GR start-up problems
Old 02-08-2018   #1
retinax
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GR start-up problems

My up until no trusty GR has recently developed an issue. When I switch it on, it extends the lens, then hunts around as if searching for focus, and turns off with the lens still extended. Sometimes, during this the screen is black, sometimes not - then what's on the screen is OOF. It takes several attempts, then it starts regularly. Mostly, this is after it has been off for a while. Once it's been on, I can mostly turn it off and on again without issues. The lens extending motor sounds less determined when it has the problem. It also, very rarely, has problems acquiring focus and the focusing mechanism or motor then makes some painful noise.
I've tried reset, firmware update and cleaning the battery contacts/different batteries.
My guesses are it is either a problem with power supply, as at the startup, power consumption must be highest, or the mechanism/motor that extends the lens is defect/dirty.
Has anyone had a similar problem and resolved it? is it difficult to access the lens extending mechanism for a cleaning? Any ideas how to better clean the battery contacts than with ethanol and with an eraser? Something else I could try?
Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2018   #2
Archiver
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This is a different problem from what seems like a more common one: in my GR, the lens extends but the shutter doesn't open, presenting a black screen. The shutter only opens when you press the shutter button, but because the shutter is closed, the camera takes a long exposure.

This doesn't help with your camera, but from your description, it sounds like a lens motor issue. My GRD III developed a stuck shutter and the whole lens assembly including shutter had to be replaced as it is a single drop-in unit. I'm guessing that the GR is designed in a similar way. But the solution might not be as expensive as all that.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/218176...7655664854300/
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Old 02-08-2018   #3
sepiareverb
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My first thought was a power issue, but not likely if you change batteries and it persists. Ricoh will fix these, mine decided to leap from the car one day and nearly lost its lens, came back good as new.
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Old 02-09-2018   #4
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Thanks for your replies.
Archiver, I had come across that thread on flickr before, it doesn't appear they've found a solution though, except the one person who took his apart and it somehow worked again afterwards, but that was after it was completely stuck.
separeverb, that it mostly occurs after it's been turned off for a while really seems to point to a power issue, the rest doesn't, it's weird.
I'll just continue to use it as is for a while and see if it gets better or worse, Then I may have to see about repair.
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Old 02-12-2018   #5
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Update: Now the lens remains stuck in the extended position, upon switching the camera on, the focus goes form infinity to close-up three times, sounding a little funny, while the display remains black, then the live view appears for a fraction of a second and the damn thing shuts down. Every time.
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Old 03-12-2018   #6
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Update 2: I sent the camera in to the official Ricoh repair partner. Received a quote to repair this, along with the flash (the flash tube has cracked). Over 350€ after taxes. They apparently would replace the whole lens and flash assemblies rather than diving into them. Not sure if I should try somewhere else or write it off (and maybe tinker around myself when I have time).
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Old 07-24-2018   #7
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Update 3: I fixed it! Although I don't know exactly what did it. For now it is working again.
Having nothing to lose and a bit of time on my hands, I searched the internet again and found only people having the same issue, but no service manual or solution except for one guy who twisted the front. Didn't help for mine.

So I tried to get in there. Got to the sensor from the back, following instructions for cleaning dust on the sensor which mine doesn't have, oddly. Well now it might. Anyway I didn't get further because it looks extremely complicated there. Decided to try from the lens side where there is no obvious way to open the thing, I still haven't figured out how to remove the front shell as the ring around the lens seems to hold it, but that ring doesn't unscrew or come out any other way.

So the front of the lens. I pried the front shield off with a blade. Actually it's a sort of bayonet, it will unmount by turning it clockwise (!) a little, gripping it with rubber gloves works. Fortunately I broke off only one of three or four prongs. I removed the front group of the lens, simple with three screws, underneath is the shutter and aperture assembly. I just moved it around a little, trying to find out how to get further in, but couldn't find a way. Undid the two screws next to the focusing spindle and fiddle with the white part that is pressed onto the spindle a bit, couldn't get further there, either. Put it back together to perhaps try again another day. The front shield goes on it only when the two blades that form the front lens cap are scotch-taped closed. Then, I expected nothing but for some reason switched it on and...
It worked! although I didn't focus reliably, I had probably misaligned something a little or not tightened a screw right, so I went back in and carefully reassembled again.

Then, it got stuck again, in a different position, this time the lens tube was only about half way out (had been [almost?] fully extended before).
I tried something again that I hat tried before to no avail, simply pushing it in while the camera was trying to do the same - this time around, it worked! It put the front shield on and here it is sitting next to me, and it works (checking again, yes!). The sound it makes when extending the lens may be a little louder than before, but I'll just knock on wood.
Second piece of photo equipment I've repaired in two weeks by just disassembling and putting back together. I'm on a roll!
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Old 07-24-2018   #8
BillBingham2
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My GRD III died a similar death.

Need to find a half a day to play.......I have the inspection light and magnifier, need to clean off the desk.

A thousand thank you for the update. I had given up hope.

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Old 07-24-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
My up until no trusty GR has recently developed an issue. When I switch it on, it extends the lens, then hunts around as if searching for focus, and turns off with the lens still extended. Sometimes, during this the screen is black, sometimes not - then what's on the screen is OOF. It takes several attempts, then it starts regularly. Mostly, this is after it has been off for a while. Once it's been on, I can mostly turn it off and on again without issues. The lens extending motor sounds less determined when it has the problem. It also, very rarely, has problems acquiring focus and the focusing mechanism or motor then makes some painful noise.
I've tried reset, firmware update and cleaning the battery contacts/different batteries.
My guesses are it is either a problem with power supply, as at the startup, power consumption must be highest, or the mechanism/motor that extends the lens is defect/dirty.
Has anyone had a similar problem and resolved it? is it difficult to access the lens extending mechanism for a cleaning? Any ideas how to better clean the battery contacts than with ethanol and with an eraser? Something else I could try?
Thanks!
Mine has the same issue. It always develops when the batteries are near dead. Fresh charged batteries and its fine
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Old 07-24-2018   #10
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
Mine has the same issue. It always develops when the batteries are near dead. Fresh charged batteries and its fine

Huh interesting. That's not the case with mine though. Although I don't have any very new battery so that they're all old could play a role. But as per my last post, it's now working with one of those old batteries.
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Old 07-24-2018   #11
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
My GRD III died a similar death.

Need to find a half a day to play.......I have the inspection light and magnifier, need to clean off the desk.

A thousand thank you for the update. I had given up hope.

B2 (;->

Certainly worth a try.
Although I read the flickr thread that Archiever posted back in February, I neglected to do so again before diving into it. There's one person who got to the lens extending mechanism just three screws beyond the sensor. Try that If the easier way in through the lens fails.
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Old 07-25-2018   #12
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Update 4: It locked up again. Right after I inserted a different, old battery, freshly charged though. Might really have something to do with batteries. It unlocked when I tried the trick from one of the internet success stories, twisting the lens barrel counterclockwise while it's trying to start up. Very little force did the trick. I had tried that before, it didn't work then, so perhaps it was just coincidence. It is also possible that my whole dis- and reassembly did nothing but the twisting the lens front shield on at the end is what did it.
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