I have four cameras (Fujifilm X-T2, Olympus PEN-F, Ricoh GR II, and the Olympus TG-4) and I’m always searching for a better, smaller one, and at the same time I’m always looking for ways to simplify and/or reduce my gear. Thinking about the coming winter, I am also wondering what I will be photographing when it is cold, wet, and windy outside. As a result of these concerns of mine, I have been using all of my cameras lately and re-examining them and their capabilities.
As my outdoor photography winds down, I find that I only need a small pocket camera for an occasional image when walking, and the Ricoh GR II performs quite well. Since I don’t really take pictures in the snow and rain, I only need to carry a camera for when it stops, and the GR II fits in my pocket so it is easier to take out and use than the WR Fuji gear.
For my use, the GR II does have two short-comings. One, it doesn’t handle auto WB well in low mixed light, but I can, and do, use LR to correct the WB. The other feature which can at times be limiting is the fixed wide-angle lens, an effective 28mm, but I often can crop-zoom and enlarge sections of the image. In addition, I sometimes use the wide-angle effectively by just changing what I photograph.
I made the above images in very low light to revisit how well I can use it for details in low light. It does very well in low light and higher ISOs. In addition, I am finding that I like using it at F2.8 aperture in the macro mode. I’ll show you some of those results in a later post. Another very important feature for me is the ability to use it with one hand; from carrying it to holding it, turning it on, and adjusting the exposure with no need to twist the lens to zoom. And did I say, it’s very small and lightweight and easy to carry in a pocket!
These images are an experiment. I walked around a block, in addition to driving around, in Hanover during a light mist or drizzle with solid cloud cover. I tried the Ricoh GR II camera with the high contrast B&W jpeg setting. The only changes I made were to shift the exposure some on the images made from inside the car through tinted glass.
I’m still thinking about if, how, and when to use this effect … and wondering what my pictures of Ireland would have looked like if made with this camera. The Ricoh GR II is a nice little camera if you can manage photography with a fixed 28mm lens. Using this style of jpeg image certainly displays things differently.
I tried this style around Homewood, with foliage, etc. and I didn’t like it. It works better in town in a grittier higher contrast environment. It is also a lot different from a preset I built for my style of high contrast B&W.
I was waiting to get my car inspected this morning when I only had my Ricoh GR II to play with, so I made this picture through my open window. As I have written in earlier posts, I have been exploring different uses of the little fixed effective 28mm lens camera. I am intrigued about what I might be able to do with it. As it turns out the sensor and lens in the camera are very good. The above picture was a jpeg … not a raw file. The smaller vertical image is a crop of the wider image.
I recently acquired a Ricoh GR II camera and since I needed to go to Gettysburg to get a new driver’s license, I took it along and made a variety of test images. These were all standard color jpegs and I changed some of them to B&W using LR CC after I returned home.
The bottom-line is that I like the camera. It is small and easy to carry and has excellent image qualities. It would make a good travel camera to record your memories. Now, I need to see how I might use the effective 28mm lens.