I have to say I love Ricoh GR more and more every time I use it. It is a camera with loads of features. It is very customizable. But still you can just take it and shoot. No tweaking around, just shoot. Very, very easy and when you see the results you are pleased. Yesterday I tested one of the features I have not used much before. The 35mm crop mode. Yes, I know that I can crop in post-processing but I think the 35mm crop mode is quite a cool thing to have in-camera. Sometimes the FoV which 35mm gives is more pleasing to me than the 28mm. I have set the crop mode into the effect button located in the left side of the GR, so it is very fast to change between 28mm and 35mm if needed.
Another thing I can’t praise enough is the TAv shooting mode. I use it almost exclusively. I really like to have control over shutter speed and aperture and leave the ISO decision to the camera. I feel that ISOs in the range of 1600-3200 are totally usable with the GR. My basic values for TAv mode are f/2.8 and 1/250 s. With those settings I can have some background blur and that shutter speed is fast enough to seize the subject movement and camera shake. If I notice that the ISO is going to be unnecessarily high, I just dial shutter speed down to say 1/125 or so. Very convenient and fast. The TAv mode has a plus side over the full manual mode in that that you are able to use exposure compensation if needed.
Here are two GR shots which I have processed in LR using VSCO Film presets tweaked into my liking. The dog shot was taken with the 35mm crop mode and I used Fuji 160C preset as a basis. The harbour shot is 28mm and Fuji Provia 100F preset was used as a starting point.
Have you ever tried to create a signature look for your photos? I certainly have tried. I am pleased to my achievements for a certain time after which I will change my mind. Usually I am going back to more natural look. For that “natural” look it is very important how the camera renders the image I am going to see in my computer monitor.
For color shots I have tried out desaturated look. I think I have found quite good adjustments for that in Lightroom. But using the desaturated look for a while I am not happy anymore. I am craving colors back. Here are some examples of my desaturated look.
There are times when I am very much into B&Ws. I have made my own B&W preset in Lightroom and many times I really like the results. Here are some B&Ws processed by using my own preset.
In addition to my own B&W preset I use VSCO Film presets for post-processing. I really love those presets because they are not made through any plug-in which always generate those huge TIFF files.
So it seems to be a long road to a signature look.
Earlier I stated that X-Pro1 is a great B&W camera. And that is fully true. I have decided now that I will shoot in color with it though. Then I will have the possibility to choose between different post-processing options including the fantastic B&W presets by VSCO Film. But many times I want to have color shots too. Sometimes vibrant ones and sometimes with muted colors.
Another important thing to test more is X-Pro1's RAW files. Especially now that I have faster computer (see the post below) I feel that I should give a possibility for RAWs too. Earlier I have tested them only quite occasionally. I am actually quite exited about RAW shooting now. I have looked through many great shots processed from RAW files in Flickr and those were not having that “smearing” problem.
A photo of my sons at the end of this post because they just had their birthdays and it was Father's Day yesterday:
I’ve gone through my photo archives again. There are actually quite many interesting shots that I’ve neglected in the first round. I’ve tested B&W conversion for many shots using VSCO Film presets in Lightroom. Quite refreshing approach actually! I also processed quite many using VSCO color presets like Fuji 160 C which seems to be my favorite at the moment. It seems to be so that some shots need to be archived to be found again.
One of the first X-Pro1 shots from May. XF 35mm F1.4 R lens.
A stone duck shot at summer cottage. XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro lens.
SP. XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro lens. VSCO Film Fuji Neopan 1600 preset. Love that grain!
I just got a Fotodiox EOS-FX adapter to test my Voigtländer 90mm F3.5 SL II lens with my X-Pro1. I will soon post some photos taken with that combination and I will add some comments on it too.
I've been processing archived X-Pro1 shots into B&W lately. Very refreshing actually and I've found many shots which are much better in monochrome than in color. Not an in-camera stuff of course but I've been adjusting them in LR using VSCO Film presets. My absolute favorite of those presets is Fuji Neopan 1600 at the moment. Great contrast and very nice grain.
Fuji X-Pro1 with Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R. JPEG converted into B&W in LR4.2 with VSCO Film preset Fuji Neopan 1600.
I have had very good experiences of X-Pro1 as a B&W camera. There are two main reasons for that. First one is that X-Pro1 has very nice in-camera B&W conversions. Usually I love to adjust highlights and shadows to +1 to get more contrasty image. Second one (and this is the big one) is that I am able to see in monochrome using the EVF (and with LCD too of course). Because composition and textures are very important elements in B&W photography this feature really rocks. It is like a new world. Helps a lot a hobbyist like me who have been mainly shooting color photos.
I usually combine in-camera B&W with VSCO Film B&W presets in Lightroom post-processing. Those are fantastic presets with very nice film-like grain.
It may well be that my X-Pro1 will became poor man’s Monochrom.
Here are few examples of X-Pro1 in-camera B&W combined with VSCO presets: