Back to basics...I like the 50mm A12 f/2.5 macro

Started Jul 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell
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Re: Not Hot Swappable
In reply to F Stop Fitzgerald, Jul 28, 2012

F Stop Fitzgerald wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

The A12 mount suits my constantly experimental view of photography.

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Tom Caldwell

Tom

I have found that I can swap out the modules faster than I can change the m-mount lens, because with the m-mount lenses I have to deal with the plastic end caps. With the modules I have the lenses sitting upright in my backpack. I reach into the bag and without looking I can easily tell if I am holding the 28mm, 50mm or the m-mount unit. The downside is that you must turn the camera off before you swap the unit.

The modules do have their own advantages and in an ideal world there would be a large range to choose from but the mount (GXR camera back) needs to obtain critical mass to create a market so that this can happen. A sort of catch-22 situation. All manufacturers of new mount systems face it of course. Even Canon with a new EF-M mount have to have an adapter that hands the keys to their existing EF lens kingdom. Manufacturers with a new mount can either make it easy to adapt other lenses like Sony and Ricoh do or just busy themself making hordes of new lenses like Samsung and the M4/3 group. Surprisingly Samsung can churn out new lenses reasonably quickly and their customers will smack themself on the head with a lump of wood and cry "more" whilst they examine the increased limit on their credit card.

I don't think it is the collector instinct from normal camera users more than it is the availability of choice that is the problem, but we all like to collect some lenses as baubles in one form or another too ease our boring existence.

Camera users have a wide range of lens acquisition interests but in order to get the biggest number of mount bodies into circulation it has usually meant popular entry level lenses first. There is not much point in Ricoh making a mount that would give users a choice of body (eg: NEX or M4/3) no matter how much some might sing for it as it would leave Ricoh open to be targetted by other manufacturers. The blood on the carpet is more likely to be Ricoh's. eg: why by an expensive Ricoh body for someone else's lenses when those lenses worrk better on the native body and it is cheaper has more features and is in your local electronics goods store stocks them by the score combined with a deal you cannot refuse? All it would do is give existing GXR users a greater choice of lenses that are not sold by Ricoh it would hardly sell more Ricoh GXR camera backs.

Ricoh can easily undercut Leica of course and Leica might not have the resources or inclination to directly market against the GXR A12 mount. And gentleman's rules are more likely to prevail.

Therefore Ricoh A12 mount users can get to play with second hand lenses as much as they like, and even buy brand new ones from Leica should they so wish (also Voigtlander, Zeiss, etc). Therefore the A12 mount was a class act in strategy. Where it goes from here is pure speculation.

I think that the modules cannot be hot-swappable simply because of the fact that every time the camera is shut down the present settings are saved to camera body and module and once re-started are read back from a choice of other source. This allows the extreme versatlity between not only modules but multiple camera backs as well. Something no other camera ever made has had as far as I know.

The past few weeks I have culled my documentary photo set-up to the following lenses: the two A12 units and the m-mount with a voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.5 and Leica Elmarit 90mm f/2.8. This allows me to have a lightweight, quiet and discrete camera that covers the 28mm, 50mm, 75mm & 135mm EFOV.

I took a bunch of RF lenses on our trip to Asia earlier this year, did not take a lot of space and my objective was to try a number of them out in a "real world" situation. I agree that RF lenses are better when a small kit is required but I am not against ex-slr manual lenses of all persuasions - both large and brindle when space is of lesser biting problem as there are a lot of great lenses out there to choose from. However I have long since passed the point of mere user and have been a "lens collector" for some time. So I am hardly run of the mill.

You can even mount DKL lenses on your A12 mount module with a M42-LM adapter and a DKL-M42 combined. Luckily the DKL adapter complete with the necessary aperture control fits the S-K lenses "like a glove" and the Yi Neng version at least seems part of the DKL lens due to it's extremely good fit and the construction materials used. It also understands the different aperture settings of various lenses automatically as should be expected.

Now if Ricoh were to make an newer m-mount unit with a better sensor, I personally would get it and put the Nokton on the new module and keep the Elmarit on the current
module..

Good stuff. The way points to the next module being an earth-stopping FF mount module. At least if the cheer squad for it has any pull. If they do make one it had bettter be very good as the inevitable comparisons will be made.

I doubt if the A12 mount will be upgraded any time soon as it is quite effective the way it is and there are many other horizons for Ricoh for modules without them having to upgrade and re-release any existing one and render unsold stocks obsolete. More common sense than punting.

Someone posted on here that they had heard that Ricoh had something for Photokina. At least there must be life at the Ricoh camera division as there is sign of a pulse.

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Tom Caldwell

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