Should the image be for the one taking it or for the person looking at it?
I may be way off base here so please tell me if I'm am......my standard for a photograph is if it can't make the inside cover of a Pink Floyd album its not worthy
Last edited by mwalker; 10th December 2007 at 09:23.
website under construction
This is my first post. I usually haunt the Leica Forum, but there seems to be great stuff here as well.
I want to buy a Ricoh, backup to my M8, and carry all the time, either the GR II or the GX 100, and am trying to choose. Some questions:
1. Not sure it makes any difference, but I'm on an Mac. It seemed like some Ricoh firmware was not available for Mac?
2. Is is true that there is not now, but is going to be available a 40 mm equivalent add on lens for the GR II?
3. I plan on using this camera mostly to shoot friends/family indoors. And indoor action shots of my cats. I'm hoping the big DOF will help in both cases. Will the 28 mm, (and the 40 if it comes) work well with these subjects? (Up till now I've rarely shot people, and when I do with the M8, I usually use my 50mm.)
Thanks for any light you may shed.
Mitchell, I just bought the GRII to back up my M8. The problem I have with these small sensor cameras is the noise but it my be my lack of how to post process these files. I'm using a Macbook pro,Lightroom and I've only shot in RAW . I having a hard time with the noise at iso 200 but its probably my lack of post process experience with third party noise suppression software. I'm going to try the jpeg mode and see if it looks better. Its no comparison to your M8 as long as you know that going in...IMHO. Maybe some of these guys will help us get more from our files, I've seen their images so I know it can be done. Sean Reid is doing a review of this camera and I expect to learn a lot from that.
Last edited by mwalker; 10th December 2007 at 09:57.
website under construction
Day spent photographing so I haven't got the energy to closely read every post here. Forgive me if I miss something... Golden section? A few comments: the size of the "canvas" isn't that important. What matters more is the divison of the available surface. Any format can be divided according to the rule. Examples? Rembrandt, for a start. Photographers? Come to mind: Stephen Shore (just draw some lines over the pictures in "Uncommon Places" - I bet he had pencil marks on the ground glass), Eugčne Atget... French photographer Richard Dumas (Agence Vu). Cameras that allow access to the ground glass obviously lend themselves to golden section composition because you can put reference lines on the screen...
I feel that form is the must fundamental basis for a photograph or a painting and whatever meaning or mood is to surface it has to emerge from the form, in the manner of the Shakespeare sonnet above, to which no one has reacted.
There are a lot of great paintings that don't express a mood, and that goes for photographs as well, altough they may express a strong emotion, but not always because they may be more cerebral than emotive.
" Originally Posted by chris_tribble View Post
Another practical question to you good people. I'm now very seriously considering the GR2, but would like to avoid having to buy another finder. At the moment I use the Leica 21-24-28 on my M8 and am pretty OK with it. Does anyone have experience of using this on the GR2 - or any thoughts? I notice a couple of people have been using the Voigtlander 28 finder - maybe I shouldn't have sold mine!"
Yes, Chris. It's a great match with the GR2.
I've responded to that quote in another thread on another forum. In short, its a good example of the power form has to convey content. And I agree about the importance of form. Winogrand was right, though, when he said that every picture is a contention between form and content.
The problem that often comes up is that people may mistake formulas for form. Certainly, countless books and magazines have made money by over-simplifying discussions of form into rules. There are no rules for form, as I think you'd agree.
For those who may not have seen them, may I very highly recommend this series of articles written by my friend Ben Lifson:
I'd suggest reading every one of them, starting with the first. In my mind, its the best writing on photography as a visual art form yet done. Of course, most of Ben's writing over the past thirty years has been in books, newspapers, magazines, etc. but this modest little web series is some of the best writing on photography I've ever seen. It certainly stands in contrast to the various over-simplified ways in which form and content are often discussed and presented in countless "tips" articles and "how to" books.
Last edited by Sean_Reid; 10th December 2007 at 13:47.
As for the myth of the "Golden Section" having been important to painters generally....see the study I quoted above for one perspective on that.
Mitch, this sonnet is new to me, so I'll have to think it over.
Let me try to expand on what I tried to say previously: a premise along the lines that as a picture deviates from the 'golden section' it becomes more uncomfortable for the viewer. The 'golden section' as represented by, say, 13:8:5 is only an approximation, and mathematically unattainable: so 'perfect' harmony is unattainable...
Interestingly, all the discussions have been about various rectangle aspects - and a square is only a type of rectangle. I have never seen a picture as, say, a pentagon, - though no doubt someone will correct me. Nor have I ever seen a picture in the format of 'aviator glasses'.
I'm suggesting that we have learned that a picture should be in some sort of rectangular format - learned, perhaps, in primary school. We subconsciously recognise 'rectangular' as 'picture' - a representation of reality. We also recognise doors and windows in the western world as being rectangular, and we 'know' the relationship between the door handle and the hinge. But, if I give you a door where the handle is on the same side as the hinge you will be quite disorientated - you have 'learned' how a door works.
Rudolf Steiner thought that as there were no right angles in nature there shouldn't be any in houses etc: looking at an anthroposophical house is very odd - crazy angles of windows and doors.
I'm not suggesting that we all now make pentangular pictures; rather, we should try to recognise that our subconscious modifies our perceptions in ways that, unless we look closely, we don't - and perhaps - can't appreciate.
I've pretty much resolved to buy a GR II, but now seem to have met a stumbling block.
I would like to buy an external viewfinder, but none except the Zeiss at $347 seem to be made to accept diopters which I need.
Anyone with the same problem? Solutions?
One can superimpose golden sections, rectangles and spirals, in the manner of Le Corrbusier, but, in my "view it don't mean a thing" — and maybe it would be appropriate to add "if it ain't got that swing". In other words there are no rules but only what the artist sees and brings to the picture. One can just as easily select hundreds of masterpiece paintings, where no golden section fits.
On differently shaped paintings, there are a good number of oval Renaissance paintings, although I forget what these are called.
Golden sections, rules of thirds and even rectangles are all human constructs or paradigms, without which daily existence is impossible. Yet, we should see them for what they are, and recognise the limitations of these 'blinkers'.
Let me try a different tack: photographs for the first 75 years or so were all B/W, so we are well used to seeing life not in colour, but in B/W. Suppose colour photography had been invented first, and then B/W a century later, would B/W have been a success? I think not.
Last edited by Chris; 11th December 2007 at 01:43.
All of art is a simplification, and selection, a imposition of order on what we see and experience.
B and W can have an advantage in revealing shape by removing the distraction of color.
Clearly painters see B and W drawing as something useful long after color was introduced (in cave paintings.)
I think street photography tends to B and W, because the emphasis is on the meaning of the interactions between people without the distraction of color.
It's interesting that the really great street photos have both meaning, and strong visual form which somehow enables rather than distracts from the meaning.
I myself shoot exclusively in color (while respecting and enjoying others B and W efforts.) I think this is because my concern is almost purely visual. I'm not interested in meaning or symbols so I tend to color abstraction.
Very interesting one for sure. i think B&W has a certain mood to it that attracts folks to it also. We don't see in color and being different to our normal vision , i believe most people like to see this way. My wife not being of the artist type loves my old B&W stuff i shot years ago when i was in school and did a lot of shooting around New Orleans. To her she loves looking at the street images in NY on display of shots made in B&W so i think for the non artist folks they like looking at it as a different way of seeing.
Yes, I think B&W photography would still exist as a medium even if color capture had been discovered first. Other monochromatic mediums have always existed as contemporaries of painting. Photography, though, grew out of the camera obscura; specifically out of a drawing aid. So the evolution was really:
line (as a tracing on paper, made from a camera obscura image, as opposed to a picture)
line and shading - exposures in which images were recorded as BW photographs with tonality
line, shading and color - where we often are now
It's unfortunate that the words image and picture are now often used interchangeably. There's traditionally a distinction between the two, in that an image is transient and a picture is fixed, and that distinction can help us to distinguish the "image" that appears on a mirror, or is focused on a camera sensor, as separate from the "picture" that may come from it. Ben Lifson has written some interesting things about this difference.
My feeling is that the word "image" is used so much instead of "picture" because of the implicit assumption that it's something more "sophisticated". But, then, I also dislike the word "captutre", as in "that image is really great capture".
in that an image is transient and a picture is fixed,
I agree with this statement at least that is my thoughts also. i also rather say image instead of picture.
1. Experimenters have put volunteers into specially prepared rooms, where the sizes and shapes of everyday things have been grossly distorted. The volunteers rapidly become disorientated.
2. A number of unfortunates who have had small strokes to very specific brain areas have been studied. Such people can, for example, see a knife and fork and can name them, but don't know what they are for - they have to be told every time. This suggests that the brain 'knows' what knives and forks are, so we don't have to work it out every time we see them.
If we had to work out every time what a picture/image was, to realise it was a representation of reality - well, we wouldn't get very far.
I'm trying to suggest that though we think of ourselves as rational, we are 'prisoners' of our subconscious constructs or paradigms and that realising this, and trying to see around them is actually very difficult.
Yes, folks, we've traveled a ways from the GR 2 at this point but anyone who wants to can post directly on topic again if desired.
That's a really interesting thought because until they're saved, they really are images. I think of saved pictures, however, as "prints" of a kind so when I prepare pictures for an article, for example, I think of that process as a kind of "printing". But you're right that while they're in flux on the screen, they really are images.
I'll ask Thomas Knoll about this.
On the subject of work rather than play, does anyone have any thoughts on the potential of the GR2 with the 40mm lens attachment for available light concert work where the clunk of the M8 might be an issue... Does the lens attachment seriously drop the f.stop?
Thanks to you all for an illuminating series of discussions,
As far as I know the 40mm converter has not hit the stores yet. But if it is like the 21mm converter, which keeps the maximum aperture at f/2.4, then there is no loss in the f-stop.
My GRD2 finally arrived. It brings back memories of my Olympus XA and Ricoh GR1... Its even smaller than those already very small cameras, yet the lens/sensor resolution seems much better than the XA (and I suspect a tad sharper than the GR1 though I still have to run some conclusive tests).
Instead of repeating stuff others have already made clear here, at the leica users forum and at ricohforum, I will concentrate on how this little pocket camera lets me apply some big camera skills. I am coming from a full frame Canon 5D, so please bear with me if I seem to compare peaches to oranges, as I got the Ricoh as a go-everywhere alternative to the Canon. Also keep in mind most of the time I shoot my 5D in manual mode and use zone focusing with wide angle lenses...
I feel at home with the stepped manual focusing in the GRD2... it reminds me of the way rangefinders or the XA were used before all the AF gaga started: setting focus before raising the camera to the eye, in order to concentrate in framing and the decisive moment. Even with a tele lense on the 5D I use the * button on the back to preset focus and forget about it. So manually prefocusing the GRD2 seemed completely natural to me. AF wasnt particularly slow on the Ricoh, it just wasnt instantaneous (neither is it on the 5D) so the last thing I want is to wait for the camera to acquire focus "after" I press the shutter and while the subjects drifts away and the composition get ruined (or those blessed moments when the camera decides to "fix" focus between two consecutive shots).
I love the way the ADJ button on the GRD2 quickly switches between exposure compensation, white balance and ISO setting. I have been using Canon digital SLRs since the D60 and this way of keeping everything under a single dial/button makes so much more sense I am amazed. This is critical since the tiny sensor inside the GRD2 apparently starts to run into diffraction (spread every image forming point so the image looses acutance) around F5.0 ( at least according to Sean Reid GX100 test, I have to run my own tests with the GRD2). In real world usage this means the ISO must be switched very often in order to keep the apertures at F5.0 or wider when moving from shadow to sunlight.
The AutoWB does a great job in the Ricoh, even better than the Canon especially with tungsten, still I dont give it much thought since I only shoot RAW and WB can be decided at the conversion step. "A" MODE did a pretty good job with exposure, except when the subject was backlit or strongly sidelit (my two favorite light directions) so as with every camera I have had for the last 20 years I ended up shooting in M MODE for everything but bland cloudy days or open shade.
I was concerned about dynamic range loss with the GRD2 tiny sensor. Coming from the 5D full frame sensor there is a perceivable detail loss in the highlights (the WHITE SATURATION warning flashes a LOT more often). I'd say as often as it did with the D60... So I'd be wary to recommend this camera to landscape/architectural photographers, often struggling to retain highlght detail and unable to use fill-flash. Still the GRD2 raw seems to have plenty of shadow detail exposure latitude (at least below ISO 400) so when there is a will...
Here's is a little workaround and some unexpected finding: the GRD2 not only works great with an external flash but can Sync up to 1/1600 of a sec! The closest I have been to this high speed flash sync was with my medium format Bronicas that got up to 1/500 of a second :
This shot was taken at ISO 80, F4.5, 1/1600 and lit with a Sunpak 383super and a coiled sync cord. A previous shot set for the shadow detail completely blew the sky detail outside the window. EXIF was stripped by Noiseware, which I was testing as well and isnt required at this low ISO:
Thanks for your reply. I ordered a GRD II from Tony Rose, and he told me the EV 2 Viewfinder does well with glasses so I'm going to try that. I hoping to use the Ricoh mostly for spontaneous people shots so it might be best if I don't have to take off my glasses like I have done with my Leicas.
Of course now I can't wait for the GRD II.
I just bought my GRD2.
I'm happy to see the beautiful noise and now i always shoot in 800iso.
I'm very impressed too by the macro.
Wow arrakis10, that eyeball looks really good, for 800 iso. Did you do any noise reduction? Nice portrait too.
It looks so clean because it is ISO 100 (check the EXIF)... Still it is beautiful sidelighted photo, most likely channel mixed to produce the equivalent of an orange or red filter BW shot, making great aesthetic use of the clipped highlights... a sad trademark of the GRD II.
I live in the tropics, and every time I have shot the GRD II in the street with the sun out I have gotten clipped highlights, even with a -2/3 EV compensation. I shot Velvia almost exclusively for several years and the GRD II narrow dynamic range IS an issue...
Since I love the GRD II lens, ergonomics and operation I am looking for a way to overcome the dynamic range limitations of this camera (or any small sensor camera for that matter).
Has anyone tried "converting" three different exposure settings from a single RAW file and adding these three images to the HDR (high dynamic range) function of Photoshop CS2 or HDR software like Photomatix or Artizen?:
In extreme situations I even tend to underexpose by more than -1 EV. I will loose shadowdetails, but I will have much better highlights. Especially with B&W photography this works really well for me.
I guess I prefer blacks in my images. I don't always want details everywhere. I try to preserve the highlights. It is so easy to get blown highlights with these cams (even with my older Olympus C4000z).
Just check your histogram. If it is significantly clipping the highlights, apply some negative exposure compensation. If the histogram looks good, leave it alone.
Thanks for the "expose for the highlights" bit... That's the way I learned to expose slide film as well, its no coincidence that the work of great documentary photographers such as Alex Webb or Rio Branco makes such frequent use of silhouettes...
Trouble is a normal sunlight scene here in the tropics seems to exceed the dynamic range of the GRD II by over three stops. I mean when I moved from the 20D to the 5D an unexpected blessing was over a full stop gain in dynamic range...
Now moving to the GRD II seems like going back not one but three generations of Canon CMOS sensors... right back to the D60... and trying to shoehorn a seven stop scene into a four stop dynamic range means a three stop underexposure and greatly enhancing shadow noise...
A word of caution for that Normandie trip... dont overtrust the GRD II histogram ! I have been repeatedly deceived by it as it seems to gently roll inside the window yet the highlights arent even there... it is much better to check the WHITE SATURATION blinking highlights warning (one more push of the DISPLAY button after the histogram screen)...
I have to attend other matters for a couple of days... promise to be back on tuesday with some samples of High Dynamic Range magic from a single GRD II DNG file !
Have a nice stay in Normandie and hope to see great pictures from your trip.