Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?

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glimpy
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Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
10 months ago

I have read where multiple folks had focus issues develop with the GRD IV, and a pricey repair. Is this a wide spread issue? Would hate to buy a used one and then double the price with repairs.

TIA

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abluesky
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to glimpy, 10 months ago

Mine just got the focusing issue, hence an early purchase of the GR.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to glimpy, 10 months ago

glimpy wrote:

I have read where multiple folks had focus issues develop with the GRD IV, and a pricey repair. Is this a wide spread issue? Would hate to buy a used one and then double the price with repairs.

TIA

I don't know where you heard about "this" problem, I don't recollect it ever being discussed on this site.  The GRDIV was the last of the line of a highly evolved, technically compentent, and well built series of cameras.

With used cameras there is always some risk, ask the vendor if there are any focus problems with his example.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to abluesky, 10 months ago

abluesky wrote:

Mine just got the focusing issue, hence an early purchase of the GR.

What focusing issue are we talking about?  Oh, sorry, your are selling yours to glimpy ....

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glimpy
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 10 months ago
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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to glimpy, 10 months ago

glimpy wrote:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/41966129

Obviously missed it.

Any more reports since September 2012?  One camera needed serious repair, another was fixed with a clean. Some advice was given.  Hardly the end of the world.

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Allen George
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 10 months ago

My brand new GRD IV definitely has a focus issue. It's going to go to CRIS, and, in the meantime, I've gone back to the GRDIII.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Allen George, 10 months ago

Allen George wrote:

My brand new GRD IV definitely has a focus issue. It's going to go to CRIS, and, in the meantime, I've gone back to the GRDIII.

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Sorry to hear that. I have had no trouble with mine. There is obviously something going on but it still does not seem widespread  (noting the tenor of the first post).  The GRDIII/IV must share the same lens construction, but the GRDIV has IS as well.  Maybe this is the root cause?

Do we know of any focus issues with the GRDIII?

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Allen George
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 10 months ago

Not that I know of.

The GRD IV focus problem I'm observing is weird: the camera appears to lock on, but the resulting photo is definitely OOF. At first I suspected user-error, but even with very simple scenes the resulting image was a little ... off. Not so much so that it's blindingly obvious, but enough that you know it's there.

It's especially noticeable when comparing with the GRDIII - even mine, which I consider a beater.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Allen George, 10 months ago

Allen George wrote:

Not that I know of.

The GRD IV focus problem I'm observing is weird: the camera appears to lock on, but the resulting photo is definitely OOF. At first I suspected user-error, but even with very simple scenes the resulting image was a little ... off. Not so much so that it's blindingly obvious, but enough that you know it's there.

It's especially noticeable when comparing with the GRDIII - even mine, which I consider a beater.

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Same bloke, two cameras that are basically the same ... looks like an issue.  Unless the IS in the GRDIV is at fault.  In any event, not so good.

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schaki
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 10 months ago

Seems no better than that Ricoh almost reinvented the hit and miss AF which affected at least some of the Ricoh Caplio R5. Could this be related to the PDAF maybe which both R5 and the GRDIV have got? I doubt it is the IS but these which have the focus problem can test to turn off the IS and test if the problem still is there. The GRDIII didn't have PDAF as far as I remember and maybe not IS either.

Considering this problem seems enough widespread (has not seen possible topics on Flickr on this subject yet) Ricoh should fix this problem without cost even if the camera is out of warranty.

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klauspauk
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to glimpy, 10 months ago

glimpy wrote:

I have read where multiple folks had focus issues develop with the GRD IV, and a pricey repair. Is this a wide spread issue? Would hate to buy a used one and then double the price with repairs.

TIA

Where did you read that ?

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glimpy
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to klauspauk, 10 months ago

Read the thread. Link is above.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to schaki, 10 months ago

schaki wrote:

Seems no better than that Ricoh almost reinvented the hit and miss AF which affected at least some of the Ricoh Caplio R5. Could this be related to the PDAF maybe which both R5 and the GRDIV have got? I doubt it is the IS but these which have the focus problem can test to turn off the IS and test if the problem still is there. The GRDIII didn't have PDAF as far as I remember and maybe not IS either.

Considering this problem seems enough widespread (has not seen possible topics on Flickr on this subject yet) Ricoh should fix this problem without cost even if the camera is out of warranty.

Schaki

You have probably nailed it there.  The PDAF was and is a brilliant idea but it is simply an emitted beam bounced back to a receptor sensor and must suffer parallax problems as much as an ovf might.  Conseqently in a busy oor distant subject area it might not be picking up the exact same object as the photographer is actually looking at..  Maybe a test at right angles at (say) three metres from a rough brick wall?  At right angles the focus should be perfect as using PDAF and quick. At a 45 degree angle the PDAF might not be so accurate.  Note that on the GRDIV there is such a setting as "auto snap" which is obviously a quick press of the shutter and focus = PDAF only.

As a slow soft press shutter man myself maybe the PDAF has had time to hand over to the hybrid supplemental CDAF for finessing the accuracy of focus. Perhaps that is why I have not noticed any problem with my GRDIV but others have.

Therefore those doing quick press might be getting PDAF only - maybe not always a problem but all talk of PDAF I have read has said it is super-quick but not as precise even "through the lens dslr" and can need a touch of CDAF for final ultimate precision.

Maybe it is not so much as a fault of the camera but a needed understanding of what the camera is doing.

PDAF via the GRDIV "window" is quick but if ultimate precision is lacking then take a deep breath and slow the shutter press down.

Of course we must pay tribute to Ricoh for even daring to give any of its compact cameras the PDAF capability.  I am not sure that any others have done this. I am certainly not wishing away the PDAF capability in my GRDIV.

Maybe there is a way to temporarily shut the PDAF down so that comparative testing could be made.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to klauspauk, 10 months ago

klauspauk wrote:

glimpy wrote:

I have read where multiple folks had focus issues develop with the GRD IV, and a pricey repair. Is this a wide spread issue? Would hate to buy a used one and then double the price with repairs.

TIA

Where did you read that ?

I had the same reaction.  I don't think it is generic or widespread.  There is one thread at least where there were comments on it.

Universally there seems to be no problem with the very similar GRDIII.  The GRDIV differs from the GRDIII by the addition of IS and the re-introduction of the phase detect focus window.

Schaki seem to have nailed the possible "problem".  I have made a post of the subject (above).  My guess is that a rapid press of the shutter can short circuit the normal slower press PDAF + CDAF routine and rely on PDAF (you are in a hurry I supppose).  Therefore the focus is as reliable as PDAF can be on its own.  Through the lens PDAF must be "looking" at precisely the same object as the photographer but a PDAF window has a parallax problem and may sometimes not be precisely accurate.

I would rather understand and work around this "problem" than not have PDAF capability.

For those to whom this is an insurmountable problem - the GRDIII is a very similar camera and does not have the IS and PDAF "features".  There seems to be no reported problems of GRDIII focusing.

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schaki
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 10 months ago

Tom Caldwell wrote:

schaki wrote:

Seems no better than that Ricoh almost reinvented the hit and miss AF which affected at least some of the Ricoh Caplio R5. Could this be related to the PDAF maybe which both R5 and the GRDIV have got? I doubt it is the IS but these which have the focus problem can test to turn off the IS and test if the problem still is there. The GRDIII didn't have PDAF as far as I remember and maybe not IS either.

Considering this problem seems enough widespread (has not seen possible topics on Flickr on this subject yet) Ricoh should fix this problem without cost even if the camera is out of warranty.

Maybe there is a way to temporarily shut the PDAF down so that comparative testing could be made.

Just put a small bit of black tape or anything else in front of the PDAF Windows, then the camera will be forced to use ccd AF instead to focus. It works that way with GRDI and the other older Ricohs which also have PDAF, though older, different PDAF sensors compared to the GRDIV, CX5 and CX6.

But it should be the same in the end anyway, that the camera tries to use ccd AF if it can't use PDAF for some reason. For sure the GRDIV uses ccd AF in macro at least.

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klauspauk
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to glimpy, 10 months ago

glimpy wrote:

Read the thread. Link is above.

So there is one person with a focus problem ?

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schaki
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to klauspauk, 10 months ago

klauspauk wrote:

glimpy wrote:

Read the thread. Link is above.

So there is one person with a focus problem ?

I've had a similar problem with a near mint condition GRDI for some time ago. Finally got a new lens assembly due to dust issues while it still was within warranty. But I've not used it due to it was a bad copy of that lens so I don't know if the focus problem still is there.

There is a thread for Within warranty related experiences which I mostly wrote about the problem there. http://dpreview.com/forums/thread/3138851

I didn't make that thread because for that problem alone but as it seemed like that Convar repair service in Germany which handle repairs for most Eu Countries has been a real struggle not only to me but others as well.

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Allen George
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 10 months ago

Yeah - IS was the first thing I suspected. I turned it off, and although I noticed an improvement, the images were still slightly OOF.

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schaki
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Re: Looking at GRD IV - read about focus problems?
In reply to Allen George, 9 months ago

Any news regarding this focus problem?

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