Ricoh GR Field Report Part 1

On my recent trips to Europe and Chile I had wanted to take discreet street photos of local people. This usually resulted in me using my Canon S90 as the Pentax K5 was a bit too intimidating and relatively loud when the shutter is released. Analysis of the use of the Canon showed that over 50% of the photos were taken at the wide end of the zoom range of the camera. I decided that this necessitated buying the Ricoh GR in order to increase the quality of the pictures and give me a reason to buy another camera! I  recently returned from a trip to Turkey where I took over 1200 photos with the GR. I was not disappointed. In addition to an insanely sharp lens, the User Interface is intuitive and combined with the Snap Focus allows one to get a lot of excellent shots in a very discreet fashion. On top of that the camera could fit in my front pocket of  my pants, and was always at the ready to take a photo. For street shooting the most useful combination of settings was to use the Tav mode, combined with the Snap Focus. Depending on the amount of light, the F-Stop could be set to 5.6 to 7.1, the shutter speed set to 1/250 to 1/500. The Snap Focus allows you set the camera to focus at a predetermined distance, say 10 ft, and depending on the F-stop selected, the depth of field will result in anything from 5 ft to infinity being in focus. Thus pictures can be taken that are in focus for distance greater than 5 ft, the shutter speed is around 1/500, and the camera will vary the ISO to set the correct exposure. This was much faster than using AF, and more discreet as no AF assist lights were visible. The small thickness of the camera, and the plasticky appearance (even though the body is magnesium) appears non-threatening, but make no mistake this is an awesome camera.





About petergsimmons

Global citizenship is conferred on those who have lived in a variety of countries, and who don’t identify with any one culture. I am such a person. Having lived in Jamaica, Canada and Japan, I have been exposed to First World/Third World, East and West, North and South. This has lead to a rich living experience, open-mindedness and curiosity about the world around me. This variety of living conditions in human landscapes is coupled with equally diverse travels in natural landscapes from the jungles of South East Asia and South America to the Arctic tundra; tropical beaches to the Himalayas, resulting in an incredible journey through life itself.
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