Sunday, March 6, 2016

GR Update...

Yellow & White-  Photo: © S. Banos
No color, no photo; also like how the shadow partly obscures his face.

After my initial, short lived brush with beginner's luck, I immediately became both anxious and apprehensive- was the GR going to be just a simple snapshot vehicle for small curiosities (as with the two photos in previous posts), with only the rare out of character shot of something striving for more? Or was it going to be an instrument with which one could take consistently "serious" images as well? The only way to find out, of course, was to keep shooting...

Been a coupla weeks now, and it's been predictably frustrating at times, bust mostly quite productive and... fun! This analog dog is shooting in a completely foreign manner (ie- phone style), with a very foreign device (a digital recording mechanism), utilizing a very foreign medium. And I've also discovered I was wrong on several fronts. 

Valentine-  Photo: © S. Banos
"You a cop?" "Do I look like one? This was the much needed 2nd shot that confirmed the GR was indeed a serious imaging device.

First, size does matter; it is considerably easier to shoot on the street with a smaller, less conspicuous camera- particularly one that resembles the same basic size and dimensions of today's average, common place cell phone. I am now getting images that I wouldn't have with my SLR- does that mean that photographers haven't been getting similar images with say... analog rangefinders? Course not. Just saying that I am now getting images that I wouldn't have previously with my old Nikons. Part of that is also because I am now shooting with a 28mm (e), and (more importantly) I no longer have to manually focus (or even prefocus), or set exposure as before. That (to a large extent) frees one to concentrate on composing on that ridiculously small and dim viewing screen- which despite the difficulty (and my age addled eyes), can be achieved with regular practice and consistency.

Black Sweater-  Photo: © S. Banos
The sound of an SLR shutter directly behind her, and she would have been up and screaming bloody stalker, pervert galore!!!

Setbacks I've encountered include sometimes forgetting to set the proper shutter speed or ISO (don't wish to go full auto)- and sometimes my general disdain for said viewing screen makes me want to forgo the concentration necessary to ensure proper composition (when not shooting from the hip). But if I respect this wonderfully minuscule and capable device, it often rewards me with some pleasingly surprising results. The less than FF sensor still allows for crisp images and shadow detail, and the greater DOF is handy on the street. The lens performs even wide open and I'm enjoying shooting color for the first time in decades... Easily securing it in your jacket pocket sure beats lugging an SLR around on your shoulder- and it's near weightless within the confines of a camera bag. Now I'm scared they'll stop making the damn things, or make them bigger, or they'll be bought off by Hasselblad and sold for 3 grand a piece with giant, hand carved, wooden hand grips...

Shepard of Market St.-  Photo: © S. Banos


Raghu Kuvempunagar said...

Dear Stan, your love saga with GR is interesting and GR is a fine digital camera no doubt. But have you tried a pocketable full-frame film camera such as Fuji Tiara (with 28mm f3.5 lens) or Fuji Tiara Zoom (28-55mm)?

Stan B. said...

Or an original film GR for that matter! One of my main reasons for my little experiment was to have a viable tool to use in low(er) light, particularly during the winter months. And technically, there is no doubt that digital has the edge as far as high ISO, and convenience.

I will continue to use analog for B&W, and the GR will remain a most welcomed and versatile tool in the ol' kit bag.

Should also be noted that none other than Anders Petersen continues to use a compact, analog Contax T3.

Eric Rose said...

I wonder if that gal has valves on those knockers? How repulsive! My buddy has a GR and loves it. The images he makes with it are stunning.

Stan B. said...

A definite O-M-G! moment, and lord knows I'm trying to be less judgemental these days, or at least trying to save it for true Cheneyesque evil.

Yes, a true pocket rocket capable of truly impressive IQ. Pop the images into auto correct Elements, and half the time, you don't have to do anything else. The other 50% of the time, a coupla minutes here and there (I just spent close to 3wks on a B&W restoration).

I was also looking back on the small handful of keepers I took with the XT-1, the out of camera jpg's are great, but the RAW images don't respond like the easy peasy GR's- they'll require separate software somewhere down the road...

The IQ, ease and... size of the GR make it an indispensable tool, I guess putting up with "the screen" is the price one pays.