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Asher Kelman''s Review of Ricoh GR: Part One: Introduction

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I'm happy to have been included in Canon's Ambassador Program in the USA and so I now able to add to my Ricoh photography experience with the exciting Ricoh GR fixed 28mm APS-C walk around camera.



© Asher Kelman: Ricoh GR Flower in Beverly Hills City Hall

ISO 200, 1/750 sec, f5.0




Same: 100% crop from center

I'm already bedazzled by the highly competent Ricoh GXR modular camera. My favorite lens module is the 50 mm 2.5 Macro unit that's so sharp and rewarding, I could just use that for all my work if I had to. After all, I'm brought up using one lens and one camera for large blocks of time. I did that with my Pentax Spotmatic with the super multi Takamur 50 mm 1.4 lens. One just zoomed with one's feet. That was with film! Now with digital, Ricoh-Pentax have incredible genetics, and this new GR camera has in its bloodline the impressive lenses of Ricoh and takes a proud place in the lineage as a serious compact for pro and prosumer use.

What's so special about the GR is that it is designed to be never left behind and to reward the discerning photographer with excellent printable pictures of beauty and moments that we'd otherwise walk by. It's design allows immediacy. I am general in Av mode. In good light, one just shots and adjust the exposure by a rocking lever at ones thumb, aperture by a wheel in on the top right, in front of the shutter, perfect for the right index finger. If one is uncertain at night, or there's hight dynamic range and one is moving with others, then bracketing takes 3 rapid shots that either provide the one perfect image or allow for HDR processing. One reaches that function in live view using fn 2, (which in review serves as the delete button.

I'll share with you what caught my eye, simply on the way to do other things. There are no photo-shoots here, The camera fits fluidly in with one's schedule.

So yellow colored flower petals of the blossoming Sawleaf Zelkova trees shower, with any slight breeze, to the grass in the street below.



© Asher Kelman: Ricoh GR Yellow petal dusting in Beverly Hills Street Lawn



and the gutters at the side of the road get blessed too!




© Asher Kelman: Ricoh GR: Yellow petals bless the gutters too!



More pictures to follow: flowers, people, shop windows, setting sun at the beach and much more. So watch this thread for regular additions.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks Wolfgang, Nicolas and Cem for the kind words. This is an enjoyable camera as it's limitation in viewing angle at 28mm creates a whole different mindset in what one sees.
Will post a whole bunch shortly.

I'm still working on my kitchen and there are so many wires to run: low voltage for the vacuum, the speakers, the LED lights I'm putting in a wine cabinet. Of course I got shredded denim for the walls. I'll take a picture. That will change the color I guess to blue!

Asher
 

Paul Abbott

New member
This camera is quite the tool Asher, and takes quality images. I look forward to seeing images, other than test shots, I must say...:)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So Paul,

I wanted pictures to document for myself and the Colburn School of Music, the monumental artistic achievement of the conductor of the Los Angeles Opera directing 4 choirs and 2 orchestra of young highly successful University-level musicians, in one of the most brilliant musical compositions of all time, the Requiem by Benjamin Britten, a devout pacifist who decided to make a composition replacing longstanding glorification of the exploits and heroics of war for the sad cold reality of the Christian nations of Europe sacrificing their young boys in the name of some monarch, prince or prime minister. I was going to take my new Canon 6D, but that would immediately arouse the ire of the numerous Music Center staff, eyes peeled for sneaky picture-takers!

Taking pictures in The Walt Disney Concert Hall is actually double challenge: first, it's not permitted, (even if one has a silent camera without flash) and the lighting on the stage has an extreme dynamic range, with white shirts and faces blindingly over lit in front of the stage and other musicians barely discernable in the dark sides and back of the massive spectacle.

So here goes with the Black small and readily disguisable Ricoh GR. Here goes, real shots with some utility and purpose in life! We visited the Walt Disney concert Hall to hear Benjamin Britten's Requiem. This is a truly life-changing mega production, with the heart rendering war poems of Wilfred Own, (killed 1 week before the close of World War I), interplaying against and with the latin Requiem Mass for the dead. A chamber orchestra embedded in a 100 person full orchestra. The former with a tenor and baritone, representing two opposing infantrymen in World War II trench warfare, and then a Soprano centered in 3 choirs with a 4th children's choir practically on the roof, carrying the full power of the liturgical Christian Mass for the dead so that they would have a place in the afterlife.




Asher Kelman: The Stage of The Musicians and Singers: "Requiem" #1
Orchestras of Colburn School of Music, City Choirs, Britten's ovation for "Requiem" #1
Walt Disney concert Hall, James Conlon, Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera

Original Ricoh GR File Processed with minimal changes in Adobe Camera RAW





Asher Kelman: The Stage of The Musicians and Singers: "Requiem" #1
Orchestras of Colburn School of Music, City Choirs, Britten's ovation for "Requiem" #1
Walt Disney concert Hall, James Conlon, Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera

Original Ricoh GR File Processed above, then dark areas opened up with Viveza control points in Nik filters PS Plugin,


There were over 400 young people involved: the choirs of major colleges, the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, the USC Orchestra all on stage, and a children's choir, from 4 stories up in the back of the roof, bringing us the voices of angeles over the battlefields.

Well, without pictures of men in the trenches, men mowed down by machine gun fire or blown to smitheresnes by artillary shells, it's hard to create the aura of the helplessness and pointless ness of each side sacrificing their sons.

So they have the piece from the bible of Abraham being tested, the "akeda" where he is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac for a burnt offering on top of a mountain. In the Bible, an angel's voice tells Abraham to hold his hand and not slay or do anything to his son. Instead to offer as sacrifice a ram caught in the thickets by its horns. Unlike Abraham's character in the bible who obeys the angels order to spare his son, we have Abraham saying he'll kill his son anyway, as the wipe out the seed of of Europe's sons.


Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Actually, I think that simply using layers and masks to relight different areas of the stage would have been faster than using Nik with Viveza control points, but I did so because Nik can also for those using Lightroom or Apple's Aperture.

The files are not that large, but still sufficient for recognizing individuals on a stage and for posting online or in a newsletter.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So here are the portions of the Nik corrected image and 100%





Asher Kelman: The Stage of The Musicians and Singers: "Requiem" #1
Orchestras of Colburn School of Music, City Choirs, Britten's ovation for "Requiem" #1
Walt Disney concert Hall, James Conlon, Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera

Original Ricoh GR File Processed with minimal changes in Adobe Camera RAW


You might recognize, James Conlon, The Conductor, he's 3rd from the left in the front!





Asher Kelman: The Stage of The Musicians and Singers: "Requiem" #1
Orchestras of Colburn School of Music, City Choirs, Britten's ovation for "Requiem" #1
Walt Disney concert Hall, James Conlon, Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera

Original Ricoh GR File, ISO 800, 1/125 sec, f=2.8, Processed with minimal changes in Adobe Camera RAW


Here, the orchestra members can easily be recognized and so the Ricoh GR can serve well in such circumstances to silently document serious classical music performances where the output requirements are, as here, quite modest.

The musicians will be very happy.

Now for the choirs, they are a further 3-10 meters away and occupy far less space on the focal plane of the camera. Here one might well recognize the person, but the limit has been met as one can't enlarge the 270 or so faces and get sufficient detail to be excellent. no way. Still, the gestalt of the performance is recorded well.

However, I do not know the folk in the choirs and for them, I'd need a dedicated larger format on a tripod and that, I'm afraid wasn't in the cards that evening!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief


Asher Kelman: Basist and Family after playing the : "Requiem"
Colburn School of Music, November 25th 2013, Los Angeles

Original Ricoh GR File Processed with minimal changes in Adobe Camera RAW, Processed to B&W in PS 5

So, this 28mm fixed focus camera, can also be used for people photography. Very social camera!

Asher
 

fahim mohammed

Active member
Seems a nifty camera Asher. And you seem to have mated well with it. I am pleasantly surprised at the cam's performance during the performance.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
 
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