome pics! I was wondering what you settings were for these shots. I have the same camera and I am having difficulty getting the contrast to where I would like it. Also what mode did you shoot on as well? Thank you

      1. Hi JT! Very strong pics man!
        -What flash settings did you use?
        -You mention sharpness to minimum…how about contrast?
        -How do you think not using 21mm lens would affect the grain/texture?
        Many thanks!!

      2. The 21mm lens changes very little about the characteristics of the files aside from adding some distortion. For flash, I use the on camera flash with some tape. I just leave it on auto. And I had the contrast on plus one 😉

  10. Its been a white JT. Perusing your blog and I find this awesome and I’m floored with the imagery of this post. These images are so strong. I kept telling myself if this film or what. Very very nice set, I enjoyed them very much. The result coming out of the old timers do give a run for the money on these newer models. I look forward to catching up with your blog on my iPad. Cheers mate.

  11. i really like your photos and post (text)…i have GRD IV but your photos with GRD orig….photos look like film camera…is this hi contrast or normal BW mode?
    Best Reg.

      1. your photos are outstanding … I’ll try with these parameters at the RICOH gr4 … maximum contrast, sharpness and lowest and iso 800-1600….you’re right about hi Contrast mode… become boring

  12. That photo of the girl that reminded you of someone in Japan is amazing. Do you also do print sales ? On what paper do you print ?

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