Treat Your Ricoh Right – Howto Avoid & Fix Ricoh GR Problems

Treat Your Ricoh Right - How To Avoid and Fix Ricoh GR Problems

Treat Your Ricoh Right – How To Avoid and Fix Ricoh GR Problems

The Ricoh GR and GR II is a beautifully engineered digital photo camera with excellent optical quality in a small package. It is the smallest and lightest camera with APS-C sized sensor and fixed prime lens!

I bought my GR second hand in 2013. Next to the ten other cameras the Ricoh became my most used camera until today. In total I made 71.005 photographs with the GR. That is 52% of all my 135.117 photos since 2013.

Although it is highly praised and recommended among many popular street photographers, technical problems can develop over time. With a high price tag around $500 the GR & GR II is not a cheap camera. With proper precautions and care those common problems can be avoided and fixed if necessary.

3 Common Ricoh GR Problems & Howto Avoid/Fix them

Since the Ricoh GR and GR II are same build models all mentioned problems and fixes are applicable to both.

Let´s start with the issue that affects the photographic process the most:

  1. Closed Shutter after Power On
    • Ricoh GR Problems - Closed Shutter after Power On

      Ricoh GR Problems – Closed Shutter after Power On

    • What is the problem?
      • After power on the shutter of the camera is still closed and the display is black.
      • The shutter will “unlock” , either after making one “dark frame” exposure or by pressing & holding the shutter button while turning the camera on.
    • How does it affect the photographic process?
      • The start up/ready to shoot time is increased from 0,8 to 4 seconds.
      • The ability to make captures spontaneously is significantly decreased.
    • Why does it happen?
      • Most likely moisture caused the shutter to become sticky
    • How can it be avoided?
    • How can it be fixed?
    • Where is more information about this issue?
  2. Sticky shutter button (left and right side)
    • Ricoh GR Problems - Shutter Button stuck in the lower right corner

      Ricoh GR Problems – Shutter Button stuck in the lower right corner

    • What is the problem?
      • After pressing the shutter button it gets stuck in the left or right corner
      • Pressing the button again in its center helps to release it from the blocked position
    • How does it affect the photographic process?
      • The ability to trigger the shutter and make captures spontaneously is inhibited.
    • Why does it happen?
      • Fingertip grease and dust tend to accumulate under the button, making it less responsive
      • “The shape invites a rocker-like motion, thus the possible stickiness.”
    • How can it be avoided?
      • Use gloves :) just kidding, I am not sure if this can be avoided at all.
    • How can it be fixed?
      • Undocumented for the GR, but a possible cleaning method would be to turn the camera upside down and inject a small amounts of electrical contact cleaner under the button.
      • Contact and send the camera to an authorized Ricoh camera repair service in your region.
    • Where is more information about this issue?
  3. Dust on Sensor
    • Ricoh GR Problems - Dust on Sensor

      Ricoh GR Problems – Dust on Sensor

    • What is the problem?
      • The GR is NOT weather sealed. Small dust and other particles will get inside and on the sensor over time.
      • To check for dust, set the aperture to f/16 and make a photo of a uniform, evenly lit scene (ex. blue sky)
    • How does it affect the photographic process?
      • The pictures will look dirty
    • Why does it happen?
      • The camera is stored unprotected in a place with dust/small particles (ex. jeans pocket)
      • The camera is left on during a photo walk
      • The camera is used during windy conditions
    • How can it be avoided?
      • Always store the Ricoh GR in a dedicated, lockable camera bag!
      • Turn the camera off between shots (the start up, lens extrusion time is only 0,8 seconds!)
      • Try not to shoot directly against strong winds or towards an outdoor driving direction.
      • Buy and mount the GH-3 Hood & Adapter + a 49mm clear filter to seal off the lens.
        • Watch the GH-3 Adapter & Hood unpacking & mounting video
    • How can it be fixed?
      • DYI – Clean the sensor on your own
        • Read “the easy way of cleaning the sensor” using a dust spray on hackcorrelation.blogspot.de
        • Read the illustrated full Ricoh GR disassembly and sensor cleaning method on jamiecollison.com
        • Watch the full disassembly and sensor cleaning video
      • Contact and send the camera to an authorized Ricoh camera repair service in your region.
      • Leave it as it is. Consider shooting with wider apertures and remove / mask out dust in post production.
    • Where is more information about this issue?

The End of Ricoh GR Problems (so far)

Please contribute if you experience other problems / solutions and post your comments below.

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Comments

  • Very good article . A must read for Ricoh GR users. On the how to avoid dust issues , I would add an important comment :
    Try to use the Ricoh hood as much as possible. It think it helps A LOT

  • Thank You Harold for the feedback, I added your important suggestion regarding the GH3 Hood & Adapter!

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