Thanks Jono, using a range of external viewfinders is a bit like collecting lenses! lol
Thanks Jono, using a range of external viewfinders is a bit like collecting lenses! lol
Thanks, Brian. I went for the extremely high contrast because I wanted the echo of the zebra's stripes to come out in the light and dark areas of the grass. I also wanted the photograph to express the brightness of the light, which makes the shadows very dark.
It's true that the camera is more bulky when one of the converters is attached, but when I'm in a shooting mode I like to have the camera in my hand, not in the pocket; and once on of the converters is mounted it's a trivial operation to change focal length by unscrewing one to screw on the other or to shoot at 28mm. I feel this is a very practical and inexpensive solution.
Here's my take on the choice at hand:
Many great shooters — here and among our heroes — think in wide terms; 28 is their thing. But an expensive non-interchangeable lens camera is a risky way to experiment with how you feel about a wide, fixed field of view, if you don't already have a good sense about your comfort zone in that regard.
The GR2 is badass. No doubt. At one point I was lusting for one; its size and feel and sort of hip drilled-down-variables aesthetic. Sean's analysis and review and samples confirmed its strengths. But for me, a fixed 28 isn't really ideal, however much I'd like it to be.
Conversely, I've found that, despite the perceived degraded sharpness at certain apertures at the long end of the GX-100 zoom, I still use that end of the lens more than most of the time. Yes, the 24 is cool and I've made some interiors and other things where it was great to have it. Wouter makes those remarkable landscapes. The macro is unbelievable. But for shooting head & shoulders portraits, or closer — which I tend to do a lot of the time — the 50 and 72 steps on the GX-100 are more flattering, look more like how we perceive our subjects' features. Yes, there are plenty of examples of great portraits that sort of disprove this generalization, but if we're honest, long is better for closer portraits. That's my number one reason to lean toward the GX100.
But here's the kicker, and I'm repeating myself from other threads:
I'm in the midst of yet another crisis-of-confidence in these little sensors:
Within this category, the GX100 has held its cred, even post GRD2. But a D300 with a Voightlander "pancake" lens is really small, and .... better. M8: WAY BETTER!!! Right now, my mindset is, Why would any one of us ever use a Ricoh if there's a better or great camera with the character of truly legendary glass available to make the same shot?!?! The "drawing" argument isn't holding up for me, personally. More res can be degraded, but not visa versa. The new Nikons are as clean at 6400 as the Ricohs at 200, so even depth-of-field is ... at least up for discussion. So what's left is the process, the mindset, or the convenience — the pocketability —and right now I'm doubting that's a good enough reason to forgive all the other trade-offs.
This is just me. Today. For now. (After eight months of almost exclusive use of the GX-100, even on a few assignments.)
I guess to be continued .....
Ok, sorry ... I promise no long posts for a while.
In my case, I like the "35mm aesthetic", in which the photographed is drawn in a sketchier way and the gradations are rendered more roughly than by medium format film or high-end digital. That is the reason that I shoot with small sensor cameras rather than a camera like the Leica M8, whose look is more like scanned medium format film rather than 35mm film. Yes, it is possible to insert grain and degrade the image quality, but I prefer not to have to do this to get the look I want — and that is what I get with small sensor cameras.
And the size of these cameras, which means that I can have them with me anytime I go out, is compelling. I didn't do that with my M6 and wouldn't do it with an M8.
As it turned out, I was glad I did use the small sensor cam as it give the look I was after.
(by the way - nice forum, this!)
As far as the choice of smooth versus smal sensor bite. IMHO I prefer the latter entirely now. It is like when I went wth the Hexar AF as my only film camera, I had just come off using a Fuji GSW690 that I'd been loaned.
Hi speed film, the bite of grain, and above all the fluid speed and ease of carry won the day for me.
And even more so with my GRD.
Last edited by Lili; 2nd March 2008 at 07:12.
Just this guy you know
this (along with Mitch's) work above, reminds me that I have a cracking small sensor camera in the Panasonic LX1... here's a shot from way back when I was using it more regularly :
And the Panasonic FX01 was an absolute gem of a camera... I really miss it now!
The post-FX01 cams went too far with the VenusIII smeared resolution imho... I wish I could find a supplier of the FX01 new.
Where are we ? Scotland, England ??
Wish I was there!! Helen
Helen, these are in the Peak District, near to where I live in Sheffield.
I'll be arranging another UK Photo Safari in this area in due course... you'd be welcome to visit!
And thanks Maggie, no I haven't - although I've just bought a mat cutting machine, so maybe that would be a good exercise! Glad you like it
Jono, you have changed quite a lot -- something to do with sitting on the Aga?
I'm both relieved and frustrated simultaneously that other people are going through the same hair-tearing experience I am over the GX100 vx GRD2 decision. It's kind of a "practicality vs. bad-***".... "flexibility vs. best-of-breed"... "jack-of-all-trades vs. expert in one trade" kind of decision. Maybe boiling it down to bad-*** vs. practical is the best approach; forget the specs, focus on the cred :-)
Speaking for myself, I don't think I'm nearly as bad-*** as I'd like to think I am, which possibly should point me towards the practicalities of the GX100. But I want the best quality, and of course I want to be somewhat bad-***, even if I don't remotely look the part in my daggy [is that an Australianism?] clothes, and driving a dusty Renault Clio.
Using gourmet-travel show personalities as analogies, I imagine Anthony Bourdain would carry the GRD/2, while Andrew Zimmer would carry a GX100.
Brian, they are all lovely, I like the third one best, positively lyrical it is!
And I'm very impressed with the FX01 especially.
This weekend I shot almost 500 shots with my GRD, mostly B&W, and just under 100 with my F6000fd, in color mostly and where I *really* needed the reach. Together both cameras complimented each other well and still massed less, even with both lenses and adapters for the GRD, than my K100D and the lenses needed to cover the same range!
Not surprisingly, I prefer Tony. (But my SO is more like Andrew.)Using gourmet-travel show personalities as analogies, I imagine Anthony Bourdain would carry the GRD/2, while Andrew Zimmer would carry a GX100.
Aside from the badassery factor, one more thing in the GR-D II's favor is the idea that from limitations comes creativity. It's like writing a sonnet, as opposed to free verse.
The "badass" thing is being taken a bit far; a great picture taken with a GX100 is still better than an OK one taken with a GRD2, and visa versa. The oohs and aahs about pictures from these two cameras have been fairly evenly distributed around here. And for what it's worth, a thoroughly un-sexy $150 manual Pentax K1000 kit loaded with Tri-X or Kodacolor Gold still blows both of them away, if you're talking about capture speed and IQ.
Mitch, I don't subscribe to the M8/dSLR-as-medium-format analogy. 35mm film has way more dynamic tonal range than either of those options, and way, way more than the Ricohs. And in terms of size, street imagery was invented and maybe perfected with cameras that are larger than the GRD2. Its body-size is amazing, but it still poses capture speed and resolution compromises that the pre-digital tiny cameras didn't.
I've made plenty of wow-type imagery with the GX100, but I've come up against capture/focus-speed and resolution issues time and time again. So in a way it makes the successes feel a bit like a parlor trick. I'm usually an apologist for these limitations — practically an evangelist because on some level I love the Ricohs. But these issues have begun to erode my confidence and question the wisdom of committing to a camera that has failed me in circumstances where a better camera wouldn't have.
I'm sorry if questioning the wisdom of using small sensor cameras in a small sensor forum is out of line, but there it is.
become one with your surroundings, it's very zen! you've made your decision -- be a badass!
Cam is right Kai. I choosed the GX100 for its practicality (my wife wanted a zoom lens and I wanted a wideangle lens). Know I would opt the GRDII as well. It is the main reason why I still love my old GR1. Simplicity. With a prime lens you will make the composition and not the camera with a zoom lens.
For me though, I use the M8 for that job, and now I have the GX100 I find I'm using it more than I thought - for instance I'll put one lens on the M8 and stick the GX 100 in another pocket - lovely though a GRDII is, it would not offer the same flexibility.
Yesterday it was the GX100, and the M8 with a nocti - today it'll be something different (perhaps the 75 'cron). It's a good way to shoot.
Still not sure about the addon lenses though - seems to turn it into a palaver, which is not the purpose of a small camera (for me at least).
Just this guy you know
I've been all over the place, considering the GR-D, then the GX-100, then the LX-2, then the GR-D ii, then back to the GX-100, then back to the LX-2, then on to the Leica D-Lux 3 and now back to the GX-100. Now I really think I will settle for the GX-100, honestly !
The main advantage is the 24mm, otherwise I would've gone D-Lux 3 some time ago. The main disadvantage is the raw speed: the Leica is faster even with bigger RAWs. Aside from that, I think a pocketable 24-72 will be sufficient to shoot what I do (portraits and some tourism) for some time. €450 is what I consider to be fairly cheap. The LX-2 is cheap, the D-Lux 3 is fairly expensive and the GR-D ii with the 40mm TC and a viewfinder is really expensive for what it is.
The GX-100 will be my first digital camera, after a long period with Olympus SLRs and a few years with Leica screwmount cameras (& clones). The Ricoh is quite versatile, so I expect it will be enough for a while, until Olympus gets some smaller lenses out or until I stumble over an M8 by accident. (I bid $2000 on one but within a few hours, it went up to $3500 on yaBe... Still hoping for the $1000 M8 find one day )
This also is true.Mitch, I don't subscribe to the M8/dSLR-as-medium-format analogy. 35mm film has way more dynamic tonal range than either of those options, and way, way more than the Ricohs. And in terms of size, street imagery was invented and maybe perfected with cameras that are larger than the GRD2. Its body-size is amazing, but it still poses capture speed and resolution compromises that the pre-digital tiny cameras didn't.
Would you have had the better camera with you? I'm quite taken with the analogy between the small sensor cameras and a sketchbook. If your primary interest is painting then you're never going to regard your sketches as more than preparatory work. I know that I am not going to carry my SLR kit unless I'm reasonably certain that there will be time and opportunities for some dedicated photograph making. The GR-D and accessories allow me to do some casual photography as and when the opportunity arises without an impractical (for me) amount of gear or an impossible expenditure of money: I can't justify paying for an M8 and the associated glass!But these issues have begun to erode my confidence and question the wisdom of committing to a camera that has failed me in circumstances where a better camera wouldn't have.
For some people the compromises are justified: sounds like they may not be for you. Some people like charcoal as their main medium.I'm sorry if questioning the wisdom of using small sensor cameras in a small sensor forum is out of line, but there it is.
I like that charcoal metaphor. I've been way deep in to Polaroids and impressionistic emulsions like EES and Agfachrome and laser copies at various points in my photographic life. My father made incredible pictures — and big enlargements — using a Minox. There are times and images that simply don't hinge on "high" resolution, per se. And film can be a huge, deal-breaking hassle. The charcoal metaphor doesn't address shutter lag or focus and RAW speed, but in terms of artistic intent, it is dead on.
My frustration has been both about missing pictures and having to sidestep, hide, or correct certain sensor limitations in post-processing, when a different camera wouldn't have presented those challenges; and this all because I'm kind of committed to that drilled-down variables philosophy and approach that some others here are expressing. So it's my fault, in a way, for not honoring the limitations of this palette. But since I'm not always able to fully predict what my expectations for every picture will be, I've been wondering if I shouldn't just err on the side of a more robust capture.
Regarding portability, I sling a fanny pack bandolero-style across my chest to carry my GX100 fitted with lens barrel and filter, extra battery, memory, etc. A D300 with pancake lens, like that Voightlander 40mm, would fit in that bag. But yes, the GRD2 on its own would draw a more serious distinction in terms of a camera that is always on hand, especially for those comfortable with a 28 prime.
Anyway, I'm not planning on selling my GX100 any time soon, which is a sign that, whatever my frustrations, I've already made some meaningful pictures with it and developed an emotional connection to it that doesn't occur with every camera.
Hmm...I suppose that goes for relationships with the opposite sex as well. Yet another life lesson...
Absolutely - I quite agree, it's the struggles that are worthwhile, and I guess that the cameras I've had over the last few years which have most got to me are the Kodak 14n, and the Leica M8 - both of which were something of a struggle to master, but both of which produced splendid images.
Mind you, everything does have limitations - but if you stick the GX100 on snap focus and jpg mode, then you aren't going to miss too many pictures!
Just this guy you know
Your M8 sounds like a better bet.
Part of the fun of photography is, of course, looking around for equipment, but I'll need to decide rather quickly as I haven't taken a picture in far too long ! Guess it'll be the GX-100 anyway because it's much more portable and I'll be much more happy to carry it around.
Is the GX100 more portable? I find
its build a bit delicate. The Oly is larger,
but its more robust build could conceivably
translate in to less hesitation about having
One of the few things I truly dislike about any of these little cameras is the fragile retracting lens mechanism. It can also be an avenue for dust.
A "fixed"/non-retracting lens is far sturdier and better sealed ( at least until its removed).
I would be willing to put up with a greater footprint in return for these advantages!
This little e420/25 f2.8 or even the 410 with the same pancake lens would truly be awesome for street and general work
This problem means that I would never buy a GX100 again, despite its many virtues.
BTW has anyone had a dust ingress problem in a GRD or GRDll?