Saturday, 31 May 2008


GRD, f2.8, 1/100, ISO 100, JPG b&w

Some of the best places for people photography are markets. You can see a lot of different characters, outfits and most important emotions and interactions between people. Be it between buyers or sellers or between individuals who are just strolling through the market. London has a few very good markets on weekends, the most famous the Notting Hill Market but the Borough Market or Greenwich Market being also very nice and interesting. Today I took my GRD I and went to Greenwich to take some pictures. I really enjoy this and need to start a whole series on it, independent of my blog.

Friday, 30 May 2008


GRD II, f4.5, 1/320, ISO 100, RAW

One week later, different timezone, different city but similar scene. Chose this picture more for the similarity to my picture last Saturday and it was one of the best I took today.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


GRD II, f4, 1/200, ISO 100, RAW

Took this picture again while out for lunch. Since I stated the blog I almost never go out without the GRD I or II in my hand and ready to take a picture.
As for yesterdays post, my observation is as before that the GRD I produces prefectly useable jpgs that are not far off from the RAW output while the GRD II jpgs are smeared and lack sharpness and more important details. Something even more worrying is when you look at the histograms for the color and b&w images. While the GRD II hstograms are the same the GRD I images have a slightly different histogram. This means that the processing of the GRD I is defnitely different while the GRD II just turns the saturation down from the color jpg. All this makes the GRD II useless if you don't want to process RAW files where on the GRD I you can just use jpgs and still get a very good quality. Ricoh needs to improve here, at least give us the b&w mode back like on the GRD I, I can live with processing RAWs for color work but the GRD I jpgs are (to me) perfect. Don't get me wrong, the jpgs from the GRD II are not worse than any other camera out there but compared with previous Ricoh cameras are the worst I've seen (and I've used a lot of Ricoh cameras recently).

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

GRD I vs GRD II - Teaser no. 1

Ok, I've been writing a lot about the differences of the two GRDs and have been promissing a comparisson for a while now. While I have to admit I am still not done with it due to me changing the format or content around very often I decided to finally post some pictures to compare both cameras.
Find below the 100% crops. The top crops are from the GRD II and the bottom crops from the GRD I, the last is left GRD II and right GRD I.

The shots are taken with the same settings on both cameras and are straight jpgs out of the cameras, the crops are done using Faststone image compare so no up- or downsizing has been done.
I will leave it at only that so you can make up your own mind and give you my impressions tomorrow.

Today I bought a Panasonic LC1 that I should recieve by the end of next week so after an initial test I will try to do a comparisson with all cameras. I hear you say that I should finish my initial comparisson first? Yes, I should really do it but I plan a change in the format so this should hopefully let me get everything done pretty soon. Can't wait to get it and take it for a spin :).

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Blue and Red

GRD II, f2.8, 1/160, ISO 100, RAW

Last day in Budapest and hottest day so far, just doing some walking around the shops and visiting the Parliment. A very nice touch is that you can get in for free if you have a EU passport, other EU countries should take an example of this.
Took this picture on Vaci utca, the main shopping street. They had their portraits drawn and he saw me when I took a picture from further away and was no too happy. Moved in closer to get this shot after which he gesticulated with his hand and started smiling. Street photography is fun since he reactions of people can be quite unexpected and sometime it is nice to let people see that you take a picture.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Color in Budapest

GRD II, f2.4, 1/40, ISO 80, RAW

GRD II, f6.3, 1/250, ISO 80, RAW, 40mm

Ok, I break my rule again of posting only one picture per day but I could not decide between those two and I needed some color on my pictures from Budapest. Ok, the first picture might not be full of color and more b&w but it does have some color ;).
I really like the mood in the first picture and the symmetry in the second picture, I chose a slower shutter speed for it since I wanted minimal motion blur in it.
Budapest is a very nice place with great food and great architecture, there is a lot to see and a lot to take pictures of. The biggest issues it has is with graffitti everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE in the city and no bike lanes means you have to dodge bikes all the time.
As for my camera comparisons I have to say that even with all annoyances the GRD II is still the better camera. I used it more simply because the IQ is better, it is faster, more responsive and the screen is great. The screen must be one of the best I have seen in cameras but this also brings the biggest issue along. When reviewing pictures on it (or the jpgs on the UMPC) I could not help but notice how good and crisp the GRD I, GX and GX100 images look (even on their own screens) and how disapointed I was when looking at the GRD II images. The jpgs are really bad and completely useless, especially in low light. Where I have no problems using the GRD I up to ISO 1600 and use the jpg after running it through Noise Ninja it is impossible on the GRD II.
Another most annoying thing is that the screen on the GRD II freezes when focusing (yes, exactly like the crappy screen on the DP1) but for some strange reason only when in spot or multi AF and when there is daylight. Let me explain, the screen does not freeze in low light (and the GRD II focuses very fast and accurate in low light) nor does it freeze when focusing in a room in daylight as long as you don't point it to the window. At the same time it freezes when used in the shade outside even if there is no bright light visible. Ricoh needs to address this since it obviously does not need to freeze since it does not do it all the time. This should not happen and I criticised the DP1 for it and will criticize the GRD II even more since I expect better from Ricoh.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Shoes on the Danube Bank

GRD, f2.4, 1/760, ISO 100, JPG b&w, 40mm

"The composition entitled 'Shoes on the Danube Bank' gives remembrance to the people shot into the Danube during the time of the Arrow Cross terror. The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron. The shoes are attached to the stone embankment, and behind them lies a 40 meter long, 70 cm high stone bench. At three points are cast iron signs, with the following text in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: "To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-45. Erected 16 April 2005."

This was quite a striking image and a shot I had to take with the GRD I for the b&w quality. I know I said it before but it is in my opinion the best you can get from any camera and this shot needed to be in b&w for me to work. I used the 40mm lens and the lens wide open to get a shallow DOF but overdidi it slightly with the contrast and had to pull back the highlights to give the water more texture.
I know, I have posted only b&w pictures from Budapest but I promise tomorrow's picture will be in color ;).

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Steaming Hot

GRD II, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 100, RAW, 40mm

Took this picture while walking in the castle in Budapest with the GRD II and the 40mm lens.
Been using the GRD II and I mainly with the 40mm adapter lens or standard 28mm. Here unlike Tokyo I did no make much use of the 21mm lens since I generally did not need such a wide angle, people were further away and buildings not as tall. I really like the possibility to use the 40mm or 21mm adapter lenses on the GRD II. The only downside is that it does take some time to swap the lenses around and this is where the GX100 shines and especially since it has a longer reach. The downside is that at 28mm or 50mm the GX100 lens is not as fast so it struggles in low light.
The old GX got some use with the 85mm end of the zoom but overall was too much to carry around every day so stayed in the hotel on most days. It is a very nice camera overall and I would like to use it more but it simply can not match the GRDs and it's too bulky to carry around most of the time.
What I found out is that I took most picturs with the camera I had in my hand. I just made the camera I had out work for the shot as good as possible. The GRD I came out when I needed a "perfect" b&w image, the GR1 when the batteries on the GRDs were dying or for more calculated shots, the GX (when available) when a longer reach was needed and the GRD II when speed of operation, good colors and ease of use. The GX100 performed in all instances vey well and would make a great compromise between these cameras if only the lens were a f2-f2.4 or constant f2.8 lens. It is very versatile though and produces some very nice images.

Friday, 23 May 2008

View over Budapest

GRD II, f2.4, 1/30, ISO 228, RAW, 40mm

Don't worry, I have not stopped pestering you with my daily rubbish and pics. And nothing happened to me or my cameras, all 4 are well off and take pictures ;). Had to abandon my weekly theme since I went on a surprise trip to Budapest. This made it difficult to post on time. All pictures will be uploaded as soon as I get to it but latest on Wednesday when I'm back. Will also post my experiences from the trip and with using my 4 cameras and a GX100 at times.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Pushing Against the Wall

GRD II, f2.4, 1/800, ISO 100, RAW

Doesn't it feel sometimes like you are running or pushing against a wall? This happens when at times either nothing works or people don't seem to understand you. While my day was actually prety good and I did not have this feeling (today), seeing this scene on my way to lunch made me think of it. Well, think of it and take picture of the scene ;).
I know it does not fit with my theme but I quite like that picture and decided to use it today. Since I started the blog I always have the camera out, in my hand and ready to shoot when walking outside. You never know when you have a great photo opportunity and without a camera that is ready you will miss the shot.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


GRD II, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 100, RAW

Another picture in the series, this caught my attention when walking past today. It fits well in my series.

Not much more to say other than T-Mobile UK seems to be full of incompetent people. While they offer the cheapest data and phone contract I am starting to ask myself if this is all worth the hassle. So beware when taking a contract with them since the staff does not seem to know at all what they offer and what their plans cost or include. The support is probably one of the worst I've seen, you wait ages to speak with someone and then 2 people will tell you 3 different things and keep you on hold forever. Getting a manager to call you back takes always exactly 2h for some reason. Well, I think I need to send them a invoice for my wasted time with them on the phone.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Building a Building

GRD II, f5, 1/320, ISO 100, RAW

It is good if one has a project when out and taking pictures, this makes it easier to focus on specific things. It also avoids walking around snapping aimlessly and gives more purpose to taking pictures for the blog. Will try to do this more often since it's fun.
This weeks (or at least till Friday) project for me is "Concrete" and "Building sites" so this is another shot in this series.

Monday, 19 May 2008


GRD II, f2.4, 1/30, ISO 336, RAW

A simple yet confusing image for today. Sometimes I like a very simple image that has not much going on in there but the simplicity just works. But at other times, like today, I prefer a more confusing image where it's not clear on what to focus or if there is anything to focus on at all.
Another thing I want to try this week is to have a theme and concrete and building sites sounds interesting enough and considering that London is full of both it should be easy enough to do ;).

Sunday, 18 May 2008


GRD, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 400, JPG b&w

After the GR1 day yesterday I continued writing my comparison and was about to post the first part but decided to hold it back for now. I am unsure about the format and how to post it since it will need to have a few parts. Will have to find a way since I am quite late already but as it is now, it's just too long for a blog or for the fact that it is only a comparison. Anyway, I will either find a way to shorten or split it or will just publish it as it stands in the next days.
For today just a GRD I picture that shows a not so nice part in London. A concrete block of flats. It looks depressing when the sun is shining but if it's dull and grey like today it's even worse.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Red Door

GR1, ISO 200, JPG from negative

"I see a red door and I want it painted black" - The Rolling Stones, Paint it Black (1966)

Today was a GR1 day, shot almost exclusively with the GR1. It was great although I missed the display to be able to compose a shot easier from different angles. Don't quite understand the complaint of many that a display is not good for composing images. For me it is vastly superior to using any OVF since it is easier to see from various angles, when holding the camera at waist level etc. Maybe it is because I started photography with a digital camera but the ability to see exactly what you'll get and be free from the constraint to put the camera to your face everytime you want to take a picture is a huge benefit. The argument that the camera is more stable does not hold for me since I got as many blurry shots as I would have with holding a digital camera and composing with the LCD.
This is a picture from the 36 I took and had developed in 1h. The prints look great but the jpgs on the CD are almost useless, very bad quality and only at 2MP. Since I do not have a negative scanner I have to take what the photo lab gives me. Should I start shooting more film I'll probably invest in a small but usable scanner.

Friday, 16 May 2008


GRD II, f2.8, 1/125, ISO 100, RAW

Took a few pictures today but this is the only one that I really liked. It is simple but sometimes simple is better. And on this note I will keep my blog entry short guessed it, "simple" for today ;).

Thursday, 15 May 2008


GRD II, f4, 1/250, ISO 100, RAW

Rainy day and I did not have much time again for taking pictures today. Luckily there was a military parade going on from St. Paul's on Cannon Street while I was going out for lunch. Barely managed to take my camera out and walk across the street to take a few shots. Decided to use this since the red and gold uniforms are a nice contrast to the grey everywhere around. Cropped the image slightly to get a closer composition.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


GRD II, f2.8, 1/800, ISO 80, RAW 1:1

Did not have much time to take pictures today but quite like this picture. Since I am a big fan of pictures of abandoned places and industrial areas this picture is very good for today. Another project I plan doing is a series of industrial and abandones places in London. So many projects, so little time to do everything. I still don't know when I will find the time to actually sort through all my pictures ;). But I can worry about that later while taking more pictures.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Happy Snapping

GRD II, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 100, RAW

I like taking pictures of other people taking pictures and plan to do a whole series on this soon. This picture I like in particular since she was so happy when she took this picture of a Ford Mustang and her husband seemed a bit annoyed at that. Cropped it and converted to b&w but unprocessed aside from that.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Life After Death

GRD II, f3.5, 1/200, ISO 100, RAW, 40mm

"Childhood's over the moment you know you're gonna die." - Top Dollar, The Crow (1994)

This quote came to mind today when I took the picture. The Crow is one of my favorite movies and comics. A bit makabre and not a happy picture, especially with the quote, but I find this "church playground" a bit strange to begin with.
Took a picture here before but was not happy with the result and it was with a dSLR. Since the weather was great today I decided to take a walk home along the Thames and passed by this place so decided to retake the picture with the GRD II and 40mm lens. I processed it quit a bit since I wanted to give it a surreal look but at the same time look a bit like the Crow comic book. A rainy day would've been better to take the picture and I would love to have a crow actually standing of one of the gravestones, this would make it perfect but I like it.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

London's Eye

GRD II, f4.5, 1/25, ISO 80, RAW

Took this picture while on my way home today. Since I did not have any pictures I decided to make a tourist stop and take a picture of the Big Ben to post for today. But on m way there I decided to take one of the London Eye. I took a similar picture before but was not that happy with. This time I wanted to have it look like a GRD I b&w image. I cropped it to the 1:1 mode, sharpened it, added noise and sharpened it some more. This is now exactly how I wanted it to look and comes very close to the GRD I but took me more time to get there.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Safety Dance

GRD II, f5, 1/500, ISO 100, RAW, 21mm

I went to Richmond to the May Fair today. Was very nice and a great opportunity to take pictures of people. It was quite difficult to decide on which picture to take and I was about to post two or three pictures for today. In the end I decided to use this picture since it's all about having a fun day out with music and dancing. The title is from the Men Without Hats song since this reminds me of it.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Sitting on the Bridge

GRD II, f2.4, 1/30, ISO 148, RAW

Took this picture while on my way to get some dinner this evening. I liked the relaxed an serene mood of this. Did not post process it much other than changing the contrast and levels.

On a different note and more important for today. My Samsung Q1 Ultra review/article has been published today on UMPC Portal so be sure to check it out if you are interested in UMPCs. Chances are that if you're interested in photography you will be interested in a device to store your photos while on holiday or out and about. The UMPCs are perfect for this and with prices falling they are not only affordable but offer a great alternative to a laptop and are superior to a photo viewer in every way. But rather than me repeating myself here, head to UMPC Portal and read my review yourself and look around for more information and reviews of UMPCs.

This is the direct link: UMPC Portal - A Digital Photographer and his UMPC

Thanks to Steve from UMPC Portal for giving me the opportunity to publish the article. His site is the best resource for anything UMPC or MID related. If you are not sure what these abbreviations mean check out the site.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

The Light Above

GRD II, f3.2, 1/200, ISO 100, RAW, 40mm

Ok, no more b&w least for today ;).
While it is a shot I really like due to the light and reflections it is also an example how one can mess up a shot by standing in the wrong place at the right time. I waited there to take a picture of only one person dressed in black for quite some time but there were either too many people on the stairs or people kept running into my shot. When she appeared it seemed to be exactly what I wanted if it wouldn't have been for me standing in the wrong place and having only a second to take the shot before someone ran into it again. It is a shame that she is partially obstructed by the handrail but I thought I post it anyway since it has more impact than some of the shots I took afterwards. Serves also as a reminder that sometimes you can't really get exactly what you want and there are no second chances.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The Door

GRD, f4.5, 1/400, ISO 200, JPG b&w

Usually you always hear not to take pictures at midday since the light and shadows are harsh and it is difficult to get a good dynamic range and tonality. Well, for me this is the best time to take pictures. For one I really like the dark shadows and harsh light with the reflections you get during that time. Also I like contrasty b&w images so this is the perfect time to get the images without the need to post process.
Took this one while out for a walk today during lunchtime and the only editing is some sharpening to get the noise slightly more pronounced. I always use ISO 200 or 400 with the GRD I for b&w images because I get more noise in my images and I prefer this.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Between the Darkness and the Light

GRD, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 200, JPG b&w

The weather was great today so I went out for lunch and after work to take some pictures. I've been writing a lot about the difference for b&w images between the GRD I and GRD II and while I took a few pictures with the GRD II, I simply prefer the GRD I output and this is why I chose this picture. When I saw the scene I saw it in b&w even before looking at the camera screen. I waited for quite some time before I took the shot because I did not just want the setting but also the people to be in the right place. This picture is exactly the way I wanted it to be, everyone and everything is in the right place.

Monday, 5 May 2008


GRD II, f4.5, 1/30, ISO 80, RAW, 40mm

After the rain last week it finally started to get better and since I finished work early I took the chance to take a few pictures before going to the cinema. The City was almost deserted due to the bank holiday. This gave me a chance to walk around and take a few pictures without having masses of people everywhere.
I posted pictures of the St. Dunstan's in the East church before but really liked this shot so decided to post another shot today instead of the Gherkin tower. It is a nice place to relax and escape the busy streets in the City. As mentioned before, although I think chruches in general are not very welcoming and cold the destroyed churches in London that have been turned to public gardens really are nice places to relax.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

On the Lookout

GRD II, f4, 1/200, ISO 100, RAW

It was a lazy Sunday but then I have to work on the bank holiday tomorrow and it was dull and grey outside so I just took it easy. Been out shopping though and took a few pictures on the way. After all the recent flower pictures I though another street shot would be nice. This is a straight RAW conversion but I cropped the picture to the 1:1 ratio and changed the contrast slightly since I like my pictures to have a slightly higher contrast.
You might have noticed that I almost never post a jpg from the GRD II. This is because I am still not overly happy with the quality and try to avoid using the jpgs other than for a quick review.

On a side note, I played around now with my blog at Wordpress but am not quite comfortable with the interface although it offers some nice features. Still, for now I will keep it as my backup and try to import everything once a week.

Saturday, 3 May 2008


GRD II, f4.5, 1/620, ISO 80, RAW

It was a GR1 day today so I took the GR1 and went out to take pictures. Took quite a few street shots with my GR1 and also some GRD II. Went to Brick Lane so it made for some nice and interesting shots. This shot is however not from there and I took it this morning on my way to the train station. I know, it seems like May is a month of flower shots so far but I just needed some color on my blog. After the rain recently it is nice to have some warmer colors and flowers but also to get a contrast to the street shots I posted.
While in town I looked to get a used Panasonic LC-1 but could not find one, only the Leica Digilux 2 but as usual the Leica is overpriced and you pay more for the brand. The people in the shops however were more impressed by the GR1 I had with me and praised the quality of the lens. Overall the GR1 is a great camera but film just does not work for me and I prefer digital for all the advantages it offers.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Pink Carpet

GRD II, f3.5, 1/200, ISO 100, RAW 1:1

Took only one picture today on my way to the bus this morning and this is it. I've walked past this a few times but never saw it the way I saw the scene this morning so I never thought of taking a picture. Somehow this looked different this morning and I thought that the 1:1 mode will work best for it. I slightly cropped it and boosted the contrast a bit to get the picture like this.
Since I started the blog I became more aware of these opportunities to take pictures and started to see things that I ignored before. Maybe not all pictures are very interesting but the only way to improve is to keep on shooting and trying different things.

One thing that got my attention while post processing this picture is that I believe a picture should capture a moment the way it was. On the other hand I have to say that I am guilty of processing my images a bit (or more that just a bit in certain cases) to get the desired effect. So I started to wonder how much processing and what kind of processing is considered to be ok? How far can someone go in post processing until the image is not anymore a representation of the moment captured? Cropping is generally accepted and ok but how about changes to contrast, colors, noise removal/adding of noise, dodging/burning, selective coloring or use of cloning to remove unwanted objects?

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Tulips at St. Paul's

GRD II, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 100, RAW

Something more colorfull today and just a simple picture. Took it while out for lunch and liked the colors with the sun shining on the tulips against the dark clouds behind St. Paul's. Not much else to say today so just enjoy the picture ;).