Two very different mushroom shots by the Ricoh GR. I love them both. Which one I love most depends on my current mood. At the moment I am quite much in a color-mood because of the fall colors surrounding us.
Sometimes it is so great to shoot B&W photos in-camera. The best thing in this approach is that you can see a B&W image through the viewfinder or LCD. It really helps you understand things in monochrome – helps you see the gradations, tones, shadows, and highlights. Yes, I know, it is JPEGs then but usually the results are quite rewarding actually.
I have used all my cameras in B&W mode but below are some examples shot with Fuji X100 and Ricoh GR.
Yesterday we had very nice Aurora borealis here and I tried to capture them with my Ricoh GR. The most difficult phase was to find out where I’ve put my light and cheap tripod! 🙂 I used f/2.8 and shutter speed of 8 secs for the shots below. I was quite pleased for the results as these were the first Northern lights I have photographed.
I purchased a tele conversion lens (TCL-X100) for my Fuji X100. I got it with a quite good price (139 euros) so I think it was a nice deal. The reason to get this tele converter was my desire to have two small cameras with different fixed lenses. I have Ricoh GR which has a beautiful 28 mm equivalent lens, so that camera serves as a wide option. The X100 has 35 mm equivalent lens which is, in my opinion, quite near to GR’s 28 mm. I wanted to have bigger cap between the focal lengths of these cameras and TCL-X100 just allows that and makes X100 to have 50 mm equivalent normal lens.
So, my intention is to keep these two small cameras with me when going out shooting. And I shoot quite much of portraits for which 50 mm suits better than 28 or 35 mm. I will report here in my blog how this approach is turning out.
I tested in-camera RAW development with my Ricoh GR and I have to say that I was very positively surprised about the results I got. I think it will be handy tool for some of the shots. At least I can easily develop RAWs into my beloved high-contrast B&W and get much more details when my starting point will be a RAW shot. Below is an example of this (from RAW to high-contrast B&W). I did 1×1 cropping also in-camera.
I am soon going to have two Ricoh compacts: The GR and GRD IV. Here are few of my ponderings why it might be wise to keep them both
The GRD IV has a small compact camera sensor which is handy in some situations. I can easily achieve lots of DoF and that way the shots are sharp. This camera has a fantastic macro feature where you can shoot 1 cm from the subject. With the small sensor this is possible because the DoF will remain wide enough. But with this kind of macro it is possible to get nice blurred background even if that will be quite tricky with the GRD IV in normal shooting situations. GRD series cameras are very well known for their suitability for street shooting. I do not do any street photography but I love the gritty JPEG options (like the high-contrast B&W) these cameras have. Bleach bypass option is also very cool.
Ricoh GR has, instead, an APS-C sized large sensor. With the GR you are able to get lots of details in the shots and also very narrow DoF is possible. Lens is slower than in GRD IV (f/2.8 vs. f/1.9) but that is okay even in indoor shooting because the GR has very clean high-ISO shots up to ISO 6400.
What the all above then means? Well, I think I have use for both Ricoh’s. The GRD IV will be my gritty stuff camera. I will shoot JPEGs with it. I have three different JPEG options saved into camera’s MY1, 2, and 3 positions, namely positive film, bleach bypass, and high-contrast B&W. I use square format for all of those as I really like 1×1 aspect ratio at the moment. HC B&W and bleach bypass I am going to keep but not totally sure yet which in-camera processing option to save into the third My position. I have noticed that if you want to have clean photos (without noise grain) you really have to be at ISO 100 zone, not much above that. With ISO 400 or 800 you will get quite much noise.
With the GR I will shoot only RAWs. I want to use GRs full potential for maximum image quality. And if I want to have high-contrast B&Ws for example, I have my own Lightroom presets for that. With the GR I am able to obtain my loved narrow DoF and nice bokeh in regular shooting much more easily than with the GRD IV.
So, it really seems that these two cameras which look like almost the same and have also many common photographic properties, complement each other nicely.