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The Ricoh GR1 is one of the smallest wide angle (28mm) camera for 35mm film. It belongs to the absolute top section of the ultra compact 35mm film cameras. It has been released in 1996. As for the Minolta TC-1, there are quite some photographers who consider the Ricoh as the best ultra compact 35mm film camera ever built.
It was rather expensive from start and prices stay high today. There is a point and shoot mode with full automatic control. But you can also set the aperture and the camera does the rest. The Ricoh GR1 has more manual control:

the viewfinder indicates autofocus distance, shutter speed, exposure compensation and AF O.K.,
dedicated aperture control dial for aperture priority AE,
spot or multi-focus metering,
dedicated flash mode switch,
dedicated exposure compensation dial
fixed focus modes.

Its main data are:

28mm/F2.8
Ricoh GR lens, 7 elements in 4 groups, autofocus with focus lock, min. focus 0,35m
Electronic shutter, 2s-1/500 and T
Size 117mm x 61mm x 26,5mm (Grip: 34mm),  Weight 175 gr. without battery
25-3200 ISO, automatic DX coding, automatic mode or aperture priority AE, segmented centre weighted or spot metering, self-timer, automatic film advance, manual focus in 4 steps


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Camera front closed and top.

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Camera front open. 
The lens only moves out further than on other wide angle compacts.

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Top.
Exposure compensation, time mode, focus mode, LCD screen, shutter release, aperture setting. 2nd strap lug on the edge.

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Back. Flash mode swith, AE and flash control light, viewer, on/off button. Film type window.

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Bottom. . 
Tripod socket. Battery compartment, takes a CR2 battery. Strap lug on the edge

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Front.
 Flash guide number ~7 (m/ISO 100).

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Camera back open.

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Film compartment.

This camera is one of the smallest full frame cameras for 135 film. In comparison to the Minolta TC-1 it's a bit longer but thinner, so in my opinion they are equal. It has numerous features, well packed into a tiny body. It's a high quality ultra compact with a superb lens. For me, who has spent his whole life with cameras, everything is easy to use. Aperture priority is a "natural" thing to me, so I don't need or even want an all automatic one. But, in case of, this camera can be fully automatic. The possibility of extensive manual control suits me well. It's one of the few cameras that keeps any setting you chose when switched off. Autofocus is responsive and works well. Putting a film is easy, you drop the film into the camera
, tear the film leader up to the mark and that's it, the camera prespools the whole film. It feels more solid than it looks. Seen the size, handling is logic and easy. It is an excellent idea to have dedicated wheels and switches, no need to go into a menu, the setting is always visible at a glimpse. The T mode for the shutter lets you take any kind of night photo. Up to 60 seconds the counting is visible on the top screen, it then disappears, but the shutter stays open as long as you want. Marvellous. Picture quality is impressing, the pictures are sharp and and the contrast is amazing.

There is a "date" version of the GR1. My camera had this feature which I find useless. But if you like or need the date stamp, you can be served.

There was a GR1s model in 1997 with only minor changings: the LCD is back-lit, the lens coating is different and a filter or hood can be attached. Please look further down for pictures of this one. In 2001 there was a GR1v model, which adds DX override, an auto-bracketing mode and manual focus has 6 steps instead of 4. The latter is still far from the 22 steps of the Minolta TC-1 or the 17 steps of the Fuji Super Mini.

The GR1v model is the most sought after, it's price is often twice the GR1 price tag. As I do not need the improvements too much, I am fine with a GR1. All models will sooner or later die from a dead LCD screen. There is no repair service any longer by Ricoh. Keep in mind that there are 2 LCD screens: one on top and one in the finder. Both have issues. When they fade, the camera can still be used for a while, but it will be over soon. So be careful choosing your camera dealer. I was not lucky with my first one. The screen was perfect for 2 films. Putting the 3rd film two weeks later, it only showed part of the information. As the camera was quite expensive, I was upset. The seller did not offer any warranty, but took it back nevertheless without any problem. So if the price of a Ricoh hurts you, stay away from it. And do not believe sellers which tell you that a partly defective screen is of no importace. It will die compltely sooner or later. Otherwise it is a nearly perfect camera. I bought a GR1s then which is fine at the moment. There are pictures of this one further down.

This is what a beginning dead screen looks like. It will get worse soon:

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So here comes my GR1s. It looks a bit battered, but it was not expensive at all. That's why I gave the Ricoh a second chance.

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Camera front closed.

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Camera front open. 
The lens only moves out further than on other wide angle compacts.

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Top.
Exposure compensation, time mode, focus mode, LCD screen, shutter release, aperture setting. 2nd strap lug on the edge.

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Back. Flash mode swith, AE and flash control light, viewer, on/off button. Film type window.

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Bottom. . 
Tripod socket. Battery compartment, takes a CR2 battery. Strap lug on the edge.

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Film compartment.

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