Friday, April 19, 2013

Ricoh GXR-M mount module, Novoflex K mount adapter and Pentax SMC A 50/1.2 mini-review

Look and feel
As you can see - it is fairly small. The camera body is very convenient and ergonomically comfortable for my hand. The adapter that I have supports both lenses with aperture ring and without. That is, the adapter has its own ring that can set aperture ring to any position between fully open and the one set by the aperture ring. Since Pentax lenses without aperture ring are fully closed by default, you get the full (step-less) range of aperture values. Alternatively, you can rotate the adapter to fully close the aperture and control the aperture from the lens.

Camera body (the body and the M-mount module) provides metering (including matrix metering, which seems very accurate so far). There is no electronic communication between the lens and the module, however you can set the lens name, the lens focal length and the lens aperture from the menu. The convenience of this feature is somewhat questionable, as you won't really want to dig into menu each time you swap lenses or change aperture on the lens.

Focus peaking is very useful and even fully open it is not that difficult to get accurate focus, although certain practice is necessary.

Image quality

The first two shots are made at f/1.2 or fully open. Both fast shutter of 1/4000 sec and generous leeway the camera electronics provide for recovery of bright areas help here.

The last shot is made at f/5.6 (of f/8.0 - see, now I don't have this recorded) with focus set to infinity. Here there're no surprises in terms of sharpness, etc.

So far I would say that this is exceptionally good gear. It is light, convenient, easy to use with image quality second to none. You can have either more expensive camera with more megapixels or another mirrorless camera that could use Pentax K-mount lenses via adapter, however even today Ricoh GXR system that is made on somewhat dated sensor is perfectly useful.

Highly recommended if you're not deterred by manual focus and electronic viewfinder.