Photokina 2010: Ricoh has announced the GR Lens A12 28 mm F2.5 wideangle prime module for its GXR system. Its 18.3mm F2.5 lens (28mm-equivalent) employs an exotic nine element / six group design, including two aspherical elements, one special low-dispersion glass element, and several high-refraction-ratio elements, promising high image quality across the frame. This fourth module for the interchangeable unit system also features a 12Mp APS-C CMOS sensor, a faster GR Engine III processor and 720p HD video recording. It also comes with a manual focus ring for focus precision and an electronic level.

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Press Release:

Ricoh announces GR LENS A12 28 mm F2.5 line


A new GXR camera unit featuring a GR Lens and an APS-C size CMOS sensor
Exhibited at photokina 2010

Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2010 —Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the development and release of GR LENS A12 28 mm F2.5, the fourth camera unit in the GXR interchangeable unit system. This product is being announced and exhibited at the photokina 2010 exhibition held in Cologne, Germany, beginning September 21, 2010.

Introduced in December 2009, the GXR is a revolutionary new interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses can be changed by mounting camera units that integrate lens, image sensor, and image processing engine into a single unit. In addition, to fully utilize this system's unique ability to accommodate interchangeable units other than camera units, Ricoh is also investigating possibilities for development of a variety of other devices.

The new GR LENS A12 28 mm F2.5 brings together a newly developed 28 mm wide-angle fixed focal length GR Lens, an APS-C size CMOS sensor, and the proven GR Engine III image processing engine to create a unit with high flexibility, high image quality, high-speed shooting ability, and high power of expression.

Main features of GR LENS A12 28 mm F2.5

Newly developed GR Lens and APS-C size CMOS sensor for strong resolution and imaging power

  • The new 28 mm equivalent GR Lens has a 6-group, 9-element configuration. Incorporating two aspherical lenses, one special low-dispersion lens, and multiple high-refraction-ratio lenses, this extravagant lens configuration achieves strong resolution and imaging power to the edge of the frame.
  • The lens thoroughly corrects for various types of aberrations while at the same time utilizing a floating lens structure to suppress performance changes caused by focusing. The result at all shooting distances is high image quality worthy of the GR Lens name.*1  
  • A 23.6 mm × 15.7 mm (APS-C size) CMOS sensor is used. The combination of this sensor with the GR ENGINE III image processing engine enables the camera unit to shoot high-quality images with smooth tone gradations as well as high definition and low noise.
  • The use of a configuration of nine rounded aperture blades enables the photographer to enjoy beautiful bokeh as well as precise aperture settings.

Rapid shooting capabilities help capture fleeting shutter chances

  • Focusing speed has been accelerated through the addition of the new drive mode and the use of a high-speed CMOS sensor.
  • The Pre-AF function also accelerates focusing speed by adjusting the focus to match subject movement.
  • The full press snap function shoots at a preset distance for a one-push full-press of the shutter-release button.

High usability and quality feel

  • The manual focus ring is available for precise focus adjustments. High-speed adjustment is also an option. The manual focus ring can even be used to seamlessly fine tune the focus after automatic focusing.
  • The target position can be magnified on the screen during shooting, and it can also be moved using the direction keys. Select from 2x, 4x, and 8x magnification ratios for convenient and precise focus checking.
  • The two options of normal and pinpoint can be selected for the AF area size used in spot AF.
  • For the exterior, we utilized die cast magnesium, which has a strong track record in the GR series, and we covered the surface with a corrosion-resistant "pear-skin" coating. The end result is a body with durability, light weight, and a superior feel in hand.

GXR series power of expression takes full advantage of GR Lens capabilities

  • Multi-pattern auto white balance makes it possible to recreate natural as-seen colors even in people-photography scenes that were difficult to shoot with past auto white balance functions, such as scenes with both shadow and sunlight and scenes mixing flash and natural light (or fluorescent light, etc.).
  • ISO3200 facilitates shooting in low light conditions.
  • The noise reduction level can be specified as Off, Weak, Strong, Max, or Auto. By specifying Max, it is possible to do sophisticated variance-estimation type noise reduction processing in which the sensor image data's noise distribution is analyzed and the optimum processing is done for each region.
  • The automatic exposure modes include program shift mode, shutter speed priority mode, and aperture priority mode.
  • Picture settings can be customized with nine setting levels for easy creation of a diverse range of images.

Diverse functions of the GXR series

  • An electronic level utilizing an acceleration sensor.
  • Three grid guides useful for framing images while shooting.
  • An image flag function to enable the quick display of specific images from among those in the camera. Up to 20 images can be flagged.
  • The DIRECT screen enabling current shooting settings to be displayed and changed. Settings can be easily checked at a glance.
  • It is possible to shoot 1280 × 720 pixel HD movies.*2

*1To be given the “GR Lens” name by Ricoh, a lens must exceed a specified level of overall lens performance, with particular attention being given to MTF values, distortion, and color aberration.
*2 Note: When shooting movies of 1280×720 size, the use of an SD/SDHC memory card with an SD speed class of Class 6 or higher is recommended.

Ricoh GR LENS A12 28 mm F2.5 specifications

Designation GR LENS A12 28 mm F2.5
Price TBC as a kit with the GXR body
TBC module only
Focal length 18.3 mm
Focal length (35mm equiv.) 28 mm
Aperture range F2.5-F22
Construction 9 elements in 6 groups (2 aspherical lens elements with 2 surfaces)
Focus range • Approx. 20 cm – ∞
Effective Pixels Approx 12.3million
Image Sensor • 23.6 mm × 15.7 mm CMOS
• Total pixels: 12.90 Million
Focus • Contrast detect AF
• Manual focus
Shutter speeds • Stills: 180 sec - 1/3200
• Movies: 1/30 sec - 1/2000
Sensitivity • Auto
• Auto-Hi
• ISO 200-3200
Continuous Shooting

Number of pictures shot in M-Cont Plus (1 set):
HI (1280 × 856): 30 pictures (24 frames/sec.)
LO (4288 × 2848): 15 pictures (3 frames/sec.)

File types • JPEG (2 levels)
• Raw (DNG)
File Sizes

16:9 
• 4288 x 2416
• 3456 x 1944
4:3   
• 3776 x 2832
• 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
3:2
• 4288 x 2848
• 3456 x 2304
1:1   
• 2848 x 2848
• 2304 x 2304

Movie mode • 1280 x 720
• 640 x 480
• 320 x 240
• 24 fps
Battery life (CIPA) DB-90: approx. 320 shots
Weight 210 g
Weight
(when mounted on the GXR body)
410 g
Dimensions 113mm × 70mm × 56mm
(when mounted on the GXR body)

Additional image