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Thread: GRD (I & II) zone focusing for social events

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    GRD (I & II) zone focusing for social events

    Howdy fellow GRD photographers! Some people have been asking about using the GRD for low light social events, so I figured I'd share a technique I posted at the Flickr Ricoh GR Digital discussion group two weeks ago.

    SNAP focus mode in the GRD (I & II) sets focus to a hyperfocal distance of 2.5 mts. so everything is pretty much in focus from about 1.3 mt. to infinity.

    Yet in social events (like taking a photo of someone you are dancing with or someone sitting in front of you) the distance can be closer than 1.3 mt. So under those circumstances I resort to manual ZONE FOCUSING, an age tested rangefinder camera technique to avoid focusing delay and help capture the decisive moment:

    With the GRD 5.9mm lens at f/2.4 according to the Depth of Field goes like this (This is for a 0.006 mm Circle of Confusion (8x10 inch?). The differing GRD2 built-in DOF scale appears to assume a tighter circle of confusion or larger "standard" print size (11x14 inch perhaps?).:

    At 1mt, DOF goes from 0.7 mt. to 1.7 mts (1 mt. total DOF)

    At 1.5 mt. DOF goes from 0.9 mt. to 3.9 mt. (3 mt. total DOF)

    At 2 mt. DOF goes from 1.1 mt. to 11 mt. (10 mt. total DOF)

    So its 7, 9, 11 (easy odd number sequence for closer limit of DOF) corresponding to 1mt., 1.5mt. and 2mt. focusing distances, which must be set BEFORE raising the camera to compose the shot.

    Want an even easier to remember real-world solution?

    If your main subject happens to fall near or below that 1.3 mt. depth of field limit, instead of using SNAP MODE, use MANUAL FOCUS at 1.5 mts or two notches above the 1 mt. mark in the GRD II.

    Since GRD I users have no numbers on their focusing scales. I suggest they hold their cameras at a predetermined point between chest and waist that provides a 1.5 mts focusing distance to the tip of their shoes. This focusing distance can be quickly acquired with SPOT FOCUSING, and the camera switched back to MANUAL FOCUS (in the II it only requires a hit of the Fn key).

    This way both GRD I and GRD II users can have a reliable zone focus preset for shooting subjects in the 0.9 mt.-3.9 mts. range... This technique helped me grab the following shot at New Years Eve Celebration with zero focusing delay (Yup that's me in the red cap):
    Last edited by jorgeAD; 13th January 2008 at 17:29.

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