Push to The Limit with Ricoh GRD IV + GW-2: Episode II – Tamar CGC


A very humid and foggy day it’s in Hong Kong. Fortunately, there’s fair amount of wind blowing, made my city architecture shot attempt turned out okay. I brought my portable gorillapod for the shot. This is something I enjoy doing once in a while really. Doing urban lanscape is a very relaxed activity, it’s yet a good dose of ‘photography med’  after a whole week of street photography, hehe..

The place where I went shooting was in Admiralty, Hong Kong. Admiralty really doesn’t have much in it. Mostly a place for offices, 5 star hotels, and a few interconnected shopping malls. And also a whole bunch of bus stops. It’s a ‘gap’ between Central and Wan Chai. It’s only filling in the space. However, it’s an interesting spot for shooting above the highway/streets. There’re bridges all over the place.

I went up to the new Central Government Complex (添馬艦新香港政府總部辦公大樓) podium as it’s opened to the public not too long ago. The CGC is a beautiful place at night. The huge arch-like structure reminds me of the St. Louis Arch.  It’s modern, quiet, I’d imagine it’s going to be a great place for couples dating 😛  I’d…

Central Government Complex (CGC) - 添馬艦新香港政府總部辦公大樓
ISO80 f7.1 6secLight trails on Connaught Road and the SkylineISO125 f8.0 4sec

Central Government Complex (CGC) - 添馬艦新香港政府總部辦公大樓
ISO800 f2.8 1/6sec

The last photo was a bit of a gamble. I didn’t want to push my ISO higher. 1/6sec s. speed handheld. The far away lady added mood to my capture and showing how tiny she’s compared to the building.

It’s proven once again. The 10 megapixel Ricoh GRD IV has the necessary flexibility to achieve shots like these. It’s got enough dynamic range and gosh,..the setup weights only a fraction of a DSLR and perhaps a bit lighter than a mirrorless. Well, mirrorless is another animal, i won’t go there. Most importantly, it’s done with a compact point & shoot camera.

Thanks to the GW-2 21mm lens conversion, i was able to capture the entire block of CGC. Happy shooting with yours too!

Push to The Limit with Ricoh GRD IV + GW-2

Blogroll, Photography

Some described the Ricoh GRD as a photographic sketchbook. I don’t disagree. It’s a camera that has all the controls that a pro would use, just the sensor and quality can’t compare to the DSLR. But how bad can a GRD IV be? I’ve always asked.

Right. A compact point & shoot can never match up with the mirrorless and DSLR in terms of control and quality. I won’t say further as there’re tons of reviews, impressions, field test reports out there, you could read it all you want. I’m not here to persuade anyone to go out and get a compact camera. I’m only showcasing what accessories Ricoh are offering for their GRD series.

Ricoh has been very smart when it comes to releasing accessories. The wide angle conversion to change from 28mm to 21mm requires 2 components that we need to buy , GH-2 adapter & GW-2 wide angle conversion lens. They both bear a heavy price tag even though a price reduction can be done if you find the right shop. The conversion can actually make your camera very useable in real life practices. I’m saying if you go travel and don’t want to carry heavy equipments. This is the best possible setup you could shoot ultra wide angle photos with.

Ricoh GRD IV + GW-2 + Voigtlander 21/25mm OVF

The wide angle lens adds about 150g to the camera. Making it front heavy (i’m getting used to it though. Not really affecting during my actual shoot. Only awkward when holding at rest). The rubber lens hood is really made out of rubber. It’s elastic rubber!! Some people complain about it. I understood the reason behind why they make it as such. The adapter is doing a great job attaching the GW-2 lens to the camera body. It’s just that the adapter mount is external, meaning in short, it can’t take a huge hit like all the outer interchangeable lens mount. The rubber petal hood was designed when it’s taking a hit, the rubber can both protect the lens’ front glass and take out some of the impact to the GH-2 external adapter mount. That’s my own observation. 🙂

To complete the 21mm conversion, I paid for a Voigtlander 21/25mm OVF..why the Voigtlander? it’s cheaper than the Ricoh GV-1. I love their logo anyway

The OVF is accurate. Absolutely a must-have for landscape photography which I still do from time to time.

Tonight I brought this setup with me and tested it out at night. It’s a harsh test for a compact camera to shoot at night by any means. I attempted to push the camera to the limit to see what this thing can do with my limited skill and experience. I’ve seen great photography being done by many folks on Flickr with the GRD IV. I’m a believer. It’s the skill that makes a photographer good, not entirely the gear.

View from Ferry Pier, Central , Hong Kong
ISO 250, f8, 3.0s
View from Central, Hong Kong
ISO 125, f6.3, 3.0s

Seriously, I think they’re great although I don’t know how i’m doing. They’re perfectly fine if you don’t try to zoom in too much. SOOC colors were slightly washed out from the original standard image setting. Only minor contracts, white/black points and midtones had been adjusted.

I’m convinced that my GRD IV can do great photography to the extend which I thought it’s not possible until I spent time with it (other than my routine candid shooting).

Plus, it gets me excited to customize the GRD. It’s A TOY to me. So damn fun.

P.S. It’s an extremely windy day. Almost thought the typhoon was striking HK…those were hard earned photos.

Continue to Push to The Limit with Ricoh GRD IV + GW-2: Episode II – Tamar CGC

Today was a day of sacrifice: Ricoh GW-2 Conversion

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Sacrifice? I’m not a religious man. I love my Ricoh GRD IV so much and convinced myself to get the wide conversion kit (GH-2 + GW-2). And the grand total did not come cheap for a compact like GRD.

I’m not sure if it’s worth it yet. All I could say is, the conversion does add weight to the camera. The camera immediately become front heavy. Makes it not too easy to shoot with one hand. My GV-2 OVF becomes obsolete. Either I go get a 21mm one or just remove it (too much of a hassel to remove it anyway). The GH-2 was made with hard plastic with a metallic touch though. It’s sturdy and clinch onto the GRD threads securely. Plus, there’s a lock button that prevents it from turning. That’s a pleasant surprise and good news for me. I do not wish them to fall apart.

The distortion of the conversion lens only occur toward the corners. The center part remains the same (sorta). Making the environment photographs must easier to frame with. I think it’ll be a little detour for me to escape from the street photography (Doing it daily can wear me out). While there’s no pressure whatsoever to do landscape, i see it as a time off to have a more relax approach in photography.

Tonight I tested the wide angle conversion lens in the streets of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. Originally, the photos were taken with normal bypass bleach. The high ISO i used washed out most of the colors and details. The traditional b&w was a bit boring. Therefore, I played with the sepia and faded the colors out a slightly bit. They looked quite alright to me. What do you think ? ;}

The Butcher
The Butcher
Steaming Clay Pot Rice on the street
Steaming Clay Pot Rice on the street
Chinese Voodoo 打小人
Chinese Voodoo (打小人)
well dressed lady with hat by a SaSa sign
old lady with hat
One of the very few Pawn Shops that own the entire premise.
One of the very few Pawn Shops that own the entire premise

I have not made any comparison with or without the conversion lens yet. I know some shots would definitely need the aid of the lens to get the entire view (ex. the pawn shop). Some didn’t, but hey; nothing’s wrong to shoot anything with a 21mm wide angle lens. As many users have said, it adds dramatic effect to your photos. Now i believe.