vacation

Famous red roofs in monochrome

Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia.

I was amazed how cool these iconic roofs look like in B&W.

Old Town roofs B&W

Kala natural spring water

Kala is fish in Finnish. Nevertheless it tasted good. 🙂

Kala water

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia, what a beautiful place to visit. I was there only four days with my wife to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary but both of us fell in love for this place almost immediately. Old culture, old buildings, beautiful Adriatic Sea, and very friendly people. What more can you wish.

Greetings from Dubrovnik, Croatia! 10-year Anniversary Old Town posters "Large" cup of coffee in Old Town Large Onofrio Fountain Old Town roofs I Old Town roofs II Candles in a church

What comes to camera gear I had only my Fuji X100 with me (plus iPhone) and it served me wonderfully throughout the trip. No hassling with lens changes or zooming – just shooting. Very liberating. Its 35mm equivalent lens is really a gem for general shooting. And JPEGs all the way; with Fuji cameras (X100 and X-Pro1 which I own) I do not shoot RAWs anymore. Really no need for that. I used OVF 99% of the time and really enjoyed that too.

Some thoughts on the Ricoh GR as a travel camera

I had my Ricoh GR and my Fuji X-Pro1 with 35/1.4 lens with me in our Canary Islands vacation. Here are some thoughts on the GR and how I liked it as a vacation camera.

The absolutely biggest asset of the Ricoh GR was its small size. I carried it in my shorts’ pocket all the time and I never needed any special camera bag for it. Very easy and handy. I had the GR in my hand mainly using its wrist strap but sometimes I would liked to have it in a neck strap. Why so? Well, there are many situations, especially with kids with you, in which you would need your both hands. In those moments I had to put my GR in the pocket first and after that help my kids. With a neck or sling-type strap I would have had my both hands free when needed. This strap-question is one important thing to solve out soon. At least I have to think about other options in addition to the wrist strap.

I shot about 90% of shots in snapshot mode with the GR. I used snapshot distance of 2 m and aperture of 7.1 in TAv mode (so the camera decides the ISO value). The shutter speed was somewhere in the 1/250-1/320 s area. I had the back button focusing enabled too and that was a very nice thing because in that way I was able to override the snapshot mode if needed. In addition with the back button focusing the special macro mode button is not needed at all and this feature made the macro focusing much more faster to apply. I also had the ND filter in the auto mode (as I always do) all the time. This is so cool feature because it allows you to shoot wide open in bright daylight if needed.

I did not use in-camera effects at all and shot only RAW all the time. I think that was a good decision because there was heavy sun shine every day and you could easily have some burned areas in the shots.

The most difficult thing for me was the 28mm focal length of the Ricoh GR. I should go closer to my subject! There are many of those vast wide-angle shots which just give you the “blaah” feeling when seeing them on the computer screen. Fortunately, there are also those good ones where I have some foreground subjects and still nice background. I have to learn wide-angle shooting more. I have to admit that there were quite many situations where I missed a zoom lens. Me missing a zoom, oh my.

All in all, I have somehow mixed feelings about the Ricoh GR as a travel camera. My inabilities to use wide-angle lens is the main reason for those feelings. I do not yet have the proper touch and understanding of this camera and wide-angle focal lengths in general.

Fun in the pool Amadores beach - the rocky part Mud master

A lot depends on batteries now

Our vacation is closing in. We are leaving Wednesday afternoon. I am still waiting extra batteries for my Leica Digilux 2, Nikon 1 V1, and Ricoh GR. For the GR I have ordered also the battery charger.

I have spare battery only for my Fuji X-Pro1 at the moment. This battery matter may be a decisive thing now. I would like to have an extra battery for the camera(s) I am taking with me. I have noticed that the battery life of the GR is quite mediocre so the whole day shooting with just one battery could be somehow risky.

Yesterday I already “decided” to take only the GR with me but as you have already guessed of I am not sure anymore. Maybe a two-prime two-camera (28mm and 50mm) option? 🙂

1 camera approach for the trip

I have been pondering lately which of my cameras to take with me in our forthcoming holiday to Canary Islands. And during few last days I came into a decision which do not include any of my present cameras. Yes, a new one. Again.

First of all I decided to take only one camera with me. You can read my present options from this post. I realized that none of those is good alone for the trip and I really want to keep my camera gear as minimal as possible (in that trip that is). There are some features I would like to have in my “vacation” camera:

– Reasonably small in size. It has to be easy to carry with.

– Fast AF. I will photograph our lively sons a lot during that trip. My present cameras are in mediocre-good level in AF speed.

– A normal zoom lens. From wide to short tele would be okay. I do not want to change lenses all the time. From my present cameras only my Leica Digilux 2 has a zoom lens (28-90mm equiv.) and that camera is quite a special case and I do not feel so that I would like to take it as a sole camera for a vacation. But something like the Leica’s zoom range would be nice.

– A camera body or a lens equipped with IS (image stabilization). I would really like to have this feature (had IS when I owned Olympus OM-D and it was so nice).

– Decent IQ. I would use the camera mainly in daylight situations during the trip but I think it should also manage with higher ISOs (at least up to 1600).

– Viewfinder. I would very much like to have a decent viewfinder. I like to have an option to use LCD or a viewfinder. They both have their uses.

That is quite a list actually. I went through numerous review sites and blogs during my decision process. Then I noticed an used Nikon 1 V1 with 10-30mm (27-81mm equiv.) VR (IS) zoom lens in a Finnish camera site. Shutter count only 850 and like a new condition and only 200 euros. That is really a bargain I think. This combo will fulfill actually all the above requirements. I think Nikon 1 V1 will be a perfect vacation camera for me.

Missing summer

Missing summer, originally uploaded by Jonne Naarala.

Oh boy I miss summer right now! Those warm, sunny, and bright days. Last summer really was spectacular here in Finland. Extremely warm (well, unusually warm) and very dry. I had a superb summer holiday with my family and relatives.

Now it is raining sleet with heavy wind gusts. And it is so dark because we do not have very much snow yet. But when there will be more snow, it will brighten our days little bit.