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Thread: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

  1. #1
    Mitch Alland
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    The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    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...
    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 8th March 2008 at 22:18.

  2. #2
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation


  3. #3
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    An impressive set of images, indeed!

    Mitch, I wonder how many GRD II´s has been sold as a result of people seeing your results using it?

    Nobody knows, but it´s a lot, I´m sure.... At times, you make me question my own recent decision to go with the Dlux 3.

    Important thing to remember, however: it´s the person holding the camera, not the box itself....

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    An impressive set of images, indeed!

    Mitch, I wonder how many GRD II´s has been sold as a result of people seeing your results using it?
    Mitch is responsible for many people getting the original GRD as well, for which i am forever indebted! it was posts like these that got me to look at the GRDs in the first place and they're absolutely invaluable for people trying to make a decision.

    ******************

    gorgeous summary, Mitch! it's wonderful to see how you've grown and adapted the GRDII to work for you. (i, too, prefer to push the natural grain but Alien Skin is occasionally fun to add.)

    have you picked up the GRD at all lately? or are you just completely sold on the II?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Beautiful work Mitch, let me know when your book comes out... I'd like an autographed copy please!

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  6. #6
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Mitch, I wonder how many GRD II´s has been sold as a result of people seeing your results using it?
    This thought hit a homerun with me.

    I first caught a glimpse of the GRD2 in a little advertisement/blurb at The Online Photographer. This piqued my interest. Eventually, I found my way to the Ricoh DPReview forum and discovered the work of Mr. Alland. I was pretty much programmed to believe that small sensor cameras were merely toys, and that serious photography begins with an APS-C sensored camera.

    After having discovered Mitch's work, and then reading ignorant posts/articles from a so-called photography expert, who completely dismisses small sensor cameras, I began to become offended by this expert's blowhard rantings and complaints about the nonexistence of point 'n' shoot types of cameras with APS-C sensors. I'm certainly not opposed to large sensors in small cameras, but if Mitch's photography allowed me to open my mind to the truth about certain small sensor cameras, then why couldn't this "expert" open his mind as well? And it's amazing how prevalent is the notion that small sensor cameras, bar none, are just toys.

    In a convoluted way, the point is that, YES, Mitch absolutely inspired me to acquire a GRD2. And the result is that my small sensor GRD2 is just as important a serious tool as my Nikon SLRs. To go one step further, I have very little interest in a camera like the DP1 because the Ricoh offerings are ideal for the applications they were designed for. Digital 35mm film quality in a small package. Perfect!

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    Member kai.e.g.'s Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Must say the same applies to me, too (echoing Player's comments above). I was fairly dismissive of compact digitals, based partly on much earlier experience with them, coupled with a misplaced obsession with noiseless imagery. The latter was particularly misplaced considering I have often added noise/grain in PP to otherwise clean B&W dSLR photos I've taken! Mitch's work has played a pretty big part in turning my head around, but so has the work of many others here on this particular board, as well as the various flickr streams dedicated to GRD, GX100, LX & even G9 cameras.

  8. #8
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Thanks for the kind words Per, Cam, Brian and Player.

    Yes, Player, it's funny about Mike Johnston — I know him since the days of the old Computerserve Photo Forum, which had some very good contributors — because in the old days he understood and liked the "35mm aesthetic", but no more now it seems. A very good writer, I wish he could do a lot more interesting things than running a blog for his main endeavour — what a waste! I used to post in the comment section of his blog but no more: for one, I don't like the idea of having all comments having to be approved, which is a type of censorship, unlike a moderated forum like this one; and the format and the delay in having the postings approved destroys the possibility of real discussion among the participants. But he does write well and often has an interesting point of view, when he feels like it.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  9. #9
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    .... I was pretty much programmed to believe that small sensor cameras were merely toys, and that serious photography begins with an APS-C sensored camera.

    .....

    In a convoluted way, the point is that, YES, Mitch absolutely inspired me to acquire a GRD2. And the result is that my small sensor GRD2 is just as important a serious tool as my Nikon SLRs. To go one step further, I have very little interest in a camera like the DP1 because the Ricoh offerings are ideal for the applications they were designed for. Digital 35mm film quality in a small package. Perfect!
    Indeed. I don´t know if you subscribe to Sean Reid´s web site ( http://www.reidreviews.com/reidreviews/ ), but Sean is an eloquent defender of small sensor cameras. First, his revews of the Digilux 2 were part of what made me buy one, and then sell my Canon dSLR and use the Digilux for almost 3 years (still use it), and now they helped me when trying to decide between the Dlux 3, the two Ricoh´s, or the Canon G9.

    It was on Sean´s site that I first saw Mitch Alland´s work, and it was there I read about this (GetDPI) site. A very, very valuable resource!
    Last edited by Per Ofverbeck; 9th March 2008 at 06:05. Reason: Spelling...

  10. #10
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Thanks for the kind words Per, Cam, Brian and Player.

    Yes, Player, it's funny about Mike Johnston — I know him since the days of the old Computerserve Photo Forum, which had some very good contributors — because in the old days he understood and liked the "35mm aesthetic", but no more now it seems. A very good writer, I wish he could do a lot more interesting things than running a blog for his main endeavour — what a waste! I used to post in the comment section of his blog but no more: for one, I don't like the idea of having all comments having to be approved, which is a type of censorship, unlike a moderated forum like this one; and the format and the delay in having the postings approved destroys the possibility of real discussion among the participants. But he does write well and often has an interesting point of view, when he feels like it.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Wow Mitch, small world. I used to frequent CompuServe PhotoForum too. Many eons ago. Probably in the early to mid-90s. It was great! I used to really enjoy talking to Roger Hicks and Ctein. I doubt we'll ever see anything like that again. Times have changed. Mike was the editor of PhotoTechniques then.

    And yes, Mike is an outstanding writer, although in the past couple years he's ticked me off. I guess I must have ticked him off too because he banned me from his site. I didn't insult anyone personally, just different viewpoints on my part that he couldn't stand, I guess. It's not much of a loss to me since I find the cronyism, snobbishness, and elitism, very distasteful, actually infuriating. And life's too short to be getting worked-up over a minor entity like his website (see, I'm still p*****).

    Anyway, this latest thread by you has really brought your feelings together about the GRD(2). I'm very grateful you shared them, and thanks!

  11. #11
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Indeed. I don´t know if you subscribe to Sean Reid´s web site ( http://www.reidreviews.com/reidreviews/ ), but Sean is an eloquent defender of small sensor cameras. First, his revews of the Digilux 2 were part of what made me buy one, and then sell my Canon dSLR and use the Digilux for almost 3 years (still use it), and now they helped me when trying to decide between the Dlux 3, the two Ricoh´s, or the Canon G9.

    It was on Sean´s site that I first saw Mitch Alland´s work, and it was there I read about this (GetDPI) site. A very, very valuable resource!
    Actually, I had referenced a comment by Sean, about small sensors, at TOP, trying to make a point about the validity of the format. It fell on deaf ears. Mitch and Sean have been very influential to many, I'm sure (myself included), especially Mitch's pictures (where the rubber meets the road).

  12. #12
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Yes, that Compuserve forum was the best photo group ever. In addition to the people you mention, in the early nineties as you say, there were Bill Pierce, Bruce Fraser, Phil Davis, Jeff Segawa, Andrew Rodney, Carl Weese and many other interesting participants.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Well from the owners of GetDPI we love having Mitch here on our site, he brings a wealth of knowledge and talent to it everyday he posts. Between him and Sean the small sensor forum was born. We all benefit from that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    Player
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    Thumbs up Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Yes, that Compuserve forum was the best photo group ever. In addition to the people you mention, in the early nineties as you say, there were Bill Pierce, Bruce Fraser, Phil Davis, Jeff Segawa, Andrew Rodney, Carl Weese and many other interesting participants.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Exactly, and Shutterbug folks like Bob Shell and David Brooks.

    Even Henry Posner of B&H Photo, who was an absolute wealth of photo knowledge.

    Some of the discussions were breathtaking, and sometimes civily contentious. My photo knowledge increased exponentially. The good 'ol days!

  15. #15
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Thanks, Guy — and I must that this intelligently moderated forum is a very hospitable host for this small sensor forum. There's nothing like it elsewhere.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Actually, I had referenced a comment by Sean, about small sensors, at TOP, trying to make a point about the validity of the format. It fell on deaf ears. Mitch and Sean have been very influential to many, I'm sure (myself included), especially Mitch's pictures (where the rubber meets the road).
    I've posted comments at TOP and even had some of them inflate into little unpaid articles. I've watched Mike J become a fairly consistent defender of the 4/3 system cameras -- I think it is his allegiance to Olympus' lens design that keeps him hooked, not the efficient imager size. But his tendency to attitude can be off-putting. I wrote an article for TOP on Leica's travails and its involvement with the web forums. The give and take of working out technical problems in a new product area appealed to me; to Mike, I think it was pure schadenfreude. But the guy sure can write.

    I first saw the GR-D at work in Sean's review, and loved the pictures it makes. Found Mitch's work later. I am not quite the Moriyamaphile that he is.

    scott

  17. #17
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    So, Scott, what's there not to like about Moriyama? No, just kidding!

    —Mitch/Bangkok

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Mitch and Sean have definitely played a big role in me getting the GRD2. I remember reading about the GRD when it came out and thought that it looked like the perfect camera for me. Reading the reviews at the time complaining about the noise etc made me rethink. It wasn't until later that I saw some excellent work done with this camera and when the GRD2 came out with its faster raw writes I took the plunge.

    Have been very happy so far and I'm trying to adopt a looser style with this small camera. I must say though that I was a bit disappointed at first looking at the raw files in Lightroom. They didn't look that great compared to raw files from my Canon 30D. After some sharpening and other pp they look pretty good now and the prints look excellent.

    Here are two examples of my recent work with the GRD2:




  19. #19
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    I've posted comments at TOP and even had some of them inflate into little unpaid articles. I've watched Mike J become a fairly consistent defender of the 4/3 system cameras -- I think it is his allegiance to Olympus' lens design that keeps him hooked, not the efficient imager size. But his tendency to attitude can be off-putting. I wrote an article for TOP on Leica's travails and its involvement with the web forums. The give and take of working out technical problems in a new product area appealed to me; to Mike, I think it was pure schadenfreude. But the guy sure can write.

    I first saw the GR-D at work in Sean's review, and loved the pictures it makes. Found Mitch's work later. I am not quite the Moriyamaphile that he is.

    scott
    Hi Scott, it doesn't seem to make sense to try to give traction to the 4/3 sensor unless you were promoting the company that used that sensor. The APS-C sensors can easily be 4/3 by cropping, discarding data, yet 4/3 can never be APS-C. If someone is sneaky and underhanded, does it matter how well they can string sentences together? I don't want to read it.

  20. #20
    asabet
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Mitch, I enjoyed your thoughts and photos here. Always interesting and insightful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    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.
    One tool I think you might want to try (free 15-day trial) is Nik Software's Viveza. I think Viveza, as a PS plugin, will allow you to have very similar control to what you get with Lightzone in the instances when you find Aperture necessary to recover highlights. It doesn't do the tone mapping at the RAW stage, but it is incredibly flexible. Check out, for example, the "Adding Depth to an Image" video on this page.

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    So, Scott, what's there not to like about Moriyama? ...

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    There's a lot to like about Daidoh Moriyama, William Klein, Shomei Tomatsu, Noboyuki Araki and others. They bring a culture and era that I find fascinating but I am notentirely part of, so I try for a different style or styles. You seem to be channelling Moriyama or Klein sometimes -- and I mean that as a compliment.

    regards,

    scott

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Hi Scott, it doesn't seem to make sense to try to give traction to the 4/3 sensor unless you were promoting the company that used that sensor. The APS-C sensors can easily be 4/3 by cropping, discarding data, yet 4/3 can never be APS-C. If someone is sneaky and underhanded, does it matter how well they can string sentences together? I don't want to read it.
    I don't find Mike J sneaky or underhanded, and I don't think he has figured out how to make any extra money promoting companies. He's not anyone's fanboy, just a little long-winded when he is thinking something through out loud in his columns. His reason (and mine) for being sympathetic to 4/3 is that lenses explicitly designed for the reduced image circle and with some guidelines making them more telecentric can be fabulously sharp and fairly contrasty/flare-free. Except for the longer focal lengths, the lenses aren't much smaller, with one recent exception, but that is another long discussion.

    scott

  23. #23
    wbrandsma
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    I know you Mitch from the dpreview forum and it was you who mentioned this excellent forum. It is a great and inspiring place to be. You are an excellent contributor to this forum and your work is truly inspiring. Your GRD(2) photos makes me push my GX100 to the limits.
    The series shown above is amazing!

  24. #24
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    I don't find Mike J sneaky or underhanded, and I don't think he has figured out how to make any extra money promoting companies. He's not anyone's fanboy, just a little long-winded when he is thinking something through out loud in his columns. His reason (and mine) for being sympathetic to 4/3 is that lenses explicitly designed for the reduced image circle and with some guidelines making them more telecentric can be fabulously sharp and fairly contrasty/flare-free. Except for the longer focal lengths, the lenses aren't much smaller, with one recent exception, but that is another long discussion.

    scott
    Fair enough Scott. I know he's had a longtime admiration for Olympus, especially the lenses. I didn't mean to imply that he was profiting by "promoting" Olympus, just that he was indirectly doing his part to assist the company because of his own fascination. The lens argument seems like a smokescreen.

    I'm still peeved that he dismissed me from participating since I was never rude, nor did I ever attack anyone personally. I just gave my own opinions as much weight as his opinions, and I didn't genuflect at his altar. He seems to cull-out the responders who don't acknowledge his opinions as being more important. His has remarked about his voice as being an "important one," implying at the same time that not all voices are important. Credentials are very significant to him, his own, as well anyone hoping to contribute in a more meaningful way than the back page. Cronyism? Elitism? I don't know what you call it. How about Nazism?

  25. #25
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Oh oh.

    Don't make me call Mike Godwin.

  26. #26
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Trisberg, I really like the the tones in your two pictures above — the GRD2 is really nice at ISO 400, which is the speed I see you shot at from the EXIF data. Goes to show the variety of treatment that GRD2 files are capable of.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  27. #27
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Oh oh.

    Don't make me call Mike Godwin.
    Oh no! Is this Usenet?

  28. #28
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    ...One tool I think you might want to try (free 15-day trial) is...Viveza, as a PS plugin, will allow you to have very similar control to what you get with Lightzone in the instances when you find Aperture necessary to recover highlights...
    Thanks for the tip, Amin. It looks very interesting. I'll have to try it: I wish that Aperture 2 would wprk with Photoshop plugins...

    —Mitch/Bangkok

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Oh oh.

    Don't make me call Mike Godwin.
    Are you referring to the rule that use of the N-word is cause for closing a thread?

    scott

  30. #30
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    There's a lot to like about Daidoh Moriyama, William Klein, Shomei Tomatsu, Noboyuki Araki and others. They bring a culture and era that I find fascinating but I am notentirely part of, so I try for a different style or styles. You seem to be channelling Moriyama or Klein sometimes -- and I mean that as a compliment...
    Thanks for the kind words, Scott. Interesting that you mention William Klein, who was the initial influence on Moriyama, because I like the "denseness" of Klein's compositions. One of the things I like about small sensor cameras is the huge DOF, which allows one to look all the way into the frame and show the complexity of a scene while creating "order" by finding strong elements in the "form" of what one sees. Most of the time I'm more interested in this type of approach than by simplifying a scene through letting the background blur, which, while effective at times, in my view is often overdone to the point of cliche. In terms of bokeh, I now tend to like just a touch of blur rather than the washed out smoothness created by a Noctilux or Summilux-75 ant full aperture, for example.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  31. #31
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by wbrandsma View Post
    I know you Mitch from the dpreview forum and it was you who mentioned this excellent forum. It is a great and inspiring place to be...
    Thanks, Wouter...there are a lot of refuges from dpreview here...

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  32. #32
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Hi Scott, it doesn't seem to make sense to try to give traction to the 4/3 sensor unless you were promoting the company that used that sensor. The APS-C sensors can easily be 4/3 by cropping, discarding data, yet 4/3 can never be APS-C. If someone is sneaky and underhanded, does it matter how well they can string sentences together? I don't want to read it.
    HI There
    I've never heard of this guy, but I've been using 4/3 since it appeared - and Nikon and others, and I keep coming back to the lenses - the big lens mount and the small sensor really does make for splendid lenses.
    The mid range Olympus 4/3 lenses can be used without reservation - you can shoot them wide open, stopped down, zoomed in, zoomed out, and you can expect the same excellent sharp results from corner to corner, which is NOT something I experienced from the top range Nikon lenses.
    Whether or not the 4/3 sensor is a good idea, and whether or not the camera bodies are really up to scratch (or as small as they should be). Those mid range lenses are gold dust - and for me, it's the lenses which count . . . . .

    Just this guy you know

  33. #33
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    Are you referring to the rule that use of the N-word is cause for closing a thread?

    scott
    It was a Usenet "rule."

  34. #34
    Player
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Mitch, I apologize for the thread drift.

  35. #35
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    No problem, Player. The 4/3 system discussion is interesting, as are the comments on TOP.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Trisberg, I really like the the tones in your two pictures above — the GRD2 is really nice at ISO 400, which is the speed I see you shot at from the EXIF data. Goes to show the variety of treatment that GRD2 files are capable of.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Thanks Mitch, I do use 400 quite a bit so far and I like the tones and quality as well. I do try to control the grain a bit and I'm still learning how to process these files. Here is another one from today at ISO 400.



    I thought I would use my add on viewfinder a lot, but I'm either shooting using the LCD or aiming without even looking at the LCD, just estimating what will be in the picture.

    Thomas

  37. #37
    Super Duper
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states:

    "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
    Now updated to include the entire internet!

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    Talking Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Now updated to include the entire internet!
    Maggie, you sound like you're out to get me.

  39. #39
    Mitch Alland
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    The high contrast look — and reality

    Coming back to the style of the pictures above, on another forum where I also posted them I was taken to task by several people for the high contrast look and advised that the pictures "could definitely benefit from some lightening of the shadows".

    My response was that I'm not after a long mid-tone range but like a higher contrast look, not only to reflect the bright light and deep, black shadows of the tropics but also for aesthetic reasons — I like to create strong graphic forms by compressing the shadows — although if you look at the square portrait above you'll see that, in addition to the "bite" of some high contrast, there is also a long midtone range because that is what I thought was apprpiate for a picture of this young woman.

    Basically, I feel that a B&W photograph is nowhere near "reality" in the values of tones and one can and should manipulate them for expressive purposes, and that this can lead to a stronger expression of reality.

    Any thoughts these issues and on whether the pictures are excessively high in contrast and would benefit from lengthening the shadows?

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  40. #40
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    The last picture of your first set exemplifies the less would be more concept very well.
    Sláinte

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    Re: The high contrast look — and reality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Any thoughts these issues and on whether the pictures are excessively high in contrast and would benefit from lengthening the shadows?

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Your aesthetic choice; dark might be associated with gloomy, sadness and sorry. Did you intend this?
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Mitch, I think you have a distinct style of tonality in your shots which I like very much indeed. Particularly the first and fourth shots in your first set in this thread - while you've got great contrast, you've also got subtle tonality in the skin tones which make the image look 'fine art' to me. Awesome!

    The portrait in your first series is also beautiful and subtle tonality. I'm a huge fan of this look.

    I know it's good to have outside references, but be careful to make sure you are pleasing yourself first! It's for others to 'tune-in' to your style if it appeals to them.

    Hope this makes sense - all just imho.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  43. #43
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: The high contrast look — and reality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Coming back to the style of the pictures above, on another forum where I also posted them I was taken to task by several people for the high contrast look and advised that the pictures "could definitely benefit from some lightening of the shadows".
    ....
    Basically, I feel that a B&W photograph is nowhere near "reality" in the values of tones and one can and should manipulate them for expressive purposes, and that this can lead to a stronger expression of reality.

    Any thoughts these issues and on whether the pictures are excessively high in contrast and would benefit from lengthening the shadows?
    Last question first (and I know it is a rhetorical one...): No, of course not! They´re your language the way they look now; why should anyone change language just to please some other?

    During my silver days, I used to print dark, and was regularly criticised by the "photo stalinists" of the day: ALL images should have detail from shadows to highlights, regardless of contents, mood or message, otherwise "one hadn´t mastered the craft".

    Without any preposterous comparisons, I took comfort when I read that the famous Czech photographer Josef Sudek ( http://www.josefsudek.net/ ) was denied membership in a camera club because he printed too dark....

  44. #44
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Bertie, Brian, Per:

    Thanks for your comments, which are all in the same direction — and the same as the direction of my thought.

    Yes, I tend to have a "dark vision", particularly for the book project. And these are the sort of B&W photographs that I like.

    No, I don't intend to change because I have a certain expressive intent, and am not going for the "ideal print" of some very high tones, some very dark tones and a long mid-tone range. I merely wanted to see how other people look at this type of aesthetic, in the light of the strong negative comments I got on the Rangefinder Forum.

    Encouraging to heat about Sudek!

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  45. #45
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Mitch I like the range of tones in your images.
    There is no perfectly "correct" way to present any image.
    Especially in the very interpretive medium of B&W the lightness, darkness and everything in between are chosen to convey a mood.
    One thing that I despise about some forums is their tendency to ruthlessly criticize those that do no conform to the some ideal.
    One i know cites the example of the a very experimental phohgrapher who was producing some very surreal and elegant images.
    After a year with one group, he was producing nothing but 'airbrushed' glamour shots.
    Just like all the rest of them...
    Brrrrrr
    How to kill ones soul
    By commitee

  46. #46
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Thanks, Lili. And here's another portrait that I shot a few hours ago with the GRD2 and the 40mm EFL tele-converter at ISO 800:





    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  47. #47
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Mitch I like the range of tones in your images.
    There is no perfectly "correct" way to present any image.
    Especially in the very interpretive medium of B&W the lightness, darkness and everything in between are chosen to convey a mood.
    One thing that I despise about some forums is their tendency to ruthlessly criticize those that do no conform to the some ideal.
    One i know cites the example of the a very experimental phohgrapher who was producing some very surreal and elegant images.
    After a year with one group, he was producing nothing but 'airbrushed' glamour shots.
    Just like all the rest of them...
    Brrrrrr
    How to kill ones soul
    By commitee
    Well here is what I like about the folks here you all have a different style and it is very refreshing to see. I love what Mitch does just as a example but hate to see everyone do what he does. No offense Mitch just as a example. be free and experiment folks that is what makes art and life interesting. You will only learn by trying different techniques and you may latch on to one for awhile than try something else , playing is good.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  48. #48
    sirvine
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    These photos made me miss Bangkok very badly.

  49. #49
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well here is what I like about the folks here you all have a different style and it is very refreshing to see. I love what Mitch does just as a example but hate to see everyone do what he does. No offense Mitch just as a example...
    Guy, thanks and no offense at all — but I just don't understand what you mean.

    Sirvine, thanks for the kind words. I'm placing a revised version of the last portrait here to see whether the previous version will disappear. I would have thought that pictures linked from flickr would update when replaced by a new version on flickr.



    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  50. #50
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: The GRD2 — An Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Guy, thanks and no offense at all — but I just don't understand what you mean.
    If I might be so bold, I think what's he's saying is that it would appear from the posts here that each of us has our own (evolving) style, and that the amount of "follow the leader" seems to be at a minimum.

    Just speaking for myself, I certainly am intrigued and inspired by your (and other's) photos and try to learn from them, but I don't necessarily want to imitate your style. I do try different things based on what I see, but I'm still attempting to stay true to my inner voice.

    So to paraphrase, this community seems to be about inspiration instead of imitation...and that is in marked contrast to some other places on the interwebs.

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