Ricoh GV-2 Optical Viewfinder – The Love & the Hate.


I had been using the GV-2 OVF since I bought my GRD. I found it useful at first but then it’s not as accurate with just the 80% fields of view. I wouldn’t know what fields of view was until I get my hands on a rangefinder camera.

First thing I must admit is that I wear eye glasses (not thick ones). So that adds a little distance from my eye and the OVF. It’s often that 1cm makes a huge difference on a OVF. The GV-2 is designed specifically for 28mm focal length. It’s tiny, not too bright because of the size and housing design. I cannot frame my photos quick enough on my type of street photography. That’s a big minus for me.

Voigtlander 21/25mm OVF mounted on

I took out my 21mm GRD conversion lens and the 21mm OVF sitting on my desk for a couple days. The GV-2 was making me so uncomfortable when shooting…Last night I was curious if my Voigtlander 21/25mm OVF would work okay on 28mm lens (because of the extended view beyond the 25mm frame lines). I just couldn’t believe whatever i frame with the 25mm frame lines were EXACTLY what’s on the LCD. It’s a magically found.

That solved my inaccurate framing issue. I’m better off with the 25mm OVF! I’m really excited again with the GRD.

My Advice to glasses wearer
In the future, when needed a new OVF, one should get the OVF with focal length shorter than than the lens. And also think about the fields of view beyond the frame lines. This is also my advice for ones who glasses. The size of a OVF is a huge determinant for the type of photography you’re doing. I’d say bigger is better than smaller.

One thing that I can’t do with the Voigtlander 21/25mm OVF is not allowing me to pop out the built-in flash. It’s one thing that I must consider when using it. A huge trade-off if I’m willing to give up. Also, the size is of the OVF is as big as the lens. Now sure how would someone react with it yet. I’m in favor of the bigger glass, comfortable viewfinder.

You can certainly try the GV-1. I’m kind of regret that I did not get the GV-1 in the first place. I never liked the matte rough metal surface of the Ricoh OVF anyway. It may scratch up glasses easily if not careful enough.

But hey, life is like that. Learn how to live with it. That’s what I do.

11 thoughts on “Ricoh GV-2 Optical Viewfinder – The Love & the Hate.

  1. Hi,
    need your advice. Will buy the new GR digital in may.
    I’m short sighted and far sighted. I always have my far field glasses on. To see what I’am doing I have to put my reading glasses on.
    Can I see through the GV-1 or GV-2 with my far field glasses clearly? I know there is no dioptry adjustment possible…

    1. try the gv-1 first. I don’t know if you’d get a good view with it though as the frame lines would not be exactly what you’re seeing. You really need to try it. My Voigtlander 21/25mm which the 25mm lines happened to be what i see as 28mm. hope this helps.

  2. Having taken your advices, I recently bought a 24mm panasonic optical viewfinder, which I use on my dp1x. it is quite accurate as well. And it doesn’t block the pop up flash on dp1x; either does on grd, I guess.

    1. Jorge, While i had not seen one of those 28/35 in the market here, i believe the Voigtlander’s used to make them. I don’t have a chance to try the ‘revolver’ type of VF. It’s worth investing multiple OVF if you really like the camera/system you’re using. They’re going to last very long. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s