This is the second of the cameras lent to me by an associate. The first being the Russian one here, which I was not impressed by. However, when I saw this camera from 2001 I almost snatched it out of his hand. Really a GR1…not only that a GR1v. Holy Guacamole, and I can use it?
Apparently, it had been stuck in a cupboard for a while…with…shock horror…the battery still inside. Luckily it hadn’t leaked so that was not a worry. So I put in a new battery and turned it on. The lens came out, but the LCD was completely blank. Apparently this is such a common problem that there are many blogs written about it. This one gives a way to fix it and so does this one. This blog gives you instructions on how to use it even if the LCD does not work. I wish I had read that first.
As it was not my camera and by far the most expensive camera I have held, I was not even tempted try to fix it. The Ricoh GR1v is worth over $200 broken…if it is working then double or even triple that.
When a couple of other friends saw this camera, they could not understand why…why is it so expensive? It is not big, it is a point and shoot, why?
I gave a few reasons. Firstly, the lens. It should be super sharp and with f2.8 it is great for low light situations. You also have control over which aperture is chosen, see the dial on the top. Secondly, and a great feature for those who know how to use it, you can override the ISO coding. That means you can push films, a 400asa can be used as 1600asa if you so wish. In P-mode the camera does all the choosing for you. There is also manual focusing, bracketing and a wide 28mm lens. There are a few other features, but most of these and those features were inaccessible to me due to the LCD issue. Basically for me, this really would be a point and shoot.
This great blog shows you what the inside viewfinder looks like, but this one was also not working…was the camera actually working? I put in a Kentmere 400 and got to shooting. Here is my test roll.
Wow, I love this camera. It is light, thin and easy to carry. It works in low light, just check out the forest and shrine photo. I was disappointed with the minimum focus length, but if the LCD worked it would not have been an issue.
Keep or Sell: It is not mine, I have to give it back. Would I buy one if I could…hmm tough question…It has many weaknesses, the LCD and the motor are both prone to breaking. So maybe not for the price. BUT if I was given one I might use it constantly until it broke.