Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ricoh GR

I'm really impressed with the Ricoh GR, I thought that the Fuji X100s and X-Pro1 were going to be my street and travel cameras but I've realized that the GR worked better for me.
Don't get me wrong, the Fuji cameras are great (I'll write a mini-review of both cameras at a later time), I've contemplated numerous times selling my Leica M9 and return back to an X-Pro1 but the M9 is just a hard camera to let go.
Anyhow, for weeks I kept going back and forth between the GR and the X100s, which one to keep and which one to keep. I may have many film cameras but for digital, I try to keep the bare essential as ultimately I liked the output taken from a film camera more, especially medium format.

Eventually I decided to settle with the GR for a couple of reason:
-smaller, fits in almost any pockets, even on the jeans as long as it's not skinny
-quiet and discreet, both really are silent but I noticed that you can see the leaf shutter closing/opening when shooting with the X100s
-crop mode is very useful, 35mm 10MP and 50mm 6MP; not like I'm going to make 24x36 prints of my street shots
-21mm with the GH3 and GW3 adapterlens. It's my UWA digital camera now.
-snap mode is very easy to use, there's nothing faster than a preset focus


When street shooting I set my ISO to 1600, Aperture mode and snap focus set to 2m.
I set the aperture to f/11 or 16 when there's light, f/5.6 in low light and f/8 if in between. (I find f/6.3 the sweet spot in low light because focus is from ~1m to ~9m).
My shutter speed usually hovers around 1/250-1/1000 most of the time.
A couple of peers have suggested using the TAv mode next and let the ISO change, I'll give this a try next as shooting at f/11 and 1/500th speed all the time would be great. I just don't like the GR files once the ISO is over 1600 unless I process it in B&W.
I then turn the screen off and concentrate on composing on my 28/35mm viewfinder.

Haven't had much chance to shoot landscape with it but here's a few

Monday, August 19, 2013

Shooting wide with the Xpan

Couple of weeks ago I finally took the plunge and snagged a Hasselblad Xpan with 45mm f4 lens.

What's so special with this 35mm camera is that it is a panomaric camera, with a flick of a switch it opens up from a regular 24mmx35mm to a wide 24mmx65mm.

Been playing with it for a couple of weeks now and this camera has definitely earned a spot in my travel bag.






Friday, August 9, 2013

VSCO Film 04 vs slide film

Early this week VSCO released Film 04 which offers a wide variety of slide film presets for LR, ACR and Aperture.
I love VSCO because it emulates the film look without the extra cost and time for developing and scanning, I use Film 01 and Film 02 for C-41 and B&W film look, skipped Film 03 as I never got into Polaroid film but Film 04 is an answer for all the E-6 shooter's prayers.
We recently traveled down to Montana and drive the historic Going-to-the-Sun Road and I brought the X100s with 28mm conversion lens and my Pentax 6x7 with 55mm f/4 lens (28mm on 35mm film) and loaded it with Provia 100f.

Here's 2 comparison shots taken between the Film 04 and actual slide film.

Pentax 6x7 + 55mm f/4 + Fuji Provia 100f

Fuji X100s + WCL-X100 lens, Film 04 - Fuji Provia 100f preset

Pentax 6x7 + 55mm f/4 + Fuji Provia 100f

Fuji X100s + WCL-X100 lens, Film 04 - Fuji Provia 100f preset

Bonus sample shot as I realized that I also took these shots with X100s at 35mm and Pentax 6x7 w/ 55 f/4 and Fuji Velvia 50
Fuji X100s w/ Fuji Velvia 50 preset

Fuji Velvia 50

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Epson Scan vs Vue Scan vs Better Scanning on V600

The mailman finally delivered me the package that I ordered from BetterScanning last week.
Inside was a MF holder, MF ANR glass and 2 35mm ANR glasses for the V600.
Quickly loaded a 6x7 frame and ran some quick tests. (3200dpi, 24-bit, unsharp mask checked)

Here's the frame that I scanned with the Epson Scan software and the BetterScanning glass and holder
Epson Scan w/ BetterScanning glass

and here's the same frame scanned with the holder that the V600 originally came with
Epson Scan

Zoom in and you can see closer the detail that the V600 is able to capture from a MF film.
Left: Epson holder
Right: BetterScanning holder
BetterScanning test
Better Scanning test 2

I don't see much difference between the two, the BetterScanning holder and glass may have 5% boost in IQ but it's barely noticeable, however we need to keep in mind that the BetterScanning holder has adjustable height, right now it's at stock 0mm.
Tomorrow I will try to increase it to 0.2mm.

Another quick test I decided to do is a Epson Scan software vs VueScan but for some reason the scans from the VueScan are not in focus or sharp. Then again never liked using the VueScan with it's antique and complicated interface.

VueScan scan with BetterScanning glass and holder
VueScan w/ BetterScanning glass
and close comparison between VueScan(right) and Epson(left)
Epson Scan vs VueScan