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Tuesday, 30 October 2007


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Looks like Ricoh *may* have the digicam I want - square format, too. Oh Frabjous day, Callooh! Callay! (apologies to LC).

On the Ricoh GR-D II, what interest me is the newly anounced 1.43x teleconverter, which works both with the GR-D and the GR-D II. If it's as good as the 21mm converter for the GR-D then it should be very good indeed. And 40mm is a very useful focal length.

But the trouble with converters is that they're awkward for street photography. Thinking about the fact that Moriyama Daido shoots with Ricoh's two small 35mm cameras, the GR1 (28mm) and a GR21 (21mm), I would have liked Ricoh to have come out with two new cameras, a GR-D21 and a GR-D40 as well as the standard DR-D/GR-D II with the 28mm EFOV: then you could put three little cameras in a small bag and "Bob's your uncle".

As it is, it might be interesting to get the 40mm converter and a GR-D II: then I could carry the GR-D with the 21mm converter and the GR-D II with the 40mm converter, and if I go crazy I could get another GR-D II to shoot at 28mm, which is now the focal length I use the most. That would allow me to get rid of the GX100, whose image softness I've been finding frustrating, although most of this problem can be solved through judicious sharpening in post-processing.

Anyway, the three camera solution is a thought for street photography, although a bit ungainly with converters.

I must say, though, Ricoh's general approach to the GR-D II, as well as the 40mm tele-converter, indicates that they have at least one real photographer on their design team.


Pictures of photographers with their equipment are always interesting. This was apparently from a time and place where the rollei was the camera du jour. But why three of them when they're probably all the same focal length, unless one is a tele-rollei? Is he showing off how many cameras he has? Sort of like a warrior in all his regalia. Thanks for this illuminating portal into the past.

Seems to me there's no lack of contemporary warriors who like to be photographed in all their regalia. As for Withers showing off his cameras, Mike has already cited the practice of many current photographers enumerating their gear at the bottom of forum postings. Bottom line: most folks like to show off their stuff, and it'll never change.

Mike, you lose me on "native square format feature" on the GR-D II. If the chip has an aspect ratio of 3:4, the only way to get square is to crop. What is native about that? I would love to see a truly square format digital camera, but I don't see that Ricoh has made one....Otherwise, it looks like a really interesting camera.

One Rollie for color, one for B&W , one for the repair shop , one in case something interesting happens while you are loading the b&w camera, obviously the shop camera is in the shop.

Note that the one speed graphic covers all film possabilities, and is repairable on the spot with a screwdriver , tape , and a bit of wire.

The GR-D II looks like a winner. I've been waiting for a carry-everywhere street camera. This might be it. It's got panache too!

Regarding Ernest C. Withers, I saw the photograph of him as sort of an advertising/ promotional shot. If you're offering a service, it can't hurt to show the public that you're well-equipped.

Suggestion: You may be falling behind the curve on the matter of multiplying aperture by crop factor (as well as focal length). I know it's not intuitive, but see (as examples): a) the seminal article "Form Follows Format" in LFI 3/2006, pp 40-47; b) Johnson's first article at http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/Equivalent-Lenses.shtml ; c) Garcia and Osuna's Mamiya ZD review at http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/Mamiya_ZD_Second.shtml .


I think I find electronic leveling a more attractive feature than even internal shake reduction. The new Ricoh is looking very tempting.

This stuff is really wrongheaded. Aperture is an exposure control; dof is merely a corollary. It's not a control of dof with exposure the corollary. "Translating" an aperture based on the dof it will yield is absurd.

I have no patience for these obfuscations whatsoever.

Mike J.

Is there any way to find out who is on the design team of some cameras? I wonder if they have a sculptor on staff at Ricoh.

This is a very interesting camera, although I really wish they would have gone with a fixed 24mm instead of 28mm (not realistic, I know, since they would have had to totally redesign the lens).

I bought the GX100 a few weeks ago as a fun, carry everywhere "decisive moment device". Turns out, I've been having so much fun with it that my Pentax K10D has been collecting dust.

In fact, I'm seriously considering selling all but one or two lenses for the K10D and investing in a new GRDII, along with the 21mm wide and 40mm telephoto conversion lenses. The truth is that at these wider focal lengths, I am either shooting urban/street or traveling. The GRDII, even with the conversion lenses, is a much more compact (and still entirely capable) kit than the K10D and a few primes or a zoom.

I'd keep the K10D for the reason I use it most: portraits. And all I really need for that is the FA43 and FA77, which I already own.

Regarding the "native" 1:1 ratio of the GRDII, I think what Mike meant is that you can shoot 1:1 in RAW (whereas with the GX100, you could only shoot 1:1 in JPEG). That alone for me could be the deciding factor to upgrade. I'm a sucker for the square format.

I dig these cameras and even think about junking my DSLR for one.

Then again, a DSLR can do everything a GR-D can but not in reverse.

Ah, who am I kidding...I am buying an E3.

I like Chantal's website.
Clean bright and very current. Quite professional and well put together.

If I had the need to I would hire her.

Nice work Chantal

How about a link back to Chantal's selection of links?

About all I want is a camera with a 40mm lens (having a 28mm option is nice, too), so I have to admit this just might be my next camera and the Canonet might get retired!
I look forward to seeing samples and a price tag.

I just wish someone would come out with a fixed lens digi P&S with something resembling a "normal" lens. ie 40-50mm equivalent focal length. 28mm equiv. is way too wide for me.

It wouldn't hurt if they could put an f2.0 on it, too! :-)


Chantal has some great photos, and I think her site is keenly marketed to her target audience (weddings and event coverage), certainly the music and slides add a wonderful "feeling" to her site.

That said, its just a cookie cutter piece from these folks...

My question is this...

Why is it photographers are obsessed with using Flash for their websites? And, furthermore, what are the implications of using a flash layout that is duplicated hundreds, perhaps thousands of times in cyberspace by other photographers... do clients ever notice?

Probably not, but clean html and standards compliant browsing are almost non-existent amongst wedding photographers websites. Perhaps they just aren't flashy enough (pun intended)?

My feelings are this... a photographer who uses flash on their site can't be as technically competent as one who does not. In a sense, it says to me that the photographer has little experience with computers, and, in an age where post processing is the norm, my inference is that any photographer who doesn't have the skill to make a non-flash site is really not worth my time- as any luddite on earth could make a flash site.

There are of course exceptions, and of course I am generalizing, but for me Flash= someone who is not savvy with computers, and by inference, digital cameras. Yes, my opinion is formed out of many years of Flash hating, but I am sticking with it.

It should be noted Chantal's clients probably love stuff like this, as there are legions of other pros who use sites just like hers, and are obviously doing good business, if only because they can afford to pay someone $800 (price from the site above) for a site that could be done in 10 minutes by anyone with a copy of Dreamweaver and a free template.

Perhaps I am the stupid one for not having flash on my website? Heh, that could be the case too.

>But why three of them when they're probably all the >same focal length, unless one is a tele-rollei?

You only get 12 shots (6x6) with a Rollei on 120 film. Some models can take 220 rolls, which gives you 24 shots, but not all emulsions are available in that format. I'm also not sure if 220 was available back then.

Reloading a Rollei is no where as fast as with a 35mm and quite a juggling act (especially in a crowd).

I sometimes shoot with two Rolleiflex, because of the slow reloading.

Roger Smith,
There are 7 samples at the linked page. Posting links here in the comments is awkward, but go to the link I've provided and look up in the top left area, where it says "Sample Image."

Mike J.

I'd like to add my vote for a 40mm-e version. I'm not terribly interested in fiddling around with teleconverters. If Leica would just put a (4/3 or larger) digital sensor in my minilux I'd be a happy boy. Kudos on the inclusion of a one frame RAW buffer though. Ricoh certainly deserves credit for making an effort to put out a decent P&S.

Just an observation: I'd much rather not deal with lens converters either, but the GRDII with the 40mm converter on it is still MUCH smaller than any DSLR, and with more than acceptable quality too if it's anything like the GRD. Same goes for the GRDII + 21mm converter - it is probably 5x smaller and lighter than my K10D + DA14, which is the focal length equivalent.

And then of course you've got a very versatile focal length (28mm) for general-purpose photography, and along with the 1.5cm macro capability, it's a pretty incredible "take anywhere" camera.

Wow, I sound like a Ricoh sales ad.


"There are of course exceptions, and of course I am generalizing, but for me Flash= someone who is not savvy with computers, and by inference, digital cameras. Yes, my opinion is formed out of many years of Flash hating, but I am sticking with it.

"It should be noted Chantal's clients probably love stuff like this, as there are legions of other pros who use sites just like hers, and are obviously doing good business, if only because they can afford to pay someone $800 (price from the site above) for a site that could be done in 10 minutes by anyone with a copy of Dreamweaver and a free template.

"Perhaps I am the stupid one for not having flash on my website? Heh, that could be the case too."

I don't really disagree but I think you answered your own concern. First off that site was not built in 10 minutes even if it is from a template. My girlfriend builds websites and won't touch any project for less than $2000. The same reason Chantal and others charge a premium for their services. Clients can be hard, demanding, late with content and unable to make decisions in a timely fashion. You pay for Chantal to deliver and I am sure she does. Her website is every bit as important as the way she dresses, the attitutde she carries when meeting with clients and of course the photography in the end.

It's all marketing of course but in that game you have to be current, and more in tune with what you think the client expects of you and your product. I hate to say it but FLASH sells people with it's story telling abilities (like a short film) and music.

The photography is only one part of the over all service she is providing. Think memories 50 years later....

Would I use flash for my website? I don't and doubt I ever would unless I was in a similar situation as Chantal and others.

See what I mean (even though I can't write well)?

Flash-based content is not indexed by search engines. The content is not accessible to people with bad or no eyesight. Animated (and especially) audible flash content is not advisable to browse at work, and many workplaces and public access points don't have flash installed or filter out flash websites from access by company computers.

So, in exchange for the illusion of content control, you are missing out on some potential clients that look for your services by searching; that have bad eyes; that can't or won't be suffering through an animated, audible commercial where they're located; or that are looking for you while at work.

If you feel you can afford throwing away a percentage (5%? 10%? 20%?) of potential clients go right ahead.

Thanks for the shout-out Mike! I was wondering where all the traffic was coming from :)

I don't think using flash for your website is any indication of your skills as a photographer. Flash is about presentation. How you wish to present your brand. Brand being not only your photographs but everything around your imagery. With regard to weddings, you're selling a "look" that some clients like.

A great site can be made with flash and a great site can be made without it. As far as templates go, ultimately it's about the photography. Anyone going to a site is going for the pictures, they're not going to care that your site is formatted or functioning the same as anyone else's. Hence why so many professional photographer's use livebooks.


I'm not sure whether to bother rebutting these (mostly incorrect) statements about Flash - the luddites can wish themselves back to the 'good old days' of static html content all they like, the truth is Flash is here to stay.

Here are some of the facts:
1. Flash-based content CAN be indexed by search engines, either manually through so-called 'search engine optimization'-xml files or through scripted techniques such as this:

2. Accessibilty-features can definitely be programmed into Flash (and in many cases MUST be, where required by State laws or regulations).

3. Audible content can usually be user-controlled. Any site that doesn't allow for this is simply badly made - which is not Flash's fault. Incidentally, 'standards-compliant' (whatever that really is) Javascript and DHTML also allow for sound effects on websites.

4. I'd like to have the figures for how many workplaces filter Flash these days - but if anyone's interested, Adobe's own figures for player penetration are here (no guarantee from me that these are free from bias, of course):


As far as the advantages are concerned (specifically related to photographer's sites, in this case):

1. Flash can intelligently preload images - while also giving direct feedback to the user allowing for more efficient navigation.

2. Image compression is handled excellently.

3. Clicking on thumbnails does not necessitate a page (or even frame) reload.

4. The photographer can present their work in a visual environment that actually DOES look consistent across platforms and browsers (definitely NOT the case if they were using 'standards-compliant' html), and in an attractive way.

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