my 40 mm GR!

Started Jun 3, 2015 | Discussions thread
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rondom Veteran Member • Posts: 3,277
my 40 mm GR!

I don't usually share pictures online but I have to make an exception this time around!

For a while, I have been pursuing a project that would interest many: Ricoh GR with a 40 mm.
I had my eye on the the Fuji 1.4x teleconverter lens as soon as it was announced, but it took forever to try it.

After hand held tests, I thought that there could be some hope for the fuji coupled with the GR and pulled the trigger. Attaching these guys with Ricoh's gh-3 and a 49-49 mm macro adapter ring is possible, but the resulting image circle is too tiny to be useful. For the proper spacing of the two lenses, both the Fuji the gr needs to be modified.
Gr modification:
It involves removing the front cover that houses the protective blinds. I won't describe the procedure here, the good news is that it is possible without opening the camera body. I would still be reluctant to recommend this to anyone, because it is a rather complicated process, and not easy to reverse if you decide to go back. But this is what the gr looks like afterwords. I kind of dig the looks! The camera starts much more silently too! Of course you need to be more careful with the always naked gr lens!
Fuji modification:
First, you need to disassemble the Fuji lens (it consists of two groups). I had to start by building a 3 legged device to unscrew the back element. Once the lens was disassembled, I shaved off the protruding metal ring around the back element by very carefully sanding it on a flat surface (i used glass) I applied white glue with a touch of soap to create a protective film for the glass. Went all the way down, and stopped just short of reaching the glass.
Then I had to shorten Fuji's aluminum lens housing and prepare a 49 mm thread for attaching it to Ricoh's Gh-3. This was done with proper milling machine with the help of an excellent operator.
In order to avoid vignetting the back element of Fuji and the front of GR need to be less than 1 mm apart...This is for focusing distances from 30 cm to infinity.
Caution: make sure not to switch to macro mode, as the GR lens will further extend and hit the teleconverter lens. For macro mode, I unscrew the lens halfway, and provide more space for the GR to focus from 30 cm to to the minimum 10 cm...(with Fuji that distance is around 20 cm)
Overall, I can say that this combination is excellent. I love the 40 mm equivalent field of view.
-Lovely rendering, Excellent sharpness, contrast and resolution
-Absolutely no flare (other than what GR produces)
-very apparent pincushion distortion, but easily fixable during PP with less than 1 mm equivalent FOV penalty. (probably 38 in real mm terms, approx. 28x1.4 -1mm)
-no vignetting, except when I forget the fuji lens in macro distance and switch to normal range focusing. (it happens a lot, by the way....I truly love this lens in short focusing distances! And it is excellent for portraits- with GR you need to get way too close...this is just fabulous for environmental portraits. I am only sharing one here)
-Some loss of detail at far corners, completely irrelevant in real life.
Looks like the 40 mm will never come off my gr! I just love it. The 35 and 50 crops are now 50 and 70, respectively!
Beyond GR:
Some may argue that the need for tele will be less relevant with the upcoming GR II, as it will most likely have more megapixels. Some truth in that, but I hope to use the modified converter on the new gr as well.
And composing with glass is so much better (regardless of the resolution)
Hopefully with the upcoming GR, Ricoh won't change the lens design too much, as I wouldn't want to modify this once again!
Of course Ricoh may decide to introduce a proper 40 mm adapter with GR II, and problem will be solved! That would make life much more easier for all of guess is I would still continue to use my Fuji (for sentimental reasons, if nothing else---a lot of effort went into this one: it really turned into an obsession!)

note: pictures with architectural elements have both perspective and lens corrections- e.g. sorry for the sloppy crop on #24, at the bottom- but I wanted to preserve the composition. If I were to keep the camera straight it would have been unnecessary....

edit: ok, I give up: I am enclosing few sets of crops from the DNGs both with 28 and 40...feel free to examine.

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