This month in my One Month One Camera project I’ve returned to an old favourite, the Ricoh GR Digital III.
Despite being one of the more expensive used cameras I’ve bought (around £150 in 2018), it’s more than earned its keep.
In fact I enjoy using the GRD III so much, I feel like there’s barely anything left to say about it.
In short, it has the best interface and handling I’ve experienced with any camera, and one of the, if not the, best lenses.
Its close focus of 0.01m, fast f/1.9 maximum aperture and the fact that it’s a fixed prime (28mm) lens, make it unbeatable.
Add the high contrast b/w mode which gives me an inky, roughed up look straight out of camera, or a simple b/w mode that I can then process with Snapseed to really show off the lens and sensor’s magic, and I can’t think of anything it lacks.
So I’ll say no more!
Aside from strictly limiting my choice of cameras for a month, and the freedom I feel that brings, one of the other purposes of the OMOC project is to see which cameras are long term keepers.
In the past I’ve dismissed too many too soon, simply because I’ve had so many cameras overall, and felt I needed to get rid of some, before they were given a fair run – or were even used at all.
With the Ricoh GR Digital III, I knew it was a keeper about five minutes after I received it a couple of years ago, and the more I’ve used it, the more I’ve appreciated it.
I’m hoping that in other months of this project this year, I’ll be able to further hone down my core keepers and let go of a few that are good, but not outstanding or unique enough to warrant hanging on to.
For now though, over to you. Do you have any cameras that feel about as perfect as they can be?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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6 thoughts on “One Month One Camera – Feb 2020 (II) – Ricoh GR Digital III – Lost For Words?”
Nice one. Love the b&w look from this camera and would love to try it out.
I’ve been shooting with my Fuji X70 for 4 years now and i live it. I know it inside out. Im not a big fan of changing cameras too often, it’s not about gear in the end but it’s true that sometimes certain cameras just give you that extra motivation to shoot more.
Thanks Yuri. In my view you have the best of both with the GRD III in terms of image. You can either use the in camera special modes like high contrast mono or cross processed (which I wrote about here – https://35hunter.blog/2019/05/09/the-colour-quest-iii-cross-processed-ricoh-grd-iii/) or you can shoot with just the standard b/w mode and then process afterwards to really bring out the lens/sensor combo’s qualities, in shots like this –
You can even shoot RAW if that’s your thing, but for me the spirit of the GRD III is to take your time to set it up how you want it then just use it like it’s invisible and get images you love time and time again.
I note the X70 also has a fixed 28mm lens, and looks like it handles well. I think I’d like it!
Yes, the x70 has the fixed 28mm with an option of 35 and 50 in-lense crop which pretty good and i use it sometimes as for presets, i sometimes use the tri-x for b&w photos when higher contrast is desired.
My next camera will be the perfect one 😉
Seriously… I think the Pentax DSLRs in general feel really good in my hand. I adored my K20D in terms of handling but didn’t care that much for the sensor. I adore my K10D’s sensor but the handling isn’t quite as nice as my other Pentax cameras, particularly in terms of the grip. The K-S1 is a compromise – the best size of any DSLR I’ve ever touched, with a so-so grip and a very good sensor. It matches very well with a prime, especially the DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro or a 50mm lens.
It would be interesting to do a kind of blind handling test with all the DSLRs you’ve owned and pick your favourite without seeing it.
I think in the past I’ve had cameras I’d probably have really liked but not given them a chance to make a deep enough impression, then been overloaded with cameras and sold or donated a bunch in haste.
The more modern Pentax DSLRs (and indeed any DSLRs) leave me a bit uninspired to be honest. The only one that’s look intriguing in recent(ish) times is the K-01.
Don’t fancy a K-S1 at all? It’s basically the same size of a K-01, but with a nice viewfinder….
I haven’t had that many cameras, so a blind test would probably be met with me guessing the camera every time 🙂 I’ve only had 5 DSLRs, and 3 of those are still with me…