GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell
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Re: Off on one of my rants ;)
In reply to sroute, 9 months ago

sroute wrote:

Mode 2 in decent light with a contrasty subject works well.

Reverse those two attributes and it's a sea of mush which not only gets in the way of achieving focus but actively blocks effective composition. Magnification doesn't come to the rescue in those conditions because of the noise typically present in such situations as the camera gains up the system to present a viewable image.

A good idea, limited by the technology of the day, the GXR's various focus assists do not stand up in comparison well at all with the new kid on the block -- the Sony A7/r cameras -- with which manual focus has never been easier, in my experience.

My keeper rate, focus wise, is much higher with the A7r and I thought I was pretty good at it with the GXR/M.

Well I can't say that I have even seen an A7r, at least until next Monday when I might be able to comment better  when a son arrives with his new toy.  My comments on focus peaking were not directed so much at what plain MF can do with a high resolution built in evf or even an lcd using eye-focus alone.  I find the Sony-type focus peaking disappointing after the Ricoh Mode2 system (warts and all) as a focus peaking system and the Sony system is only rescued by their very good evf on the NEX6 at least which makes the "disappeared" Sony focus peaking much less relevent at high magnification as the focus is much more apparent to the eye than the lapsed peaking can or will show.

So it is much more relevent to discuss the ability to focus manually by extra-clear and precise magnified evf by eyesight than to throw bricks at the Ricoh Mode2 system which as a system walks all over the Sony focus peaking method as ann available tool.

I fully agree that the NEX6 (at least and to my personal knowledge) provides a much superior plain focus experience by evf than what the Ricoh GXR can provide either by clip on evf or by lcd.

However I quite like the Mode2 focus peaking and have not felt particularly disadvantaged at any time by its use, nor has it bothered my compositional mind. I tend to vary the lcd screen magnification as might be appropriate and now find the Clearviewer accessory indispensable for any bright outdoor work.  I realise that this is not high quality evf by any wild imagination but it does work well in bright light for focusing in conjuction with Mode2.  I gave up on the clip on evf - too cumbersome ( even compared to the Clearviewer ... that might be a statement!) But the Clearviewer attached and in use seems to give a more natural "eyefinder" grip than the higher mounted clip on evf (more especially so with a larger format lens).  My experience only, others may differ.

It seems that some are most happy with the most realistic composition images and others are satisfied by abstract representation. Nothing could lean more to the abstract than using a Clearviewer with Mode2 on a bright sunny day.  Nothing wrong with either approach as it is merely a matter of style and preference  and how the brain works.

While I really appreciate the NEX6 - great evf, great tilt lcd, good sensor, good images, fast shot to shot recycling.  In use it is not such a happy camera as the GXR.  Presumably the A7r is better from a serious user point of view.  When I tried to buy one locally the dealers were all ho-hum about the Sony FF sensor camera's prospects  (stocked to the eyeballs with other gear?).  Seems that I might be the only excited would be A7r early adopter in our little regional city.  Yesterday I was asked separately twice on how to activate the zoom on my GR when showing it off to a group of friends - this says a lot about why local dealers are not all that impressed at carrying stocks of the A7 type - or Ricoh cameras for that matter.

Therefore hype about the A7 type is much more concentrated on the Sony forum than the excitement out there in camera-buying land. Pre-Christmas catalogues are full of Canon and Nikon kits at various price levels with the occasional Sony Alpha - not one of them mentions sensor size amongst the sell-hype.

Until the dealers get large stocks of the A7 type at good margins they are going to still push the dslr body no matter what sensor is inside.  Nothing like the $$$$ return and they are supposed to be advising folk on the best cameera for their needs ....

Meanwhile I might be one of the very few (only) who actually uses Mode2 magnified with pinpoint focus on the GR to focus on a precise point.  Works well and certainly better than the GR's rugged MF routine.

Note that the GR introduced negative versions of Mode1 and Mode2 on the GR - the overall idea is that the modes can be adapted where there are extremes of bright or low light.  Ahhhh Ricoh cameras - so much to know so much to learn, maybe it is easier just to go take photographs?

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Tom Caldwell

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