Saturday, 31 January 2009

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

GRD, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 640, JPG - Taken on 09/10/2006

Took this picture while on holiday in Shanghai. Although the horizon is not straight I can't crop it because it would riun the composition. Think a leveler would have been good in this situation. I did notice that I messed the horizon up and took a 2nd picture but the scene was not the same anymore, the big ship was in a different place and the people also moves slightly. Sometimes all you have is one chance to get the shot and it's better to get it by all means even if technically it's not perfect.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Summer Afternoon

GRD, f3.5, 1/2000, ISO 100, JPG b&w - Taken on 20/07/2006

Took this picture while enjoying the nice weather in London. I really liked the scene with all the different people in there. At the time I took the picture I wished to have a 40mm lens since 28mm was too wide for what I wanted to capture. But with some cropping it gives me the view I wanted.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Night Rider

GRD, f2.4, 1/100, ISO 1600, JPG b&w - Taken on 19/01/2007

When is a compact camera superior to a dSLR? Everytime you need a high DOF in low light, like in this situation. This picture was taken with the GRD at ISO 1600 and EV -1 so effectively at ISO 3200 and using Snap focus. The D70 we had along could not focus, the f3.5 lens was too slow and the DOF too shallow as to be of any use.
This might not be an amazing picture but it shows where a small sensor camera can be much better than a big sensor camera. This is why I hope someone will release a compact camera with a 2/3" sensor and a very fast lens. I don't need or want a full-frame or APS sensor because the DOF is too limited there. It can be nice for portraits but not when you loose all advantage of a fast lens and high ISO.
While everyone is asking for compact cameras with a big sensor, I would like to see compact cameras with improved small sensors. If I could have a 2/3 sensor which can deliver the same image quality as the GRD I in this picture at ISO 6400 and a f1.4 or f1.8 lens it would be the perfect camera for me. Looking back through my pictures I noticed that the image quality of my Ricoh cameras was never really limiting or not good enough to get the shot and have a memorable picture. The only thing I missed me was a higher ISO and faster lens.

Ricoh R10 Testbericht - Teil 2

In Teil 1 des Ricoh R10 Tests habe ich mir die Verarbeitung und die Bedienung der Kamera angeschaut. Aber wie sieht es mit der Benutzung im Alltag aus? Glücklicherweise folgt die R10 die Tradition von Ricoh, Kameras herzustellen die man mit Freude nutzt. Dies ist für mich die wichtigste Eigenschaft an einer Kamera und wichtiger als irgendwelche mehr oder minder sinnlose Funktionen, denn letztendlich sind Funktionen nicht wichtig um gute oder interessante Fotos zu machen. Die Kamera sollte aber dennoch eine gute Bildqualität bieten und auch schnell genug sein um keine Gelegenheit zu verpassen.
Wie schneidet die R10 in dieser Hinsicht aus?

Ricoh R10 Testbericht - Teil 1

Wer nach einer Kompaktkamera sucht hat es nicht leicht, es gibt mehr Auswahl als man möchte und es ist leicht den Überblick zu verlieren unter den ganzen Modellen der verschiedenen Hersteller. Die meissten Modelle unterscheiden sich nur in den verfügbaren Farbvariationen oder den verfügbaren Szenen die mehr oder minder nützlich ausfallen. Unter all diesen Kameras finden sich nur wenige wirklich interessante und aussergewöhnliche Modelle, eines davon is die Ricoh R10.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Morning Coffee

GRD, f5, 1/400, ISO 64, JPG - Taken on 20/01/2007

This is another of my favorite pictures and one that I could only take because the GRD I is fast to power on and ready to take the shot. Took it at Luxor airport just before boarding the bus. When I saw the scene it looked nice but when I saw the driver with the coffee it made it perfect and I had to get the shot.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Going Home

GRD, f2.4, 1/25, ISO 800, JPG b&w - Taken on 09/08/2006

This is one of my favorite pictures with the GRD and another example why you should always have a camera with you. Took it in the bus on my 'way home' and found the scene great, very chilled out and relaxed. I find it works very well in b&w and was very glad that I could capture that moment.

Monday, 26 January 2009


GRD, f4.5, 1/250, ISO 64, JPG - Taken on 26/10/2006

Today's picture is my most popular picture on both Flickr and JPG Mag. It is also one of my own favorite pictures although I am not a big fan of flower macros. I tried to copy this picture a few times but never got anywhere close to the original.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Looking Back

S40, f2.6, 1.3 sec., ISO 100, JPG, 35mm - Taken on 09/02/2006

While creating a backup for all my pictures I realized that there are quite a few pictures I really like but never got round to upload anywhere. This is why I decided to look back at some of my favorite pictures from before I started my blog and post some of them here. This week will be all dedicated to my older pictures.

Today's picture has been taken with my old Pentax Option S40, my first digital camera and the camera I replaced with the Ricoh GRD. This picture is my favorite picture from this camera and made it clear to me that the camera you have with you at any time is the camera that will give you the picture. This was basically the day I decided that a dSLR would just not work fo me due to the bulk. I took this picture while walking home from work and after I decided to met a friend at a pub, I had the camera with me because it was small and so I could take this picture.

Since I will use older pictures this week, I can relax and use the GR1 again to take pictures.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Boy and Squirrel

GX200, f5, 1/60, ISO 64, RAW, 52mm

Took this picture while out for a walk in St. James's Park today. Used the GX200 with EVF and I have to say that while I believe OVFs are a waste of space and not very usefull a EVF is perfect and much more usefull. Having the ability to see exactly what the sensor sees and see any change to the WB, color mode, etc. is a huge advantage over a OVF. Being able to tilt it and remove it if it's in the way is great and an advantage over a built in EVF.

Friday, 23 January 2009

The Heron

GX200, f4.4, 1/70, ISO 673, RAW, 72mm

Took this while out for a walk after work today. Sometimes it is very handy to have a zoom in a camera, the added flexibility is very nice. I think as much as I like the prime lens on the GRD I would gladly change it for a lens similar to the LC1. Or a interchangeable lens camera with a very fast prime lens and a somewhat slower zoom lens.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Cat's Eyes

GRD II, f2.4, 1/6, ISO 800, RAW

Todays picture fits again the 'non-photography' category. I quite like to sometimes break the rules and deliver a blurry and noisy photo. Afterall, I think technical perfection, although it is what most people strive for, is not important for a good picture. There are too many technically brilliant but boring pictures on the internet.
Not that this is the most exciting picture but sometimes a technically bad photo actually benefits from the noise and blur. I doubt, I would have selected this image if the cat would have been in perfect focus or there would be no noise at all, this picture would lack something in my view.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

One Year Later

GRD II, f5, 8 sec., ISO 80, RAW

Today is a special day for my blog, it becomes one year old :D. It is exactly one year since I started the blog and a lot has happened in between.

I got the idea to start the blog when a friend mentioned starting a "food diary" and taking pictures of food. This sounded like fun and I was looking for something in order to get myself motivated to take more pictures. At that time, I was carrying the GRD I around with me every day but did not use it sometimes for a whole week. This was a wasted opportunity in my view so a photo diary sounded like a good idea. This is how the name 'Ricoh GR-Diary' and this blog came to be.

I would have never expected to keep posting one picture every day for a whole year and, aside from some friends, I did not think people would be intersted to read my blog. I kind of expected to post a few pictures and then get bored and leave it. Taking and posting a picture every day became a lot of fun and I began to see things around me that I ignored or passed by before. It was not always easy and on some days I only had some mediocre pictures or had to improvise something but it was always fun.

What I would have never expected is the response I got and the fantastic people I met through my blog. Thank you for reading my blog and it was great to meet some of you in person, hope there will be more opportunities for this!

Meeting Ricoh representatives at Photokina, having the rare opportunity to visit the Ricoh factory during my trip to Hong Kong or getting cameras to review is something that might have never happened without me starting this blog. Here let me say again a bit thank you to Ricoh for making all of this possible!

Enough talk for now. I hope you enjoyed the blog so far, be it the pictures, my writing or maybe both? Whatever is was, I hope it was never boring.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Blue & Yellow

GRD II, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 80, RAW

More color for my blog from today's picture. I don't know why but when using the GRD I, I almost always use either b&w and/or high ISO for my pictures, when using the GRD II however I always end up with a color picture at low ISO. There is something differnt about what you "see" depending on the camera you carry, at least for me it is.
Took this while walking back from lunch near St. Paul's today. There was a road saftey event in front of St. Paul's and the ploice had their bikes parked behind the church.

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Painted Hall

GRD II, f2.4, 1/2, ISO 80, RAW, 21mm

Been in Greenwich today and passed by the Maritime University and thought it would be nice to go and have a look at the Painted Hall again. Had my GRD II with 21mm lens with me today since I haven't used either for quite a while now. Maybe not the most exciting of pictures but some color is good for the blog.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Time Will Come

LC1, f2, 1/20, ISO 100, JPG b&w, 28mm

Went around Kings Cross to take pictures today. I always thought there is nothing worth taking pictures of in the area but there are a few nice hidden places around. Like the Old St. Pancras church where I took this picture.
The LC1 is a very nice camera for the weekend, would not want to carry it around every day and the AF is still way too slow.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

SWPP Model

LC1, f2.4, 1/15, ISO 200, JPG, 90mm

Today, I went to the SWPP Convention and Trade show. It was interesting and I managed to find a few places I will try for prints and also to develop the films from the GR1. There were also a few events and classes of how to take good studio pictures. While I am not hugely interested in this I was hanging around to see one of the free classes to find out what a 60MP PhaseOne camera can do.
It might be impressive on a technical level but the wireless flashes used and the photographer managed to make this model look pretty ugly in the resulting picture. I think having the soft light only without a flash is much nicer and shadows are good and give depth to a picture. Using flash is always too harsh and cold no matter how you set this up to diffuse it.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Smithfield Tower

GRD, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 400, JPG

Another picture from Smithfield market, this time no door but the market itself. I like taking pictures at ISO 400 with color depth set at -2 as this gives a nice feel to the pictures.

Thursday, 15 January 2009


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

Took this picture in the evening while walking home. I liked the light and shapes of the car. It seemed like it would make a good b&w picture and it did come out very well.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Keep Left

GRD, f2.4, 1/60, ISO 400, JPG

Took this after work at Bank station, I always find it funny that they put the signs to "Keep Left" but no one pays attention and walks on the right side. Guess going or driving on the right side is more natural to people ;).

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Blue & White

GRD, f5, 1/400, ISO 400, JPG

Sometimes it pays to take a different route to your destination. Like today, when I took a different way around Smithfield's Market and discovered this door. It looks great and I really like the texture. I added more contrast and sharpened it to get the texture to stand out more.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Last Kiss

GRD, f2.4, 1/125, ISO 400, JPG

Been a gray and rainy day so did not take a lot of pictures today. This is no problem though since the first picture I took was the one for the blog. When I saw them in front of St. Paul's I knew this would be a good picture. I am quite pleased with the outcome and cropped it to 1:1 format.

Sunday, 11 January 2009


R10, f4.1, 1/570, ISO 80, JPG

After the yesterday's assignment it was time to take it easy and relax a bit today. I went for a walk around Blackheath since it was nice and sunny to take some pictures. I decided to take the R10 with me since it is small and different than the cameras I used yesterday. This picture shows the pretty good dynamic range the R10 has and that there is no fringing visible.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Gaza Demonstration

LC1, f6, 1/250, ISO 200, JPG, 75mm

At freezing temperatures I've set myself an objective for the day. It was to go out and cover the demonstration against Israel and the war in Gaza. The turn-out was impressive despite the low temperatures. It was very interesting and I got some great pictures out of it. I have been using the LC1 mostly and the GRD I only for quick snapshots when the slow AF of the LC1 was too much to handle or when the light levels dropped and ISO 400 was just not enough. The LC1 is agreat camera for such occasions since it looks more professional than all the beginner dSLRs and gives one more credibility. One other thing is that no matter how much fun I make about the plastic soap box cameras, in freezing cold you don't want to handle a camera made out of metal without gloves on ;).

Although I had a whole series, one of the changes for the year is to only post one picture per day. I chose this pictures since I find it best summarizes the protest for me.
I went as an neutral observer there and to document the protest. This is why I will not write anything about the actual protest and think the pictures speak for themselves so check out the gallery here.

Friday, 9 January 2009


GRD, f2.4, 1/10, ISO 800, JPG

Tok this picture while waiting for the tube at Mansion House station. Liked how the tunnel looked and the train added the colors to the scene.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Fog Rises

GRD, f2.4, 1/25, ISO 64, JPG

Thick fog was coming over London this afternoon. The whole day before we had a very strange light. It was kind of yellow but lacking any contrast so terrible for photography. Not that fog is much better in terms of contrast but it does give a great atmosphere if you get the exposure right.
I had three pictures I liked from today so what made me choose this one was the fact that it is shot at a low ISO. Did not want to give the impression that my GRD I is broken and I can't move it away from ISO 400 or 1600 ;). I added some vignetting and used Noise Ninja to remove some color noise but more to sharpen the luminance noise.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Ricoh R10 Review - Part 2

In Part 1 of the R10 review I looked at the build and controls but how is it to actually use the camera. Due to the excellent controls and great build it follows Ricoh's tradition of cameras one enjoys using. This for me is the most important thing and way more important than silly features and even more so than image quality since none of these are responsible for taking good or interesting pictures. Still, the image quality needs to be acceptable and the camera needs to be responsive enough to take the picture when you want it.
Read on to find out how the R10 fares in this respect.

Ricoh R10 Review - Part 1

If you are looking to buy a compact point and shoot camera you probably have more choice than you would like and can easily be overwhelmed with all the models by the different manufacturers. Most of these camera models differ only in the colors available or will mostly offer you more or less completely obscure scene modes. In the midst of all these cameras you will find only a few really interesting and unique cameras and one of them is the Ricoh R10.
It is a small point and shoot camera with a very versatile 7.1x 28-200mm zoom lens, great build quality and very good controls. Be warned though that it is not a simple point and shoot where you just press the button and get great pictures. Ricoh has this to say about the R10: "A camera to realize the photographer's intent." So while the R10 might have an 'Easy' mode on the dial, to get the most out of it you need to have a basic understanding of how a camera works or at least be prepared to make some adjustments. If you do however take the time to learn how to make some basic adjustments, it will reward you and your pictures will look much better. I had the camera for a while now and really enjoy using it, it has some limitations but which camera doesn't.

Ricoh R10 Review

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I really enjoyed using the Ricoh R10 and think it's a very nice camera. It is in my opinion the best R series camera so far and one of the best built cameras from Ricoh.
It follows Ricoh's tradition of cameras you enjoy using. This for me is the most important thing and way more important than silly features and even than image quality since none of these take good or interesting pictures. Read my full review of it here.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Water Feature

GRD, f5, 1/320, ISO 1600, JPG

While walking home I came across this new "water feature" in Greenwich. A water main must have broken so it was flooding the street around but made for a nice picture.
Now if you ask why I used ISO 1600 instead of a much lower ISO, this is because I like how the camera handles the color and together with using contrast at +2 and color depth at -2 gave me the result I wanted. I removed what little color noise there was with Noise Ninja but left the luminance noise alone.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Man in Yellow

GRD, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 400, JPG

After taking a break from street photography I have another picture from today. This time however it's not a b&w but color picture. I think it is important to keep changing the themes and style every now and then so as not to become stale and repetitive. This is why I enjoy having different cameras, each with a slightly different look and feel.

Sunday, 4 January 2009


LC1, f2, 1/5, ISO 200, RAW, 28mm

Took it easy today and just went for a walk to Greenwich Park and the Observatory there. It was nice but I got told off for taking pictures since some of the things are copyrighted, even this staircase is off limits for photography but I already took that shot. Should you have been following my blog you would have noticed two other pictures (the last one only two weeks ago) taken in the Observatory so this rule must be new. I will never understand the reason to limit photography and will never support it. What I do support is limiting people to use their flash everywhere but this is a different matter.

Saturday, 3 January 2009


LC1, f2.4, 1/25, ISO 200, RAW, 90mm

Continuing my blurry pictures series this year, I took this with the Panasonic LC1. This time however it was blurry on purpose since I found it gives a better feel to the picture. It is part of a series of pictures I took at a wedding today.
Used mostly the LC1 for this since it has great dynamic range and very good controls but is a bit slow when writing RAW and the focus also needs to be faster for this kind of photography. It compares very favorably however with the RD1 and both cameras have a similar look and image quality.

Friday, 2 January 2009


GRD II, f2.4, 1/10, ISO 400, RAW, 1:1

I had a strange day today. Although I went out with the intention to take pictures, equipped with the R10 and GRD II, I did not manage to take any sharp pictures. For some reason most if not all my pictures suffered from camera shake. This does not happen often and I was quite surprised to see this afterwards. I also did not have too much coffee in the morning and I did not spice my coffee with any alcohol either ;).
This is a picture from the GRD II since I haven't used it for quite some time and although it also has slight camera shake (and this time it was not done on purpose) I do quite like the outcome after some processing to give it the look I imagined when taking it.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Portrait Lens

Ok, since I had time today and nothing better to do I decided to see which camera/lens combination is best for portraits. I took the GRD II with 40mm lens, GX200 and LC1 which were both set at 50mm to give a comparable result. The 'I, Robot' head was around 30cm away from the cameras. All cameras were shot wide open so the GRD II at f2.4, GX200 at f3.5 and LC1 at f2.1.
Unsurprisingly, the LC1 gives the most pleasing bokeh and has a shallower DOF than the Ricoh cameras due to it's larger sensor, also the 28mm lens is not really suited for this and gives a big DOF. What was surprising though is that there is hardly any difference between the GRD II at f2.4 and GX200 at f3.5 and both look very similar, I had expected the GX200 to have a bigger DOF.