I'm Being Forced to Buy a Camera

Every now and then I make a rash promise. I'll say something like, "if somebody builds a ______, I'll buy one."

And then somebody builds a ______, and...I don't buy it. 

Usually because I'm too cheap. I acknowledge being cheap. Partly because of always feeling poor, and exposed, financially speaking. (When you work for yourself and survive by your wits, you tend to feel exposed, even during periods when you aren't.)

For example, I swore I'd buy the first BW-only camera that came out. But then Leica was the company that first came out with a BW-only camera.

I don't buy Leicas. Not because I don't like them, only because they all cost $20,396,742,085,730,953,837,592,380,750. (That number is a close approximation of what all Leica prices look like to me. Just a string of numbers divorced from all reality as well as all possibility.)

At the time I figured, well, it will only be a short time before another company takes Leica's lead and produces a cheaper BW-only camera, so I'll just wait a little bit.

The Monochrom first came out in 2012. I'm still waiting.

The new Ricoh But I'm burying the lede here. Bad journalism!

The news is that Ricoh is coming out with a new GR.

It's called the GR IIIx, and the news is that it features "a newly developed GR lens for high-quality street photography at a standard viewing angle." (Italics mine.)

More from the press release, which stands about a 60% chance of being a practical joke aimed exclusively at me:

The RICOH GR IIIx incorporates a newly developed 26.1mm F2.8 GR lens, which harmonizes exceptional image quality with a slim design. Unlike past GR-series models which featured a 28mm wide angle of view for exaggerated perspective, this lens provides a 40mm standard angle of view in the 35mm format, delivering images with a more natural perspective and a more truthful sense of depth for a completely different type of street photography.

Ricoh is bringing out a GR with a 40mm lens. Apparently...I don't think I will completely believe it until I am actually holding it in my hands. It could be a trick. The Universe does tend to play tricks on me.

Anyway, assuming this is something that will come true and not an April Fool's in September, don't you think I have to buy one of these? Forty millimeter equivalent is my favorite focal length, and I've championed the virtues of the focal length in print and online since the '90s. I have to have been at least partly responsible for its increasing popularity.

The kicker is that I've been mulling over the idea for some time now of doing an OC/OL/OY. (One camera, one lens, one year, in case you're new here.) It's not like there aren't other cameras with 40mm-e lenses; I have several. It's not that. Just that the Universe seems to be trying to tell me something.

And the GR IIIx will have IBIS, another technology I like, as I just mentioned yesterday. That settles it—the Universe is trying to communicate.

I think I'm kinda being...forced to buy one of these and do an OC/OL/OY. What do you think? I think I kinda have to.

Unless of course it turns out it costs $20,396,742,085 and I cheap out.

Mike (Thanks to J. Adam Carlberg)

Book o' the Week:

Barnbaum essence The second edition of old friend Bruce Barnbaum's The Essence of Photography is just out. Bruce wrote for Photo Techniques when I was Editor. I always enjoy his insights into the art and craft, even if his technique isn't the same as mine. I still learn. Mastery is fun to read about.

The above is a link to Amazon from TOP. Here's the new edition of The Essence of Photography at The Book Depository. The following logo is also a link:

Original contents copyright 2020 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.) Featured Comments from:

John Robison: "Yep! Don’t know how many times I’ve engaged in that 'they [even though "they" don’t exist]  ought to make a...' And even as the thought forms I know that the RD alone would be $5 million and the market tiny and…and…I could never afford it anyway.

"But, that said. What is so difficult with not putting a color filter array over a digital sensor? Can’t the chip fabricators just skip that step?"

SteveW: "Yep."

Albert Smith: "The lack of a viewfinder is a deal-breaker for me. Dioptor-adjusted finders are absolutely required in bright sun, as rear LCDs flare out and, for me anyway, require reading glasses to see. Ricoh make an accessory finder à la Leica, but with no confirmation that the focus is on the right thing. It is a good idea though, 40mm-ish lens on a compact camera with good imaging capability. Maybe that's why I have the 27mm fused to my X-E2s."

Chris: "List price (I hear) is going to be 999 dollars. Not cheap, but not Leica expensive.... I believe it's going to be a stunner in terms of performance—Ricoh never plays around with their GR lenses. And it will fit in a pocket. I always hoped Ricoh would do this, but I never really believed that they actually would. Well done, Ricoh/Pentax."

Bahi: "I was preparing to write to you in excitement about this. It's the first digital GR that I'm interested in. Would love a digital viewfinder accessory that shows focus and a histogram but perhaps that is asking too much. It looks fantastic."

Bob Rosinsky: "But what about a brand new Sony A6600?"

Gilly: "I have the GR III and absolutely love it. The 28mm focal length is great and I have the wide angle lens as well when I need it. A 40mm would round out my lens choices perfectly. Two small cameras would be all I need for my basic photography."

Moose (partial comment): "OC/OL/OY has always struck me as like being The Man in the Iron Mask, with only one eye hole, or perhaps a form of torture in one of Dante's circles of Hell. I was recently wandering through a great botanic garden and old-growth redwood groves. I was carrying three cameras, covering 10mm to 1120mm FF equivalent. That was just about enough. (This photo this small is a crime.) Would I be allowed to process the endless supply of Raw files on my computer, while I abstained from photography for a year?"

Mike replies: Funny. One man's meat is another man's poison!

Gary: "I agree with James. I quite like my GR III which takes wonderfully sharp images with its APS-C sensor. It's a really versatile camera, to my surprise. And so small and light! I call it my Mighty-Mite. Yes, the lack of a viewfinder is a drawback but ya know there are compromises and you learn to live with them. The 40mm (equivalent) lens will make this camera even better for my uses."

Tam: "It’s like they knew I’d literally just sold my GR Digital II."

Trevor Johnson: "1.) It easily fits in your pocket, shorts, trousers etc. An iPhone Max doesn't very easily. 2.) It is much easier to hold and compose than an iPhone, unless you add stuff to the iPhone which makes it even bigger. 3.) Monochrome conversion is lovely."