New reviews coming up soon! Sony 50 1.8, Nokton 35 1.2 II and more!

NEW Reviews that are coming soon! Sony 50 1.8, Nokton 35 1.2 II and more!




Currently working on and shooting with the NEX-7 and the Sony 50 1.8 lens and will post my thoughts on the lens VERY soon. At $299 it is a  no brainer if you own a NEX camera. I hear the NEX-7 will start shipping in December BUT that is not from an official source. To all of you who pre-ordered it from Amazon and did NOT cancel, should ship soon! The lens review will be up by the end of the week, and if not then by Monday of next week! I have now been shooting with the NEX-7 for a while now and it is really a powerhouse of a small camera. Not perfect, but I have yet to find a perfect camera. My review for the NEX-7 is HERE in case you missed it.

One from the NEX-7 and 50 1.8 – click for larger


I am also shooting with the M9-P more once again and also shooting the Voigtlander 35 1.2 ASPH Version II. This is a super fast 35mm lens for the Leica mount and is pretty special on the M9. Many who own this new version think it beats the original 35 Summilux ASPH and it is 1/4 the price! It is a larger lens but smaller than the old version (not by much). Look for my review soon of this lovely lens on the M9. The lens came in stock at B&H Photo last week along with almost every other fast Voigtlander M mount Nokton lens. Check them out HERE if you are looking for good but cheaper glass for your M! These lenses are so hard to come by these days!

MIA – The Ricoh GRD IV

I have been shooting on and off with the Ricoh GRD IV for a few weeks and have to say it is a truly pocketable and GREAT camera if you are after a P&S (point and shoot). The Ricoh IS a P&S but it is a very well made and feeling P&S! It fits in my front jeans pocket and is always ready with its 28 1.9 lens. The problem I am having with it is the IQ is a downgrade from cameras like the micro 4/3’s, Nikon V1 and other smaller and sometimes equally priced cameras. Also, I am not seeing much of a difference between this and the older III (my review here), well, enough of one to warrant a full on new version of the camera. Maybe it is just me but this camera seems a bit pricey for what it is at $599. It looks like a III, feels like a III, shoots like a III, has the same menu as the III, same filter effects as the III, same low res video as the III and maybe has a slight improvement in IQ (same great lens) over the III but in real use, to me, it is really not that much better than the III. AF IS indeed a little faster.

Still, if you want pocketable with a fast lens and small sensor then the GRD IV is one of the best in that “pocketable” market. I would take a GXR over the GRD though. Just my personal opinion.

The GRD IV at halloween – “always in my pocket” is the strength of the GRD series.


  1. Hi Steve,

    Also looking forward to your review – i have the 35mm 1.4, and i love its size. I can have my M9 and 35 in my pocket (Winter jacket) 😉


  2. Can’t wait for the 50mm NEX lens review! In fact, the only reason I havn’t ordered one is that I am looking forward to your review. I’m very happy with my NEX-5, but the kit zoom and the 16mm pancake just aren’t that ideal for me.. Hope the 50 is better than the cheap ones from the competition. 😀 (Yes, 300 bucks is not really cheap for me :()

  3. Just took about 100 shots with my new 35 Nokton 1.2 ASPH ll on my M8 in Old Montreal on an overcast day. I’ll check my results tonight, but I’m really looking forward to your review.

  4. Hi Steve!
    Will you compare to two versions of the lens.
    I believe your first review of the lens was done on an M8.
    I’d like to see how they look with the M9 and with film.



  5. Steve,

    After few weeks of using GRD4, I feel it is definitely worth in price with substantially improvement, especially in the area of Snapshot, PQ and HDR. It is no point if just highlight its feature and advantage against GR3 (I owned GRD3 two years ago). If people asking me why pick GRD4, why not X100, X10, E-P3, GF3, GXR (sold already). The answer is very simple….. It is compact with excellent PQ and fast Auto-focus, and the most important is Ricoh keep it traditional outlook and constant features. To me, it is a “Leica” from Japan.

  6. won’t add much here, but I’m currently hesitating between the 40 f1.4 and this 35 f1.2. Already have the NEX adaptor, can’t test it so … the price being a deal breaker, I’d really need to read this review before cracking the wallet 😉

    • yes, that 40 1.4 is gnawing at me constantly… I have seen some amazing shots with it and suspect one day it will find its way into my bag!

  7. Thanks for the update, Steve, I am looking forward to these reviews.

    I have tried the Nokton on my M8 and was impressed by the sharpness at F1.2, which exceeded my own Summilux 35/1.4 Asph. from 1996, so I am curious to hear your opinion about the Nokton.

    But I am even more curious to read your report on the GRD4. Yes expensive, yes limited IQ, yes only one focal length…….. but this camera has intrigued me to a level which I can not explain or justify.

    Going through hundreds of pictures on Flickr shot with the GRD4 and GRD3 and comparing them to shots from Canon G12 and S90/S95 and Nikon P7000/71000….. I found more compelling pictures with the Ricoh than with the other cameras. Maybe it’s the “type of photographer” who uses GRD that’s different to the guys who opt for the other cameras…. so they shoot different photographs (more “artsy” in composition and color or B/W?)

    But add to that the excitement and the firm conviction of GRD users about the operability, fast response and user friendly menu structure and you have a combination that lures me into buying this camera rather soon. One thing that drives me crazy with other compact cameras is the delay between framing the subject and really shooting the picture, mainly due to focussing….. this is where the snaphot mode of the GRD’s could win me over.
    Oh, and yes, the pocketability is another factor… no more excuses for not having a camera with you.

    So please, Steve, give us plenty of example shots with the GRD4 with all kinds of settings and filters and tell us about the time the camera needs to start up and shoot the picture. In this aspect, I assume the GRD4 is faster than the GRX with 28mm module.

    Thanks for your efforts and for running this site!
    I am a daily visitor 😉

    • Hi Christian,

      The Ricoh GRD cameras.

      Yes expensive: Built to a very high standard.
      Yes limited IQ: For the size of sensor the IQ will amaze you.
      One focal length: Makes it truly pocketable and I have never missed not having a zoom while using my GRD 111 – you just adapt your shooting style accordingly.

      I love my GRD 111 and take it everywhere, and fully intend to upgrade to the 1V, but will wait for Steve’s report on it out of interest.

      It would make a very good companion to your Leica M8 – go to your local Ricoh dealer and give it a try. I think you will be impressed as you are already intrigued by it’s qualities.

      Best wishes.


      • Thanks Andrew for your kind reply.
        The first GRD4’s are out there in the shops, but they are still selling at MSRP of Euro 499.- …. so I am waiting a little for the price to come down and then I’ll go and buy it.

    • I will say right now…the GRD IV is a much better camera than the Canon G12, S90 or Nikons P7000, all of which I have shot with and hated. Thats just me though. The GRD IV is the nicest pocketable compact I have shot with, but at the same time can’t compete in IQ with other similarly priced cameras. What you pay for here is size, build and control. Not so much total IQ or gimmicks.

  8. it would be interesting to see a best “bang for your buck” comparison of some 35mm lenses. Best lens (new or used) for under $1500.

  9. Hallelujah, finally someone speaks truth of Ricoh. No one is arguing its a good camera, its just the GRDIII and GRDIV did not have much excuse for their pricetag in a world with the Canon S95. Cannot wait for the Nokton 35mm 1.2 V2 review though.

  10. Steve, will you be testing the 35/1.2 on the Nex cameras? Seems like the combo could be stellar.

    Also, been taking advantage of some Amazon cyber deals through your links. Merry Xmas! Keep up the great work.

  11. I’m looking forward to reading your 35 1.2 II review, although, as a satisfied owner of v1, I’m a not likely to upgrade, especially seen the much increased price tag.

    A side-by-side size comparison would be nice too.

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