1st Ricoh GR outing this Saturday. Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Ricoh GR (APS-C) Forum' started by Tom K., Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Tom K.

    Tom K. SC Regular

    185
    Aug 17, 2013
    Connecticut.
    Tom
    I am brand new to the Ricoh digital camera line. Just got my new GR and can't wait to do street photography with it. I have been using the Sony RX100 where my results have been very good for my taste anyway. My Flickr photostream featuring many of those images is here: Flickr: Tom Kaszuba's Photostream

    Anyway......I really feel like either snap mode or Tav looks like the best way to get deep depth of field while being ale to quickly grab photos. I like to shoot at 1/500 of a second at the very minimum in very good light. I am thinking that if I shoot f/8 at 1/500th of a second it will give me a deep depth of field. I don't want to use autofocus as I do most of my work shooting from the hip. Should I go with snap focus of just manual focus on something 6 feet away and lock that down, which coupled with f/8 @ 1/500th of a second shutter would eliminate motion blur, give me deep depth of field and the ability to shoot from the hip quickly and have tack sharp images.

    This stuff confuses me sometimes. Any advice on this would be most welcome.

    Also.....I put the Ricoh GR into the on-line DOF calculator and with the large sensor depth of field is MUCH narrower than with my Sony RX100. I hope I don't run into problems with too shallow depth of field.

    What do you think folks. I'm all ears.
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As for exposure, I'd keep it sort of simple at first until you've really figured the camera out. Joe's method of using, and limiting the ISO, within TaV, discussed in another thread, is probably a good way to go once you really know the camera, but for now I'd just use aperture priority and adjust the ISO manually as needed. The nice thing about Ricoh for this is you can enable the ADJ lever so that it will be fully armed all the time so you can just flick it left or right to change the ISO - no buttons to push or menus to enter, just move that control to the right for a higher ISO, to the left for a lower one. Over time, you can get into the weeds of the best ways to automate the whole ISO/exposure thing. For now, I'd just adjust ISO manually to keep your shutter speed where you need it.

    For focus, I'd set it to snap focus and start with 2 meters (it doesn't do feet I don't think). A DOF scale should show up on the left of the screen - if not, toggle the display options until it does. It's actually a very good one, in line with DOF master, unlike many electronic DOF scales. At two meters, f6.3 gets you just short of hyperfocal, f7.1 puts you over it. You don't need to shoot at f8. If you're shooting really close and find too many out of focus shots, try a snap distance of 1.5 meters, but I find two meters to work for damn near any sort of street situation. In low light, you can open the aperture to f3.5 and still have a pretty good "zone" of about 1.3 or 1.4 meters to about 4, which is about 4 feet to 12-15 feet, which is a pretty useful zone for street work.

    There's a LOT of depth in the Ricoh menus. It can confuse you at first, but it gives you a lot of flexibility for how you set the camera up. Don't try to learn the whole thing at once, but it'll come to you. A good thing to do early on is to assign one of the fn buttons to toggle between snap and auto focus so you can combine street shooting using zone (snap) focus with more generalized AF shooting and it takes all of a half of a second to hit the toggle button and switch modes.

    Good luck and have fun...

    -Ray
     
  3. Tom K.

    Tom K. SC Regular

    185
    Aug 17, 2013
    Connecticut.
    Tom
    Absolutely terrific advice Ray. We are fortunate you are here to help with these questions. If I had a hat on right now I'd tip it to you.
     
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I'd say that if you are using manual focus and a wide-angle lens like the Ricoh GR, a larger aperture like this is suitable for any lighting conditions. It makes it easier to keep your shutter speed up, your ISO down, and might allow for some kind of subject separation with the background. At 28mm equiv focal length you'd almost always be shooting at a fairly tight distance-to-subject anyways. If shooting at larger distances than that there's more time available to change settings or to use autofocus.
     
  5. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I also recently purchased a gr.. I was lucky in that I had come from the gxr so most of the menus were pretty familiar to me. But there was enough new stuff that I had to do some double checks.

    In terms of forcing min. Shutter speed, there are two auto-iso setups if u dont mind using auto-iso. The normal and the high auto iso one. The default is to use the normal one. The default for the high-auto iso appears to have the same default setup as the normal auto iso. However there are several things that can be done in this other auto-iso setup
    - change max iso up or down..
    - change min. Shutter speed
    - change how noise profile should be applied as iso goes up.

    I have changed all three of these settings to my personal preference.

    In terms of dof and snap focus.
    - I have set my snap focus to 1.5m. To mainly to use w/ shutter release one motion method not set specifically the snap focus mode in the af/mf setup menu
    - I actually have a myconfig which I am using for more street like situations (just started this.. And experiment still in progress)
    -- my high auto-iso is set for 128000, min shutter is 1/60
    -- set to manual focus
    -- distance preset to around 1.5-2m
    -- f stop at f8
    -- according to dof indicator on camera this gives zone focus capability of infinity (don't care, anything under 10m is fine) and about 1m.. If u start dialing down your focus point from there, the dof range drops pretty dramatically. Seems to be a sweet spot.
    -- after iso 3200, the noise becomes an issue IMHO, so u may want to use lower high iso. I don't mind noise, but if I start seeing too much, I tend to convert to b&w w/ sep2.. For normally daylight shooting u are never going to get into an issue, but in darker shadow areas or toward end of day, the higher iso kicks in and I wanted to maintain 1/60 second for as long as possible at cost of more noise.
    -- I also have put my sigma d1m ovf on the gr ... Not really gotten into shooting from the hip.

    I also changed one of the function buttons to give me crop 35 mode.

    Hope that helps.. Good luck and have fun.
    Gary
     
  6. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    Forgot to mention, there are two situations where high auto iso is not allowed
    - tav (uses normal auto iso only)
    - when dynamic range is active for all other modes..

    Gary
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    That was extremely true with the smaller sensor GRD series - I don't think I ever went smaller than f4 with the GRD3. But with the GR and Nikon A, even at a 28mm equivalent, DOF is limited enough that I prefer to use something deeper when the light allows for it. As long as I can keep my shutter speed up, I'm not too concerned about keeping the ISO down for street shooting - a little bit of grit never hurt a street shot, and these sensors only show a little bit of grit up around 6400 and a bit at 3200. I'd rather have a wider DOF than hope to get some subject isolation with most street shots. So, with the Nikon, or the GR when I was using one, I tend to keep it up around f6.3 in good light and only drop down to f3.5 when the light drops to where I need the larger aperture to keep the shutter speed reasonably high even with the ISO pegged at 6400. Last evening I did some shooting at f3.5 and I needed all of it for many of the shots I got, which were still slower SS than I'd have liked. And I had a few OOF shots both from movement and from a relatively narrow in focus area, particularly a few really close shots...

    -Ray
     
  8. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    475
    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Tom, I'll agree with Ray here in saying that f6.3 is ample, at least for me I've found there is more than enough 'zone' to work with at f6.3 and 2m. I tried f8 at the same distance and didn't see any real advantage to it, if anything I'd say it was a slight disadvantage in anything other than very bright light since f8 would force either a slower shutter speed (motion blur) or push ISO higher (noise). If and when you head into a more heavily shaded street you still have plenty of aperture to open up if need be...something that can be done in barely a second thanks to a bounty of easy to use manual controls. Standard rules apply...if you find you've really opened the aperture right up (and reduced the size of your zone) just pay that little bit of extra attention to the distance between yourself and the subject. It's a given that you won't have the larger zone available to you that you've used so well with the smaller sensored RX100 and you may need a session or two to get a feel for it, but the same applies to everything else about the camera and something I'm sure you'll get in no time at all.

    You can of course try could working in aperture priority mode too using the rocker/lever to adjust EV+/- and your exposure as you move in and out of areas with notably mixed lighting conditions, many GR users shooting street using the zone method do this, I tried but found I was more comfortable with my "set and forget" Tav method (well, almost set and forget)...this works for me as it takes away most camera related thinking from the equation, the exception being having to remember to open up the aperture a click or two in areas of really low light.

    With a host of manual controls, a Tav mode, 3 easily accessed and fully customisable "MY" presets plus an extremely capable sensor/lens combo you'll find plenty of ways of making this camera work for you.
     
  9. Tom K.

    Tom K. SC Regular

    185
    Aug 17, 2013
    Connecticut.
    Tom
    I have to tell you folks.....you have been immensely helpful to me. Ray, Luckypenguin, Garylh, and Livnius......I am truly grateful. This is one heck of a great forum.
     
  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I prefer to narrow my DOF window (~4m is still decently large) and teach myself to work within that so that I can keep shutter speed fast (>= 1/500) and the ISO lowish (< 1600). However I've become more accustomed to using the 50mm angle-of-view and autofocus so 28mm and manual focusing is not my usual environment.