The Ricoh GR-Digital II - An Appreciation

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by Nowhereman, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. When I first got the GRD2 in early December my initial reaction, posted here, was that I preferred the grainy look of GRD files, particularly at ISO 200. However, I soon got to like the new camera and changed my assessment and began to prefer it to its first version. As I really do like the GRD2 a lot I thought I should post here a selection of pictures at various speeds and some comments on the camera. Basically, I only use RAW files I should mention the obvious, that the RAW write speed of the new camera is excellent: about three seconds, and that you can shoot two pictures in quick succession and then it takes about four seconds to write both files. I have posted most of these pictures in other threads, but thought it still useful to put them together here to illustrate what one can do with this camera.
    The speed that I like on the GRD2 for street photography is ISO 400, which can be a bit fast the very harsh and bright light of Bangkok; but last Monday while waiting for a friend I shot some pictures at ISO 200 by mistake, as I had inadvertently turned the camera on at the MY2 setting rather than at MY1, which is set to ISO 400. However, I found that by judicious sharpening I get the "bite" or the somewhat grainy look that I want. I also found that I much prefer doing this through sharpening than by artificially inserting grain using Alien Skin Exposure because I like the results much better.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I've posted the above two pictures to illustrate another point: usually I use LightZone for RAW conversion and post-processing, but in these two pictures the background is very bright and results in completely blown highlights when using LightZone. While that look works for the type of high-contrast prints I usually make, I thought that these two pictures "shouted" too much, and went back to the two DNG files and used Aperture 2 to recover the highlights because its Recover tool is much more effective than those in Lightroom and LightZone. After that I did some selective dodging and burning in LightZone. I think Aperture 2 would be a fantastic image editor if it had the facility for making selections with the ease of LightZone, which is much better in this respect than Photoshop.
    Here are a couple of more pictures shot the same afternoon at ISO 200:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A word about focusing. For street photography the auto-focus mechanism is too slow, which is the reason that I used shoot with the SNAP pre-focus facility that focuses the camera at 2.5m. However, many of my photos are shot very close to the subject, at a distance of 1.0-2.5m, I now use the MF setting and switch between focus at 1.0m and 2.5m. It would be good for future versions of the GRD cameras to have a focus wheel like the Sigma DP1, with detents at several distances.
    As I've reported in another posting I like both the GW-1 21mm EFL wide-converter and the 40mm EFL tele-converter. Although the latter sometimes produces some flare when shot into the light, this hasn't bothered me because usually the flare is in the bottom left corner (in my shots) and in that type of picture I often like to apply vignetting to darken the corners anyway. Here are couple of portraits shot with the GT-1 tele-convertters, the first one at ISO 400 and the second one at ISO 800:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Finally, here are some pictures shot at night at ISO 1600., which is a speed that I also like on the GRD2. When I shot them I had the aperture (by mistake) set at f/4.0 rather than at f/2.4, which forced me to use some very slow shutter speeds. In the pictures below I really like the results of the camera or subject motion. Forgive me for posting so many of these ISO 1600 pictures, but I really like them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    --Mitch/Bangkok
     
  2. Wonderful shots, Mitch. I think this says more about your skill as a photographer and your processing skills than the camera, though. Nice tips on street shooting.
     
  3. Mitch - It was your images that prompted me to buy the GR-D original.
    the raw write time, and others pushed me to sell it. I should have help on to it. Anyway, would you please post or email me some out of the camera images at a couple of different iso setting so as to see ehat I would have to work with. You expertise in post is much more advanced than mine. thanks if you have the time.
    -Durr Wise
     
  4. There are GRD2 files, both RAW and JPG, available for download on the following site:

    www.ricohforum.com

    --Mitch/Bangkok
     
  5. Mitch, thanks for sharing your input about this camera. Lately I have been getting more serious about buying one to replace the Canon Ixy as my "carry everywhere" camera.

    Have you used and can you share any opinion about the square format/mode if this camera?

    Thanks!
     
  6. gf

    gf

    Mitch, thanks for your tips.
    By the way, did you use the BW setting for these pictures? Or, you took them in colours?
     
  7. Mitch, really like the style and atmosphere of your photos, which for me show that the GRD effectively is a digital Leica loaded with Tri-X.
    As a GRD mk1 owner, I often puzzled by the complaint about slow RAW write times. Is it only me who take photos one by one, with easily 15-20 secs (RAW write time) between shots? Must be because I'm old enough to have once used a camera with film in it, and a thumb lever wind on . . .
     

Share This Page

1111