Ricoh GR : The curse (again …) 12

This photo is fairly representative of my state of mind at the moment. Between the Ricoh GR and me, it is to take the head between the hands … OK, the reason why my father and my father-in-law have this attitude has nothing to do with Ricoh. They were just protecting their ears because we were shooting firecrackers for the Lunar New Year of the Metal Rat. Imagine that this photo is one of the last ten taken with the Ricoh GR. In the morning, the camera will gently die. For some time I had concerns we will say minor with the GR: several dust spots on the sensor, AF that messes around (I had to reboot the camera for it to work correctly) and also from time to time some files corrupted during taking pictures … I was dealing with these little problems because I had nothing else apart from my Ricoh GRD4. I had explained to you that I no longer used the GRD4 because after spending enough time with the GR, I found the GRD4 too slow in the streets.



“But say you didn’t tell us that you were offered a Ricoh GR 3 when you left at the end of last year?”. Indeed it is, but I sent the device to after-sales service because the Ricoh GR3 tended to overheat abnormally. The LCD screen and the battery compartment were really hot after just 20 minutes of use. I conducted my little investigation on it by questioning GR3 users and almost all of them have this problem. There have even been cases where the device overheated so much that it turned off on its own. An English Street Photographer even had enough humor to tell me that with the Ricoh GR3, he only needed one glove when he went out to take photos (…). I contacted Pentax who just told me that it was normal for the camera to heat up a little (…) during use. No kidding ? I had never experienced this with GRD4, GR and GR2. Since no more news from Pentax. So I returned the camera to the after-sales service at the end of November and it took 2 months for them to repair it. Apparently they changed the optical unit (of a new device …) and the camera is being returned to me. I am waiting to have it in my hands to see if this problem of overheating has been resolved. Between us, I greatly doubt it, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt.



So for those who were waiting for my feedback on the GR3, all I can say for the moment is that this device is for me badly born … Just go to the forums to realize that this story of overheating is nothing trivial. Pentax has decided to reduce the size of the GR3 compared to the GR and GR2. In size, the GR3 is even smaller than the GRD4 which is quite a performance. But the GRD4 had a small 1/1.7 “sensor while the GR3 has an APS-C sensor ! Yes, it’s another story to dissipate the heat from such a large sensor in such a small camera. If I were Pentax, I would have kept a case the same size as the GR. An upgrade from 16 to 24 MP with new faster optics (2.0 instead of 2.8) and that’s it !. Pentax made us a smaller body, removed the pop-up flash, went from 16 to 24 MP, added a stabilizer, a hybrid AF and a new optics (but with the same aperture). After all why not , but if all these new features are accompanied by an overheating of the camera ; red card ! I am waiting to have my GR3 repaired to give you my final opinion on it.



I wrote an article a while ago to tell you that I was cursed with the GR series. Since November 2016, I fell into the GR sphere and since then I only use this camera. In a little over 3 years, I killed 3 GRD4 and therefore a GR. FYI, none of these cameras were first hand. I bought them all second hand. This may explain that … Note the only one I had band new was the GR3 and it went to after-sales service after barely a month ! But still, it’s a lot. I admit that I am not very careful with my cameras and that I mistreat them. Some took the water, the rain, fell … and then I really do a lot of photos with them. Seriously, I don’t see myself taking photos with another camera. Don’t talk to me about image quality (IQ), the beauty of Black & White … The only reason I use the GR series is the unbeatable ergonomics of these small cameras. Just for that I will continue to buy Ricoh even if I could see these camera are far from being reliable as can be the Leica.




My Ricoh GR nevertheless had the good idea to hold on until our return from a holiday spent in Mauritius before dying. Besides, we can consider that it is there that I made my last street photography with this Ricoh GR. My mother asked me to bring her some Chinese products that cannot be found in Reunion. So I went to spend a few hours in the Mauritian capital : Port Louis. I basically hung out in Chinatown there and found this city very exciting. It was teeming with people and it is a very interesting city for a street photographer. I spent a total of 3 hours in this city. You can view below the slideshow related to Port Louis.



So here I am back to square one with a single camera: The Ricoh GRD4 ! Imagine that I went out this week with it and I quickly found my marks with it. It is less reactive than the GR but my God, what a depth of field ! This is one of the photos taken during this walk. I think the Ricoh GRD4 is back to work.



All the pictures were made Ricoh GR except the last one which has been made with the Ricoh GRD4

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12 thoughts on “Ricoh GR : The curse (again …)

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      My GR wasn’t that old. OK I bought it second hand with less than 7500 shutters count. Now it died with a little less than 50000 shutters count. Which is not a lot to me… It took me just one year to reach that number. Does that mean that I will have to buy a new GR every year? Damn it is gonna cost a lot of money!

      • Michael

        You pretty much maxed out the lens module lifetime. I managed to get only 45K out of my first GR and 54K from my second (GRII) Read more about it my little investigation: Is this a fair tradeoff between having a small high quality camera but a limited lifetime? I dont think so. Lets hope you will make more exposures with the III. I will skip it and buy the IV once its out. I guess now that Ricoh got more buyers with the newest edition they will start milking them by releasing IV in a year or so. Lets hope it will use a non-rectrable pancacke lens design!

        • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

          I remember that blog you wrote a while ago about this closed shutter problem, but I think that my issue was different as I never experienced that problem with the first shot but I had from time to time a corrupted file when I was taking pictures. I mean the file was unreadable. But you’re right about the rest. I think it’s an optical unit issue. At the end the camera was powered on but unusable. The AF won’t work anymore and I couldn’t turn off the camera. I needed to remove the battery…
          I’m thinking of buying another second hand ricoh GR…
          Likes you, I’m not convinced by the GR 3.but I ‘m gonna give it a try because I was offered one. The camera is too tiny for me. Sometimes while pressing the shutter button, I accidently turned off the camera… And even the size doesn’t feel good. The camera is heavier and smaller than the GR. The GRD 4 was small but lighter as well. So the combo was working.
          I need to shoot with the GR 3 to give my feedback on it

  • John Harper

    Good grief. That last shot is extraordinarily sharp and focused. I can see why you persevere with the GR’s, I wonder if they’re built for the kind of pounding that Street exerts on a camera. There’s always a lot of bashing about and a huge amount of clicks involved. I’m sure Pentax will say that they are plenty robust enough. I think they should supply you another new one and see how that takes a year in the hands of Jeff Chane-Mouye! Anyway, apart from the gear problem I see yet another selection of superb Street. Love the opener with your dad and brother in law, also the scene with the boat. That YouTube video has work that would take the rest of us years to accumulate.
    Bravo Monsieur!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      If I had the choice, I would still use the GR. My style now requires reactivity. I shoot fast with instinct and this GRD 4 is not fast enough. But you’re right about how sharp this lens is. I’ll amazed how such an old camera can be so good. But when you’re used to shoot with a camera with a better buffer, you realize how slow this camera is.
      That said, I only have this one for the time. So gonna deal with it.
      Port Louis was a real threat for the eyes. This city had a certain potential for street photography. I will have to deal with my wife for a week or so over there by myself… Not sure that she would agree!

      • John Harper

        My Leica freezes up occasionally after two or more shots in succession. Switch it off and back on again. The buffer is crap and for some reason they actually offer continuous shooting mode, what a joke, no one is going to use that and in any case it would fail.
        I can’t see “I’m off to Mauritius for a couple of weeks on my own” going down very well with Gwen. It won’t just be your Ricoh that’s broken!

        • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

          Don’t mock that burst mode! Pretty sure that some street guys use that mode to get their so called decisive moments… I remembered having seen that video from Bristol where a so called street photographer was taking us around Bristol and was using that burst mode. Elizabeth Char also told to me that some famous Japanese street shooters were using burst mode. It just must be a pain in the ass to review all the pics!
          I need an excuse for this Port Louis thing. Something like a street photographer coming to reunion and he’s urging me too walk him around the mauritius cities. I could be that guy! 😂🇲🇺

          • John Harper

            I know a wedding photographer who shoots anything that moves (or stands still) and always in burst mode. He gives his clients 600 images on average that he’s processed out of the thousands and thousands that he clicks! Man, who wants 600 photos of a wedding and what photographer wants to spend time sifting through thousands of shots! There’s got to be some discipline involved surely.
            I am that Street Photographer who wants to come to Reunion and see Mauritius, my wife could be the woman to say yes…I say could…she didn’t actually say no, just looked at me and laughed 😉

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Hello John! Have a nice weekend. Don’t have too many expectations. I’m just rambling again about the Ricoh GR… 😂
      But I’m glad to shoot again with the GRD 4. It feels like home even if this camera is slow