I realize that I am now "cursing in the church", but how would it compare to using
a digital zoom of 1.4, which brings the 28 mm to a 40 mm focal length?
The arguments against it is - of course - that this produces a 5 MP picture instead
of a 10 MP, and also that you could also have done the "digital zooming" afterwards in
your favourite photo editor.
However, an important point which is sometimes overlooked is that cropping on the camera is
done on the RAW image, which is then again enlarged to 10 MP, and only THEN converted
to JPG (I think at read this somewhere). This would give a different quality compared
to "afterwards" cropping your 10 MP JPG to a 5 MP JPG. However, the question is: is it
noticeable, and would the result be acceptable? Note that after all, a few years ago we
were all very content with a 5 MP picture!
Another point against doing the cropping "afterwards" is that it is difficult to guess how a
40 mm view would turn out, having only the 28 m view; in the LEICA rangefinders you had a frame in
the viewfinder doing exactly this! (Actually, this was ideal for composing - when the viewfinder
also shows also the bits outside the frame: you can directly see if you want something more on the
right or the left, or want to step back a bit.
Finally, there may be something to say for using a mild, digital zoom (say 1.1), since
you then just cut away the outer perimeter of the picture, where the lens normally
performs at its weakest (with respect to distortion, sharpness,etc.); the price you have
to pay is that you go from 10 MP to 8 MP.
I am a great fan of fixed focal lengths - using my legs instead of the zoom button, but I have
always prefered to 35-40 mm range (I used the Rollei 35 S, Leica M6, Minolta CLE, and the
Yashica T4 (which actually produced the sharpest pictures I have ever seen)). I am contemplating
on buying the GRD-II, in the hope to get the feel of "creating" a picture again, instead of
just snapping away, as I do now with my cheap Canon 720.