Okay. I found out that I have a perfect sized (actually I do not want to have any larger than this for travel) camera bag for travel. I even didn’t remember that I have such a bag. Lowepro Cirrus 110. Now I would like to have some gear to fill it up.
First of all I have my Ricoh GR which is of course part of my travel gear. Cirrus 110 bag has a removable divider so it is very easy to have different compartments, e.g. for two cameras. The GR is very small and will nicely fit in as standing on its short side. I measured with my old Olympus E-P1 with 14-42 zoom and that combo went nicely in the bag with the GR. But my Fuji X-Pro1 with Fujinon 35/1.4 lens is a different story. Let’s say so that it may go in but just barely and then the GR will not fit in comfortably. I have a larger camera bag but I definitely feel that it will be too big for the travel and I do not want to carry it with me all day.
Ricoh GR has a 28mm equivalent lens which will be my wide angle camera for the travel (and in general too). What I will need is a camera or body plus lens combo for a longer focal length area. Let’s say at least 70-75mm equivalent or longer. I stated above that my old E-P1 fit in nicely but it is quite old camera and its low light capabilities are not very good. PEN cameras with, say, 45/1.8 (90mm equiv.) lens would go in nicely in that bag. Also maybe even with 75/1.8 (150 equiv.) lens.
Question is that is there any sense to buy new (or mint used) 45mm or 75mm lens for my old E-P1? That 45mm is very reasonably prized (about 290 euros) but the 75mm is then quite expensive (about 850 euros). If I would do this (which means that I would buy m4/3 stuff once again!), I would be graving for a new m4/3 body too after the trip.
Or maybe I just have to look after next camera bag size above Cirrus 110 to fit in my X-Pro1? In that case I still have that longer focal length question in my hands.
I hate and love this kind of pondering. Makes life more interesting and complicated.
Posted in Photography | Tagged camera bag, camera pondering, Finland, Photography, travel | Leave a Comment »
I’ve been pondering lately to buy a zoom lens. Oh my, I am a prime only guy. But now there is one zoom lens I may want to have. Namely Fujinon 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. It seems to be highly praised almost everywhere. And it really provides that tele reach (83-300mm) which I am missing time to time. It is about 730 euros, so not bad for the build quality and IQ it provides.
Should I go for it then? I have developed some kind of a zoom barrier in my head. Very difficult to use anything else than prime lenses. Quite funny. Nope.
Why can’t Fuji introduce a 135mm (200mm equivalent) f/2 prime? I would buy that one instantly. Or at least 85mm?
Posted in Photography | Tagged Finland, Fuji X-Pro1, Fujinon 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, lens, Photography, pondering, prime, zoom | 4 Comments »
Decided to pick three shots I photographed lately and tell few words about them. There will be some emotional and technical aspects included.
This is a shot of our oldest dog, border terrier Herkko. He is the best dog in the world and that's why the perfect subject for photography. Nowadays he is sleeping on the couch quite a much like in this shot. I tested here my new Ricoh GR camera and its fantastic high contrast in-camera B&W preset. I tweaked the preset little bit and I find this tweaking possibility very nice feature to have. Sharpness of the paw area is fantastic as is the bokeh even if his head is next to the paw (this was shot at f/2.8). I really love the subtle grain which ISO 1600 offers here. The overall looks is quite rough but I really like it.
The above shot was taken in a cloudy day and I was really surprised how nicely Ricoh GR managed the exposure. The colors are spot on here. It is just a rusty grain mill but somehow it got new life in this shot. For this I mean that I have passed it many times but now it has a different meaning to me. Quite difficult to explain actually but I know many of you readers may know what I mean. The GR is a compact camera with a big heart and soul. That I can say.
Third shot is about APS (Advanced Photo System) film cartridge I found from a box when I was going through my things. Then I realized that my Fuji X-Pro1 (well, the GR too) has an APS-C sized sensor. So, I saw a duel here. Film-age APS vs. digital-age APS. It was a concept to me which I wanted to shoot. For this shot I used a 50 year old lens, Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F 1.8 wide open. I just love how it renders and how beautiful bokeh it produces. And it is so fantastic to focus manually, so smooth. The above shot is a JPEG B&W from the camera. Have to say that the X-Trans sensor makes some beautiful JPEGs.
I love this hobby.
Posted in Photography | Tagged APS-C, Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8, B&W, border terrier, concept, customizing, dog, Finland, Fuji X-Pro1, GR, Herkko, JPEG, Photography, RAW, Ricoh, Ricoh GR, sensor, Super-Takumar, X-Trans | Leave a Comment »
I upgraded my LR 4.4 to Lightroom 5 yesterday. I do not see transition from version 4 to version 5 to be any dramatic change but there is one fantastic tool included in the newest version. This tool is Radial Gradient Tool. With it you can easily select round or oval area which you mask (protect) from or select for the adjustments. You have all the adjustment palette you are used to have e.g. for Adjustment Brush. This new tool is so much easier and faster to use in many instances as compared to Adjustment Brush or standard Gradient Filter. It is possible to invert your selection so that the adjustments are affecting the background area or the selected area. You can for example very easily protect the area you want and decrease the exposure in the background to emphasize your main subject. As an improvement of its present status I would like to see a possibility to “copy” the selected area and after that invert the selection for that same area. Then it would be possible to do fast adjustments both to the background and the selected area without making the selection again.
In the shot below is a rusty chain. I selected the chain by making an oval selection with Radial Gradient Tool. After the selection I inverted the mask so that my adjustments will affect the chain, not the background. I did only few subtle adjustments. First of all I made the chain more “warm” by adjusting WB just a little bit. Then I increased exposure, clarity, and sharpness very moderately. I feel subtle changes are the key here. In that way you will emphasize your main subject nicely without ruining your shot.
Posted in Photography | Tagged Finland, LightRoom, Lightroom 5, Photography, post processing, Radial Gradient Tool, Ricoh GR | Leave a Comment »
Now that I have the fantastic Ricoh GR which has a prime lens of 28mm focal length (in 35mm equivalent format) I have been thinking of possible two-body resolution for my camera gear. This means an addition of another fixed prime lens camera which has a longer focal length than the GR. Well, not so many options actually. I think the only one will be Sigma DP3M which has 75mm (equiv.) lens. I had earlier Sigma DP2M (45mm equiv.) but that focal length is too close to 28mm and I really want more tele option.
The idea here is to have two camera bodies with me and both of those having a fixed prime lens. Both GR and DP3M are reasonably small cameras and that way easy to carry with. I just have to find a perfect camera bag (a small one which has just enough space for these two cameras) and I will have a fantastic compo for my kind of shooting.
I still have Fuji X-Pro1 which has interchangeable lenses, and I think I will keep X-Pro1, at least for now. It has a very wonderful image quality and reasonably small size. I had earlier Sigma DP2M (45mm equiv.) and I sold it because I made some silly moves in my camera purchases (like Nikon D600). Another reason to sell it was that I felt processing its RAW files quite awkward job. This is of course true for DP3M also. Sigma Photo Pro is not very nice program to use and I am now trying out Iridient Developer 2 for Sigma’s files to see how that RAW developer will manage.
All in all, this may be the perfect solution for me as I do not like changing lenses and I nowadays prefer serious cameras in small bodies like both GR and DP3M are.
Posted in Photography | Tagged camera, camera pondering, Finland, Fuji X-Pro1, Photography, Ricoh GR, Sigma DP3M | 4 Comments »
Ricoh GR is a nicely customizable camera having dedicated buttons where you can register functions you want. The customization is a very nice feature but it will take some time to realize which kind of tweaking your shooting style needs. Here are some of my customization for the GR at the moment:
For the Fn1 button I registered AF/Snap function. Snap focus is so cool in this camera that I feel it has to be activated quickly if needed (I know there is also Full Press Snap but I like it to be activated separately). When I am in the Snap focus mode I’ll adjust the desired focus distance by pushing down macro button and turning the up-down dial simultaneously. Very handy.
As I like to use Pinpoint AF as my main AF mode, I assigned Multi AF/Pinpoint AF adjustment into Fn2 button. Sometimes (e.g. for casual snapshots) I feel that Multi AF is just fine and it uses 9 focus areas (in maximum) to achieve the perfect focus.
The Effect button I decided to assign to select FA/Move Target. In that way I am able to change the position of the Pinpoint AF target whenever I need it to be somewhere else than in the middle. I think this is the only way to move the AF target in the GR but I may be wrong.
So, as you see, I have reserved lots of buttons for focusing functions but that suits my shooting style and I am very happy that this camera has enough programmable buttons to do this.
ADJ./ISO button has four functions in my present set-up. I have included Picture Size (to quicly change e.g. between RAW and JPEG), Aspect Ratio (sometimes I like to shoot 1:1 JPEGs in-camera), Exposure Metering (I feel that Multi metering is doing its job nicely but in some situations I’ll need e.g. Spot metering), and Effect (to change in-camera effects when shooting JPEGs because I changed the function of Effect button).
I have also utilized My Settings in my current configuration. My1 is now TAv mode with high contrast B&W effect (which I have slightly modified from the standard one) in JPEG. My2 is TAv mode in RAW (I put this in My2 because then it is very fast to change between these two; notice that TAv mode position is quite far away from My positions).
So, those are my customizations at the moment. It would be very interesting to hear which kind of tweaks other GR users have.
In the end of this post I’ll add three latest shots with GR. Color ones are RAWs with very minimal LR processing, and the B&W is in-camera high contrast B&W in JPEG.
Posted in Photography | Tagged customizing, Finland, GR, Photography, Ricoh, Ricoh GR | 1 Comment »
I got my Ricoh GR yesterday after waiting over a month for it. For starters I can say that all the waiting seems to be worthwhile.
Wouter Brandsma, Jorge Ledesma, and Richard Wanderman have been positive about the GR, and those are the guys with that kind of experience in photography that you can trust them.
Here are, however, my own very initial thoughts of the GR.
First of all GR felt nice in my hands from the beginning. Grip is very nice and GR is easy to operate with one hand even if I can’t make all the adjustments by one hand. I have to get more used to the camera to master that.
GR is highly customizable. Can’t say much more of that at the moment. It is a very good thing but could be quite overwhelming when you realize all the possibilities. So, lots to learn in the coming days!
I just charged the battery and went outdoors to shoot few initial shots with it. I put it in TAv mode just because this is my first camera to have that mode. And I immediately realized that this mode is going to be my absolute favorite. Pick your aperture and shutter speed and let the camera decide the suitable ISO. Cool. And it works. Because GR has the fantastic auto ND feature, you can shoot wide open outdoors in the sunshine without remembering to active the in-camera ND filter by yourself. Really, really nice. I used F2.8 and 1/250 plus macro mode for the close-ups. I feel that GR is very nice camera for shooting close-ups. Perfect DoF, beautiful bokeh, and 28mm focal length which gives you some background in the shots making them more environmental.
I didn’t get full understanding about all the focus modes GR has. That’s part of the learning curve thing. I mainly used Pinpoint AF because I felt it was more accurate than the Spot AF. Just my feeling, nothing else. I tested also the Snap focus system and it may well be useful for my kind of shooting, at least in some situations. For example when I am photographing our lively sons. Choose f-value between 5.6 and 8 , and shutter speed less than 1/250 with Snap focus and you are set up for that situation. Of course that kind of apertures will work nicely mainly outdoors in good lighting but it really is worth of trying. Kind of “street” photography at our own yard.
And by the way, I was shooting JPEGs. GR may well be a JPEG camera for me. Of course I have to test out DNGs too before judging but if GR is exposing well (and I learn to use exposure compensation properly) I may end to shoot JPEGs with it. There are some nice in-camera effects (like high contrast B&W and bleach bypass) which I find interesting ones to test out.
I have found a new main camera for me. That says quite a much.
Posted in Photography | Tagged camera, Finland, first impressions, new camera, Photography, Ricoh, Ricoh GR | 2 Comments »