customizing

Three recent shots and why I like them

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.

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Customizing the GR

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.

Delicate flowers Strawberries soon High contrast B&W with Ricoh GR