GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Discussion about Ricoh GX100/GX200

GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby odklizec » Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:20 am

I finally got a chance (thanks to Ricoh Europe) to try the TC1 tele extension lens for GX100/200 cameras. This extension lens expands the GX100/200 zoom from 72mm to 135mm (35mm equivalent). As each Ricoh extension lens, TC1 is a very well build lens with minimum optical distortions and defects. I'm still amazed how good results can be delivered with Ricoh extension lenses. Usually, any additional lens element put in front of the camera lens, and which is not an integral part of the main lens, more or less degrades the image sharpness, adds or pronounces the chromatic aberration or corner softness/vignetting. Neither is the case of TC1.
R1068154_dng.jpg
An extreme example with camera pointed directly to sun. Lens flare is minimal (unlike the GT1 for GRD) and there is no trace of chromatic aberration. Sharpness is also unaffected.
R1068154_dng.jpg (680.42 KiB) Viewed 11973 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:28 am
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/1410 Sec
F-number: F/7.1
ISO speed rating: 64
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -7/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average


The TC1, as each extensions lens, makes the camera much bigger. I'm afraid, it can no longer be called "compact" or "pocketable". On the positive note, it's still smaller than any DSLR/EVIL camera setup with similarly specified lens. And if you detach the lens, you can still keep the camera and lens in the separate pockets. The TC1 comes with integrated lens hood. All you need to do is to pull it on, which is very easy process. Although integrated, it does not wobbly and the hood lock/release mechanism is very snappy.
R1067950_sm.jpg
R1067950_sm.jpg (152.25 KiB) Viewed 11894 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:12 am
Focus length: 6.2 mm
Shutter speed: 1/810 Sec
F-number: F/3.7
ISO speed rating: 80
Whitebalance: Manual
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: CX1
Exposure program: Normal program
Exposure bias: 7/10 EV
Metering mode: Spot

R1067952_sm.jpg
R1067952_sm.jpg (190.78 KiB) Viewed 11904 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:13 am
Focus length: 6.2 mm
Shutter speed: 1/440 Sec
F-number: F/3.7
ISO speed rating: 80
Whitebalance: Manual
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: CX1
Exposure program: Normal program
Exposure bias: 13/10 EV
Metering mode: Spot


So, what's the main advantage of this lens? Aside the longer focal length, it allows to produce some blurry background, which is usually very hard to achieve with small sensor camera. Sure, one can produce some background in macro mode. But only if the camera is very close to the photographed subject, which is a bit impractical for portraits and candid shots ;) With TC1 you can make some nice portraits with separated background even at 1-2m distance. Sure, it does not match the quality of the blurry background produced by the DSLR with bright portrait lens starting at f1.4. But it's still useful and I'm personally pleased with the results.

The only other downside of this lens (aside the size of GX+TC1 setup) is that the starting F number at the camera tele end is f4.4. This + relative long zoom makes this lens practically unusable under bad lightning conditions (with shutter speeds under 1/40 or so). Also, the f4.4 at the tele end is not the sharpest GX100/200 aperture so it's better to stop it down a bit (f5.6 is great).

My conclusion is that this lens is great addition for everyone seeking longer zoom and nice portrait lens. TC1 is exactly what you look for. It's great lens under the ideal or almost ideal lightning conditions. But don't expect miracles when it comes to badly lit rooms. Also, the camera with attached TC1 is less than pocketable.

Here are some real world samples:
R1067883_dng.jpg
R1067883_dng.jpg (309.22 KiB) Viewed 11968 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:26 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/45 Sec
F-number: F/4.4
ISO speed rating: 200
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -3/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1067888_dng.jpg
R1067888_dng.jpg (239.97 KiB) Viewed 11895 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:33 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/14 Sec
F-number: F/4.4
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -3/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1067992_dng.jpg
R1067992_dng.jpg (163.73 KiB) Viewed 11829 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:24 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/620 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 64
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -3/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1067963_dng.jpg
R1067963_dng.jpg (286.54 KiB) Viewed 11825 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:16 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/1000 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 64
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -10/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068037_dng.jpg
R1068037_dng.jpg (182.62 KiB) Viewed 11747 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:08 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/36 Sec
F-number: F/7.1
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: 7/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068079_dng.jpg
R1068079_dng.jpg (668.07 KiB) Viewed 11736 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:04 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/810 Sec
F-number: F/5
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -3/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068071_dng.jpg
R1068071_dng.jpg (565.7 KiB) Viewed 11737 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:55 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/540 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: -7/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068108_dng.jpg
R1068108_dng.jpg (251.75 KiB) Viewed 11651 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:06 am
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/90 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068151_dng.jpg
R1068151_dng.jpg (618.94 KiB) Viewed 11601 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:25 am
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/570 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068158_dng.jpg
R1068158_dng.jpg (178.76 KiB) Viewed 11595 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:32 am
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/233 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 64
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: 3/10 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average

R1068207_dng.jpg
R1068207_dng.jpg (311.45 KiB) Viewed 11409 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:20 pm
Focus length: 28.8 mm
Shutter speed: 1/45 Sec
F-number: F/5.6
ISO speed rating: 100
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: RICOH GX200
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby b3ar » Sat May 02, 2009 10:00 am

Thanks for the review. It helps.
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby Prognathous » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:23 pm

This is very interesting a very interesting review. Though I do have to wonder about the colors and contrast. They look very subdued. Is that due to the optics of the converter or your image settings?

BTW, I also set the camera to minimum contrast, but I always adjust levels in post-processing, so the resulting pictures look fine.

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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby socket » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:17 am

I tried using the TC-1 on my GX100 to take distance shots of animals in a zoo and always found that they had moved 'out of shot' by the time the photo was recorded.

Do I need to use only manual focus in this situation? (There was plenty of light and I assume it was an auto-focus issue.)
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby rui fernandes » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:08 pm

Pavel, now you've got me thinking about TC-1 too ;-)

Not that I needed any help, of course, but having HA-2, why not? Now I'm checking what's available, if someone's interested in getting rid of it, give me a call :mrgreen:

Oh, a very helpful review, thanks!!
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby nad75 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:02 pm

Dear Pavel,

I read somewhere that there is a need to update GX 100 in order to use the TC1 tele extension lens.
Is that really so ? :roll:
If yes, where can I find this update and how do I install it on my GX100 ?
Thanks for your help.
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby odklizec » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:30 pm

Hi Nad75,

The GX100 firmware with TC-1 support can be found here:
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/download/firmware/gx100/

Then follow the update steps here:
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/download/firm ... edure.html

Basically, you need to extract the firmware files (slaunch3 and slaunch7) from the archive file downloaded from Ricoh web. Then upload the extracted files to SD card that you want to use for upgrading your camera (you can use the same card as you already using in your gx100). The files can be uploaded with a card reader. Eventually, you can upload them via the USB cable connected to camera. There is no need to install any of the supplied Ricoh programs for USB transfer. Just switch the camera USB mode to [MASS STR]. Then switch the camera mode to Movie mode, press and hold the [Mode button] and [Playback button] and follow the instructions on the LCD. That's all.

Hope this helps?
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby samot1234 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:20 am

Nice! DOF is more tha acceptable! I thought that was imposible...
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby kase » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:20 am

so very nice! :) the DOF and the tone and the composition!
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Re: GX200 & TC1 (135mm tele extension lens)

Postby bakagh » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:50 pm

so nice pictures.
and it also makes me think about buying this lens.
I have one question: are this pictures unedited ones or not?
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