Ricoh GR External Optical Viewfinder GV-2

gv2 connectedI hardly ever pick up digital gear on my way out the door for a photo walk. Using live view on digital just doesn’t get me excited. Call me an elitist, or whatever you like, but I just hate using live view and chimping.

When the awesome new Ricoh GR digital turned up in my mailbox at work, I knew I was going to have to get an external optical viewfinder as soon as I pulled it out.

The rear LCD is pretty good – plenty of unobtrusive information on the settings for your shot, and it is nice and large. Bright daylight can overpower most LCDs at some point, so having an optical viewfinder is great for these days. They always work!

The GV-2 has framelines for compositions based on the standard 28mm lens on the Ricoh. The outer limits of the viewfinder allow for those who add a 21mm wide angle adapter to the Ricoh. A bit gadgety for my personal tastes…

The viewfinder sits firmly on the flash shoe. It is bright, crisp, and sharp looking through the lens.

It is very well made – strong metal shell, with excellent optics. The frame lines are well marked.frameline

To be 100% honest, the viewfinder is a beautiful waste of gear funds. It gives the camera a bit more cred, and I do like using it in preference to the live view. The issue being that there is no information coming through the viewfinder – no focus point, aperture, shutter speed or iso. All things that really assist in composing great images.

The other killer is the focus point confirmation – unless you just set it at a point on the screen and just consistently shoot with this in mind. Still, you can miss critical focus too easily using the viewfinder.

The thing retails for around $250 plus on Ebay – the camera itself is only $800 – $900, so spending $250 on a viewfinder that actually makes it harder to compose a decent image is just silly. Lucky, I picked up a second hand one at a reasonable decent price. Ricoh also tend to occasionally wrap them up in a deal with the camera occasionally… so keep an eye on BHPhoto.

Buy one if it makes you happy to have an external optical viewfinder – it makes me happy!

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