Tuesday, 9 February 2010

GXR: External Flash and Viewfinder

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We are nearly the end of the GXR field report series.  I wish to talk about the external options for the GXR, namely, the flashgun and the viewfinder.

The external flash named, well, GF-1 can do TTL flash on Ricoh cameras with the flash interface as illustrated below, which Ricoh called Type R.  It can also be used on  other Ricoh cameras which have no TTL-flash capability like the GX200.

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When the TTL-A LED is on after the flash has been mounted and turned on, it is ready to do TTL flash.

RIMG8299 (Medium)

A few presses on the lower rectangular power level select button will light up the last two LEDs on the far right, activating the manual flash output via adjustment on the GXR.

RIMG8300 (Medium)

imageThe flashgun can turn upwards up to 90°for doing bounce flash but not sideways.  It can double as a wireless slave flash.  For that matter, it comes with a stand.  I have read through the instruction manual but can't find the clue as to whether in slave mode it will imageautomatically distribute the flash output between the main/ trigger flash and itself in a 3:2 ratio, which is the case for my Minolta flashgun.  However, in slave flash mode, the flashgun can be set at a pre-set flash output range or at manual output as illustrated on left.

The built-in flash on the GXR serves as the trigger.  It has to be turned on to work in conjunction with the slave.

RIMG8301 (Medium)

The smart designers have given the flashgun the built-in wide-angle diffuser and catch-light panels.  The wide-angel diffuser panel is to cater for a coverage angel equivalent to 18mm, which is 1mm wider than the wide-angel converter DW-6.

RIMG8306 (Medium)

I tried it on the GXR S10 mounted with the 19mm converter.  The flash coverage is sufficient and without casting any shadows on the corners.

RIMG0686 (Medium)

The GN number of the flashgun is not very impressive at ISO 100.  But the good about digital cameras is that the users can tweak the sensitivity to higher ISO values.  So, say, at ISO 400 the GN number is as high as 40 for 24mm and 60 for 105mm.  Now, that's impressive.

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I turned the camera to ISO 400 and fire the flash at full output, ending up with the following photo.

RIMG0688 (Medium)

Mind the road sign next to the right-hand column at the far end in the middle of the scene.  It was situated at about 100 metres away from the place I was standing.  The flash reached there as you can see that it reflected the light from the flash.

Next the external electronic viewfinder, VF-1.

RIMG8314 (Medium) The VF-2 is bigger in size than the previous model, VF-1.  Diopter adjustment can be done on the wheel on top of it while on the VF-1 the eyepiece can be turned to adjust diopter.  In both cases, the diopter switch actually can't be accidentally turned as in the case of GF-1's viewfinder.  The VF-2 can be turned upwards up to 90°.

RIMG8313 (Medium)

The VF-2 (right) has a different adaptor standard.  Therefore, it cannot be used on previous Ricoh cameras.

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The external viewfinder VF-1 has a 100% field-of-view coverage. Its resolution of 920 000 dots is the same as the LCD display.  For the sake of comparison, the LVF-1 for Pany's GF-1 has a resolution of 202 000 dots.  Scenes through the VF-2 are shown clearly and brightly.

The shooting information shown on the VF-2 and the LCD display are identical.

R0011560 (Medium)

R0011559 (Medium)

A note before closing today's post should be added about the resolution.  When used with the S10, the VF-2 shows images less sharply than when used with the A12.  This is an observation which I have not read elsewhere (but maybe you have).

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