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Thread: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

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    Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    Hi All

    I've recently bought a second hand Ricoh GR II, from a reputable camera store. Unfortunately, I noticed a couple of dust spots (some spots, some rings) on the sensor; easily missed wide open but showing at closed apertures - f8 and above. The non invasive methods of (re)moving them have not worked so the camera would need to be opened to be cleaned it seems. I can easily return it, especially that the dust was not mentioned in the listing. The camera looks fairly new (under 1400 shutter clicks) and does not look abused in any way, it also came with a Ricoh leather case. The dust issue is fairly evident on the web and Ricoh themselves will clean the sensor or simply replace the whole sensor and lens assembly under warranty. However, some people say they experience no dust issues at all with their GR / GRIIs which makes me wonder if it is more of a design issue or incorrect assembly (QC) in the factory i.e. wrong installation of the rubber seal that surrounds the sensor. What's your experience?

    For those that have had dust and have opened the camera, was the gasket squashed or deformed in any way? If it was and once the dust was cleaned from the sensor did you try to correct the seal placement? Did the dust problem persist?

    Many thanks!
    Pat

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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by robdeszan View Post
    Hi All

    Unfortunately, I noticed a couple of dust spots (some spots, some rings) on the sensor; easily missed wide open but showing at closed apertures - f8 and above.
    This is IMO not a sensor issue, but dust in the internals of the lens mechanism, demonstrated by the fact that they are indeed more obvious at 5.6 and above.

    I opened my GR, cleaned the sensor and the spots, blobs etc were still present. I have gone through 2 GRs this way - the lens mechanism can't be opened and the camera becomes useless outside of the warranty period.

    Per a Ricoh product manager, it is a design issue that has been somewhat remediated in the GR II design. Indeed, my GR II is less prone to the spots, blobs etc than my GR.
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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    I've got the GRD I, II, III, IV and GR and am yet to experience the dust issue at all.
    I don't have the GR II.

    There has been some suggestion that the dust is caused by method of carry, that pocket dust is a culprit.
    I've always used a case of some kind and carried in case that is in pocket or on the belt.
    This suggestion may be wrong or nothing to do with it but its worth including in discussion.

    I wonder if the Ricoh gets picked on a lot.
    While the Ricoh is reported to have this issue, so do many if not all other fixed compact cameras.

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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    That's reassuring Tim, thanks. It just points to the fact that there are cameras that are not plagued by this problem.

    It is a fair point I agree. I had a number of pocketable Point and Shoot cameras over the years (Olympus XA4, my Minox 35ml my contax T) and used a case with each one of them.

    There were even polls on one forum in an attempt to find a pattern but the amount of people who used one without a case and had no issue equalled the amount of people that used a case and experienced issues so nothing obvious there (https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3864157) .

    The used one I bought had a Ricoh case with it. The camera had very little signs of use, the case look like it has been used for protection. As per this thread, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/...leaning-2.html people have discovered sloppy jobs on sensor seal attachment or deformation from incorrect (?) assembly which opens the sensor area to dust.

    I am definitely getting one, returning it if there's any dust on the sensor as this could indicate an incorrectly installed seal. I am definitely getting a case, one that protects the camera better than the Ricoh's GC 5 case, which is more from impact than dust or humidity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    I've got the GRD I, II, III, IV and GR and am yet to experience the dust issue at all.
    I don't have the GR II.

    There has been some suggestion that the dust is caused by method of carry, that pocket dust is a culprit.
    I've always used a case of some kind and carried in case that is in pocket or on the belt.
    This suggestion may be wrong or nothing to do with it but its worth including in discussion.

    I wonder if the Ricoh gets picked on a lot.
    While the Ricoh is reported to have this issue, so do many if not all other fixed compact cameras.

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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    A brand new GRII has arrived, not a single dust speck on the sensor. I have a feeling that the used one I had earlier had been opened (screws had slight marks) and there was some very odd dust under lcd protection glass.
    Wonderful camera, let's hope it stays dust free.
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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    It looks like I am dominating this "thread to myself".

    Well, 9 months down the line and I get a massive dust spot on the sensor Camera kept in a neoprene case at all times between shooting. Amazon offered a full refund (always stellar service!) or a replacement. I went for a refund but having looked at all the offerings out there there is really nothing there on the market to replace it. The form factor is unbeatable so is the sensor rendering, although a 35mm FF would be nicer. I used to shoot with contax T, minox 35ml and olympus xa and they all got me hooked on P&S cameras. I've moved away from film now though.

    I looked at the fuji x100f but the samples look a bit soft and pastel to my liking. Then thought used rx1 from sony - again, the results look awfully generic. The "pocketable" Leica Q is massive. I also have two sigma merrills for travel that are fairly small but they are just another camera with a protruding lens I never take on a daily basis. I might just get another GRII and hope that the next one (this would now be the third) is not afflicted - if it is at all possible.

    Anyone else frustrated by similar experiences?

    Pat
    Last edited by robdeszan; 9th November 2017 at 11:08. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by robdeszan View Post
    Then thought used rx1 from sony - again, the results look awfully generic. The "pocketable" Leica Q is massive. I also have two sigma merrills for travel that are fairly small but they are just another camera with a protruding lens I never take on a daily basis. I might just get another GRII and hope that the next one (this would now be the third) is not afflicted - if it is at all possible.
    Yes, same here! I'm on my 4th GR now (my 2nd GR II). I still go for the low price and portability. I also shoot with a RX1R and a M240 - each camera is an entirely different experience.

    BTW - Yes, the RX1(R) results can look flat, but the RAW files are just great to tinker with - better than the Ricoh and Leica DNG files.
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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    Some people reported that they experience no issues despite carrying the gr in a pocket; I guess I was hopeful.

    It is a camera that is very difficult to replace - the small factor, ergonomics, snap focus, sensor rendering. I also shoot with two merrills DP2 and DP3M that share the batteries with the GR series. That trio is really hard to beat.

    Out of all the cameras out there RX1R is probably the only replacement contender due to its size but, like I said, the results (on flickr, lots of horrible HDR looking stuff mind you) leave me unimpressed despite its impressive specs. Then again there's lots of nasty-looking merrill photos...


    Quote Originally Posted by markhout View Post
    Yes, same here! I'm on my 4th GR now (my 2nd GR II). I still go for the low price and portability. I also shoot with a RX1R and a M240 - each camera is an entirely different experience.

    BTW - Yes, the RX1(R) results can look flat, but the RAW files are just great to tinker with - better than the Ricoh and Leica DNG files.
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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    I did see my first dust spot on a frame recently. I cloned it out in LR as it was small. I've had the camera for at least 3 or 4 years (not quite sure when I got it) so I am not too concerned and as the spot is so small I'll just live with it.

    My advice is try yet another. There is only one other camera with the same sensor in it available, as I understand it: the original Leica T. The sensor is one of the most maleable in post processing I know. Easily as good as my Leica Q which is the first camera I would sell (the GR being the one they would have to prise from my cold dead hands...)

    I still contend that 'If Carlsberg made cameras...' they'd make the Ricoh GR. As the Leica T is now in its second incarnation and with a 24mpx APS-C sensor I wonder if the GRIII if it ever arrives will also be the same.

    You can read about my experiences with the Ricoh GR in an article at my website.

    Just my two cents.

    LouisB
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    "My photography books", Flickr Stream
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    Re: Ricoh GR Dust - design flaw or QC issue?

    I got a chance to handle both the fuji X100F and the sony RX1R this weekend and... got myself a third Ricoh GRII. Simply, THE SIZE and ergonomics are one of a kind. I also prefer how the sensor renders, despite both candidates' higher pixel count and newer technology.

    I will update the thread should I face some more dust issues.
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