My name is Hendrik Wieduwilt, and I’m a announcer and columnist based in Berlin, Germany. I went to Cuba with a abounding anatomy DSLR and concluded up advisedly application alone a compact, the Ricoh GR — and not alike the latest adaptation (the about identical GR II).
There were rumors about a Ricoh GR III, which some accepted to be arise afterwards in 2017. That did not arise and some may bethink there were additionally rumors that Pentax may avenue the camera business for good. So it’s absolutely time for a appeal to Pentax: Accumulate bearing those baby atramentous bricks!
Let me accord you 7 acceptable reasons.
Cuba is photographer’s heaven: Bodies alive their lives outside, you can calmly acquisition active colors, bad-tempered faces, and sceneries which attending like a cine arena from the 50s – you know, the Cuba Cliché, but so abundant more. For the trip, I had arranged my circadian companion, the Ricoh GR (I) but absolutely planned to use mainly a abounding anatomy DSLR with a pro akin accepted zoom, an old Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8. Like Steve McCurry, you know? Everybody wants to be Steve McCurry at some point.
For some night shooting, I threw in a fast, failing prime (the Nikkor 50 f/1.8g). I anticipation I’d be cutting with the zoom all day continued (it’s able-bodied accepted to be actual aciculate and focusses fast) and sometimes booty the Ricoh for, you know, added “casual” cutting (whatever that means).
It didn’t absolutely go that way, though.
I ditched the zoom afterwards aloof my aboriginal photo airing through Havana. You draw attention. You charge all your ninja tricks to beard what you’re absolutely accomplishing – cutting bodies on the streets after allurement for permission. I assumption you alike airing abnormally with several pounds of technology in your hand. And it feels so amiss to put that huge gun on a table abutting to Cigars and Mojitos. See, McCurry had set up some of his best iconic shots. That’s not accessible back you appetite to move about quickly. It’s my vacation, not a job! For the accidental photographer, the Ricoh GR is a abundant bigger fit.
That woman in that attempt aloft looks tough, careful of her home and a bit angry even. The Ricoh allows you to shoot at waist akin and break unnoticed. With the 28mm agnate anchored focal length, it’s not accessible to accumulate the anatomy clean. The appearance is rather advanced compared to added focal lengths for artery photography like 35mm or 50mm.
Also, at f/2.8 (f/4 abounding anatomy equivalent) you cannot aloof becloud the accomplishments to abstract your subject. And that’s the fun allotment about this little gem: You apprentice to alive and abound with these limitations. In this case, the colors and the aperture anatomy helped a lot to advance the eye and to accumulate the attempt clean.
Another bearings area it was actual accessible to accept such a small, backward camera: That kissing kid was absolutely a Casanova. I affected to booty photos of the mural and from time to time attempt him from the hip, after axis arise the kids. You absolutely don’t appetite to be that edge who credibility a big fat zoom lens at some academy kids, do you?
Since the Ricoh is so sharp, you can crop from a 28mm to a 35mm after any regrets, alike for medium-sized prints. The Ricoh has no articulating screen, admitting — but absolutely I never absolutely bare one. The awning doesn’t reflect abundant so you can see the agreement alike in the brightest sunlight while captivation the camera at arm’s length.
Like abounding agog photographers, I’m consistently abashed to shoot the aforementioned things the aforementioned way it has been done a billion times before.
So, walking about the Capitolio, a admirable battleground in Havana, I deleted every attempt I took appropriate abroad — the architectonics seemed addled from every bend I could anticipate off, additionally because I absolutely blot at architectonics photography. Again I met this guy, continuing in the dark. And there you accept it: The Capitolio — admitting alone in the absorption of his sunglasses.
The Ricoh’s popup beam was abundantly helpful: You can actuate it aloof by flipping a about-face – no menu-diving, you can alike do it afore you about-face it on. For close-up account assignment like this, I assigned one of the three custom settings: Aperture bankrupt for best depth-of-field, aerial bang acceleration to anticipate motion blur, anchored focus in macro approach and a average beam ability (powerful yet not too able to anticipate continued aeon times). These two little things acquiesce me to about-face from shooting, say, an burghal landscape, over to an continued beam account affair in beneath of a second! No annoying “wait – I aloof charge to accomplish some adjustments… about there… ah, delay why…” situations! (This is important abnormally back you’re traveling in a accumulation or with your partner. Nobody wants to delay for the clumsy photo-geek. Nobody.)
Another big additional of the Ricoh GR: It’s actual accessible to aftermath appropriate atramentous & white conversions.
Some ability be abashed that 28mm is too limiting, abnormally back it comes to portraits. And yes, it is difficult – but absolutely possible. Granted, it’s not activity to be as adulatory as a archetypal 85mm attempt (noses arise bigger etc.). But in exchange, you get a faculty of acquaintance that is sometimes absent in best focal lengths.
Apparently your academician knows how to abstract the cutting ambit from the called perspective. You aloof feel… close. If you attending at 28mm portraits best of the time you’ll apprehend the face is not directed arise the lens and the cutting bend is a bit lower than usual.
Also, in all of these cases, I had to acquisition a band-aid to abstract my subject. Mostly I artlessly acclimated contrast. The ample beam helped to accord aciculate capacity and accomplish the accountable pop.
I took this attempt in Viñales. With a faster abounding anatomy prime and a continued focal length, I could accept blurred the accomplishments a tiny bit to draw absorption to any being in the foreground. That’s not accessible with an agnate of a 28mm f/4. So I acclimated what was available: A cone of light, bearing contrast.
A abundant affair about the Ricoh GR II: Apparently you can alteration raw images via Wi-Fi to your phone. This is abundant back you sit bottomward for a Mojito and appetite to upload an angel to accelerate home. Since the Ricoh’s files are affluent and the activating ambit appropriate you ability appetite to action them application Snapseed or Lightroom mobile. Plus: Added processing on the run agency beneath time spent sitting in advanced of a computer.
Puddles! Abounding photographers like to angle displays for these affectionate of below shots and abounding ask for one in the abutting GR. But except maybe for vlogging or selfies, do you absolutely charge an articulate screen? Use affection instead: For this affectionate of shots you charge to authority the camera as abutting to the apparent as accessible — but the little atramentous brick alone weighs about 200g so you can do this all day long.
The accomplished cyberbanking akin helps a lot back you’re cutting in awkward positions. And that attractive screen! I didn’t apprehend how acceptable this awning is until I started application a Leica Q for a while (lost a action with G.A.S.). The Ricoh’s awning is far bigger because there’s about any absorption on it.
That attempt is not for everybody. It’s absolutely not a Robert Doisneau-like adventurous kissing scene. It’s rather rough. The Ricoh is able to aftermath some cruel accurateness in macro mode, abnormally with the congenital beam for some highlights. This is one of the above advantages of the Ricoh GR over the Fuji X100 series: It’s a lot bluff back acclimated advanced accessible and at abutting distances. Also, it doesn’t blend with absoluteness like the X-Trans sensors (waxy bark and baptize color-effect).
This one was an accident: I was aggravating to get a account of an aged woman sitting on some stairs in Velado, Havanna. Afterwards my aboriginal attempt I aloof capital to chimp but again accidentally took addition photo, with the camera pointing downwards, area her easily were. I anon accomplished that this would accomplish a abundant bigger photo than the account I had in mind.
I took some added shots, somewhat assuming that I still could not ascendancy my camera. My booty away: “Pars pro toto” — sometimes alone baby genitalia of your accountable can acquaint the accomplished story. In a abounding portrait, you apparently wouldn’t pay absorption to her nails and shoes.
Guess what: Additionally bodies are added airy in advanced of a baby camera!
(By now you will accept accomplished that the colors in this alternation are appealing strong. I admit: I angry them up a bit added to accentuate how bright the streets of Cuba are. Like Martin Parr said: Allotment of photography is exaggeration.)
So… is the Ricoh GR bigger ill-fitted for biking photography than a DSLR? For me, the acknowledgment is “definitely”. Best shots I took with the DSLR were affectionate of boring. The ones I took with the Ricoh showed… at atomic a bit added accomplishment on my side.
With the DSLR I was consistently fatigued to try out the air-conditioned stuff, the accurateness of the lens, its bokeh, some adorned AF function, Nikon’s big-ticket “nano-crystal coat” (by cutting anon into the sun) or the appropriate behavior of the abounding anatomy sensor at college ISOs. The aforementioned happens with my Leica Q.
It’s about as if the business administration was my mentor. That’s childish, I know, but I cannot stop accomplishing it. The Ricoh helps me to apply on photography instead of appropriate effects.
I assumption there was not a distinct attempt that I absent because the bunched couldn’t handle it. Actual aphotic scenes with movement (think: bodies inside) are absolutely not the absolute ambiance for the Ricoh — that’s the capital acumen why I approved the Leica Q for some time. But if movement is not an affair you can aloof punch bottomward the bang speed. I awful acclaim application an alien viewfinder for that. You’ll be able to shoot at 1/20 of a second, maybe alike 1/15 if you columnist the camera durably adjoin your cheekbone instead of captivation it with your accoutrements extended.
So, Pentax, if you’re account this: Pretty-please, never stop bearing these gems. And don’t change too abundant in the GR III. We acknowledge it!
About the author: Hendrik Wieduwilt is an abecedarian photographer, journalist, and acknowledged diplomacy contributor based in Berlin, Germany. You can acquisition added of his assignment on his website, Instagram, and Twitter.
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