Sunday, 16 December 2007

GRD 2 : Testing, testing...

18 December 2007

Fairground attraction

I was out walking after a lunch meeting in the West End and came across this colourful carousel in Leicester Square. There is always a funfair in the square in December. It was very cold and so only a couple of horses were filled. I love to photograph fairgrounds, there are so many angles to look at and the hand painted rides are great. I decided to set the GRD2 on 1:1 view and too this shot above. Please click on the image to enlarge.I actually like the square format very much, reminding me of an old Rollei TLR I have on my shelf gathering dust. Some compositions feel 'at home' with this format and I will experiment more.

16 December 2007

(Click on each picture for a larger version)

A dry but very cold (3C) weekend brought me out to the streets of Central London to try out the capabilities of the Ricoh GRD 2, and also it was an excuse to do some Christmas browsing at the stores. I like the gifts they sell at Muji, especially the toys, they are simple and mainly made of wood, which beats the electronic offerings of so many other stores nowadays.

I am quite familiar with the 28mm experience especially in street shots and internal spaces. Focusing is adequate in good light, but I found it to be slightly slow in dark surroundings and outdoors in the night. I had the Focus Assist Light function turned off as I often found this feature to be more annoying than helpful.

Also walked past the Godiva chocolate shop window and had to photograph this enticing display..mmm those that know me know that I love chocolate!

The GRD 2 has a very close focus Macro mode, about 2 cm from the lens. Having downloaded the files on onto my iMac, I noticed that the colour accuracy was very good, much better than the Canon digicams I am used to. Perhaps I use the colourspace setting of Adobe RGB, which is native on my Photoshop application. Adobe RGB space has a wider colour gamut than sRGB space which the majority of digicams use. The other discovery is that the Auto White Balance is again more accurate that Canon digicams in daylight and tungsten environments.

For these outdoor photographs (above and below, and new banner) I was shooting handheld with -1.0EV at 200ISO on Aperture Priority at f3.5. This gave me speeds around 1/15s to 1/25s which I thought was sufficiently fast for steady shots. The above image was taken at Covent Garden Market. The Christmas decorations inside the market is like an ice palace with cool blue lights and icicle chandeliers hanging off the ceiling.

(Click on the each picture to see a larger version)
The photo above show Thomas Schütte's sculpture on the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square and the Nordic spruce tree which is a gift from the Mayor of Oslo to the British every year for the last 61 years since 1947. It is over 20 metres tall. The gift of the tree by the Norwegians is in gratitude to the British support of Norway during WW2. Carolers sing under the tree every evening in December up to Christmas and it becomes a focal point for tourists during this time of the year. It was very cold this evening, inspite of this, a crowd of over 100 people turned up to greet and sing along with the assembled carolers. Shooting in RAW allows me to adjust the exposure and detail of the image and I applaud Ricoh for opting for the DNG standard of RAW files. This is a universal standard and can be opened in Photoshop without going through proprietory software.

...more later.


Honey said...


I wanted to go to the U.K.
But because it is hard to be cold; only in the world of the photograph.f^^)

In a warm room, I want to eat chocolate...(^.^)

Anonymous said...

I thought GRD has a function called Snap Mode, where the focus point is automatically set tio hyper focal length, no ?

Just curious, 'cos I never had a chance to play with GRD...
*sniff* *sniff*

(I'm Sarawakian ! :o))

svllee said...

Hello Honey,

I hope you are making great photographs with your GRD as well. It certainly brings back handling memories of the GR1 from about 4 years ago! It feels similar in shooting capability.

svllee said...

Hi Gecko, Thanks for visiting. Yes, both GRD and GRD2 has the Snap function. It sets the focus to a hyperfocal distance of 2.5m I think, which renders pretty much everything in good focus. I have not used this setting as yet. The GV2 external viewfinder arrived today and I have been testing it this evening out. It works much better than the LCD screen, I find, due to me being shortsighted but I'd rather compose using the usual method, through a viewfinder, that is!

Are you in Malaysia and Iban?