Ricoh GXR 24-72mm f/2.5-4.4 lens unit review

Review Date : Thu, 11 Mar 2010

Author :

Ricoh GXR review 24-72mm lens unit

The Ricoh GXR 24-72mm f/2.5-4.4 lens unit is the second of Ricoh's current GXR lenses. The What Digital Camera GXR 24-72mm review sees how it shapes up...

Pros: Close-up shooting capability, very easy changeover between lenses
Cons: A lot like an expensive Ricoh GX200, poor autofocus, no manual focus ring

At present the GXR only has two available lens units, the 24-72mm being the cheaper option. Unlike the 50mm f/2.5 macro's APS-C sized sensor, the 24-72mm has a smaller 1/1.7in CCD sensor, with the quoted zoom range being an equivalent expression in 35mm terms.

At the wide end a f/2.5 aperture is offered, though this closes down to f/4.4 when shooting at the longer 72mm end of the range. Those familiar with one of Ricoh's other high-end compacts - the GX200 - may be having a bit of déjà vu here, as the GXR is essentially the same camera when the lens unit is attached, albeit considerably pricier.

 Ricoh GXR review sample image 24-72mm unit

Ricoh GXR 24-72mm lens unit review sample image - click for full size gallery

With the GXR body relying on a zoom toggle to the rear of the camera, zooming with this lens can feel a little awkward at times as there is no zoom or focus ring on the lens itself, falling away from DSLR-like and toward much more standard compact with this particular lens' aspirations. And with competitors' compacts, such as the Canon G11, offering a more advanced build than this set up, the overall GXR concept has a lot to live up to.

Although not a ‘macro' lens, the 24-72mm does have one of Ricoh's great traits - at the wide end it's possible to shoot super-close-up to subject, as close as around 1cm from the lens (more than the other 50mm ‘macro' lens is capable of). ‘Vibration Correction' image stabilistion also features to keep shots steady.

As per the GXR body, full manual control is provided, including ‘My' modes for personal pre-sets. Similarly, ‘Snap' focus mode is likely to come in handy - offering a prefixed focal length of between 1-5m or infinity when fully depressing the shutter. Up to 1/2000th of a second shutter speeds are also available, though capturing fast-moving action is tricky when coupled with the sluggish AF system.

 

Ricoh GXR 24-72mm review - Image Quality

With a 1/1.7in CCD sensor, the quality here is widely akin to a compact, but not especially mind-boggling. Based on the initial expense of purchase, expectation was high, but results failed to live up to those expectations. At this level it's entirely reasonable that clear and detailed images should come as standard.

ISO sensitivity runs from 100-3200, though excessive noise-reduction softens images considerably. Images throughout the range don't possess crisp sharpness. It appears to some extent that JPEGs are over-sharpened too as contrasting edges and grain appear amplified and chromatic aberration is visible towards the edges.

Exposure was accurate throughout, though the contrast-detect AF did sometimes venture worringly away from the subject.

 

Ricoh GXR camera concept further links:

Ricoh GXR camera concept
Ricoh GXR 50mm f/2.5 lens unit review
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Price as reviewed

£325.00

Scores

Scores
Features 16/20
Design 16/20
Image Quality 15/20
Performance 16/20
Value 15/20
Overall Score 78%