Never Ending Love with Ricoh GR by Lorenzo Moscia

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Never Ending Love with Ricoh GR

by Lorenzo Moscia

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When I first purchase the Ricoh GR I never thought a camara of that size will catch me for so long time. It is almost two years now since I start to bring the Ricoh basically everywhere on my assignment trip. At first it was Cuba where I brought a Canon as well wich it was staying most of the time at home, just because that was more than a family trip than a real assignment. But right there I discover the beauty of walking all day around a city without look like a photographer and my back and knees were so happy by the end of the day.

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To begin with I was a little scared of sending Ricoh files to my agency. Would some editor buy and publish files made with a pocket camera? When I got on assignment I normally use two canon bodies (5d MkIII with a 16-352.8II and 6D with 50 1.2) sometimes I bring the little 28mm II and the 35f2.

If I m on assignment for a travel Magazine in Europe I will carry the Ricoh in a Hama pocket on my belt and I could barely take it out. But if I m doing something else like in Easter Ukraine,Thailand, Sri Lanka or Africa with ONG well I find out just using more and more the Ricoh, especially when I have some free hours in wich I m left to walk around a place with no fixer or driver. Canon stays home and I m free as a bird with Ricoh in my pocket.
After the Cuba experience I order one more battery and a wall charger.

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When I m editing even magnifying the image I cannot spot if is the Ricoh or a Canon with the 28. Colors are so great and dynamic range is even better than Canon!. Ricoh is just a bit more noisy.Of course I wont get the bokeh of the 50.1.2 or the 135 f2! When I was in Brazil for the World Cup back in 2014 my assignment was to follow the Colombian supporters for the Colombian football FEderation. My gear at that time it was two Canon bodies with 28 and 50 in a little Domke F5 XC. I was supposed to be all time on the road, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiabá and Rio. But when I get int o Rio and went back in to a Favela I regret so much to not have brought the Ricoh with me. Even if that Canon was a very light, effective combo I missed so many shots especially in some complicated streets were I dind have the balls to bring out any Canon at all.

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Bangkok, Thailand, feb 2014. Scenes durign the Chinese Lunar New Year.The political crisis in Thailand is afecting tourims as well.Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Somsak Phurisisak recently predicted that february arrivals would fall by half to 1 million, with some hotels in the capital, Pattaya and elsewhere experiencing occupancy rates of just 30 percent. Much of that decline is thought to have come from the Chinese market after the nation warned its citizens to avoid protest sites and reconsider nonessential travel to Thailand over the popular Lunar New Year travel period.

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Kieve, Ukraine, March,11,2015. Vita diaria por las calles de Kiev.

It was the new GR, same sensor, same face,but the body-material more Anti Scratch and few improvements all around.I was happy man again. In Ukraine on the fire line of course I would use the Canon but as I walk around Mariupol with the Ricoh I felt like invisible and could catch so many shot without people even notice me. No sound it also very important. In Sri Lanka, Colombo during a assignment for a Canadian ONG I brought tow Canon, 28, 35.1.4 and 50 1.8 (the 70 dollars lens) and the Ricoh.

Ukraine, march 2015.

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Ukraine, march 2015. Escenas de vida diaria en la ciudad de Mariupol que s eencuentra a pocos km de la linea de combate entre ejercito ukranio y separatistas pro rusos.

Ukraine, march 2015. Escenas de vida diaria en la ciudad de Mariupol que s eencuentra a pocos km de la linea de combate entre ejercito ukranio y separatistas pro rusos.

Ukraine, march 2015. Escenas de vida diaria en la ciudad de Mariupol que s eencuentra a pocos km de la linea de combate entre ejercito ukranio y separatistas pro rusos.

My task there was to photographs students in school and in their homes. 35 1.4 I bought used in Rome it was performing just great and the combination with the canon 6d body was just going to be my best assignment lens. But too good to be true after a couple of days I notice that at 1.4 lots of shots were out of focus. they look all right when I took them but once open the file in lightroom I just find out that the focus was some cm over the front. It didn’t happen once with the 50 1.2 so what was that??! 35 was back int the hotel room. And once I was in Rome send it back to canon service but the problem didn’t go away. End of love with the canon 35. But back in Sri Lanka when I was not working for the ONG I just left the Canon at the hotel and went around with the Ricoh, inside a Hama belt case and two batteries. That was haven! So my bottom line here is that I would love to find another little body with a 50 2.0 or less, something like Ricoh that could give me a bit of bokeh. And going out there and shoot some assignment with just that combination!

Take care everyone!

Lorenzo Moscia

28 Comments

  1. “So my bottom line here is that I would love to find another little body with a 50 2.0 or less, something like Ricoh that could give me a bit of bokeh.”

    Try Samsung NX 200 with 30/2.0. Especially second hand you get best image quality in an extreme compact format for very few bucks.

  2. Yes, the Ricoh GR really is a fantastic camera. I used to have one, sold it, bought a Fuji X100T, regretted, sold the Fuji, going to buy the Ricoh again. Picture Quality, Handling and size is phantastic, even as a pro. I do like your pictures very much, nice composition, colors, moments. But a little too much HDR for my taste.

    • Just had a look on your website. Truly outstanding! Most people don’t even realize how much work and courage it takes to photograph like you. Chapeau…!

  3. I’m simply amazed by how you compose with the 28mm both for wide busy scenes and for clearly focussed portraits.

  4. I’m a retired photojournalist with 60 years under my belt. I got the GR when it was introduced, I was shocked how this small camera performed. As a every Pro knows you must have a back-up just one’s camera if fails . So I got another one. The two are always with me at all times. I also recommend to buy the lens hood. I tried the snap on viewfinder, but it limited me in composing the image. With the LCD one can zoom by moving your arms forwards or backwards to get the shot which you can’t with the viewfinder. The snap mode is like shooting a film camera you get the immediate image in a blink of your eye.

    BTW: Your work is above par. Indeed, the GR is a jewel.

  5. If you find a camera that works for how you can take pictures – bravo go for it !
    Excellent images you have found it !

  6. The GR ii is a wonderful camera and for me was a perfect entry into making better quality images .. People see me with it and say why don’t I just use an iPhone, that is until they see the image quality. For a while I was really after the RX1R for a while a GR II seemed an excellent cheaper alternative and now is the tool I need to improve my photography while I wait for the next wave of sonys!

  7. Excellent work. I love my GR as well, it’s my carry at all times everywhere I go camera. I find it a tad noisy but the many other benefits outweigh that.

  8. Great reportage style with the still best pocket cam. I hope for an updated version with the newest Sony 24MP sensor and a 40mm equivalent tele converter.

  9. Impressive images that inspire me to take my GR out of the drawer and start using it again. You have gotten really nice colors from the GR.

  10. Great images! Shooting with the GR is just pure Joy, you can do so many setting with only one hand.
    I would say it’s a professional camera in a pocket size.

  11. Lorenzo: wonderful images; sensational colour work in post. The only reasons (and they are two big ones) that I have not bought a GR is the 28mm EFOV (I use only 45-50) and no viewfinder. Otherwise, it’s a perfect camera, operations-wise. If Ricoh ever come out with a 50 EFOV and an EVF, I will buy immediately. Great work.

  12. Lorenzo … What a great way of reminding us about the wonders of the little GR. Particularly loved the photo of the lady dancing in the street in front of a crowd of spectators. Well done. Totally agree with you about the power of the GR. I buy and sell cameras and lenses regularly, but that GR is never part of any transaction. I’m sure that when the great camera museum of the world becomes a reality, the Ricoh GR will have a prominent place in it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Bellissimo racconto fotografico. Ho avuto ben 4 GR e sempre cambiate per il problema della polvere sul sensore. Ma impareggiabile fotocamera da avere sempre con se.

  14. Great images, lovely colour, admirable use of light. Composition sometimes a bit iffy (creative?), and of course there’s that inevitable 28mm ff eq field of view.

    I can’t see myself using a camera without a viewfinder, but these show that for a real photographer that’s no hurdle at all.

    • I sometimes clip an optical viewfinder into the hotshot which really helps in bright conditions. It is passive with no information other than frame lines, so seeing the LCD to change settings in bright sun is still a problem. Importantly, the viewfinder helps to reduce camera shake which can be an issue with such a small camera but of course is less stealthy. It is a camera I have shot a lot from the hip or from my lap when seated which allows for some bracing.

      • Some years ago I had an Olympus EP-2 with EVF and 20/1.7 (giving a 40mm field of view). Lovely camera, great lens, but that EVF had a nasty tendency of coming off whenever I grabbed the camera out of my bag.

        Is that what happens to you as well?

  15. Great pics, I partcularly like the 3 vertical shots The ricoh gr is also my favorite travel camera though I’m no pro and have no assignement. I like it because it is stealthy and doesn’t make any noise. That camera is a really a great tool, maybe the only one you’ll ever need. Thanks for posting your images and carry on the good work.

  16. Great shots… and again the story: the photographer creates the picture, the camera is only a tool…

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