Deluxe PS cameras (Ricoh GRx, Nikon xxTi, etc)

Discussion in 'Ricoh' started by Ajanta, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Ajanta

    Peter Chant Guest

    Hmm, prices very, but I've spotted a couple of GR1v on ebay. A black one
    for £50 less tha I paid for mine and a silver one for £15 more than I paid
    new (approx). I should have got a silver one!
    Because it fits in your jacket pocket so that you can be sure when you
    come away from weddings and other social events that although your
    snaps may not be works of art at least they are sharp.
    Peter Chant, Jul 18, 2004
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  2. Ajanta

    Peter Chant Guest

    I saw one in a shop window, it looked nice. I'm not really convinced that
    it looked twice as nice as it was twice the price!
    Peter Chant, Jul 18, 2004
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  3. Ajanta

    Ajanta Guest

    Thanks. Is it possible for you to compare them with one another
    (disregarding price)?
    Ajanta, Jul 19, 2004
  4. Ajanta

    Sabineellen Guest

    Well, the thing that comes to mind is how easy it would be for you to get one.

    The contax is by far the easiest to find. It's still in production and you'll
    have no trouble buying a new one, at all. But it's the most expensive, though
    if you buy from hong kong you'll get it for far less. Less than half in fact,
    but you gotta be careful.

    The Ricoh GR series is no longer made but you'll find quite a few on ebay from
    time to time.

    The Rollei AFM 35 is the rarest of the three. You won't see many of it. If you
    want one you gotta be patient and wait. It's also the one that appeals to me
    the most, but that's pretty subjective as the other two never did.

    I don't know much about them. Gordon knows about the Rollei, Pete knows about
    the Ricoh, and TP or Roger know about the Contax. Better ask them.
    Sabineellen, Jul 19, 2004
  5. Ajanta

    Ajanta Guest

    As I have a functioning camera, I am in no rush. I am willing to be
    patient and also look around for used equipment. At first I am only
    trying to to determine which one would be "best" regardless of price,
    then I will try to factor in price somehow. On ebay ricoh gr's, contax
    t3, and nikon ti's keep appearing but as you say I don't see any

    It would be nice if some store had all models, new or used, for side by
    side comparison, but that is unlikely too. Hence my interest in
    comparative remarks from those who have used two or more of these
    Ajanta, Jul 19, 2004
  6. Ajanta

    Sabineellen Guest

    On ebay ricoh gr's, contax
    I saw two appearing on eBay over the past two months. One in Germany and the
    other if i remember well was in the UK. To speak of the devil, one just got
    listed (I checked earlier and there was none), but the seller is in china and
    he doesn't appear to have sold anything before, though he bought quite a few

    The buy-it-now price is not bad at $280, which is £150, considering the one in
    the UK was sold for £250. The real question is whether you'd feel safe buying
    something from someone in China who's not had any feedback history as a seller.
    Sabineellen, Jul 19, 2004
  7. Ajanta

    Ajanta Guest

    Yes that would be a concern. For me, the real issue however is: if
    ricoh, contax and rollei were all available at the same price which one
    would I actually pick? Then I can start looking for it and dealing with
    other concerns.
    Ajanta, Jul 19, 2004
  8. Ajanta

    Sabineellen Guest

    All equally good cameras and all quite similarly featured. I guess it'll be a
    matter of personal taste in terms of their ergonomics. Note though that the
    degree of control they offer you is limited; you set the aperture and they set
    the shutter speed, and some ability to set focus indirectly through an

    I didn't buy either of them though, and I'll tell you why.

    I'm going to make a suggestion to serve as one of your options. Keep your
    Olympus Stylus Epic as you intended to, and buy an Olympus XA and an Olympus
    RC. Both will cost you less than any of those cameras you're contemplating.

    That's what I did. I have all 3; the stylus epic, the XA, and the RC. It won't
    cost you much at all to get them. Each will have its use, and you'll usually
    know which one you'll want to play with when you're in a certain mood. The
    three will give you more options than one camera, including having different
    film (iso 100, iso 800) in each.

    You're familiar with the epic, it'd be good for snapshots. You can use its spot
    metering for some control. So i won't talk about it.

    The rangefinder manual focusing on the XA or the RC is actually quite easy to
    use, and quite enjoyable too. You can use either of the two cameras when you
    feel creative.

    The XA will be the same size as your epic. and just as pocketable. It'll give
    you control of aperture, iso, and it'll take some of the most beautiful
    available-light nightshots, especially if you get yourself one of those tiny
    pocket tripods. You can get the A11 flash, or the reportedly better one A16,
    though for flash shots you may just use your Stylus Epic. You can set the
    aperture and the camera will set the shutter speed. And you can do exposure
    compensation either through the backlight adjustment switch or through varying
    the ISO, which you have control over.

    The RC is a fully mechanical camera that allows you full manual override. It
    was designed to use the outdated mercury batteries, and there are battery
    replacement options, but you don't have to buy batteries for it, I don't, the
    battery is only for the meter and the camera will otherwise function fully in
    manual mode. It's a rangefinder, leica-style, that'll take better pictures than
    any modern p&S, and you can use sunny 16, film chart, or your olympus XA as a
    lightmeter. You can also purchase an external lightmeter like a gossen digisix
    if you're feeling extra creative and use it in incident mode to have more
    creative control than any modern P&S, be it rollei afm35, contax t3, or ricoh
    GR series; this is a real photographer's camera, and it'll be a more
    respectable choice for people/travel, far more so than a P&S, or even an SLR
    for some tastes. It's a little bigger than the epic or the XA, but not much
    bigger. You get full control over focus, aperture, shutter speed, iso, and it's
    an immensely sweet camera to own and use. It's also very solid, though you
    should handle all cameras with care and buy a lowepro padded case.

    Here are some images of the 3 cameras that I just took for you to see them side
    by side... The stylus epic should be identical to yours to help you compare
    their size...

    And here are some threads to consider...

    Also, though I don't think it would be suitable for your use, a discussion of
    "deluxe" P&S cameras that doesn't mention Minox would be an odd one indeed. I
    could've also recommended a Minox GT-E/S, but I think you may find its focusing
    rather difficult for close "people" photography in low light situations, at
    least initially. On the plus side it's compact, has a superb retractable lens
    that's better than the XA or Stylus Epic, and on-lens continuous dials for
    focus and aperture. If you want to get one you can use it for daytime candid or
    landscape shots, or even daytime people, but if you gotta go down to f2.8 to
    get an adequate exposure for a close portrait then you may be better off
    shooting it with the autofocus stylus epic if you're not experienced enough to
    use the minox focusing. I have both (GT-E and GT-S), and have affectionate
    feelings towards them perhaps more so than other cameras I have.

    Here are some images i took lately with a Minox...

    The minoxography website have more examples in their 35mm galleries.

    I think the main point is that all those cameras are tradeoffs, you won't find
    a perfect one. You may be better off owning two or more moderatly priced and
    differently featured cameras than owning one expensive P&S.
    Sabineellen, Jul 19, 2004
  9. Ajanta

    Ajanta Guest

    Thank you for your help, especially the following most informative
    post. I grew up on a Canon G-III QL 17; I am sure there were similar
    models from other companies (and the Olympuses you mention may have
    been its contemporaries), but I chose it for the best possible of all
    reasons: it was a free gift. :)

    Those were good cameras and I wish they had been improved rather than
    replaced by the new PS wave.

    The exposure part was fine, you could set it yourself or have the
    camera do it (shutter priority but I could live with either). I would
    have liked the modern film loading, advance, and auto-rewind to be
    added. The match needle focusing was fine, but an added autofocus mode
    would have been good. However, as we all know, instead of adding a few
    refinements to those great designs, the industry replaced them with
    all-automatic no-control plastic junks. It is ironic that now we have
    to search and pay premium for the features that came standard twenty
    years ago.

    However, I am not sure I am ready to go back to the old rangefinders
    either. I like the auto-handling of the film. I even like the wimpy
    built-in flash which is always ready and need not be plugged in. I like
    the option to have a true ps. I would just like the old old control to
    have been retained as an option! I think it boils down to this, your
    fine suggestion requires carrying a few cameras around. Knowing myself
    I probably would not do this but end up relying upon one, so that one
    has got to be as close to my ideal as possible: A light-weight PS
    camera with all-auto mode when you want it; and some easily-exercised
    control over exposure and focus when you want that. Even in the auto
    mode it would good if the camera told me what it had decided to do.

    What comes closest? The candidates appear to be Ricoh GR, Contax T3,
    Nikon 28/35ti, Rollei afm, etc.

    PS: Thanks for posting the camera pictures as well discussion links.
    Ajanta, Jul 19, 2004
  10. Ajanta

    Bill Tuthill Guest


    The nice thing about down-market semi-deluxe P&S cameras
    is that for $80 plus film you can produce images as good as
    the best above-$1200 digital cameras. (E.g. Digital Rebel
    AKA 300D costs "only" $999 until you include memory card!)
    Excluding the $8000 Canon 1Ds of course.

    Stylus Epic, Konica Lexio, Minolta FZE/Riva 28-75, etcetera
    are examples of down-market semi-deluxe P&S models. They lack
    exposure compensation but have lenses nearly as good as the
    above-$500 models.
    Bill Tuthill, Jul 19, 2004
  11. Ajanta

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I have never even seen one of the Ricoh P&S cameras of any type. I only know the
    Contax T3 from two examples owned by friends. I know the Rollei from one example
    that a friend owns. To compare based on such limited experience is tough.

    Just going by build quality, and ergonomic feel, the Contax T3 and Rollei AFM35 are
    very similar. The Rollei to me seems slightly easier to hold, though the viewfinder
    on the Contax is slightly easier to see through. Both viewfinders are much dimmer
    than many SLR cameras, and substantially dimmer than a true rangefinder.

    The Contax T3 is slightly smaller than the Rollei, and appears to be slightly nicer
    finish and quality. Considering the price difference, it seems that the Rollei is
    more of a bargain, since subjectively I would have expected both to be closer in

    Okay, so image quality is very different that what one could achieve with an SLR or
    true rangefinder camera. Judging from the sample images I have seen from the Rollei
    and Contax, they are quite equal. I don't really know which would be better with
    flare. The Rollei lens front is set back a bit, while the Contax has an optional
    lens hood.

    If I found a deal on a Contax T3, then it would be tempting. However, the new price
    is close to what a used Contax G2 sells for with one lens. With that in
    consideration, a used G2 with interchangeable lenses might make a better purchase,
    though it is a bit large to pocket, unless you have large jacket pockets.

    The Rollei is priced much closer to what I would expect of a high quality P&S.
    While it is slightly larger than the Contax T3, it can still fit easily into most
    pockets. B&H in New York City still has these available new. I rarely ever see one
    on EBAY.

    The Rollei site does not have much information on the AFM35, while Contax has lots
    of good information on the T3 on their site. If you want a better overview of the
    Rollei, try this:


    Gordon Moat, Jul 19, 2004
  12. Ajanta

    AKT Guest

    Thank you for your informative post, in particular the Rollei link:
    One advantage of current models would have been that I could go to a
    store and compare them side by side. This is clearly not possible when
    I am trying to choose among GR1, T3, 35ti and afm35. At first I thought
    some enthusiasts here just may have done this comparison but clearly I
    cannot be surprised if that's not the case. Therefore I am now looking
    for individual advocacy sites and reviews that may have compared any
    two of these. I have started another thread for that. But this Rollei
    site is very useful. Thanks again.
    AKT, Jul 20, 2004
  13. Ajanta

    AKT Guest

    Thank you very much. That was quite informative.
    AKT, Jul 20, 2004
  14. I have the AFM35, and have found it to be an extraordinarily capable camera.
    I also own the Maxxum system, including a number of G lenses, and have found
    it equals it in sharpness, if not flexibility. The manual overrides on the
    Rollei are functional and easy to use, and the camera pre-focuses (focuses
    when you press halfway), which tends to speed up operation.

    I struggled with the same thing you are, and read that the Rollei lens is
    the best ever put on a p/s, beating Leica and Contax (one of the phot mags,
    don't recall which). I like the camera, love the nice, fast, not too wide
    lens, and think it's one of the best deals out there in a top end p/s. You
    won't regret it if you buy one.

    Mike Lipphardt, Jul 20, 2004
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