Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Discussion about Ricoh GR Digital II

Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby ryca » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:29 pm

Hi All

I currently shoot with a Fuji X100 & Ricoh GR1s and am looking for a small digi p&s i can use as my "daily walkaround in the pocket" cam.

I really want a GRD as I enjoy fixed focal lengths and 28mm is perfect for me. I only want to spend ~$200-250 tho, so my choices are down to the GRD or GRDII. The thing is though, in my research I only seem to see articles, reviews, praise etc for 3 models:
- GRD, and it's film like grain (noise)
- GRDIII, and it's great IQ and redesign from the GRD/GRD2
- GRD IV, being the best of that series

I hardly see anything written about the GRDII apart from it maybe applies too much NR & that it writes RAW files faster then the original.

I basically only want to shoot JPEGs, mainly B&W, and no PP (want useable files straight out the camera) - will the GRD2 suffice? I am considering buying one as they're available now in my price point and more available than the GRD, but I'm a tad hesitant only because I haven't seen anything written about it... good or bad.

So... Is it a good camera? Why does it seem like the black sheep?
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby Kaver » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:00 pm

Buy the GRD 1 if you shoot jpeg b&w. From iso 64 to 400 is GREAT.
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby X100art » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:12 pm

Right now they have the GR II on sale at B and H on the used section. Very tempting but I already have the GR IV.
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby Blow-in » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:33 am

I've owned the GRD and the GRD2. The GRD2 had some useful improvements in controls and the LCD but some users disliked the NR interference compared to the GRD especially at the higher ISOs. The 2 was probably not the leap forward many were hoping for and that really came with the GRD3. However, the GRD2 is not a bad camera and can produce great results in the real world so if it's as far as your budget will stretch, I'd say go for it.

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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby thelps » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:57 am

I have had all of the GRDs. The GRD II was my first. Functionally I never found the II to be limiting. Perhaps (likely) I dont push my GRDs as hard as others, so it rarely let me down with failing to focus and the exposure was generally spot on.

What I do wonder is IF my II was out of alignment in the lens. I find other people's images sharper than mine ever were. I never really noticed it while I owned it, but since I have seem many a II image that look a lot better than mine. I even tested it once on a tripod. I should have perhaps returned it for service.

Have a look at this group in Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/groups/grdigital2/
This image in particular looks tack sharp and nicely exposed - https://www.flickr.com/photos/s681111/1 ... rdigital2/
Perhaps I got a bad example with my II?

As Richard mentioned, I believe there was some NR applied to RAW files on the II and it could not be turned off, only set to min.
IMO the III was a big jump forward. My III yielded sharp images.
The LCD on the II was much nicer IMO than the I.

So I think the II is a fine camera, if the price is right, just make sure you get a good one!
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby ryca » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:52 pm

thanks for all the advice guys. was about to purchase a new GRDIV for $460, when a brand new GR was offered to me today for $400. i took the GR & am extremely happy with it (apart from not having a dedicated charger!!!!)
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby Tom Caldwell » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:36 am

$400 for a brand new GR - where, where? are there more?

This is giving them away - they are a much better camera than $400 might suggest.

Likewise the GRDIV is possibly a more sophisticated camera then the GR (I said "sophisticated" not necessarily "better"). No more to be had ever and therefore $460 is probably a reasonable buy-price.

There has been an odd rumour or two that the GR was going to be discontinued (replaced?) it is a bit quick for Ricoh's historical model turn-overs. But then this is the new Ricoh/Pentax and anything goes I expect and we must expect a new approach.

There has been a new Ricoh Super-zoom announced seemingly a churn of an earlier Pentax model with super colossal 50 something times zoom (eyes a-boggling) and was it 460 mp resolution lcd. Surely not a premium model.

Pavel is going to have to change to member-models by invitation only if Ricoh are going to stack the decks with all sorts of odd models bearing the Ricoh name. The Theta? Or are only "properly" vetted Ricoh products of some stature allowed over the threshold?

Returning to my original thoughts - Ricoh seems to be all over the place again between state of the art products and an occasional lash at entry level. So they are still making cameras - but there is no real pattern in the direction being followed. Once an executive said that there would always be a GRD no matter whatever they continued to make.

So if the GR is being sold off then presumably the GRII must be on its way - or ... ?

My speculations are worth nothing - I am invariably wrong - "Tom predicts" means that it will never happen - but flirting with the kiss of death might I guess/hope/think that a new GR this time with the Leica T mount and a 21/28/50 set of lenses might do pretty well everything that the GXR set out to do? Except making a collapsing 28mm lens would be essential or the end of the GRD/GR line would be nigh.

... and of course the real reason why there is no particular chat about the GRDII is that Ricoh owners did not see it as much different than the original GRD and although there were some changes it hardly merited a whole new model designation and Ricoh converts just see them as "equivalent".

Tom
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby thelps » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:31 pm

I do feel the LCD was better on the II, the menus looked more refined where the I menus were large and a bit blocky.
I think the I could only accept SD cards up to 2Gb (like the Leica M8) whereas the II supported SDHC cards of 4Gb and larger.

The GRD I seems to have a bit of magic in its rendering, some luck by the engineers that made users think it looked like Tri-X or other grainy film.
Similarly the Sigma DP1 and 2 have that Foveon pop that is only there to a lesser degree in the DP1/2/3 Merrills and largely gone in the new Quattro.
Seems some "cult" cameras come along and go. The Sony RX1 is another cult in my book that has a rendering that is very pleasing and not duplicated elsewhere.
I do feel these cult cameras rise above the rest largely because of their lens and the matching of the sensor. The GRD I seems to be because the way the file is handled by the internal jpg engine.

Anyone else remember the cult status around the Fuji F30/ F31fd and their low light jpgs that looked so clean?
How about the Leica Digilux 2 / Panasonic LC1 cult. Still going that one.
Tim
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby ryca » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:14 pm

Anyone else remember the cult status around the Fuji F30/ F31fd and their low light jpgs that looked so clean?


YES! I had a F31fd... such a great camera. I think the Canon S95 probably fits in that category too (great low light handling)... still cant seem to let mine go!
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Re: Is the GRDII the Black Sheep of the GRD family?

Postby Tom Caldwell » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:19 pm

thelps wrote:I do feel the LCD was better on the II, the menus looked more refined where the I menus were large and a bit blocky.
I think the I could only accept SD cards up to 2Gb (like the Leica M8) whereas the II supported SDHC cards of 4Gb and larger.


How about the Leica Digilux 2 / Panasonic LC1 cult. Still going that one.


Never seen or tried a GRDII, but I can confirm that the GRD only takes 2Gb cards maximum, and the menus are blocky and switching between the two setup modes possible needs the camera to be switched off and on. But the blocky menus and mode switching were not much of a bother as the GRD was as simple to use as the GRDIII was complex.

I am still in the Panasonic LC1 cult. I pulled it out and compared it to the GX7 and can advise that the GX7 seems awfully like the LC2 that the cultists dreamed of that they became resigned to be a "never happening". There is definitely a strong family resemblance. Which makes the GM1 the grandchild of the LC1 although the family looks and layout have gone. The GM1 is simply a stripped GX7 where all the user conveniences have simply been excised.
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