Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ricoh GR: See It with My Own Eyes

000124_2015_December(Ricoh GR: Exhausted. I could have risked an arrest of suspected stalking for taking this shot! No post processing)

I have heard about how the Ricoh GR with its prime lens and a low-pass filter free sensor can produce sharp images. The sharpness is superb. The final images give a good amount of depth, or 3-dimension-ish, if you prefer.

Some people have different opinion about the muted colour tone of the GR images, but they are exactly the character of GR. My cup of tea indeed. Surely there are options to make the colour more vibrant and vivid.

000186_2015_December(Sisters and balloons)

000197_2015_December(Alone in the back alley)

While the image quality and the haptics of the camera are great, the quality control is anything but. Mine has a problem with the volume control – when playing back movies with the camera, pressing the volume to the maximum will mute the sound?!

I may return it for a new one. What a shame!



Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Last Night?

1010971_2014_December(Leica X1; The famous placard man in Mongkok with placards calling for genuine universal suffrage for Hong Kong’s chief in 2017)

The Admiralty base camp of the over 2-month Umbrella Movement is going to be cleared off on Thursday morning Hong Kong time. The student leaders have publicly vowed not to defend the occupied area to avoid forced dispersion by the police. Stream of people came to the place to witness history and bid farewell to the movement on Wednesday night. The smell of sadness wafted in the air but was mixed with an undercurrent of strong sense of solidarity. 

The News report has it that tens of thousands of people remained at the base camp overnight. The lone occupying protesters in Causeway Bay are expected to be removed soon afterwards.

“We will be back”,  wrote a gigantic yellow banner glued on the highway at Admiralty. This seems to give a resounding conclusion to what the movement has achieved in the general citizens’ mind.

The following are some of the shots taken at the base camp.

(Camera: Ricoh GR)
(The Chinese characters on the road sign reads, “Expecting the moment of victory”)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hi, GR Limited Edition

After much ado about what suited me most, I finally decided to part with my money in exchange for a GR limited edition. I hope to post some first shots when I am able to play with it. I almost settled for the Coolpix A, which has dropped to a much lower point than the already hugely discounted GR. That one is a very well built machine. Great haptics like a miniature Nikon DSLR but the ergonomics and controls aren't made for street photographers. Well certainly these have been discussed a year ago.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hi, Ricoh GX200

0012188_2014_December(Ricoh GX200)
I have been doing some searching to satisfy my appetite for a new camera.  Taking stock of what cameras are in my arsenal, I found the fun, the serious and the speedy ones there.  What do I want? So I have been carrying each of them for a few days and shooting in a hope to find out if any of them needs an upgrade.  The more I shoot, the more confirmed my belief is that no camera makes a good photographer.  Certainly,the image quality varies and the bigger the sensor the better. But there is a way to work around every shortfall. As for the GX200, its grainy character could make tasty black and white images.
That said, the Ricoh GR has come down lots in price which makes it very a tempting new acquisition. The B & H offers it at a reduced price with a free GV1 and a high capacity SD card.  Amazon offers one at a moderately higher price BUT with a GV1, a spare battery and a Ricoh flashgun!
In Hong Kong, there is the limited edition which comes with a specially treated body, the GH3 plus shade and the special leather strap with camera case. The price? Same as a new Ricoh GR. Irresistible. Now the only probably deal breaker is the seemingly prevalent dust spot on sensor issue.
So, I don’t rush to a conclusion, but close to one.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Does the Sony A7II have the halo-over-light-source issue? (Higher resolution photos will be posted, hopefully)

Unfortunately, I am afraid that the answer is yes. As the camera uses the same sensor as the A7 (some suspected that the issue arose from the sensor reflection-sort-of problem), the A7II is probably still prone to the halo issue if the light enters at some angle to the lens. Well all cameras are so with the lens pointing at the light source. I didn’t compare the result with shots by other camera so I can’t say for sure. I am concerned that this is the case though ---- make your own conclusion from the following shots.
These are shots I done with the A7II mounted with the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 and 24-70mm F4 ZA lenses.
However, the other shots done with the kit zoom lens do show the halos:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On a lonesome road

(Leica D-Lux 5)

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread
And having once turned round walks on
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, British Poet in The Ancient Mariner

Thursday, November 13, 2014


(Ricoh GRD4)

Everything around the base camp of the occupiers at Admiralty is so still and motionless that one can almost smell the chilling smell of an imminent storm wafting in the air. Two big trucks were seen quite near the area this morning. 

A police enforcement order  additional to an injunction per private application has been granted by the court.  It is reported in today's newspaper that Judge Henry Litton, Non-Permanent Judge of Hong Kong's Final Court of Appeal, questioned the technicality of the court order at a law conference yesterday. The Honourable Henry Litton was "mystified" over the court order. His views were shared by the ex-law faculty dean of the Hong Kong University questioned.

Link to the news report: