First Week with the Ricoh GR!

Discussion in 'Ricoh' started by Stan, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Stan

    Stan Regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    This is a little/mini user report. I just picked up a Ricoh GR a week ago, and thought I'd share my experiences from a user perspective. This is the first Ricoh I have ever owned, and I am still learning to use this amazing little camera.

    After a week I have enjoyed getting to know the GR. The APS-C sensor is superb, and the handling and overall experience is a positive one. I also appreciate the size, retractable lens, and the overall IQ. It's a camera I will enjoy using for a long time. The lens is sharp across the frame, and I can carry the camera easily in a pants pocket or jacket pocket.

    Special thanks to Ray Sachs and others here on SC! I appreciate your great images (GR and otherwise) and insights, which helped me make up my mind. Hopefully the experiences will shed light on this little camera that might help others.

    I considered picking up a Fuji X100s. The price difference, my curiosity about Ricoh ergonomics, and smaller size encouraged me to try the Ricoh GR. Both cameras are excellent, and I'm only stating why I went with the Ricoh without any judgment of other cameras. I have system cameras for when I need more flexibility (lenses, flash, DOF control), and figured the small size of the GR would give opportunities that system cameras do not lend themselves to as easily. I can also readily stash the camera in a backpack or camera bag alongside my other cameras. The GR will come in handy as a backup camera.

    Some photos...The Carrizo Plain National Monument is an interesting place. Most of the time it is a dry, desolate place. In the late winter to early spring the area jumps to life briefly with wildflowers, IF it rains enough. Otherwise, it is an arid landscape with a large salt lake (Soda Lake), which in ages past was a sea. Today the area is used for grazing for the cooler parts of the year and some dry farming. Homesteaders tried to dry farm the area in the past, but due to drought and economics they gave up and left some of their equipment behind.

    All shots are from GR raw files processed in LR5, using the Adobe Standard LR profile. Files are flat as a pancake, but can be shaped easily.

    Carrizo Plain Overlook

    Dirt Road

    Abandoned Farm Equipment 1

    Abandoned Farm Equipment 2

    Water Tanks

    I processed the above using a faded look in LR, but the GR files are flexible enough. Here's a different take on the Water Tanks

    Detail capture is excellent and meets my needs. I'm anxious to make prints from GR files!
    Original Size Here

    And the GR is handy if you have kids and hang out at the park or beach... The wide angle 28mm lens helps when including the context is wanted, and easily fits in a pocket to capture family memories.

  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Congrats Stan - enjoy! I'll never forget my first Ricoh - I was just gobsmacked by it! You seem to have bonded with it really well, but that's no shock - you shoot everything well. That first area looks really desolate - I love the second image following the road out to forever! And I love the shot of your little guy down by your favorite pier too. The camera looks to suit you well. These tiny little APS cameras really are miracles of engineering. I'm not sure when I'm ever gonna carry my LX7 anywhere again when my Nikon A is both smaller and loads better. Arguably not as versatile, but neither am I!

  3. Will

    Will All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    Love the images. Something of The Ghosts of Mars about them.
  4. Livnius

    Livnius Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Nice, Stan.

    Just gotta love the one of LA Galaxy's newest signing :)
  5. Stan

    Stan Regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    Thanks Ray! I'm still making my way through the manual and getting used to finding things. It's a new system for me, but so far so good. I tend to be able to adapt to cameras, and don't have too many specific ergonomic requirements overall.

    The little guy and I spend a lot of time at the beach or out and about. The GR is perfect. I'm planning on trying snap focus for action shots up close, along with the fast flash sync.

    The LX7 is great except for the sensor. Love the lens, lens range, the features and handling. The GR has such a giant leap in IQ though it's hard to ignore that. The raw files are great, and I can see myself getting a lot out the extra DR and detail. The LX7 is going to sit on the shelf quite a bit. I'll hang onto it, because it's still useful for video and as a second camera. I could see myself hiking with the LX7 and the GR combo. It'll depend on the location though and the kinds of images I'm going for.

    The one thing that I was concerned about was the 28mm focal length. I prefer 35mm or 24mm, but I think I'll be fine. I'm pretty happy with a 24-70 or 24-105 equivalent, so 28mm is in my comfort zone.
  6. Stan

    Stan Regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    The Carrizo Plain feels like another planet to me too. Amazing it is so close to the central coast, which is completely different.