When I first got the GRD2 in early December my initial reaction, posted here, was that I preferred the grainy look of GRD files, particularly at ISO 200. However, I soon got to like the new camera and changed my assessment and began to prefer it to its first version. As I really do like the GRD2 a lot I thought I should post here a selection of pictures at various speeds and some comments on the camera. Basically, I only use RAW files I should mention the obvious, that the RAW write speed of the new camera is excellent: about three seconds, and that you can shoot two pictures in quick succession and then it takes about four seconds to write both files. I have posted most of these pictures in other threads, but thought it still useful to put them together here to illustrate what one can do with this camera.
The speed that I like on the GRD2 for street photography is ISO 400, which can be a bit fast the very harsh and bright light of Bangkok; but last Monday while waiting for a friend I shot some pictures at ISO 200 by mistake, as I had inadvertently turned the camera on at the MY2 setting rather than at MY1, which is set to ISO 400. However, I found that by judicious sharpening I get the "bite" or the somewhat grainy look that I want. I also found that I much prefer doing this through sharpening than by artificially inserting grain using Alien Skin Exposure because I like the results much better.
I've posted the above two pictures to illustrate another point: usually I use LightZone for RAW conversion and post-processing, but in these two pictures the background is very bright and results in completely blown highlights when using LightZone. While that look works for the type of high-contrast prints I usually make, I thought that these two pictures "shouted" too much, and went back to the two DNG files and used Aperture 2 to recover the highlights because its Recover tool is much more effective than those in Lightroom and LightZone. After that I did some selective dodging and burning in LightZone. I think Aperture 2 would be a fantastic image editor if it had the facility for making selections with the ease of LightZone, which is much better in this respect than Photoshop.
Here are a couple of more pictures shot the same afternoon at ISO 200:
A word about focusing. For street photography the auto-focus mechanism is too slow, which is the reason that I used shoot with the SNAP pre-focus facility that focuses the camera at 2.5m. However, many of my photos are shot very close to the subject, at a distance of 1.0-2.5m, I now use the MF setting and switch between focus at 1.0m and 2.5m. It would be good for future versions of the GRD cameras to have a focus wheel like the Sigma DP1, with detents at several distances.
As I've reported in another posting I like both the GW-1 21mm EFL wide-converter and the 40mm EFL tele-converter. Although the latter sometimes produces some flare when shot into the light, this hasn't bothered me because usually the flare is in the bottom left corner (in my shots) and in that type of picture I often like to apply vignetting to darken the corners anyway. Here are couple of portraits shot with the GT-1 tele-convertters, the first one at ISO 400 and the second one at ISO 800:
Finally, here are some pictures shot at night with the GT-1 tele-converter at ISO 1600, which is a speed that I also like on the GRD2. When I shot them I had the aperture (by mistake) set at f/4.0 rather than at f/2.4, which forced me to use some very slow shutter speeds. In the pictures below I really like the results of the camera or subject motion. Forgive me for posting so many of these ISO 1600 pictures, but I really like them.
continued in next post...