Ricoh has today unveiled a wideangle lens module for its GXR camera system which it hopes will serve as a ?killer unit for expanding GXR sales?.

Ricoh’s Digital Camera business development manager Keisuke Minagoshi said the company hopes the 24-85mm focal length will appeal to more enthusiasts than previous GXR units.

A Ricoh Japan spokesman added: ?It covers the focal lengths commonly used by general users, and is a regular camera unit that frequent users can leave attached to the body.?

Housed in a magnesium shell, the unit features a 16-million-pixel APS-C size CMOS imaging sensor and Smooth Imaging Engine IV processor.

The 24-85mm f/3.5-5.5 Ricoh Lens A16 is the fifth unit for the GXR system which was first launched in December 2009 – each GXR unit containing a built-in lens, sensor and image processor.

The 24-85mm (35mm viewing angle equivalent) lens is made of 11 elements in nine groups and includes three double-sided aspherical lenses. The nine blade diaphragm should deliver ?beautiful bokeh?, according to Ricoh.

The A16 is expected to go on sale in the spring at a price yet to be announced.

Amateur Photographer (AP) understands that, in the United States, it will cost in the region of $500-600, though this figure had not been confirmed at the time of writing.

Features include an ISO bracketing function designed to allow the photographer to shoot three images with different ISO sensitivities.

It is also possible to record a raw image only (as well as simultaneous raw/JPEG) – a feature that should help speed up workflow and free up memory card space, says Ricoh.

Also on board is a focus-assist function, to help manual focusing, plus five new scene mode options: soft focus, cross process, toy camera, miniaturise and high contrast b&w.

Armoury also includes a 1280×720 pixel HD movie option and an enhanced tilt indicator to ?detect camera movement direction?, in addition to the horizontal indicator.

An optional lens cap, which opens and closes with the movement of the lens, will also go on sale alongside the A16.

The A16 measures 71.4×70.5×93.3mm and weighs around 350g, or 550g when attached to the camera body.

In an interview with Amateur Photographer, Ricoh said that most GXR sales stem from Japan, though UK sales are ?better than average?, compared to other countries.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, last month, the firm added that its APS-C units are proving to be the most popular of its GXR modules.

Ricoh GXR A16