Here’s another example of how little by little I’m becoming “one” with the GR. Let me set it up for you. Friday night, I went to, Town Kitchen & Bar, one of Miami’s hippest places to celebrate one my best friend’s 40th birthday party. If you’ve been to a lounge type of environment, then you can imagine the lighting situation ― low lit tungsten lights galore and if you’re a strobist then you know this is a nightmare situation when it comes to various exposure parameters. To name one just think of the letters WB ― white balance. ISO 1600 & 3200 were the norm and more of the latter.
I wasn’t there to be the official photographer, not at all, I was just a guest and there to enjoy myself. Also you can imagine the rest of the guests with a bunch of point & shoots and their creeping slow shutter speeds, you know what I’m talking about. A 2/3 sensor can’t really handle this type of environment even with their powerful little flashes blasting away. Its just not a practical work around. I’m not being dismissive of those moments captured by other cameras but just judging them (the point & shoots) on their ability to capture the images accurately. Like one of my favorite wedding photographers, Ryan Brenizer, said recently in a post ― the moment always wins, and that’s the important part of storytelling.
But as a photographer myself and always trying to do the best that I can, I decided to put the GR through it paces in a horrible lighting environment and the result folks were very pleasing to me. Knowing the GR has an extensive list of options for flash I knew I had this part covered. I took my first shot in Av mode and I saw the shutter speed at 1/40th and that’s a no no. So what to do? Off course, I went straight to TAv (a Pentax-Ricoh exclusive option) and set my shutter speed to, if I recall correctly, to 1/250 to 1/500, and my aperture at f4. At f4 on the GR, I knew I had enough depth of field to cover the entire area of what I was photographing. So to make a long story short, here are the results. These photographs were processed in Lightroom from DNG’s, I applied some noise reduction (batch processed) to all of them and sharpening as well. I decided to knock off the horrible white balance issue with the low lit tungsten lights. I mean, I could’ve put a tiny gel on the GR’s flash to balance the output but that would have been excessive in my opinion, hence the classic BW film look. I curated and exported about 50 tiff files that told the story and imported them into “True Grain” and batch processed them again (folks it took about 3 minutes to process 50 images at 890px wide, my blog’s image max width, about 3mb a pop, not bad at all) with a preset I had developed and that’s how I arrived at what you see on your screen. To say I’m happy is an understatement, my friend loved my documentary style of photographs and they were an instant success on Facebook ― so voila Mission Accomplished! Again, let the GR be what it is ― the best compact camera that can photograph most types of genres. Don’t fall into this trap that the GR is only good for street photography because I’m here to tell you to wake up and look around this blog and you’ll see what I’m talking about. For me the Ricoh GR is the ultimate documentary photography camera, always there and always ready.
Some of my Favorite Ricoh GR articles
Great article and awesome images, I just got my GR II, are you using the pop up flash for those party shots? They look great.
From San Francisco, CA. and beeing from Bilbao, Euskadi, I only can say one thing when looking at your photos … AUPA ATHLETIC!!!!!
One of my good friends is from Bilbao as well, last name Elejabarrieta, so I know all about that. Thanks for stopping by cheers!
Thanks to you for your post on the GR, I was a GRD IV user, I sold it because the poor performance ISO and went for an X10, don’t missunderstand me, I love the X10, is a great little camera, but selling the Ricoh was a huge misstake. Till I can indulge myself spending $800 in a carry everywhere camera I’m enjoying your posts. That GR will be mine soon or latter … and then nothing will separate us again …
Go for it, you’ll thank me later.
excellent series of images here Jorge.
Thank you John!
I went to the camera store yesterday to check out the GR and the A. First blush: The GR is incredibily light. I was able to figure out how to change ISO within 30 seconds while I never did figure it out on the Nikon. My worries about the GR is that it is SUPER noisy at 12800.
Nice Mike, yup the GR is pretty easy to maneuver. I wouldn’t be to worried at about ISO 12,800. Most cameras at this ISO range are super noisy as well except a D800 or 5D3 or above but we’re talking an order of magnitude more expensive by thousandssss of dollars. C’mon, the GR is the best compact bar none, enjoy it, pull the trigger, you won’t regret it. Let me know when you do. Cheers.
Great stuff here! I agree, it is silly to categorize cameras. I am not at all any kind of a street shooter and still I enjoy the GR and use it for my normal stuff, i.e. humble snapshooting.
You call it humble snapshooting I call it quotidian photography. But yes, why stereotype when its a jack of all trades and master of many.
Oh man! I just LOVE the first pic you have and I couldn’t agree with you more when you said “I think it captures the spirit of the evening”.
Thanks for the posts and definitely plan on getting my own GR as soon as I get the moolah!! 😀
Back in 2010, I sold my DSLR and bought the Ricoh GX200. I was torn between the GRDIII and the GX200. I have to admit that my GX200 popped out some seriously good results.
One thing I soon realized is, in order to get good (or best) results from your camera – you must know it inside and out! It shouldn’t come in-between you and what/how you see your subject. Only then will you really be able to use that piece of equipment to it’s fullest 🙂
Thanks Ali! The GX200 was one I never got to try out. I was torn between that one and another compact but I just couldn’t find one. Yes, I’ve seen some spectacular results coming out of the GX200. The same thing can be said about any camera. Know inside and out and your results will be mind boggling. The GR is a camera that can easily be with you all the time and ready to capture whatever heart desires. Let me know when you get it and share some images on this blog. Cheers.