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RICOH GR & 21mm Wide Converter Lens...British Museum Photographs

Paul Abbott

New member
There's not much said online about RICOH's 21mm wide conversion lens and it's performance (other than some snobbery), but I thought I would give it a go and see what kind of resolving power it has.
Having said that I haven't had much time to put it to some good use yet due to my workload and the weather outside but I am itching to do so because from what I can see so far it is a quality piece of glass...

It's a heavy unit and outweighs the camera itself but if you happen to have the GC-6 half-case fitted (a' la moi) then it more than makes up for the weight because of the handier grip.

The rubber lens hood that comes with the lens is a lot of messing about in securing it's fit every-time you use this lens, because in order to protect the lens when not in use you will need to take the hood off so that the dedicated lens cap can be fitted. Both hood and cap do not work together and conflict with each other...Beware that the rubber hood is prone to deform if not taken care of.
There is a thread on the outside of the lens which will accept the dedicated lens cap but it certainly won't take a filter, the bulbous lens glass puts paid to that.
I had an idea of fitting a 62-67mm step-up ring to accommodate a filter and give better protection but i'm still checking this idea out and waiting for these items in the post. Anyway, if a step-up ring and filter can be fitted then that would offer a better option for a different lens hood to be used, if need be...

Right, i'm really so very pleased that I bought this lens because it performs really well. Up to F4 the lens corners are acceptable to good with better sharpness in the centre, at F5.6 and higher the whole frame is sharp, corner to corner and edge to edge. There is a little CA that shows up in using this lens but it's not bad and can be corrected quite easily.

In fitting this lens you will need to select the 'wide' option before use. In using this lens the focusing performance is still quick and accurate, even in Macro mode. Also, 'snap focus' can still be used too.
Anyway, this little unit really turns this camera into a WA specialist now, 21mm, 28mm and of course the 35mm crop.

Here are a couple of shots I took today at the British Museum...







British Museum - London '13 - Paul Abbott
RICOH GR - 21mm wide conversion lens






British Museum, London '13 - Paul Abbott
RICOH GR - 21mm wide conversion lens
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Paul,

Striking work, and a nice report on the use of that supplemental lens.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Hi, Paul,
Nice and much interesting review.
It is quite difficult to juge the quality of the lens (though I fully trust you!) then did you have to correct any vignetting? Are the corners not too soft?
At first glance it seems that there's almost no barreling, did you PP that or just no need?
Thanks for your reply and congrats again for the nice shots!
 

Paul Abbott

New member
Nicolas, there is no vignetting whatsoever, the corners are not soft at all from F5.6. There is a little barreling but it's not extreme, I think that it's well controlled if that can ever be the case and there was no need for any correction of this type in my photos...
I was expecting to see some resolution loss in the sharpness stakes but there isn't any worth reporting, I am so greatly surprised with what this lens has to offer. The GR's 28mm lens and sensor combined with this piece of glass is a winner in my view, great stuff indeed!

There are some people who have used this lens on the DP1 Merrill's with good reports too.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
There's not much said online about RICOH's 21mm wide conversion lens and it's performance (other than some snobbery), but I thought I would give it a go and see what kind of resolving power it has.
Having said that I haven't had much time to put it to some good use yet due to my workload and the weather outside but I am itching to do so because from what I can see so far it is a quality piece of glass...
I am so impressed with your 21mm pictures that IO too purchased the add-on lens. But what a clumsy connection. i'd have expected a machined brass fitting, but it's just plastic for the threaded connection on such a heavy lens! I'm no considering buying a spare lens adapter so it can be used with the beautiful square hood as 28mm. Or else, I'll have one machined!

It's a heavy unit and outweighs the camera itself but if you happen to have the GC-6 half-case fitted (a' la moi) then it more than makes up for the weight because of the handier grip.
I'll look into the grip, but is it still pocketable?

I had an idea of fitting a 62-67mm step-up ring to accommodate a filter and give better protection but i'm still checking this idea out and waiting for these items in the post. Anyway, if a step-up ring and filter can be fitted then that would offer a better option for a different lens hood to be used, if need be...
Paul, I'm keen to learn how this worked out.



Here are a couple of shots I took today at the British Museum...






British Museum - London '13 - Paul Abbott
RICOH GR - 21mm wide conversion lens






British Museum, London '13 - Paul Abbott
RICOH GR - 21mm wide conversion lens


I'm impressed! Did you need to do any corrections? If so with what software?

Asher
 

Paul Abbott

New member
Hey Asher, thanks.

The method in fitting these wide conversion lenses to Ricoh's cameras past and present have been tried and tested. The adapter and tube-like nature ensure a strong and safe fit I feel, I have no issues with it although i'm not about to try and pull the thing off. :)
Anyway, I have had the GW-3 bolted on and the whole unit waved around and in use without any worries or fears.
I do now have two adapters, one fitted with a filter and lens hood for the native 28mm lens, and the other fitted with the GW-3. So now I can change both units over just like changing lenses on a D-SLR. As for the camera being pocketable, I can still fit it in a jacket pocket with either assembly but certainly not any jeans pockets. With the GC-6 grip alone it is still pocketable, no worries...

On the subject of a step-up ring for the 21mm, well the outside diameter is threaded. I have found out that a 62-67mm will cause vignetting with a filter fitted so now I have a 62-72mm and that looks like it will do the job. I'm just waiting on a B+W filter and hood now...I know I know, it sounds like the 21mm is putting on weight and getting bigger but I will post pictures with everything fitted soon...

Anyway, no corrections were made on these photographs at all, Asher.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I do now have two adapters, one fitted with a filter and lens hood for the native 28mm lens, and the other fitted with the GW-3. So now I can change both units over just like changing lenses on a D-SLR. As for the camera being pocketable, I can still fit it in a jacket pocket with either assembly but certainly not any jeans pockets. With the GC-6 grip alone it is still pocketable, no worries...
Paul,

You're so helpful!

So I'll now definitely go for the extra adapter and also the 62-71mm step up ring. But what filters and which hood.? It has a built in ND filter, but do you find you need even more ND filter power or use UV or Polarizing filters too?

Anyway, no corrections were made on these photographs at all, Asher.
That's amazing! So now I have the 21mm setup with the silly rubber hood. I've really tested the 28mm lens well so now this is going to be a great new experience.

Wondering about the anamorphic look of people in the sides of the frame and whether or not they would need correcting.

Also, any opinion on resistance to flare.

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Many people suggest that a focal length roughly equal to the format diagonal size represents "normal" focal length.

The prime lens of the Ricoh GR has a focal length of 64.4% of that, so it can reasonably be thought of as a "wide angle" lens.

So the auxiliary lens under discussion might best called a "wider-angle converter".

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

Wondering about the anamorphic look of people in the sides of the frame and whether or not they would need correcting.
Yes, one needs to be careful. In Texas, for example, anamorphic people are often persecuted, and are not allowed to marry.

Funny, for such a supposedly Chrétien state.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Paul Abbott

New member
Oh damn! Asher, I did have a shot of the British Museum with a woman placed right in the extreme bottom corner of the frame but I deleted it. Anyway, there was a little distortion but I seem to remember that I never considered or felt the need for correcting it, if this helps any.
The guy in my second shot here looked fine to me and I didn't correct his aspect either...

As for the rubber lens hood well, I had been using the lens without it on a couple of occasions when I pointed it towards the sun (but not in it's face), the lens did exhibit some flare but I was amazed at how the overall contrast to the scene hadn't deteriorated, in fact it wasn't affected at all.

On the subject of filters, I only use a UV to protect the lens and for that I look for the best. I consider B+W UV-HAZE 010M MRC NANO XS-PRO to be a great filter with it's thin Schott glass. They're better for flare and I think improve the contrast a tiny bit more than anything else. I had considered a Hoya HD one but they're not as good and are a thicker glass compared to the B+W.
I have also thought about investing in a 5-stop or larger ND filter so as to use a tripod and not have too many people registering in a busy scene, for those important architectural images I plan on shooting. I blame Paul Barkshire for making me think this way. :)
Since going digital I have never bothered with a Polariser...

Doug, your right. It certainly can't be called an ultra-wide angle converter though...Mega-wide comes to my mind. :)
I feel sorry for those anamorphic people, they look so...Chretinous. :)
 
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