Ricoh GR III

April 22nd, 2019 … Ricoh GR III … Supporting Vision … in the IUSI

What do I mean by Supporting Vision? Ok, this is it. Walk around and keep your camera in a case or pocket. Don’t use it for 30 minutes. Feel the vision that you have developed and you’ll see photos that you may have made or wanted to. You didn’t or can’t cause it’s not 30 min yet. If you are feeling your vision, you can tune into your photos without a camera. Now the hard part. Breathe the feelings of photos you want to make, but no camera yet. We all do that anyway but now it’s a conscious effort. Feel the feeling of your photos? Sure ya do and if ya don’t pretend ya do, just to humor the ole shooter.

Now, take the camera in hand. Ok, pause for an infomercial. Years ago a friend and fellow Admin, Brian Mosley,  at M43 forum suggested the following hold. Brian suggested to hold the camera in the left hand, (right handed people). Then your right hand is free to use the controls without the burden of the grip. I tried this and low and behold, it works fine. It actually works wonders. It also inspires the brain to rethink the preconceived grip procedure. Remember I talked about being complacent? Well, this is a step for doing so. So, I think you may get a charge out of the “Brian Mosley Left Handed Grip. Ya just need to open your mind. Who knows what treasures you may find there.

The subject matter is a subjective conscious decision. Sometimes we go along in a submissive state and wait to get hit on the head to see a photo. Other times we may be more dominant in the process and we act more directly in subject selection. Both manners work fine and we just need to be tuned into ourselves to know how we are working. Then there is a state that I can’t really define too clearly and authentically. It’s a state some call the Here and Now or maybe Zen.

I kinda feel like inventing a new state. The International United State of Inspiration. (IUSI) This actually describes what I feel like when I’m working. The Ricoh GR III kinda anchors me in this state. Yes, it has a sense of humor and changes EV or position of the AF box, but all in all……it does what I really desire a camera to do. Andre’ the Ricoh GR III keeps me happy in IUSI.

Why is this even mentioned or deemed important? Well, did you ever change a starter in a car? The manufacturers place the starter in a position that when you work on it, you will bang your knuckles. Oh, yeas, pain, aggravation, and words that the devil would shy away from. This task is not exciting or sensual or exciting. Even a paid mechanic doesn’t fall in love with auto parts. So, as shooters, we have the gift of love and sensuality with our work and our camera. We choose to find and support the IUSI in our work. If we are focused, no pun intended, then we can be there.

So, supporting the IUSI of our work is a shared responsibility. We are the human element. The camera is the translator of the language of the photograph. Processing is the alchemy of the sum of all the parts to prepare everything to show in the final image. Each step along the was is prone to gremlins. Our knowledge of each part is what determines what we use in our visual process. Any gremlins in the process will no doubt create negative energy and that could cause things to be not enjoyable.

There’s a guy in my Saturday meetup here in Philly and he always challenges me and my intent. He questions my motivation in photography. He says that I only teach the course so I can make money. Laff’n.

I told him, Brad, you pay for the course, right? Brad says yes. The other 14 people are looking at Brad. I say, Brad, your the only one that pays for this course. The others just come and we exchange ideas and things. He looks at the others, you guys don’t pay? No everyone says, never did. The Brad says, Don, why didn’t you tell me this before? Brad I said, you tease people, you incite negative energ=y and you specifically don’t respect me even tho I respect you. I respect you enough that if your gonna be this way than everyone else and me, will have breakfast and lunch on your expense. If I have to deal with you, I want to be paid.

So, your out making photos and all this stuff is going thru your head. Why am I so insistent about this IUSI situation?

I love and LIVE photography. I hope you all do also. I wish that the inspiration developed triggers your Eye, Heart, and Mind. If you don’t love photography and life with it, well, you can always paint the bathroom.

So, for the track shot…. I was waiting for the train to go home. I looked up the tracks and saw the lights of the approaching train

As I turned back, I spot the doll on the near the tracks, looks like it was hit. I reach in my pocket, grab Andre’ the Ricoh GR III and as I hold him, switch to AF mode… The train is closer, really close

I set the aperture at 2.8, look at the photo and CLICK! The train was here in 10 seconds. ! shot, even with slower AF in low light… I’ll keep it.

 

 

 

 

 

April 14, 2019 … Ricoh GR III … Some Macro Mode Shots

 

So, it’s Sunday and I can’t get out too much because I have bites all over my right leg. Time for Neosporin. This also means that Tanmya is watching me like a hawk. I put Andre’ the Ricoh GR III in Macro mode. He focuses close in normal mode, that macro is out of focus because I am not close enough. Amazing. I don’t want to be that close but Andre’ insisted I either move him closer or back out and use regular focus mode. There is or should be an emotional impact on images. I mean that we sometimes use the magic of photography in a manner that gives more of a feel from the photo instead of the technical aspects. The flower above is straight from the DNG. The color trips me out. The softness, as if a woman, just is lovely. Nuff said.

 

The Ricoh GR III is made and designed to be an all-around companion. I am wearing a pocket tee shirt. Andre’ fits in the pocket safely. The GR II also fits in a tee shirt pocket but sticks out some and kinda nervous as it might fall out. The point is one could carry the GHR III in any pocket and it fits comfy. I know many of you don’t name your camera and I do feel bad for you. Photography for me is about love. I can’t seem to grasp making love with a woman and calling her it. Hmmm, I suppose not a good idea and certainly, disrespectful. Anyway, your choice but I will say the Ricoh cameras like to work with the shooter and having a name draws the entire process together. The shot above is DNG run thru Silver Efex. I use my presets there a lot.

 

All of these photos were shot in standard AF mode. I thought to try macro but can’t find anything that small that interest me enough to make a photo. I will venture into this deeper during the week. I love this camera as I love all my Ricoh’s. This one has mojo already for me and I don’t go too far without it with me. Tanya still will not have Andre’ the Ricoh GR III in bed with us.

Anyway, just a short post cause I love the garden photos I will make with Andre’.

Be Blessed on your Journey……..

 

April 12th, 2019 … Some Thoughts and Findings … Andre’ The Ricoh GR III

First off I need to answer a few questions about the Ricoh GR III. I got 2 batteries from eBay and they are as fine as the OEM. I paid $9.00 for both with free shipping. I have a Tamrac 5217 case that holds the camera, lens pen, and 2 batteries. It sells for around $10.00 or so on the bay. I have 2 and I bought them years ago. I have a wrist strap that is from the bay also. It’s a Sony Wii strap and sells for $1,00. I have 20. I have an ACMAXX screen protector on and I highly recommend these. I don’t use the touch screen but the protector works.

Andre’ the Ricoh GR III is loaded with MOJO. That is not available from dealers or stores. You have to find your own with the camera and make it your own. There are some negative remarks about the GR III. I prolly never pay attention to them unless it’s an obvious crucial issue. The AF seems to bug some people. I think it’s acceptable in normal lighting but as others mentioned, low light is not as good as anticipated. Usually outdoors or in normal light, I am at 5.6 or 8,0.

Most of the time I’m in snap focus mode anyway. More than enough FOF at 5.6 or 8.0 and I can get close enough to hold focus. so the left button on the wheel is set to Snap/AF. I think everyone familiar with Ricoh cameras does that. If not, how come? The right button on the wheel is set to Snap Focus Distance. This differs from the GR II. The same function, different location. I mention this because if you’re coming from the GR II, some things are different. I call it anti-intuitive. See, we all know how the GR and GR II were so easy to get to an intuitive state.  So here ya are out on the street with the GR III and you kinda feel at home but it’s not the time for that yet. There are enough things that are similar between both cameras but the little things will bite ya in the…. well, you’ll see.

The key features for the street are, Auto ISO, AF, and Snap, Aperture, and FStop. The GR III sets up quickly and those elements become intuitive very naturally. I couldn’t think of a good utility for the Fn button.  So after some consideration, I set it for Picture Effects. The jpeg’s from the GR III are spectacular, pity I never use them, but I sure like them.  The Bleached Bypass is not as nice as the GR or GR II.

Alrighty, all youse EV Haters, have I got something for you.  Ricoh has given birth to a group of wandering thumb shooters. Ricoh knows that we all hate the up/down button on the GR II. Oh yeah, they know. See, with the GR II your thumb gets tired of just holding the camera and then starts the wandering thumb procedure. Oh yeah, What happens, is that the thumb hits the up/down button and without telling you, changes EV setting. The issue besides exposure is, the wandering thumb will become intuitive. For real, it’s thought to be an accidental process but it in time becomes natural. Dangerous and more frustrating than I can say. Don’t believe me, ask Giovanni. He is living testament of the Wandering thumb Procedure.

So, Ricoh cares about their customers and they didn’t let us down.  Ok, I’m 69yo and sometimes a cocky bloke. I had and have excellent cameras. I have many Ricoh’s in the cabinet. When I got the GR III, I felt a loss of the wandering thumb procedure. I looked and low and behold, no rocker switch. I smiled inside because I finally knew that the rocker will no longer mess with me. Yay, I thought, FREEDOM, FREEDOM.

Ricoh makes great cameras. We all know that. Little did we all know, the Ricoh engineers have a sense of humor. Yeah, not kiddin’. I figure that they all sat back and drank Budweiser and ate string cheese when they invented the wandering thumb. Ok, in the USA in many states, hooch is legal. The engineers must be celebrating their humor and the movement of the wandering thumb and smoking lots of hooch.

Now I ain’t one to spread rumors and I’ll deny that youse got this from me…..The thumb now finds the rear wheel and at times, it will change EV and or the movement of the AF Focus Point. I have not found a stable lock. You can change EV by moving the wheel. You also can move the AF Focus Point by moving the wheel. It is said in the annals of Ricoh Engineering that if you hold the OK button in, then the point will center.

If there was a lock you wouldn’t need to do that anyway. I guess it’s an anal thing and I don’t understand.

April 10th, 2019 … More Than A Shot … More Than a Day … Ricoh GR III … Fuji X-Pro2

The day came and went and I was Minus my Leica M240 and a few Zeiss lenses. The camera is, of course, joy and actually a great camera to slow down and FEEL what you are doing. See, it’s that feel thing that got me. Great camera, no issues but too damn heavy for me. I could not use a neck strap. I could not use my ACAM 25 in any mode. You would think that cross shoulder would work but nada.  So I sold it to a camera store and got a fair price. What does this have to do with anything shooter? Get to the point old man.

I mean for me my cameras are friends with names. I can’t deal with nor have I ever had tolerance for camera intrusion. The intrusion in Leica is the weight. Ohhhh, wait, wait…. Leica isn’t the only camera that intrudes. Andre’ the Ricoh GR III intrudes with his stupid OK button. What happens is, hit the ok button by accident and you could move the AF point. Yes, if you’re in the right mode, you can hold down the OK button and the AF Point centers home. Fuji has that and on my X-Pro2, it can be and is locked. Can’t be locked on the Ricoh GR III that I know of. Maybe it seems trite but when you’re out working and the AF Point is dow lower left and you’re making a photo, your focus point is wrong. Nice huh. The Ricoh Engineers bumbled this big time.

Also, the wheel has a sense of humor and you can change EV unknowingly. Here’s the thing. I’m talking about a camera becoming a friend and getting a name and not intruding in our vision we share together. Unacceptable for me.

If your fiddling with a camera, how ya gonna find and make your photos?  Not easy.

The most important thing I discovered as a photographer, and perhaps as a human, is Complacency.  See the photo above. I have worked these posters etc and never tire of them. So what does this really mean? It is a fact that the habits of all sorts are easy to get hooked into. Usually, we don’t even notice we have a habit. As a shooter, it’s very easy to get a habit going. Does that make the work complacent? I think it could, depending on one’s outlook and approach. The battle in your work and mine too is to enjoy a particular scene and then to deal with it. For this means to be non-complacent. I enjoy revisiting a scene and then getting my juices to accept an alternative outcome from what I already have. It’s great to travel around the world and see new sites and meet new people all the time. I’m sure most of you do that on a regular basis. Well, here in NE Philly I don’t get to do that. What I do get to do is work areas that I have worked many many times.

 

Here’s where the battle of complacency takes place. Let me tell ya something. What to watch out for is what you don’t pay attention to. Did ya’s ever heard the expression “The little things are what get’s ya”? It’s true and even more so with us shooters. Those little things get ya cause ya don’t even know they are with ya.  Our mind seems to create a buffering system to either negate or just disregard the little things. That don’t mean they aren’t there.

Most definitely it means not to get complacent with the little things. Ya know, I think we shouldn’t get complacent with the big things either and for all that matters with anything. Remember this … Ya can’t see something as new if ya have seen it before. Maybe if your good, and I know a few of ya’s are that good but mostly just not as good but trying to be good…. ya can try to see things differently. This is where your creative talent and or energy comes to play.

 

 

There are times when I’m working that I feel like a Zen has formed an invisible cloak around me and tries to keep me inside this cloak and be focused. I know this is meant as a great thing but maybe sometimes I get complacent with Zen. I mean doing something over and over and allowing it to go to a state of being and feeling all is right, this can get complacent also.

I like to stretch my envelope but not get crazy with it. I’m too old and they all told me years ago ya can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So, now as an old dog, I am pre-programmed to not try new thing easily.

 

 

So, for me the inspiring energy has always been, to work where you live. See, I been the Philly Streetshooter since  1070″s. I want to say that it has been a struggle for me to make photos. I want to say that I get bored and need to be in an exotic location to get my juices flowing.  If I said all that and more, it could not be true no matter how convincing I was. See, I have never known a day that I was not hungry to make photos. I have never been bored or even complacent with any part of the process.

The way to maintain this attitude is to spend $1000.00 every month on a new camera. Don’t use any other camera for a month and then buy another one in a month. Wait, wait…. that’s bulldinky shooter. Get real again.

Ok, my flight is landing and I’m adjusting to being partially sane again.  Look, here it is in a nutshell. You can buy all the cameras and gear and everything you desire. You’ll be happy for a brief period of time.. The wondrous thing in life is LOVE. I love photography and everything about it. I suppose that’s what keeps it all interesting and keeps it vitally alive for me. I love it all.

Some shooters asked me about the Ricoh GR III. Ok, I have an ACMAXX screen saver on the screen. I have a Tamrac 5217 case that has a strap I cut off and just use it on my belt. Small. I got two Kastar batteries from, eBay and the price was $9.00 for both including shipping. They work like OEM.

I’ll get more focused in the next few dazes and do mostly Ricoh GR III. work.

 

 

March 30th, 2019 … From The Streets of Philadelphia … Ricoh GR III

There are times in our life that we must surrender to the forces of perfection. This is one of those times.

Andre’ the Ricoh GR III has been on the scene for about a week. I do mean my scene as your scenes may vary timewise. I struggled at first with finding the intuitive way to be together.  I suppose that any means to get intuitive would require an acquired approach. In my mind, I kept comparing the GR III with GR II. Maybe that mindset was holding me back some and I finally surrendered to the GR II and it’s differences to the GR II. So I set sail with the Ricoh GR III and we decided to form a bond and to get acquired information to become intuitive. It’s a fine replacement to the GR II. I can not overemphasize how perfect the SR = Shake Reduction actually is.  I don’t know for sure how Ricoh thinks about the camera but the camera itself is proof that thought went into it. The missing Flash is for sure a conversation many will linger on. I see it this way. If I can hand hold the camera and get a very usable photo at 1/5 sec, why need a flash. See, the majority of street shooters kind wanna be discreet. Not all but the majority. If your out shooting with a flash, your not discreet at all. So I figure Ricoh thought that way also and made the camera very capable of low light shooting. It is!

 

The way I like to use the GR series is like this. I set the exposure for 1/125 f5.6 This a good shade setting and if you like low ISO. I do sometimes especially on bonding with a camera. I set snap focus distance to 2.5m.  My fav is 1/250 f8. Anyway, I work like this until I want to switch to AF. Switching to AF I still work the same exposure because I use Auto ISO. What ya don’t want to do but certainly can change the f-stop. If you decide to go back to snap focus, you are already at the right f-stop for the set Snap Distance. The AF on the GR III is very snappy except if you’re in l o w  l i g h t and then it hunts for good contrast. I don’t use the touch screen and haven’t in any other camera either. My cameras are my family and not tools so no need to be critical or anal about that stuff.

 

So Suzanne asked me why I am posting these 3 photos. Good question. I feel that Andre’ the Ricoh GR III is now a part of my camera family. We have bonded and continue to do so in a rapid and efficient way. The first 3 days together and I was ready to send him packing. Then one night as I lay in bed relaxing, I got a telepathic message from Andre’. He said, ” look, shooter, I will do all that you ask of me within my abilities. In return you need to accept me as a partner and not a slave to your whims. I will adapt to you without fail but you, in turn, must adapt to me. Together we will achieve the ZEN we both seek”.

I thought that Andre’ was being damn ballsy and insistent about a 2-way relationship. I drifted off to sleep and visions of Andre floated around my tired brain.  I ran down to the kitchen and made a fresh cup of Kona. Back up to the office and I looked at Andre’ the Ricoh GR III. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating some but he had a smile on his uuum….lens face. The I knew at once it was time for us to leave the Grasshopper Office. Andre’ was right. I accepted his strengths and weaknesses as my own and we instantly had an intuitive relationship. All the I thought was wrong, (actually 1 single flaw) was in clarity and I am now at one again.

Andre’ told me that we are both responsible for this synergism we have created but…. if the photos suck, it’s my fault, not his….ever.

March 28th, 2019 … Ricoh GR III … JPEG Comparison

 

 

Just got back from my Doctor. She asked me what’s wrong and I looked around and whispered…. this is shot indoors, ISO 100 f2.8 and ummm… worried the funny guys will try to catch me…. it’s ummmm…. 1/5sec doc… it’s sharp and you know I have tremors but Andre’ the Ricoh GR III tells me not to worry.  Doc sits on her chair and leans back, I see Mr. Springer. She puts her hand to her chin and says, what else can this Ricoh camera things do?

Macro Mode  1/100  f2.8  ISO 100

So I started to tell Doc that I did a test and here are the first results. She looks at me….hmmm she says, please continue. So I looked at her cause’s my Doc and altho she takes care of my health issue, I was a seasoned shooter have the responsibility to show her some photos as a test.

From DNG  1/200  f5.6 ISO 100

JPEG  Standard Same Exposure as above

Monotone

Soft Monotone

Hard Monotone

Hi-Contrast B&W

Positive Film

Bleach Bypass

Retro

HDR Tone

All the outdoor photos are in the same settings. What changed is the JPEG in the camera. I won’t be using any of these not because I don’t like them but because I use DNG. I will have Standard color or Monotone B&W on the camera because I like to get a feel for the image I am making. I alter a lot in LightRoom because I want to feel my photos and not be responsible to answer to anyone.   If for no other reason than the Shake Reduction, it’s the best camera. I mean the sofa shot is in LOOOOOW light and I did it at 1/5 sec handheld and it’s very passable.  I have tremors and am confident that they no longer pose a threat to my work because of this camera.

The first few days I struggled with the EV and AF Focus box. I’m not entirely relieved of this but it’s now my fault if they activate or at least a shared mess up. Ricoh did a lot of work on the GR and produced a very fine camera. I’ll have more thoughts and findings over the weekend.

Be blessed all……

March 23rd, 2019 … Observations and Finding … Ricoh GR III

First off, I am not reviewing the Ricoh GR III. What I am doing is posting my observations and findings.  There are many others around that will post thoughts and photos and dissections of the camera. I can’t be bothered and so, will just post about how the camera works in the field. The first thing for me is…., no not the Unboxing Procedure, but naming the camera. The camera inherits the name, Andre’.

So now the camera is Andre’ the Ricoh GR III.  Now that that’s out of the way, let me explain how I do things. I like to have an intuitive synergism with all my cameras. That means Andre’ the Ricoh GR III at the moment.  This brings to the table the manual and setup. Ricoh provides a battery charger that is a USB to camera type. Of course with me, that won’t be a long lasting procedure. I did use it and it had Andre’ at full charge in less than an hour. I have some aftermarket chargers that are multi and I used that also. The charge rate and strength of charge were identical. So what is the difference? Well, figure you are in your place and the camera is on the USB charger. Then Penelope Cruia comes to see you for a few seconds and she’s in a nice bikini. Penelope says… make a photo of me master photographer. Well, of course, that may happen to you all the time but for most of us, not so. It’s a once in a lifetime happening. OMG! You can’t make the photo because your camera is tethered to the USB Charger. When Penelope comes to visit me, I will have access to Andre’ because I use an independent charger.

OOC

The camera is very intuitive, What exactly does that mean? Well, if you’re a Ricohphile, you have an understanding of how Ricoh’s work. I) like to lear6n the camera from the camera. To make a camera intuitive means that things are working out of habit. I mean, you learn the camera by using it and discovering the menus and features. It becomes intuitive because you went thru the menus and discovered and implemented the findings. That’s an intuitive way to work. When your out in the field and something happens, generally speaking, you can figure it out because you learned from the camera.

OOC

Now, the other way to work. I think of the manual as a spare tire.  Your cruising along making photos and something happens, you open the manual and figure out the solution. You probably don’t have the solution memorized because you don’t have to. You rely on the spare tire to get you back on the road. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong depending on the manual, just saying what becomes intuitive, is opening the manual and not the solution. Ricoh has and always had a very fast learning curve with their cameras, GR III is no exception.

OOC

I wrote that because I charged the battery and sat for about 15 minutes doing the menu and was ready to make my photos. There are more settings than I need. It’s nice to have them but I want the camera to work together with me and not for me or me for it. I made an initial setup and felt comfy. The GR II is a good way to move up although not the only way. If you have an idea about how you need the camera to perform, the GR III will offer you any personalization you could desire. While I was on the first walkabout with Andre’ the Ricoh GR III, I noticed that he was set on +.07 EV. Something like that. Truthfully, I don’t give a hoot about EV on any camera. Once I got home, I pulled out the spare tire and found EV settings and that ended that once it was set to 0EV.

OOC

There’s a lot more to explore on the camera but a basic setup is easy to achieve in a few minutes. The switch from AF to Snap is nice. Same as I have on the II. I have the Snap Distance opposite the Snap switch. See, the left button ISO is set to Snap. The right button Drive is set to Snap Distance. How sweet it is.

The raw files and the JPEGs are excellent. Color is outstanding. The B&W setting I use is Mono Hard. The lens is no doubt an act of love by its makers and is extremely addictive. I mean all of my Ricoh’s are called camera killers. I say that because when you start to work with a Ricoh, it kills the need and desire to use another camera. I switch off only our of guilt. The Ricoh GR III is considerably smaller than it’s parent. What’s nice is, it can stay on your palm and never be seen until you are ready to make a photo. Many want to know if it’s worth upgrading. I must admit, I absolutely say it is. The 24 MP files are nothing short of outstanding. For me, the finest camera making 24MP photos is hands down, the Leica M series. The Ricoh GR III equals if not surpass them easily. I’m not putting down the Leica, just stating that the Ricoh compares to the Leica. That’s a bold statement but truth.

I’ll have more soon but I’m still in the Ricoh GR III dream.