The latest Ricoh patents (tilting sensor)


Ricoh has a new patent for a “photographing apparatus” with a tilting sensor that can focus on two objects at different distances with a tilting focal plane:

The present invention relates to a photographing apparatus, and in particular relates to a photographing apparatus in which automatic tilt (automatic rotation) of an imaging plane (imaging surface of an image sensor) is possible.

Here is the full list of all recently filed Ricoh patents – I will try to go over it and report on the more interesting filings:

10/12/17 Zoom lens system and electronic imaging apparatus using the same
10/05/17 Stage apparatus
09/21/17 Shake-correction device and shake-correction photographing apparatus
09/21/17 Photographing apparatus
08/31/17 Zoom lens system
06/08/17 Power information management device and power information management system
06/01/17 Imaging apparatus, image projector apparatus, and stage apparatus
06/01/17 Stage apparatus, image projector apparatus having stage apparatus, and imaging apparatus having stage apparatus
05/11/17 Anti-reflection coating and optical member comprising same
03/16/17 Electronic apparatus and imaging apparatus
03/16/17 Imaging apparatus and support mechanism for movable member
03/09/17 Zoom lens system
01/19/17 Photographing apparatus, photographing method and program
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  • Wild Treck

    Interesting idea.

  • Shaepour

    is this going to be something like a view (field) camera’s adjustable / moveable back that can control depth of field? if so, certainly interesting …

    but what about an auto-focus system that could move the sensor back and forth on the Z axis so as to compensate for the photographer’s back and forth movement when hand holding a camera?

    is there such a thing on any camera? i know a certain Contax film camera did that, which helped prevent having to make new autofocus lenses so that all regular lenses could be used on that camera …

    but what about digital cameras? if not, why not Ricoh / Pentax be the first to do it and add such a feature to their future sensor balancing IS mechanisms?

  • Shaepour

    is this going to be something like a view (field) camera’s adjustable / moveable back that can control depth of field? if so, certainly interesting …

    but what about an autofocus system that could move the sensor back and forth on the Z axis so as to compensate for the photographer’s back and forth movement when hand holding a camera?

    is there such a thing on any camera? i know a certain Contax film camera did that, which helped prevent having to make new autofocus lenses so that all regular lenses could be used on that camera …

    but what about digital cameras? if not, why not Ricoh / Pentax be the first to do it and add such a feature to their future sensor balancing IS mechanisms?

    • Mistral75

      It was the Contax AX.

      Today any and all autofocus cameras can compensate for the photographer’s back and forth (translation) movements along the Z axis: it’s called continuous autofocus or AF-C ;).

      • Shaepour

        yes, but continuous AF adjusts the focusing of the lens elements, which is of course quite fine and almost NEVER as accurate (and certainly not as fast) as expected by most photographers using almost ANY camera!

        what i meant is moving the sensor itself (pretty much the same as Contax AX that moves the film plane back and forth) while the lens is set on a fixed focusing distance from the subject, not from the picture plane on the sensor! (hope it doesn’t require “translation” for you or shall is say it again?!) 😉

      • Shaepour

        yes, but continuous AF adjusts the focusing of the lens elements, which is of course quite fine and almost NEVER as accurate (and certainly not as fast) as expected by most photographers using almost ANY camera!

        what i meant is moving the sensor itself (pretty much the same as Contax AX that moves the film plane back and forth) while the lens is set on a fixed focusing distance from the subject, not from the picture plane on the sensor! (hope it doesn’t require “translation” for you or shall is say it again?!) 😉

        there’s also that extra major advantage with this method as there is with the Contax AX camera: all manually focused lenses will now become auto-focus just as well, simply because the camera does the job … (comparable to how Pentax and some other cameras do the sensor shifting thing so there’s no need for adding costly and cumbersome image-stabilizing technology inside each lens separately …)

        • Shaepour

          btw Ricoh, or anyone, if you ever did such a thing, ie adding an auto-focusing mechanism at the sensor level to a digital camera in the future, please have me in mind too, and at least quote who suggested that first even if you’re not going to pay the royalty for it! 😉 😀 3:)

  • Zos Xavius

    Looks like despite the lack of new products they have been pretty busy. I think they are going to release a mirrorless system.

    • Shaepour

      they do have at least one mirrorless system already, don’t they? yes, it’s not as fancy as the latest offers by the competition but that new Metabones speed booster lens adapter that lets Nikon lenses be used on Pentax Q mirrorless cameras is apparently a new step by the 3rd party in the right direction of getting Pentax deeper into that area too … apparently, the latest Pentax Q S2 is quite good in live continuous auto-focusing and the image quality is good too! not 4K of course but still very good @ 1080 …

  • Tom Malewicki

    release a new Ricoh GR already…

  • François Nuq

    I think Ricoh is aiming at a mirrorless system. The problem was how make a mirrorless keeping the K mount and and its flange distance which will result in a big sized body? The solution: using this big size to put hardware to provide new sensor moves!
    Really, if they do that, it will be great! it’s like having a field camera. But they have to do it carefully, providing enough room for the tilt and shift. Allowing the use of the 6×7 lenses (using an adaptator) to increase avalaible image circle would be great!

  • if they could release a mirrorless k-mount camera with 4k video etc it would be truly epic

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