It’s fair to say that Ricoh has had mixed fortunes in the digital market, with success and absolute image quality varying across the product range. In the GXR A12 lens units, the company seems to have got things right.

The GXR system is still awkward to understand, but with the introduction of the Mount A12 for M and L lenses the appeal should be much clearer. The mount will provide an incentive for existing lens users to invest in the system, and I’m certain most will be very happy with it. Inevitably, the AF lenses, the 28mm f/2.5 and the 50mm f/2.5 macro, will be follow-on purchases to give the manual focusing an occasional rest.

A system that once had just four lens choices now has masses, and while some may sniff at the 12.3-million-pixel sensor, its resolution far exceeds what one might expect, and what most need for street, travel and portrait photography.

At the launch of the GXR system in November 2009, I asked Mr Kazunobu Saiki, general manager of Ricoh’s global camera division, for a unit that would accept M and L lenses. He acknowledged it might be an idea, but I never thought the company would produce one. It’s been a while coming, but the Mount A12 is very good indeed. I’ve really enjoyed using it, but more than that, I’ve really enjoyed looking at the pictures it produces.

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