RICOH GR1 – Like a Weapon designed for Street Photography
The RICOH GR1 certainly lives up to its name of legend. It is a unique camera that optimizes itself only for capturing images of the cities or people.
Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki, who are the most famous Japanese photographers, have also cherished the GR1. As a tool for creating images, this camera has been a living, evolving expression of the numerous legends.
The camera fits into the breast pocket of photographers, and it can be ready to shoot instantaneously. Its black body fully blends into the cities, so nobody realizes it. The RICOH’s flagship model “GR1” succeeded the company’s tradition of excellent reliability, and it’s been still popular as a digital RICOH GR today.
About the RICOH GR1
The RICOH GR1 has always been associated with famous photographers.
Let’s explore and understand its more features!
Performances and Specifications of the RICOH GR1
The RICOH GR1 is a shoot and point camera designed for street photography.
Even though there are so many luxury compact cameras in the world, the RICOH GR1 is completely different from others. In other words, the GR1 can be a high value-added camera, while a luxury camera tends to be considered a hobby camera. There are no extra functions or added designs for the GR1.
With attaining passive autofocus, there are no worries about the focus blur, in addition to that, a wide-angle 28mm lens is a good much for the camera. Program mode and aperture priority mode are also available.
The shutter speed can handle from 2 seconds to 1/500th of a second. Further, the camera has the window-type “bright frame” optical viewfinder with easy operation. While the magnesium alloy die-cast body symbolizes a cool camera like a weapon.
The Legendary GR Lens Outperforming SLR Film Cameras
The GR 28mm f/2.8 lens is the most wonderful part of the GR1’s features, which achieves the top level of picture quality. This lens enables to deliver extremely high-quality image and is actually superior to all wide-angle lenses. Other photographic lenses for SRL cameras cannot compete for the GR lens, as it is a worldwide high-end lens produced by RICOH.
The GR 28mm f/2.8 lens contains seven elements in four groups. RICOH successfully developed the camera by installing the luxury lenses into the small body, which was unthinkable in the past.
As I mentioned above, the GR lens can be high performance. Thus, it was reproduced as an L mount type, in response to the need for rangefinder cameras including Leica models.
The GR 28mm f/2.8 lens is perfect enough to create the legends!
Instantaneous Imaging Taking Available to Suit Your Favorite Settings
There is another remarkable feature of the RICOH GR1 that cannot be explained by any numerical values. The camera is able to shoot immediately after turning on the power because all settings are basically retained when you use.
On the other hand, the shoot and point cameras before the GR1 will reset the settings to their original state when the power is turned off. In that case, there will be a problem if the camera is set to an automatic light mode in its default setting.
Also, you shouldn’t use a strobe without consideration. As you can imagine, people will easily realize that you are shooting a photo if you use a strobe. At the same time, your intentions/images will be markedly different from when you use natural light.
In fact, the automatic light mode on the RICOH R1 (which was based on the GR1) is automatically set when the power turns off. Therefore, many photographers had demanded a more dramatic improvement.
As for the GR1, this kind of problem will never happen. Besides, it is not only possible to check the settings quickly through your eyes but also to protect against unintentional button operations with its slide switch.
The camera can save all current settings including strobe. You can immediately go and shoot a photo without feeling uneasy anytime you want.
Concept and History of the RICOH GR1
Until the RICOH GR1 was introduced, a lot of shoot and point cameras had been loved by photographers.
Luxury Compact Cameras Designed for Street Photography
In the late 1980s, through the technology innovation, many camera manufacturers released the autofocus compact cameras with a fixed focal lens.
Those who like candid photography in the cities began paying attention to those cameras at the time. Then, the shoot and point cameras, especially the Konica BIG-mini, OLYMPUS μ, came to be used for street photography, instead of taking family snapshots.
In such circumstances, RICOH finally released the RICOH R1 in 1994, which can be better than other shoot and point cameras. This camera was also cherished by many photographers because of its thinness and lightness, not achievable with standard 35mm film cameras.
However, some of them still hoped RICOH to introduce the more expressive and simple shoot and point camera. It’s simply because they thought the R1 didn’t enough represent their passion for photography. Accordingly, RICOH tried to meet the expectation of all photographers in more ways than they could have imagined.
The GR1 became a legend by combining the high-end GR lens with its excellent operability based on the automatic optimal settings.
A list of RICOH GR1 Products
Firstly, the GR1 is the best snap shooter ever made. The GR1 series has been developed since the first GR1 was released in 1996, and it also has been steadily advancing by taking customers’ opinions into consideration.
Secondly, the GR1s was introduced in 1998, and it has a hood and light in the inside of the finder. The GR10 was also released in the same year at an affordable price.
Thirdly, the GR21 (produced in 2000) is equipped with an ultra-wide-angle 21mm lens. Some camera geeks enjoyed modifying the RICOH R1’s panorama photographing system and using the angle of view 21mm in 35mm full-sized film format. And then, RICOH officially incorporated all of their ideas into its new product.
Lastly, the GR1V as an improved version/definitive edition product debuted in 2001. This camera has auto bracket function and manual focus. Meanwhile, it is possible to manually set the sensitivity, not depending on DX code. It is also easy to create an image by push processing film at the development stage with monochrome film.
Let’s Go Around the City with the GR1 and Tri-X!
With a Tri-X, the GR1 enables to shoot street photography. This type of photography is exactly the Daido Moriyama’s photographic style. It is true that not only him but also most of the photographers mainly shooting street photography prefer to use the GR1!
Would you like to experience the brand new world with the GR1 on your hand?