GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Runnicle
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to AscherJim, 7 months ago

Jim, I found 5 ebay offers for 135mm Schneider DKL mount lenses, but not one 35mm for sale. The search term that I used on eBay was "Schneider DKL lens."

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GXRuser
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Runnicle wrote:

Jim, I'll be looking forward to seeing in action some of the lenses you named. Speaking of Nikon zooms, their Series 1 75mm -150mm has a reputation for sharpness, and produced great results for me on Nex 7. I wonder if this might be one of the Nikon zooms you intend to try on GXR?

The Series 1 lenses were sold by Vivitar in mounts for Canon FD, Nikon F, Minolta MD, Pentax K, and Olympus OM.

There were many contract optical manufacturers.

The 75-150 was manufactured by Kiron and Tokina.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivitar

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Runnicle wrote:

Tom, just as you predicted...I wish now that I had ordered two of the LC-2, one for p10 and the second for s10. I now realize that these lens covers are different from the typical lens covers of my previous experience in that they're intended for permanent installation on a single lensor unit. Until I actually received one, though, I thought that I could just transfer the lens cap casually between p10 and s10 as the need arose; I now see that this was an uninformed, faulty assumption. No big deal, I'll just have to order another one.

I've also been experimenting assigning whole screen magnification to one fn button, and focus assist mode to the second fn button. I wish that there was a way to assign Mode1/Mode2 as a user-defined function button, but it appears not to be possible; is this consistent with your own understanding of the situation?

Run

Run,

Yes it is a bit frustrating to have to delve into the menu to get the Focus Peaking Modes changed.

But the GXR is so versatile that a way can be found. Set one of your My Modes to exactly how you wish and using (say) Mode 1. Then save this setting to another mode and edit it to using Mode 2 focus peaking. Then you can just change modes and one can have FP #1 and the other FP #2. Just a flip of the dial on top.

The mode settings are completely customisable to user choice.

Try this link for an xls spreadsheet of the possible mode settings on the GXR:

http://ricohforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=7013&hilit=matrix&start=10#p34208

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Runnicle
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to GXRuser, 7 months ago

Yes indeed you are correct, and I must apologize for misleading the thread. The 75 - 150 Nikon zoom that I have is NOT the Vivitar Series 1, but rather Nikon's own "economy line," their E-Series, in which I also have their 70-210, also manual focus.

Matt Durr reviewed most of the Nikon Series E lenses on the Nex Talk thread about a year ago. His positive comments led me to acquire the two zooms I have, and which I have shot on Nex-7, but not yet on GXR. Sorry about my confusing Series-1 for Series-E.

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AscherJim
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Runnicle wrote:

Jim, I found 5 ebay offers for 135mm Schneider DKL mount lenses, but not one 35mm for sale. The search term that I used on eBay was "Schneider DKL lens."

Run: Try using this as your eBay search designation: SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH RETINA CURTAGON f2.8/35MM LENS.

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Runnicle
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to AscherJim, 7 months ago

Jim, yes, your query produced at least one hit.  But nowhere in the listing does it actually say which mount it is. You know that it is DKL, and I do, but what about the rest of the world?  Contrast that with other listings of SK lenses in which the mount type is stated explicitly in the narrative description.  Best of luck in your quest for a good copy of this lens.  Let us know what happens.

Runnicle

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Runnicle
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 7 months ago

Tom, as always thanks for the tips.  I'll be experimenting and growing into the GXR M-mount over time.  Because of its multiple applications and facets, the GXR takes a long time to learn in full, particularly considering the fact that each lensor unit is in effect its own camera.

I find this forum invaluable as an educational tool, and I'd also like to recommend to every one's attention another resource that to me represents the equivalent of a graduate-level course in GXR's M-mount.  I am referring to Michael Reichmann's "Field Notes" on the M-mount that he wrote way back when this lensor unit was first introduced.

His comments are particularly valuable, I feel, because of his half-century as a photographer during which he used every Leica camera system except for one (the M-6).  So, when he talks about how GXR stacks up against M8 or M9, you feel as if you are getting the benefit of a truly expert and informed opinion.  Also, at the end of his long treatise on the M-module he links to another LL article on the GXR by Sean Reid.  Here's the link to Reichmann's article for those who may never have read it:

M. Reichmann's article on GXR-M

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Tom Caldwell
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Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Runnicle wrote:

Tom, as always thanks for the tips. I'll be experimenting and growing into the GXR M-mount over time. Because of its multiple applications and facets, the GXR takes a long time to learn in full, particularly considering the fact that each lensor unit is in effect its own camera.

I find this forum invaluable as an educational tool, and I'd also like to recommend to every one's attention another resource that to me represents the equivalent of a graduate-level course in GXR's M-mount. I am referring to Michael Reichmann's "Field Notes" on the M-mount that he wrote way back when this lensor unit was first introduced.

His comments are particularly valuable, I feel, because of his half-century as a photographer during which he used every Leica camera system except for one (the M-6). So, when he talks about how GXR stacks up against M8 or M9, you feel as if you are getting the benefit of a truly expert and informed opinion. Also, at the end of his long treatise on the M-module he links to another LL article on the GXR by Sean Reid. Here's the link to Reichmann's article for those who may never have read it:

M. Reichmann's article on GXR-M

Run

Thanks for linking Reichmann's article, I did read it some time ago but I had forgotten how much he had "damned th GXR-M with faint praise" and spent so much time talking about how good Leica was in a review that was purportedly one about a Ricoh camera with M mount module "you should really have a M9 but you probably could not afford one". Otherwise wait for the NEX7.

Obviously all reviews must necessarily be coloured by the reviewers own pre-perceptions.

Things that irritate are:

Praise of the Leica "build quality", Ricoh is good, but ... so as my Ricoh cameras are also well built and seem to last forever, no gaps, squeaks, rattles or movement, buttons and wheels hang in there well, then how much heavier does a GXR have to be to meet "Leica build quality?"

The old ostentatious saw: "I only shoot raw" (therefore in-camera jpg is useless). Ricoh fixed this for those that do and immediately raised complaints that the tiny embedded jpg in dng files was too small for the (jpg) playback image. If jpg was soooo bad then even using it in playback would not be useful at all and raw shooters could simply wait until, like the days of film, for the soft glow of "the darkroom". Ricoh now graciously provides "raw only" but with a very small embedded jpg for unmagnified playback. It is not that I have any problem with shooting raw and do this myself it is the use of it as a "superiority" by-word as if only the most mature photographers disdain to use the in-camera raw processing and must back their own laboratory processing against what the camera can do.

I am going to get into trouble over the previous paragraph but happily say that when the in-camera processed jpg is good enough for my "slack" photography then I save myself the trouble of re-processing it myself. When I make a mistake in capture or have a really great image (occasionally) I like to process the raw file that I save as well. However to say "I only do raw" is to say that your captures are all either mistakes from sloppy technique or excellent eye-popping captures. The third possibility is that all raw files are simply batch processed in PP and therefore the user must believe that Adobe or someone else has a smarter appreciation of what you and your camera was thinking abbout at the time and the best efforts of the guy who produced the custom raw processing routine in camera.

The having to delete the jpg captures is also the Australian "Furphy" as by producing jpg from the raw file captures you only end up creating much the same thing, but I have no doubt about and willingly endorse that intelligent processing of a raw file can and does refine captures but the benefit is less apparent when the camera is set up correctly at time of capture. If the white balance is not right then processing raw is the best solution.

Having that rant out of the way ... ;

Reichmann dismisses Mode 2 focus peaking as "cartoonish" thereby showing his long association with RF cameras and optical viewfinders. This is not really fair to him has he does go to some pains to describe just why the optical RF might be becoming a trade of the past. But he seems to like the NEX focus peaking system in preference.

I had wondered about the Sony system of focus peaking as compared to the two Ricoh systems but did not know how they directly compared until I bought a NEX6 some months ago. If you have used either of the Ricoh focus peaking systems for any time then the Sony implementation will drive you mad. I presume that all on this forum have some idea on how the Ricoh systems work so I will mainly comment on what Sony offers.

Firstly as "features" Sony allows three levels of peak thickness lines and three optional colours. As will be shown these are effectively "features made out of necessity" and only partly compensate for the basic weakness of Sony focus peaking. It does not seem to be scaled to screen magnification. On a non magnified screen the peaks tend to blend together into one thick mass that I call "ink-blot" this is because the level of focus peaking is too high and everything "nearly in focus" is peaked - the result is that it is generally only useful for zone focus type operation. Follow focus with a wide angle lens is more possible with Sony focus peaking as (say) Ricoh's mode 2 is simply too accurate and you usually spend some time madly twisting the focus ring to maintain that precise accuracy. Ricoh Mode 1 is better for follow focus as the dof can generally be seem by the area covered by the shimmer. Mode 1 is similar to Sony FP but does not seem to degenerate into the "ink blot". Once magfication level 1 (4.6x on the NEX6) is used the ink blot goes away and is replaced by a Mode 1 type shimmer - this is the best and probably only practical level of Sony FP. By the time you get to their only other level of magnification at level 2 (9.6x on the NEX6) the focus peaking has disappeared on all but the highest resolving lenses, even when there are very faint edge traces left you have to (slowly) hunt for them and it is always easier to simply use your personal eye-judgement on the most excellent high resolution Sony screen. At this level of magnification to all extent Sony's focus peaking is in name only. Contrast this with Ricoh's Mode 2 which is still quite active at 8x magnification and can be used to precisely focus on a very small point of focus.

"Cartoonish" the Mode 2 might be but it works very well and I will excuse Mr Reichmann on the grounds that the GXR-M is probably a more sophisticated camera than any Leica no matter what anyone feels about "build quality" and it is certainly "streets ahead" of the NEX in the focus peaking department. Unfortunately the GXR cannot even nearly compete as a user camera in the built in evf and tilt lcd department.

The last indignity of the NEX6 that makes a user of magnified focus peaking boil in frustration is that a soft press of the shutter cancels the magnified focus peaking permanently (!!) This means: get your focus right by level 2 magnification (the only one that works in any serious snese) then soft press to check framing, clunk the magnified screen is gone. Grope around for the low placed flush fitting "soft key B" practically dislocating your thumb in the process, pick up first level of magnification again ... repeat as is necessary. Worse when you cannot find the point of focus in your magnified image and need a temporary "normal" screen to locate it.

"Mode 2" might be cartoonish but is certainly works and works very quickly. It is a most excellent focusing tool only and I can live with the cartoons. I am afraid that, with respect, Mr Reichmann did not stay with the GXR-M long enough to really appreciate just how well the whole combination worked in practice. It was a good review but I doubt if his "faint praise" sold too many Ricoh GXR cameras.

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Tom Caldwell
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Mode settings matrix speadsheet
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Run,

Did you follow my link to the spreadsheet showing the full matrix of possibilities for the My Mode settings?  It also lists the shortcuts I was aware of that are otherwise only documented here and there on this forum.

I also recommend a presence on Pavel Kudrys ricohforum.com as it is a good source of information - unfortunately a lot of tips and hints and user experience tend to "disappear into the woodwork" over time (as happens on here as well).

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N Desmond
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

A wee late in the mail, but my DKL to M42 adapter arrived last night. Very nicely packaged, just as a quality piece should be.

Tom - You are absolutely right about its sturdiness and amazing fit with DKL lens. When attaching SK 2.8 50mm, there was a solid "click" as it went into place.

Only able to experiment in living room with incandescent light. Hope there's time later today to test outside. Will report back.

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Tom Caldwell
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DKL adapter
In reply to N Desmond, 7 months ago

N Desmond wrote:

A wee late in the mail, but my DKL to M42 adapter arrived last night. Very nicely packaged, just as a quality piece should be.

Tom - You are absolutely right about its sturdiness and amazing fit with DKL lens. When attaching SK 2.8 50mm, there was a solid "click" as it went into place.

Only able to experiment in living room with incandescent light. Hope there's time later today to test outside. Will report back.

Glad you like it.  Lots of talk about how great Novoflex is but I hink that you might agree that Yeenon make pretty good adapters as well.

The DKL lenses seem on the whole a bit slow and they are heavy, sturdy things and quite sharp.  I bought a few and their main problem seems to be that their focus can be quite stiff.  They are horrible things to work on as the mechanism at the back of the lens is very complex and not to be meddled with.  Usually stiff focus is down to hardened lubricaton on the helicoids but in the case of these lenses I think they also get a bit of build up of surface "verdigris" on the brass part that extends out the back of the lens (which may not be the "real" problem but certainly does not help).

In any case if yours is smooth then no problem but be careful if a vendor says the focus is stiff - it seems devilishly hard to fix.  I have repaired, cleaned and lubricated a few lenses now but a DKL has been my only real disaster.  Will get brave and try another sticky one when my hair grows back

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AscherJim
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Runnicle wrote:

Jim, yes, your query produced at least one hit. But nowhere in the listing does it actually say which mount it is. You know that it is DKL, and I do, but what about the rest of the world? Contrast that with other listings of SK lenses in which the mount type is stated explicitly in the narrative description. Best of luck in your quest for a good copy of this lens. Let us know what happens.

Runnicle

Run:  Received today both the SK DKL 35mm f.2.8 lens (ordered from eBay at what I thought was a quite reasonable price -- $80 USD) in excellent condition, and the Fotodiox DKL:>Nikon adapter (which joined perfectly with my Nikon:>M-mount adapter) on my GXR.  The lens aperture settings on the DKL Fotodiox adapter meshed perfectly with the aperture mechanism on the lens, and were clearly marked  and easy to set on the adapter's barrel.  And no problem with infinity focus.  So, I am very pleased that that adapter combination worked out well, and is a good alternative option, especially for those of us who also use Nikon lenses with our GXR.  Now, for some picture-taking -- when the rain here in Seattle stops.  Jim

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sroute
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 7 months ago

Mode 2 in decent light with a contrasty subject works well.

Reverse those two attributes and it's a sea of mush which not only gets in the way of achieving focus but actively blocks effective composition. Magnification doesn't come to the rescue in those conditions because of the noise typically present in such situations as the camera gains up the system to present a viewable image.

A good idea, limited by the technology of the day, the GXR's various focus assists do not stand up in comparison well at all with the new kid on the block -- the Sony A7/r cameras -- with which manual focus has never been easier, in my experience.

My keeper rate, focus wise, is much higher with the A7r and I thought I was pretty good at it with the GXR/M.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to sroute, 7 months ago

sroute wrote:

Mode 2 in decent light with a contrasty subject works well.

Reverse those two attributes and it's a sea of mush which not only gets in the way of achieving focus but actively blocks effective composition. Magnification doesn't come to the rescue in those conditions because of the noise typically present in such situations as the camera gains up the system to present a viewable image.

A good idea, limited by the technology of the day, the GXR's various focus assists do not stand up in comparison well at all with the new kid on the block -- the Sony A7/r cameras -- with which manual focus has never been easier, in my experience.

My keeper rate, focus wise, is much higher with the A7r and I thought I was pretty good at it with the GXR/M.

Well I can't say that I have even seen an A7r, at least until next Monday when I might be able to comment better  when a son arrives with his new toy.  My comments on focus peaking were not directed so much at what plain MF can do with a high resolution built in evf or even an lcd using eye-focus alone.  I find the Sony-type focus peaking disappointing after the Ricoh Mode2 system (warts and all) as a focus peaking system and the Sony system is only rescued by their very good evf on the NEX6 at least which makes the "disappeared" Sony focus peaking much less relevent at high magnification as the focus is much more apparent to the eye than the lapsed peaking can or will show.

So it is much more relevent to discuss the ability to focus manually by extra-clear and precise magnified evf by eyesight than to throw bricks at the Ricoh Mode2 system which as a system walks all over the Sony focus peaking method as ann available tool.

I fully agree that the NEX6 (at least and to my personal knowledge) provides a much superior plain focus experience by evf than what the Ricoh GXR can provide either by clip on evf or by lcd.

However I quite like the Mode2 focus peaking and have not felt particularly disadvantaged at any time by its use, nor has it bothered my compositional mind. I tend to vary the lcd screen magnification as might be appropriate and now find the Clearviewer accessory indispensable for any bright outdoor work.  I realise that this is not high quality evf by any wild imagination but it does work well in bright light for focusing in conjuction with Mode2.  I gave up on the clip on evf - too cumbersome ( even compared to the Clearviewer ... that might be a statement!) But the Clearviewer attached and in use seems to give a more natural "eyefinder" grip than the higher mounted clip on evf (more especially so with a larger format lens).  My experience only, others may differ.

It seems that some are most happy with the most realistic composition images and others are satisfied by abstract representation. Nothing could lean more to the abstract than using a Clearviewer with Mode2 on a bright sunny day.  Nothing wrong with either approach as it is merely a matter of style and preference  and how the brain works.

While I really appreciate the NEX6 - great evf, great tilt lcd, good sensor, good images, fast shot to shot recycling.  In use it is not such a happy camera as the GXR.  Presumably the A7r is better from a serious user point of view.  When I tried to buy one locally the dealers were all ho-hum about the Sony FF sensor camera's prospects  (stocked to the eyeballs with other gear?).  Seems that I might be the only excited would be A7r early adopter in our little regional city.  Yesterday I was asked separately twice on how to activate the zoom on my GR when showing it off to a group of friends - this says a lot about why local dealers are not all that impressed at carrying stocks of the A7 type - or Ricoh cameras for that matter.

Therefore hype about the A7 type is much more concentrated on the Sony forum than the excitement out there in camera-buying land. Pre-Christmas catalogues are full of Canon and Nikon kits at various price levels with the occasional Sony Alpha - not one of them mentions sensor size amongst the sell-hype.

Until the dealers get large stocks of the A7 type at good margins they are going to still push the dslr body no matter what sensor is inside.  Nothing like the $$$$ return and they are supposed to be advising folk on the best cameera for their needs ....

Meanwhile I might be one of the very few (only) who actually uses Mode2 magnified with pinpoint focus on the GR to focus on a precise point.  Works well and certainly better than the GR's rugged MF routine.

Note that the GR introduced negative versions of Mode1 and Mode2 on the GR - the overall idea is that the modes can be adapted where there are extremes of bright or low light.  Ahhhh Ricoh cameras - so much to know so much to learn, maybe it is easier just to go take photographs?

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AscherJim
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 7 months ago

Tom Caldwell wrote:

However I quite like the Mode2 focus peaking and have not felt particularly disadvantaged at any time by its use, nor has it bothered my compositional mind. I tend to vary the lcd screen magnification as might be appropriate and now find the Clearviewer accessory indispensable for any bright outdoor work....But the Clearviewer attached and in use seems to give a more natural "eyefinder" grip than the higher mounted clip on evf (more especially so with a larger format lens). My experience only, others may differ.

It seems that some are most happy with the most realistic composition images and others are satisfied by abstract representation. Nothing could lean more to the abstract than using a Clearviewer with Mode2 on a bright sunny day....

Tom Caldwell

Tom: I have been a very satisfied Clearviewer user for years now, on various of my non-SLR cameras, both with its tripod mounting and its hotshoe mounting. I am now using its hotshoe mount, in the fashion you describe, with my GXR M-mount and Mode2 focus peaking, and find it by far the best focusing method for my GXR (along with screen magnification). Thanks for doing the advance work (testing) of this method, which I have adapted with success. Jim

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dbledsoe
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

I've been absent for a bit but hope to post more soon.

I received notice from Jon Van Stelton at Focal Point that my Leica 50mm f/2.5 Hektor has been CLA'd and is on its way back to me.  I am really looking forward to using this lens.  I had one years ago, also CLA'd by John back then, but never used it that much nor scanned any images since that was back in the late 90's, pre-digital age.  I ended up selling it shortly after CLA for what reason I don't recall.

Don

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sroute
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 7 months ago

Tom Caldwell wrote:
I find the Sony-type focus peaking disappointing after the Ricoh Mode2 system

I'd be happier if Sony had even Mode 1 level focus peaking. Even on the A7r I find FP good for quick zone focus, not so good for nailing critical focus or even acceptable focus, not without magnification.

I leave it on, for manual focus only, and on low so as to not interfere too much. But primarily I'm using the excellent screens, with or without magnification.

than to throw bricks at the Ricoh Mode2 system which as a system walks all over the Sony focus peaking method as ann available tool.

Mode 2 doesn't work well in lower light, nor does the GXR EVF period -- that's where I'm throwing bricks at, mostly.

I fully agree that the NEX6 (at least and to my personal knowledge) provides a much superior plain focus experience by evf than what the Ricoh GXR can provide either by clip on evf or by lcd.

Just wait until you spend some quality time with the A7 / A7r. The first day I had it I was focussing, using the rear LCD only, a Distagon 28/2.8 on an object. I'd not yet learned where the magnification feature was hiding nor peaking. Nailed the focus first time, easy as can be. Most lenses I've mounted have provided the same sort of experience - focus unmagnified seems to pop into place.

It's pleasantly unnerving.

I'm not here to abuse the GXR. I've kept mine and it continues to serve a purpose here at Chez SRoute.

While I really appreciate the NEX6 - great evf, great tilt lcd, good sensor, good images, fast shot to shot recycling. In use it is not such a happy camera as the GXR. Presumably the A7r is better from a serious user point of view.

Sony could make one change that would make the A7/r (and perhaps also the NEX-6) cameras more friendly to manual focus lens owners -  improve the configuration of the zoom function.  The GXR is great in this regard.

Therefore hype about the A7 type is much more concentrated on the Sony forum than the excitement out there in camera-buying land.

Depends on where you live. In one German shop their first delivery of A7 / A7r cameras totalled 1,000 units, every single one being presold. My dealer pre-sold all they could get allocated to them except for two units and apparently those only because buyers switched from A7 to A7r; the "R for resolution" version outselling the A7 here 3 to 1.

How this all plays out in the long run, who knows, but my bet is that Sony is on to a winning formula and like most such things it will take some time before it becomes obvious to all.

Pre-Christmas catalogues are full of Canon and Nikon kits at various price levels with the occasional Sony Alpha - not one of them mentions sensor size amongst the sell-hype.

Until the dealers get large stocks of the A7 type at good margins they are going to still push the dslr body no matter what sensor is inside. Nothing like the $$$$ return and they are supposed to be advising folk on the best cameera for their needs ....

An A7r must have reasonable margins, certainly no worse than selling a D600. What they don't have is a bevy of lenses, yet, by which to make incremental sales. That will come with time.

My point in talking about the Sony development is to underscore that from where I stand, Sony has made quite a few improvements that make a difference for usability. The camera feels far removed from my past NEX experience and is much closer to how I perceive the GXR.  I'd have liked Ricoh to build this camera - they probably would have done it two steps better... or at least that's what I used to feel. Now, I'm not so sure. Sony has been pushing the tech forward. The new EVF is brilliant. They could use Ricoh's focal plane shutter though.

I'd still like Ricoh to build a camera like this but just don't see it happening as the hill might be too steep for them to climb.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to AscherJim, 7 months ago

AscherJim wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

However I quite like the Mode2 focus peaking and have not felt particularly disadvantaged at any time by its use, nor has it bothered my compositional mind. I tend to vary the lcd screen magnification as might be appropriate and now find the Clearviewer accessory indispensable for any bright outdoor work....But the Clearviewer attached and in use seems to give a more natural "eyefinder" grip than the higher mounted clip on evf (more especially so with a larger format lens). My experience only, others may differ.

It seems that some are most happy with the most realistic composition images and others are satisfied by abstract representation. Nothing could lean more to the abstract than using a Clearviewer with Mode2 on a bright sunny day....

Tom Caldwell

Tom: I have been a very satisfied Clearviewer user for years now, on various of my non-SLR cameras, both with its tripod mounting and its hotshoe mounting. I am now using its hotshoe mount, in the fashion you describe, with my GXR M-mount and Mode2 focus peaking, and find it by far the best focusing method for my GXR (along with screen magnification). Thanks for doing the advance work (testing) of this method, which I have adapted with success. Jim

Glad that we agree Jim.  It is not as good as a nice built in high resolution evf, but in the absence of that I actually use it regularly but have never been too bothered with the clip on evf.  Why this is so is harder to explain.

The evf gives all the information in its readout and can swivel through 90 degrees, it is useful.  But I find it badly positioned, especially for larger lenses.  It is big enough to be awkward both on and off camera, and of course it has no auto-switch to and from the lcd.  It also looks delicate and is easily knocked.

The Clearviewer even with the premium lens is not of particularly good resolution.  Best described as adequate.  But it is useable in bright light in circumstances where the lcd is a washout.  It works like a large evf off the lcd and can show all information.  This is the real clue to its success, in use it feels like you are using a traditional viewfinder, right stance, right grip, and good balance.  Great with larger lenses on board. However anyone looking for perfection might be disappointed.

Using mode2 peaking allows better utilisation on a bright day.  I have the hot shoe version and it is easily folded up temporarily out of the direct way.  This only leaves it slightly less awkward than the clip on evf and certainly not "packable", but this is easily resolved by slipping the Clearviwer out of its socket when it then becomes a slim easily packed, object or slipped into a pocket.

This does not sound like a great recommendation but I am quite enamoured with it as a tool and my camera now feels "naked" without it when out and about.  It is now part of my regular equipment whilst the evf, often carried, was rarely used.

I like the Clearviewer enough to no longer be so fixated by the need for a built in evf and tilt screen on any GXR body replacement.  If the mythical GXRII were to be about GR body size then there might be no room for either built in evf or tilt screen.  So be it.  Give me a Clearviewer and I will be happy.

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Tom Caldwell

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to sroute, 7 months ago

sroute wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:
I find the Sony-type focus peaking disappointing after the Ricoh Mode2 system

I'd be happier if Sony had even Mode 1 level focus peaking. Even on the A7r I find FP good for quick zone focus, not so good for nailing critical focus or even acceptable focus, not without magnification.

I have the NEX6 on medium line strength.  On a high resolution lens with good dof the peaking degenerates into an ink blot on unmagnified screen.  At first level magnificationit is quite useful, but has usually disappeared by second level magnification.  I have found re-assigning th AEL lock key to trigger magnification better than the thumb muscle destroying soft key B. Especially when soft shutter press permanently cancels screen magnification.

I leave it on, for manual focus only, and on low so as to not interfere too much. But primarily I'm using the excellent screens, with or without magnification.

than to throw bricks at the Ricoh Mode2 system which as a system walks all over the Sony focus peaking method as ann available tool.

Mode 2 doesn't work well in lower light, nor does the GXR EVF period -- that's where I'm throwing bricks at, mostly.

I find that if the Ricoh focus peaking stumbles in low or bright light situations then a temporary play with the very easily used EV control can help. I also don't have a lot of regard for the clip on evf.

I fully agree that the NEX6 (at least and to my personal knowledge) provides a much superior plain focus experience by evf than what the Ricoh GXR can provide either by clip on evf or by lcd.

Just wait until you spend some quality time with the A7 / A7r. The first day I had it I was focussing, using the rear LCD only, a Distagon 28/2.8 on an object. I'd not yet learned where the magnification feature was hiding nor peaking. Nailed the focus first time, easy as can be. Most lenses I've mounted have provided the same sort of experience - focus unmagnified seems to pop into place.

It's pleasantly unnerving.

I'm not here to abuse the GXR. I've kept mine and it continues to serve a purpose here at Chez SRoute.

While I really appreciate the NEX6 - great evf, great tilt lcd, good sensor, good images, fast shot to shot recycling. In use it is not such a happy camera as the GXR. Presumably the A7r is better from a serious user point of view.

Sony could make one change that would make the A7/r (and perhaps also the NEX-6) cameras more friendly to manual focus lens owners - improve the configuration of the zoom function. The GXR is great in this regard.

Therefore hype about the A7 type is much more concentrated on the Sony forum than the excitement out there in camera-buying land.

Depends on where you live. In one German shop their first delivery of A7 / A7r cameras totalled 1,000 units, every single one being presold. My dealer pre-sold all they could get allocated to them except for two units and apparently those only because buyers switched from A7 to A7r; the "R for resolution" version outselling the A7 here 3 to 1.

How this all plays out in the long run, who knows, but my bet is that Sony is on to a winning formula and like most such things it will take some time before it becomes obvious to all.

Pre-Christmas catalogues are full of Canon and Nikon kits at various price levels with the occasional Sony Alpha - not one of them mentions sensor size amongst the sell-hype.

Until the dealers get large stocks of the A7 type at good margins they are going to still push the dslr body no matter what sensor is inside. Nothing like the $$$$ return and they are supposed to be advising folk on the best cameera for their needs ....

An A7r must have reasonable margins, certainly no worse than selling a D600. What they don't have is a bevy of lenses, yet, by which to make incremental sales. That will come with time.

My point in talking about the Sony development is to underscore that from where I stand, Sony has made quite a few improvements that make a difference for usability. The camera feels far removed from my past NEX experience and is much closer to how I perceive the GXR. I'd have liked Ricoh to build this camera - they probably would have done it two steps better... or at least that's what I used to feel. Now, I'm not so sure. Sony has been pushing the tech forward. The new EVF is brilliant. They could use Ricoh's focal plane shutter though.

I'd still like Ricoh to build a camera like this but just don't see it happening as the hill might be too steep for them to climb.

Ricoh is the inscrutible in the camera company business.  It does not play normal rules.  Has a certain "Citroenesque" ideology about what they produce - don't follow conventional logic and do things their own way.  The user just has to like what they get which in my own maverick way I usually do.  I see Sony as the technical bravura - all brilliant technology roughly lashed together with bits of firmware string and not quite right user interface.  But it works in a more fumble fingered way.  With my stock of MF lenses I am an obvious candidate for the A7 type or a Ricoh equivalent made from a box of left over Sony parts.  I have half a mind to wait a few more months to see if Ricoh shows any more sign of life.  I already have enough cameras to keep me happy, the A7r would be an indulgence but I would hate to be faced with a " necessary" double indulgence from Ricoh some time down the track as I am sure Ricoh would make a more pleasant to use camera should they decide to make me my GR sized GXRII  

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Tom Caldwell

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dbledsoe
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Re: GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.
In reply to Runnicle, 7 months ago

Sadly I guess it is time to give up on this thread.  It should have been good, could have been great, but it lost it's mojo.  I think it better when it was talking specifically to Leica lenses and the GXR camera.

Got my Leica 50/2.5 Hektor back from CLA via Focal Point yesterday but think I will start a new thread to address that.  This thread is lame.

Merry Christmas to all!

Don

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'The trouble with normal is it always gets worse.'
Bruce Cockburn

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