GR. RRRR. A Love Story

Love Hate Love - The Ricoh GR 

I fell in love.  We had a great few months, then we fell out, split up, now were back together.  

Ricoh GR. OOC jpeg.

It's been a really strange year with the Ricoh GR, with some ups and one very big down.

I was so excited when we first got together last March.  We spent the Summer living toGetheR, we got on GReat (enough with the GR already. Ed.) and we fell in love (well I did!).  Then I had a shocking experience using it at a friends wedding.  We went our separate ways in disgust. GRRR.

The Problem?  

Up to that dreadful day in September,  I'd used the camera in M, Av, or P modes.  In any of these modes: You set the  exposure e.g. say set the aperture to f8.0.  Switch off.  Switch back on seconds later for another shot and your camera is still set to f8.0.   Like most cameras you'll ever use: Those with dials like the Leica X's and M's, or the Fujis keep their settings and those with menus buttons and rocker switches do too. In fact so does the GR... most of the time. 

For this occasion I thought I'd use the following: 

MY1 for Higher Res Colour

  • Av
  • Colour
  • 4:3 Large JPEG and RAW
  • ISO  Auto Hi max 400

MY2 for hi ISO grainy square B&W Thus

  • Av
  • ISO Auto Hi
  • 1:1 RAW
  • B&W.

I diligently set these up, saving the settings for aspect ratio, colour, ISO etc and used it for a while.  So far so good...OoooK.... but and it's a HUGE but....

BEWARE, what I didn't realise is that the MY setting is not just camera base settings, it saves the selected exposure as well.  To be clear, In Av mode when you switch the camera off and on again the last used aperture (possibly seconds earlier) is offered so you don't need to adjust the setting from that last used.  In MY the aperture is saved with the settings so every time the camera is cycled off and on, the Aperture reverts to that saved.  So let's say you're shooting an event and cycling the power to save battery life.  You've got to change the aperture back from that SAVED in MY, possibly months earlier - every time power is cycled - now I might be mistaken but this  effectively changes the way the camera works.  

This seemingly subtle change cost me over half of the frames I took: I kept forgetting to reset the aperture after powering off. As I say.  My inexperience! but it does seem illogical to require the aperture to be reset every time the camera is switched off,  or try to resave the MY setting in order to do that.  I set the aperture for the various situations but not having my glasses I missed the fact that the camera was resetting the aperture every time I switched it off.....  

Frustrated and in the heat of the moment, the GR was taken to London Cameras in Derby, in a plastic bag and at pace.  In part exchange for a Sigma SD1.  (More soon)  

Move forward  year.  I missed the GR.  A lot.  I've forgiven but not forgotten the events at the wedding. In reality the problem was with us both: Questionable feature and  my lack of experience with the MY setting feature.  

 Lesson Learned.  It wasn't you GR, it's Me or rather MY.  

I'm sorry.  

We're back together, after some counselling and we're trying to make things work.  I avoid MY now.  OUR future is together in Av, Tv, P TvAv or M but you can forget about MY !!

Speaking of together and being apart: I've been away and building my day job so I can afford the time and cash to offer musings here.  I'll try to be more diligent and write more.

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Ricoh GRChris BamptonLondon