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Friday, 01 July 2011


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I've always wondered whether dogs' apparent modesty when people try to take their picture mean they're selfless or instead have no sense of self?

"So — as you can with a number of other cameras, though far from all — you can shoot, review, and edit without leaving B&W, and then start from a color RAW to make the real conversion on any shots you like." YES!! This penny just dropped the other day, and the same approach turns out to work well with the Panasonic G1. It's the best of both worlds: a shooting workflow that lets me think in B&W but produces files that magically contain all the color information with which subtle B&W "printing" adjustments can be made.


The top raw conversion looks like 35mm Tri-X , the out of the camera jpeg below it looks like Verichrome pan. The Verichrome one would look nice with a tiny pop of fill flash. How fast does the shutter synch?

Kind of a Mamyia 23 look, I like it.


The GXR is one of those ugly cameras that you can't help liking.

From my own review, here's a tip for you:

Here's the #1 tip I can offer a new GXR owner: Go to Setup > page 3 > item 6, Store Menu Cursor Position. Are you there? Good. Now set it to "On". The default is "Off", which means every time you press the Menu key you will appear on the first page of the first menu (Shooting); if that setting in on, then you will appear wherever you were in the menus when you exited. Trust me, it will save you a lot of frustration.

I just got a GXR two weeks ago, with the 28mm and 50mm equiv. lenses and the VF-2. So sar I'm really enjoying the camera. I took some images at an informal rodeo in Utah last night, and I'm relatively pleased with how the camera handled and the images. I've just been shooting JPG and still haven't gotten the pp down with them. Ricoh's JPEG engine is not as good as Olympus, which takes the cake in my book. I'll have to try RAW and see how that goes. I haven't done much with B&W in digital...so I'm wondering...is there a good book, article, tutorial...anything on what good black and white should look like and how to process it? I'm a lightroom user.

I do documentary work of local restaurants for one of the Edible magazines and a while back I did a whole job with an Olympus E-P1 and, for the most part, the Panny 20mm lens. The camera handled it well. My two gripes were autofocus speed and not so good high iso performance, but that only effected a few of the shots that I wanted to get. I'm going to try the Ricoh next shoot and see how it does. I really value a smaller, more nimble camera. After a 4 hour shoot with my D700 I always felt like a worker's comp case waiting to happen. My shoulder is messed up enough from the computer mouse!

The GXR will likely only solve one of my two problems, and that's the high iso issue. You can turn off NR and then just reduce the chroma in lightroom, leaving you with just...grain. Which I'll take over smeary Monet luminance NR any day.

Looking forward to more of your GXR impressions. I might learn something!


Not surprised you are enjoying it. I had a GX100. Best handling compact I can think of. Nice lens too. JPEGs a bit off colour, but RAWs worked very nicely.

Now that Pentax are owned by Ricoh, the best handling compacts and SLRs are under the same roof. I hope they don't falter. I would mourn the death of the green button more than any one camera feature I can think of. I miss it on my Nikon all the time.

Perhaps this is a good time to request some kind of polemic on what exactly constitutes good digital B&W. Few of us here have formal training -- in my case I have formal training in film B&W but that was 20 years ago.

I for one try to make the blacks black and the whites white, with pleasing gadiations and tonality in between. But it's so subjective. And I'm always fighting the urge to add just a touch more contrast here, a bit more clarity there. But when is it too much?

I prefer a look that's more gritty 35mm Tri-X than super-smooth 8x10 contact print. But how to achieve that without looking like I'm just pushing sliders in Photoshop? And should I even do that, or is it too artificial?

So what should B&W "ought" to look like? Is there previous TOP post that covers this?

Good to see Lulu up and about. My lab is impossible to photograph as well....licks the lens if possible or moves just at the decisive moment. Hopeless.



"So what should B&W "ought" to look like?"

Dan (and Ed),
Good question. I'll answer this soon.


Curiously, the Apple OS X dictionary gives as an example "Mick was futzing around with his camera".

Ludovic: if you have a dog, you know they come to you for protection when they're scared. That's a sense of self, right there; if you've seen one lying flat out on his back waving all paws and any other giblets in the air, you'd know modest isn't on the agenda either!

I also caught the whiff of elitism about black&white, and would like to know both what the clue of `cluelessness' is, why, and why there might be a problem with it.



For instance :-).

Greeting, Ed

You know that first shot of Z and Lulu is really a quite lovely portrait of them.

Nope, Michael, this New York yid says "futzing" too. But I do have a German connection, so you're right about that part.

Nicholas, nice to hear you are into the preview-BW-process-RAW thing. I've been doing it since I had a Canon 20D. Had to sell my S90 for the lack of this ability.

Futzing? I speak German rather well, never heard of the word. Typical a relict of a language in a different country I guess. Sort of South Afrikaans is Dutch with a twist. But hey if Charlene talks in Afrikaans I can understand her and Albert can't.

Greetings, Ed


Hmzzzz, Furtzen, that is passing wind (ass the English so nicely put it). A German can say Rumfurtzen when he's just F^&king around. Seems to be connected. Strange guys these Americans :-)(as Asterix would put it).

Greetings, Ed

Most animals are terrible models. I have kittens.* I find that they'll look at the camera if I make an unusual noise: something they've never heard before. The problem is that any particular noise will only work once or twice.

The consensus on the Internet seems to be that the word "futz" was probably borrowed from Yiddish.

* For a small fee, I will never show you my cat pictures.

As a devoted user of Pentax's dSLRs, I am now more than slightly interested in Ricoh, for obvious reasons. I find the GXR to be a very intriguing little camera with great potential. But I can tell you that more than a few in the Pentax world are beside themselves with fear that Ricoh will decide to terminate the long and noble line of K mount SLRs. From what I can tell, the GXR is meant to supplement a dSLR, not completely replace it. Still, I can see how it might work very nicely with some of Pentax's pancake lenses, assuming that all of the technical hurdles can be overcome.

I look forward to the rest of Mike's GXR review.


The photo of a distracted Lulu makes me think of the dogs in the movie Up. Squirrel!!!!!


Thanks Mike. I recently switched to D-76 1:1 for developing my Neopan 400, and found myself really surprised at how much more 'pleasing' my scans were looking compared to T-Max RS and HC-110, which I had been using for convenience. Looking forward to the upcoming post(s).

That first photo of Zander and Lulu is wonderful, Mike. I think you'll really treasure it more and more in the years to come. It's perfect.

Thanks Ken. It's not my favorite portrait of either of them, but it's important to make a few pictures as time goes by. Zander was a big subject of mine (like most kids) until he was about 12 and decided he didn't want his picture taken any more. Now he cooperates every now and then.

Lulu has proven to be an especially difficult subject—her face is actually quite dark and she just doesn't like to sit still. Considering how handsome she is in real life, I'm surprised at how few good pictures of her I have.


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