Saturday, 31 March 2012

Solms and Montabaur

Went to Leica country to check out the photo fair in Solms. It was very interesting from the people attending to the choice of 2nd hand and new Leica stuff to buy.
I could not get away empty handed so bought a few LTM to M adapters and a M macro adapter which will surely come in handy.

After the fair we drove to get lunch in Montabaur and check out the caste, unfortunately the castle (as most of the town) was closed but it was a nice stopover nonetheless.

I only took my GXR with GR lens with me and had quite a few people interested in it although the GR lens was not the only one there, there was one to buy in almost mint condition next to a Epson RD-1s.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


GXR A16, f5.7, 1/760, ISO 200, JPG, 85mm

Took this on my way to work in our Frankfurt office. I like taking architecture pictures of modern buildings in the morning of evening when you get all the reflections of the low sun.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Impressions from Munich

Spent the day in Munich for client meetings and had some time for photography. It is actually quite convenient to just have a kit lens module along with AF and a silent shutter for the times you don't have time or are in the mood for real photography. The module performed very well and got some very nice results although it does tend to underexpose at times.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sitting and Watching

GXR A16, f5.5, 1/810, ISO 200, JPG, 50mm

The image quality of the A16 Zoom is very good and it is silent in operation.
The feel of the module is something I still don't like as it feels to plasticky but the upside is that it is light and carrying it around is not a problem.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A16 Zoom First impressions

Today, I got a sample of the new GXR A16 Zoom module. It is a 'kit-lens' module for the GXR sporting a 24-85mm lens and a 16MP APS sensor without AA filter, unfortunately the lens is not very bright at f3.5-5.5 and the APS sensor only has a max. ISO of 3200.

Still, let's look at how it actually performs since specs alone are meaningless in actual real world use.

This is just a first hand impression and I have simply taken pictures with it so it will not be very analytical.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Chill in the Sun

GXR A12-M, f6.3, 1/3500, ISO 200, RAW, 42mm (Ricoh GR f2.8 28mm L)

Took this during a quick stop in Frankfurt today. Tomorrow, I will be in Duesseldorf and will get to try out the new A16 zoom module for the GXR so it should be interesting.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Light My Fire

GXR A12-M, f5.6, 1/233, ISO 200, JPG, 42mm (Ricoh GR f2.8 28mm L)

Took this on my way to work this morning, not 100% in focus but I still like it.

I have edited it with the latest version of Photo Editor on Android, you can find it on Google Play. It is a great app, it's free, supports now fullsize picture editing and has all the tools you need. Would recommend over Photoshop Touch.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Jameson or Death

GXR A12-M, f2.8, 1/28, ISO 3200, RAW, 42mm (Ricoh GR f2.8 28mm L)

Took this at a preview screening of the Norwegian movie Headhunters, showing as part of the Jameson Cult Film Club. It was a fun event and I also enjoyed the movie.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Monday, 19 March 2012

Look Right

GXR A12-M, f5.6, 1/660, ISO 200, RAW, 22mm (Voigtlander Heliar f4.5 15mm L)

I took this on my way in to the office for a later start this morning. It is funny how empty the City gets in between the morning and evening rush hour and lunch break. It is almost a different place, this spot in the morning would not look as peaceful but would be bustling with people and cars all standing in each others way.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

GF1, f1.4, 1/15, ISO 125, RAW, 50mm (Voigtlander Nokton f0.95 25mm)

A rainy and busy day today, did not really have time for photography or for celebrating St. Patrick's day in a Irish pub but there was still time for some Guinness.

The upside is that I got my home backup and media centre sorted and can now access things easier from all my computers.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Heavy Machine

GXR A12-M, f8.0, 1/203, ISO 200, JPG, 18mm (Voigtlander Heliar f5.6 12mm L)

This might not be the most exciting picture, although I like industrial themes, but I wanted to give Photoshop Touch on my Asus Transformer a go.
Aside from the stupid idea to limit the maximum resolution to 1600 pixels, it is actually a pretty decent program and quite capable, it is also quick on the Transformer. The size limitation is really bad though and I hope Adobe will increase this.
I hope Snapseed for Android will be released soon since it supports full size editing on my iPhone 4 and I guess iPad but the iPad is limited in all other ways.

The more Google improves Android and the more capable the apps available for it get, the easier it is for me to do almost everything on the Transformer. For me the Transformer is the future of computing because it is flexible and replaces two devices rather than being a 3rd device nobody really needs. It is also very nice to use.

If someone would just port RAW Therapee on Android I would have no real reason to use my notebook anymore, other than for work this is.

On another note, Ricoh has released a new firmware update for the GXR today. It is version 1.50 and includes features like the ability to enter copyright information to the EXIF,the ability to continue shooting when keeping the shutter pressed, bulb mode and also one feature I never understand but lots of people want for some reason, the ability to shoot RAW only. Can someone please tell me what the point or big deal is to shoot only RAW and either have a tiny embedded JPG in there but useless for even reviewing focus or a fullsize JPG which makes the RAW bigger by the same size a JPG would take?

So if you are still reading and have a GXR, what are you waiting for, go to the download page and update the firmware. You can get it here.

Ricoh certainly listens to it's users and shows again exemplary support of their cameras.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Turning Back

GRD III, f3.2, 1/250, ISO 64, RAW

Took this while out for a walk enjoying the fantastic weather today. The guy turned round but not because of me taking a picture but to call his girlfriend who was walking just behind me. I was hoping he would do this so waited to take my shot till the right moment.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Turn your back on me

GXR A12, f2.5, 1/217, ISO 200, RAW, 28mm

Another picture with a central focus point, it is not great but I like the light and how the GXR captured it.

Monday, 5 March 2012


GXR A12-M, f8.0, 1/10, ISO 3200, RAW, 44mm (Holga HLW v1 f8.0 29mm)

This is the first try of my new Holga lens after I adapted it for M mount, the initial idea was good and it was quick to modify it by just filing down the old mount a bit. After screwing in a L to M adapter I had my new mount in place and the lens ready for use on the GXR.
This worked all well but for one 'small' issue with the distance between lens and sensor getting bigger by doing this so I ended up with a lens only usable for close focusing. Now I need to get this somehow closer to the sensor and then I should be all set to play around with the Holga lens.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Focus on Imaging 2012

Another year of Focus but this time around there were more interesting cameras to play around with, mirrorless options grew and got more and more interesting over the years.
As interesting and innovative some of the mirrorless cameras are, as uninspiring are the model numbers of the cameras. Starting with Fuji with the X-Pro 1 or is it X1 Pro, the Olympus OM-D or E-M 5 or both (or whatever silliness Olympus has done by using two model names), the Canon GX1 or G1X or something else with this combination of letters and number 1 (which seem to be the only ones in the alphabet for camera manufacturers), the non-functional Sigma DP1 and DP2 Merrill (seems Sigma only uses the DP1 and DP2 naming for the compact cameras and did not purchase the rights to any higher numbers or different letters) it seems Nikon was the most innovative with their 1 series, shame the cameras are cheap plastic toys. Naming is not something the manufacturers have really figured out.

But let's look at the actual cameras, like last year I was again interested in a new camera from Fuji. The X-Pro 1, like the X100 and X10 before it, is a great looking camera and shows that Fuji has figured out that retro is in and sells. The X-Pro 1 is their first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and should prove very popular and give Leica a well deserved trashing for not being innovative at all and re-hashing outdated designs with their M series.
Handling the camera actually feels very good, it is nicely built and Fuji has listened to complaints/feedback and improved the menu and external controls from the X100 and X10. The camera is also way more responsive than the sluggish X100, offers more customization options and a improved menu system.
Unfortunately (or as usual) Fuji falls short of having the best camera of the show with some annoying but avoidable problems. My most hated feature in cameras is the screen freeze when focusing and the X-Pro 1 not only has this but the AF is also very slow and mostly not very reliable and misfocusses very often, especially at close distances. While the AF is pretty poor (like the X100 in terms of speed and reliability), the MF speed has been improved so now turning the ring actually moves the MF point at a reasonable pace, unfortunately there is no focus peaking so MF is done by assessing fuzziness on the screen. The last point is the screen does not tilt, this would not have been a major point a while ago but right now there is no excuse not to have a tilt screen.

I did not expect much of the Olympus OM-D (I will call it OM-D since this is the only sensible name for it and not E-M5) given the poor track record of Olympus with their other m4/3 cameras with their poor controls and build. They did manage to surprise me though and this camera stole the show, it is THE best m4/3 camera to date and one of the nicest built and handling mirrorless you can buy. It has a great screen which you can tilt, a very good built-in EVF, customizable controls with wheels, very good build quality with weather sealing, it's very fast (the AF especially is impressive) and very responsive and has some nice accessories available for it.
It basically shows that Olympus has been listening to feedback and has improved their cameras, unlike Panasonic who have got worse an worse. Right now I would go as far to say that this is the only m4/3 camera one should consider and if I were not in the process to get rid of my m4/3 gear or even if m4/3 would be better at supporting M lenses I would be very tempted by it.

I have also played around with the Sony NEX-7 a bit more and still like it, next to the OM-D it's probably the best camera at the show but it feels a bit hollow and way too light compared with the GXR or GRD cameras which feel solid. The lens selection is still not there yet and without proper support for M lenses it is too expensive right now compared with the IMO more capable (in terms of M lenses) and cheaper NEX-5n, despite the great results Björn is getting with his camera.

As for the rest, the Canon G1X is simply a G11 with big sensor, which is not a bad thing per se but it's not very innovative and the OVF is a joke. The Panasonic GX1 is simply a GF1 with handgrip and a (way overdue) improved sensor but without any flip screen, built-in EVF, weather sealing or any features worth mentioning. The Nikon 1 series are horrible plastic cameras with huge (and slow lenses) and some of the worst controls since the Sigma DP1. The Sigma DP1 and DP2 Merrill look like what the original DP1 or at least DP2 should have been but they are years too late to the party.
As usual neither Ricoh nor Pentax were around so unfortunately I could not check out the new, funky looking Pentax K-01 or the new A16 Zoom module.

So overall mirrorless offers have been growing and have got better. Still, after the GXR Mount A12, I am not tempted by anything but a new GXR body with a flip screen.

Having said this, I did end up buying something. I got myself a Holga lens for the Samsung NX mount which I intend to convert to M mount and use on the GXR. I do like the one for the GF1 and wanted to have one for the GXR, too.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Empty Bench

iPhone 4, f2.8, 1/15, ISO 1000, JPG, Hipstamatic app

This central composition was not done on purpose but is a result of the inaccurate 'viewfinder' of the Hipstamatic app.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

London Bridge Rail

GXR A12, f2.5, 1/30, ISO 1250, RAW, 28mm

People always say it's not good to place the main point of interest in the middle of the picture but I think it's not such a bad thing and can work well at times if the rest of the composition goes along with this.