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New Pro-Class Compact GR Ricoh Experience(s) A forum where pro and amateurs can share and discuss their experience(s) with the Ricoh GR

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  #1  
Old May 1st, 2014, 02:47 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default The Ricoh GR with the 21 mm supplementary lens for Architecture

I'll show 3 house styles built on the same size lots. The first is how all homes were when Beverly hills was a summer retreat for folk living downtown Los Angeles. The following two, totally different in stlye and esthetics are built subsequently on such lots. I hope the pictures might help people evaluate whether the Ricoh GR with the 21mm lens might possibly work for them for architectural shots.

I have used the Ricoh GR for some time at 28mm and enjoyed the simplicity of taking overlapping frames for stitching to ultrawide panoramas. It's very simple with this camera, one sets it for 3 exposure-bracketed shots and shoot the scene and then drop into AutopanoGiga from http://Kolor.com. A minute later one has the panorama stitched and one can choose projection. See if here for examples of that simple approach with exteriors and here for interiors even with moving people!

Here I am looking at single pictures obtained with the add-on 21mm supplementary optic especially made for this camera by Ricoh Pentax. It does require fitting an adapted ring, but one can leave that on. One twist and it's off and one is again at 28mm.

Following Ben's search for a 21mm lens for his wonderful and high class Sony A7R full frame mirrorless camera, I wondered how this well built metal brick of a digicam would perform without any fancy processing work I have been doing until now. So I took a walk for interesting buildings. The first sight was of an approximately 80 year old building, merely a single story wooden structure, neglected for 30 years, occasionally occupied by squatters............... until they get evicted. The owner is a property developer and it's a scandal that he can just waste a precious home, allowing it to rot, benefitting no one except himself...in that the neighboring homes are improved and so his investment increases some 600% in the past 15 years! After protests by the neighbors, he was given an order from the City to at least have a gardener cut the grass!







Such houses get described by prospective buyers with hands going in the air, "BOOM!", meaning it has to be leveled!

....and so they build this architecturally bland mansion to maximize leverage on lot size with as huge a structure as will be allowed by local building codes. These all have a huge window over a tall front door with pseudo columns to give an impression of wealth!



All images are taken with a Ricoh GR, (previously profiled with a Gretag Macbeth- Xrite system) using the 21mm accessory lens, processed from DNG files in Photoshop CC and no filters or other processing.

No corrections for CA or distortions.
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  #2  
Old May 1st, 2014, 03:08 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Well, this is the other end of creativity. A cedar-clad 50 year old architectural gem nearby. It's built by the celebrated and respected Richard Dorman.

Currently one from 1961 is on the market for $16,000,000 but you'd better be quick!

I had no idea that this house had such a revered provenance. I just have always liked it for fitting in so well with the trees. The pine wooden facings have weathered well in the past 50 or more years and look as good as new!








A lady was watering the flowers. I greeted her, introduced myself and asked if I could photograph the house inside. She was absolutely delighted to show me around and told me about all the interesting nooks and favorite places.







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Old May 1st, 2014, 04:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I hope that I'm this sprightly and mentally alert at over 80 years of age!







The lady told me here name was Deidre. I was impressed by the forward looking design, (from approx 1960), with the kitchen already being so open to the rest of the house!
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Old May 1st, 2014, 10:16 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Immediately, we're in a wide open wood surfaced bright cave of geometric surfaces and interconnecting elements.



Two stitched adjacent images at 21mm portrait mode, were needed to show this space.




The stair case is a central feature, spiraling to the right, taking part of its form from the rectilinear beams all around but then also having a round inner curve on the first landing and major turn.





















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Old May 1st, 2014, 11:26 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Further in, the main living room is graced with giant floor to ceiling windows on both sides as well as a fireplace that serves rooms on either side of a common fireplace architectural feature






The tubular structure draws in cold air near the ground and this gets heated in the iron tube, rising and exiting through reduced size openings causing the air to be projected at a high speed into the room. This is duplicated on the other side of the fireplace. So this is a very efficient way of using wood to heat the large spaces.









and this additional fireplace to one side.


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Old May 2nd, 2014, 12:19 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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IMPRESSION SO FAR: My impression so far is that the Ricoh GR is so unobtrusive and silent, that it does not impose a presence that the homeowner feels is aggressive or invasive. It seems instead as the photographing is much more casual and almost a part of the conversation about how the place was built and the events that occurred.

I could very well have brought a Canon 5DII with a 24mm tilt shift lens and tripod. But, the truth is that I didn't really need to change any geometry. On a return trip, if I came with more formal equipment, then it is just a sign of great respect for the property, a follow up visit. So perhaps, the role of this camera is for sketching out the architectural shoot and then deciding what lenses one might bring with a DSLR or else perhaps an 8x10 with film and unlimited perspective corrections.

Still, if one wants simplicity and low cost, the quality of the images are fine for use, one frame at a time and stitching. I think for that, one should have a good overlap of about 35% to deal with the uncorrected distortion of the 21mm add on lens.

Asher
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:31 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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And did you shoot extra "Coverage" beyond these pictures in case we need to assemble them as a panorama / virtual tour?
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 11:32 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
And did you shoot extra "Coverage" beyond these pictures in case we need to assemble them as a panorama / virtual tour?
I have plenty, Jerome! Thanks for asking!
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 11:36 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Only the finest lenses are suitable with architecture when one wants to avoid corrections. Even with the best of lenses, architecture is very demanding as clients are used to impressive high quality images, skillfully planned with the best of equipment. Less specialized lenses, often show their weaknesses at the periphery with chromatic aberrations, uneven illumination and out of focus corners. If the image cannot be cropped, lesser lenses might be correctable in post processing. However, sloppy work will exaggerate the lenses shortcomings. So one will not be forgiven for less than very careful work. Still, the inherent limitations of even a more humble optical system, can be routinely addressed with "stitching" generously-overlapped frames, so delivering uniformity across the image plane.

With these important caveats mentioned, my images above do suggest that, with good technique, such an APS-C digicam camera might provide you with an entrance to architectural photography and impressive and usable images out of the camera, just processing the .DNG files. I'd go further! I'm convinced that any person, with just intermediate photoshop skills, (and devotion to set up details), could make professional quality architectural images. No one will know the extra steps taken to achieve your stellar results with the so diminutive and humble as the GR digicam!

With good overlapping, anti-ghosting and setting for best pixels, one can achieve a pristine and highly acceptable commercial-grade image even from a digicam with a wide angle add-on lens.
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  #10  
Old May 2nd, 2014, 11:54 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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I'll second that. The advent of stitching software has made classical solution like tilt-shift lenses largely obsolete for architectural work. I personally use hugin, which is free software based on the equally free software panorama tools suite and does a wonderful job once one has learned to use it.
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