Ricoh has rolled out a sparkling new version of its popular GR camera—the Ricoh GR IIIx—featuring a new 40mm (35mm equivalent) lens and a handful of new accessories. The GR flies under the radar of most photographers, but for those in the Ricoh cult, the GR has attained an almost legendary status as one of the world’s top compact point-and-shoot cameras. If you look at the images accompanying this article, you will see that the new GR IIIx looks identical to the GR III. The big change and, by far, the most important change is the new lens.
Many traditional street photographers are fans of the classic 35mm focal length field of view; the classic all-purpose “normal” focal length is 50mm—a focal length that street and travel photographers find is a bit too narrow. The new Ricoh GR IIIx virtually splits the distance with a 40mm focal length field of view with a new lens. (If you were keeping score at home, the original GR III has a lens with a 28mm equivalent field of view.) For those craving specs, the lens measures 26.1mm with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Seven elements are arranged in five groups. The lens combines high-refractive index low-dispersion glass lenses and an aspherical high-precision molded glass element that work together to reduce distortion and aberrations. The lens has a nine-blade aperture diaphragm. As in the original GR III, there is a built-in 2-stop ND filter.
Accompanying the new version is a handful of accessories that include interchangeable ring caps (available in black, dark gray, and a GR IIIx exclusive bronze) to give your GR IIIx a unique look. Also newly available is an external hot-shoe-mounted GV-3 optical viewfinder to pair with the new 40mm focal length lens. For greater reach, the GT-2 tele conversion lens with GA-2 lens adapter almost doubles the effective focal length of the lens to 75mm in standard crop mode or 107mm in the camera’s secondary crop mode. Last, the new GC-11 soft case keeps the GR IIIx cozy in transport.
The new camera’s internals (24.2MP sensor and GR Engine 6 processor) are identical to the original GR III, but the GR IIIx has some upgraded post-capture processing functionality for expanded creative editing in-camera.
Are you a fan of the GR III? Is the GR IIIx and its new 40mm lens going to be added to your stable? Have you always wanted the GR III, but held out because you weren’t enamored with the focal length—a hang-up now removed? Let us know in the Comments section, below!