Friday, 31 October 2008

Smoke and Light

GX100, f4.4, 1/10, ISO 800, RAW, 72mm

Today, I tried something new but it did not really work out. I always wanted to try taking pictures of smoke in a ray of light to see the diferent shapes that can appear. This did not work out as expected so I will need to try again. At the same time I think I pushed the file too much to get close to the look I wanted.

I've met recently with Tom and we've collected a few ideas on how to improve the GRD and have done a rendering so check it out here. Let us know what you think and what you would improve.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Man In Motion

GX100, f2.9, 1/125, ISO 100, RAW, 24mm

While I did not take many pictures yesterday, I took lots of pictures today. Originally, I planned a series on the Bargehouse and I've been there indeed and took lots of pictures. Now I tok this picture on the way there from the hip and had to crop it a lot.
Now, why did I choose this picture instead of the Bargehouse series that was planned? First, this picture just works great for me and it stands out between the rest of the pictures I took today. It's also a picture that I or anyone else will never take again. Second, I want to take more pictures of the Bargehouse over the weekend and see if it's possible to get in when it's empty so I can take soe more pictures. It is a great and very interesting building that offers great photo opportunities unless you only like to photograph nice things. You can say that I scouted the location today and will return over the weekend to take the pictures I want.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Drawing St. Paul's

GX100, f4.9, 1/800, ISO 100, JPG, 72mm

Using the GX100 is text mode showed me the difference between the lenses from the GRD and GX. The GRD lens has more contrast so work better with this mode and the GRD also saves the picture as TIFF for some reason.

I did not spend much time taking pictures today but worked instead on my Wordpress blog to improve it and make it more usefull. If you remember I've set it up on my 100th post to use it as a backup or to move my blog here. I did and still do not really like the Wordpress interface so have just been using it as a backup and imported the posts randomly. I started thinking of deleting it a while ago but then decided to use it for something more usefull.
So today, I have set it up as an archive of all my reports, comparisons and reviews I did on this blog. This should make it easier for people to find things and I will also be able to post more news and other things that would be too long or would just not work within the format here. You can check it out at Ricoh GR-Diary @ Wordpress. It is still work in progress so let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Site Office

GX100, f4.1, 1/250, ISO 200, RAW, 24mm

Saw this while walking in Greenwich today and found it really funny. Cropped to 16:9 format, sharpened it and increased the contrast. Now the picture is mre crisp and comes close to the GRD I quality. Overall, I am more comfortable now with the processing of GX100 RAW files and can get out more although the dynamic range is pretty limited, especially when compared with the GRDs.
It is a great camera though and the LC-1 lenscap is genius and a must have. Only problem is the case which is not optimal to get the camera out fast unlike the GRD case.

Monday, 27 October 2008


GX100, f4.4, 1/30, ISO 200, RAW, 72mm

This week will be a GX100 week and following from yesterday's picture is another candle picture for today. Almost like a bigger zoom/crop of the picture from yesterday ;).
So far I noticed three things about it, the lens is slower than the GRD, I mostly use the long end of the zoom and the image quality is even in RAW not as good and detailed as the GRD I. But the camera feels very good to handle and is a lot more versatile than the GRDs so you don't have to lug around adapters with you.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


GX100, f4.4, 1/2, ISO 400, 72mm

This is a heavy crop from a picture I took today in a pub with the GX100. The rest of the picture just did not work but I love the light and expression.

The GX100 is a great camera but the very slow lens at 50mm and 72mm is a big problem and why I prefer the GRDs with 40mm adapter. This is also one of the reasons people are interested in the Panasonic LX3. The lens might have massive barrel distortion and fringing problems but these are fixed by the software before you see them and the lens is still very bright. Why I just can't live with the handling of the LX3, I hope Ricoh can improve the GX series to include a fast f2 or f2.4 lens going from 21mm-90mm without making the camera bigger. A lot of people want bigger sensors in cameras but for me the most important aspect is a fast lens. This would actually benefit my photography more than any big sensor since I don't care about noise-free images, tiny details or shallow DOF (unless I'm using macro mode).

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Camden Characters

Today it's a series from Camden and Camden Market and the diferent people and characters you can find there. All pictures are shot at ISO 400 and are unprocessed aside from some cropping or have only sharpening and contrast adjustments applied.

Friday, 24 October 2008

People in Pictures

GRD, f6.3, 1/45, ISO 64, JPG

I know, I took a picture in the same place not too long ago but I've met friends at Canary Wharf and the light was fantastc so I could not resit taking more pictures there.

One thing I have to say is that the GRD I never ceases to amaze me as to how good it can be, even when used in difficult situations. I've used it to take pictures in the pub of friends and while usually I use ISO 800-1600 and mostly color (works great with some noise reduction applied), I decided to use only b&w today and I am very impressed with the quality of the pictures. When the light is low the GRD I has big problems to focus and most of the time it can not focus at all. For this reason I normally just stick it to Snap focus but this time I just fullpressed the shutter and hoped for the best. The focus is spot on in 80% of the shots and I have no out of focus shots. Using ISO 1600 in b&w without underexposing produces nice, crisp pictures with plenty of detail (considering the small sensor and high ISO).

This reminds me to get my high ISO/low light comparison done as soon as I get my GRD II back and manage to borrow the RD1 as the 4th camera since the LC1 us useless in low light and high ISO there is 400 so not high at all.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


GRD, f2.4, 1/20, ISO 200, JPG, 40mm

Today I finally made it to Leake Street, the new home for graffitti artists and unfortunatelly vandals alike. It is an interesting place right under Waterloo station where you can see some nice graffitti art but unfortunatelly also some stupid scribblings by talentless vandals. The guy in the picture is an artist so while I dislike stupid scribblings I agree with what he's doing and think it's cool. Well worth a visit if you're in the area.
I cropped the picture to the 1:1 format, removed some color noise and boosted the contrast a bit. The focus was on the cans and I wanted the guy in the background slighty out of focus and have some motion blur.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


GRD, f9, 1 sec., ISO 64, RAW, 40mm

Quick update today, after the recent news it's a bit quieter now.
Took this picture today on my way home and thought I try a long exposure and play a bit with light streaks from passing cars. It came out almost as I wanted it but it's a bit soft due to the dark frame substraction the GRD performs for long exposures, even in RAW.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Rose

GRD, f2.4, 1/500, ISO 64, JPG, 40mm

The weather has been very nice today, sunny but a bit cold, so I decided to take a stroll through Greenwich Park on my way home. I took a few pictures there and while this was initially not my favorite I saw the potential for editing it to get the look I wanted. First I wanted to saturate it even more but decided against it. The end result is how I imagined it when I reviewed the shot on the camera.

Yesterday, I reported about the Ricoh dSLR rumor based on an interview with Ricoh from Photokina published in Amateur Photographer. I found this surprising having had a long chat with Ricoh and nothing like this has been mentioned. So I went out and bought the magazine today. To my disapointment there was no interview with Ricoh nor is the magazine any good.

I've seen some amazing photography magazines in Japan but the European magazines, so far, have all been a waste of paper. Here over half of the magazines are full of advertising, the camera tests consist of diagrams and charts but no pictures. In Japan the camera magazines are almos full of pictures taken with cameras, guides and tips how to take these pictures, camera tests consist of full-page pictures taken with the cameras and the print quality is a lot higher. This means that either people in Europe are obsessed with charts and advertising in photography magazines or the publishers care only about the money they get through advertising. You, like me, will probably chose the 2nd point as the more believable one ;).

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Clean-up

GRD, f4.5, 1/320, ISO 400, JPG

Sometimes I am lucky to be in the right place at the right time, like here, here or here. Everytime I passed by and got the chance to snap some interesting pictures. Today however, I passed by the right place but at the wrong time. This means I missed the main action and only saw the clean-up efforts and cordoned-off street. This did not provide that many good picture opportunities.

Now on to a few Ricoh related news bits, first is the rumor of a Ricoh dSLR as reported on Wouter's blog, then it's Tom's Ricoh GRD II mock-up rendering on his blog so make sure you have a look and post your opinions and last but not least there is an opportunity to vote for the proposed walks around London during our offical Ricohforum meet-up. Tomorrow is also the opening of the Ring Cube photo exhibition space in the San-ai building in Ginza, Tokyo. It will display the selections from the 8th Ricoh contest and might also have other intersting news to offer. So if you're near make sure you take some pictures and let me know.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


GRD, f4, 1/250, ISO 400, JPG b&w

When I passed this car the first time I liked the setting but the light was not right, it was cloudy so I did not take a picture. On my way back, the sun came through and the light was much better. This shows that although a scene or setting can be right, without the right light you can't get a good picture. After all photography is all about the light. Took the picture in black and white but added a sepia toning to it, since it gives it more of a timeless appearance.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Watch the Bucket

GX100, f3.5, 1/25, ISO 80, RAW, 50mm

The City of London is very interesting, it has character and great architecture. Especially on weekends it is worth a visit as it's almost deserted so it's easy to take pictures.
This is taken with the GX100 since I only took the 21mm lens for the GRD and this required some zoom.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Keep Clear of Boom

GRD, f5, 1/90, ISO 64, JPG, 40mm

There is something about taking pictures in the fall, winter and spring when the sun is low. It creates harsh and long shadows and gives pictures a different contrast. I prefer the light to the summer where it is usually a bit flat and you don't get much contrast. I like the textures and shadows in this picture, it was very good out of the camera but I played around with the curves to get a even higher contrast and added some vignetting. The vignetting was for two reasons, first because I think it looks better but also to mask the flare in the corner from the 40mm lens.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Looking Up

GRD, f4, 1/220, ISO 100, JPG, 40mm

The light was great this afternoon, it was sunny but we had a lot of dark clouds in the sky. This creates great reflections due to the low angle of the sun and the clouds blocking it in part. This and cloudy but bright days are best to use the following JPG color settings on the GRD I. I set the contrast to +2, the color depth to -2 and the sharpness to +1. It produces great colors, especially the longer the exposure is. This shot was taken in A-mode though but I will write a post with the settings and the way I use the GRDs soon.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Today I have a series on the new exhibition in the Tate Modern, you might remember my 'The Hangar' post with the teaser for this. It's called TH.2058 by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, for more details go here. It is quite interesting and worth a visit even if you, like me, are not a huge fan of modern art.
You can see more pictures on Yesbut's Weblog, he went there on the same day but in the morning.
All pictures are taken in JPG with the GRD I and the 40mm and 21mm lens at ISO 400 and are unprocessed. I really like the images the GRD I produces at ISO 400 and don't mind the noise at all.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


GRD, f4.5, 1/250, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Did not have much time for taking pictures today since I had to keep on arguing with Easyjet for my compensation for the recently cancelled and delayed flights.
Took this on my way to London Bridge station. I like taking pictures of grey concrete buildings, especially if they match the weather.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Reading the News

RD1s, f1.4, 1/50, ISO 800, RAW, 40mm

I always like to try out different cameras and while no other camera managed to impress me more than the GRD I, the Epson R-D1s comes very close. The build and feel is exactly like the GRD, it is fully manual and has great controls. The rangefinder manual focus is as nice as manual focus goes but manual focus is only something for purists and too much hassle for me so I don't like it. I expect only one thing in any camera and this is auto focus, I get no enjoyment out of photography if I have to worry about the focus instead of composition and exposure. Other than that, the Nokton f1.4 lens is great for lowlight shots so I really hope Ricoh can put a similar lens in the next GRD. With the smaller sensor it will be even better for low light photography. I hope to be able to run a better comparison at some point.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Blackheath Farmers Market

Today a small series from the Blackheath Farmers Market. The weather was great again and better than what we had all summer. There were quite a few people out and around the market so it made for some intersting pictures.
All pictures were taken with the GRD I in color and ISO 64 and 100 but I converted most in to b&w since they looked better this way.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


GX100, f4.4, 1/80, ISO 80, RAW, 72mm

THe weather was great today so I took a long walk through parks, woods and finishing at the Thames Barrier and then O2. I used mostly the GRD I and had the 40mm lens with me but I took this picture with the GX100 since I needed more reach. It would have been good to have a faster lens on the GX100 since f4.4 at telephoto is not very good. This is where the LX3 is better although the lens seems to suffer from very high distortion and CA so it seems Leica lenses are not as good as Ricoh lenses.
I added vignetting but did not change it much aside from this, I think it works better with the vignetting.

Friday, 10 October 2008


GRD, f7.1, 1/380, TIFF text mode

The GRD I is not a camera that will offer you 34 scene modes and even the Auto mode is not auto at all. All you get is a fully manual camera with a whopping 2 scene modes. One is the extremely usefull voice recording mode, which unfortunately has been dropped from the GRD II, and the other is the cool Text mode. I have used the latter before and really like experimenting with it. It works great for all kind of pictures as long as you have enough contrast and the scene is not too busy or it will get confusing.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Pigeon Shooting

GRD, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 100, JPG

Took this while out for lunch today, it was a very nice and sunny day. I liked how he was hiding behind his jacket, trying to snap the pigeon. Can only laugh about this, I take my 21mm lens and shove the camera in the pigeon's face for this ;).

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

You and Me

GRD, f2.4, 1/100, ISO 400, JPG b&w

I have taken a few picturs today and most have a much better composition than this one and I did not have to crop them that much but I think this picture is great. It's not the composition or the exposure or anything else but just being able to capture this moment what made this picture for me. I saw this while waling past and this was the best I could do in the split second I had to capture it. The great thing is the very fast AF of the GRD I that allowed me to get at least something.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Bridge

GRD, f4.5, 1/250, ISO 400, JPG b&w

A while ago I wrote about the Ricoh London meet-up, it was a very nice experience to meet people who are Ricoh fans but also people who I've been talking to in forums.
Soon there will be an official RicohForum London meet-up where we'll be joined by some people from Ricoh Europe. Head here to find out all details and make sure you post there if you can join us.

And another announcement from the RicohForum today. There will be a "Ricoh around the Globe" photo project. Please go here to find out all the details.

As you can see there are a few interesting things coming up related to Ricoh and their cameras. I hope you can make it to the meet-up, will post more closer to the date.

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Hangar

GRD, f2.4, 1/20, ISO 200, JPG

Took a walk across the Millenium Bridge and to the Tate Modern today during lunch. They prepare a new exhibition in the turbine hall and you could only see the top but it looked intriguing. The hall and the cables give it kind of a Sci-fi look and I wanted to have it in b&w and high contrast at first but find it works better in color.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Night Light

GRD, f2.4, 1/8, ISO 1600, JPG b&w, 21mm

This is another experimental picture where I see something that might not be very interesting at first but what I like. It is about finding a way to get a different view on things, trying to make something more out of an ordinary thing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it might not.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Metal and Glass

GRD, f5, 1/500, ISO 400, JPG b&w, 21mm

This is the first picture with my new GRD I. Finally installed the latest firmware on it and set it up the way I want. Now I can retire my old GRD I after over 2 years of great service. I will miss it and although the new GRD I feels nice and does not have the buttons all worn out, it is not the same (so far).