Ricoh GRD4 : Back to the future 4

For 3 weeks already I have resumed work following lockdown. After 2 months at home, I was looking forward to coming back to work to find a social life even if it comes down to working at the control tower of Roland Garros, Reunion International Airport. It may seem pompous and pretentious, but it is indeed an international airport ! Ok, a very small international one … Besides, speaking of work, like everywhere in France, aeronautical activity is very limited at the moment with very few flights to Reunion. But despite the low traffic, it feels good to work and resume the course of my training which was also impacted by this pandemic. I will stay in training for a while.



I was impatiently waiting for the end of this training period to have more time to devote to Street Photography. I should logically pass my tests at the end of the year. It would be a nice Christmas present this qualification, right ? In any case even if everything is going without a hitch for the moment (apart from these two months lost because of the Covid-19), I still can’t wait to finish it. Now that we have moved into our new home and the children have returned to school, I have even managed to find a certain routine. I had already written a Blog on the benefits of the routine. In any case personally I am a routine animal and I need to hang around for a long time in the same place to feel good and be able to take photos.



For many weeks since I arrived here, I have struggled to take photos in Saint-Denis. I had already hung out on its streets but never with the intention of taking photos. Since the children went back to school, I manage to allow myself an hour in the middle of the afternoon three times a week to take photos. My boys’ school is not far from the city center and I just have to park in front of the school and then walk to the main shopping street in Saint-Denis. Not much time to waste. It’s not the best time of day to take photos, but I don’t do difficult. I’m already happy to be able to have this little hour before picking up the kids after school at 3:30 p.m.



If you watched the few videos I shared in my previous Blog, you might have seen the density of people on the streets during mid-afternoon weekdays. Clearly there are no crowds … It comes to life a little more around 4:00 p.m. with school ending. But in general it is relatively calm. It’s Saturday that drains a lot of people in the streets. I think this is the ideal day for Street Photography ! But for the moment, as I am going to work on Saturday mornings (there is a little more interesting work), I prefer to spend Saturday afternoons with the family.



I realize that I spent a lot more time on the streets in Aix-en-Provence. At the moment, even if I spend relatively little time in the streets of Saint-Denis, I appreciate having found a certain routine which punctuates my life and besides I feel it because I am more comfortable when I find myself on the street. Since the beginning of the week, I have dusted off my Ricoh GRD4. Yes I know that I had already written a Blog to say that I stopped using it. But there are only the idiots who do not change their mind … I wanted to have again in my hands, the camera that had so far most accompanied me in my wanderings in the streets of here and elsewhere.



What interest to photograph with this 10 year old camera? I think a lot of people think it’s a step backwards. We often talk about G.A.S (Gear Acquisition Syndrom) when we talk about photography. This habit that some photographers have of thinking that a new camera with more MP, better performance … will make them a better photographer. It is a forward race fueled and created by the manufacturers to make us consume. So I temporarily stop using my Ricoh GR, which is still 7 years old, to return to the Ricoh GRD4 and its 10 MP. Besides that, Fuji has just released the XT-4 with 26 MP and the Leica Q2 was released some time ago with 47 MP (!!!).



This backtracking is done because I am more comfortable in the streets of my new playground. I am also more comfortable in my sneakers. Even if the GRD4 has a shit buffer, it still remains an extraordinary camera on the street.

All the photos were taken with the Ricoh GRD4 in the streets of Saint-Denis.

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4 thoughts on “Ricoh GRD4 : Back to the future

  • John Wilson

    Always enjoy your posts Like Jean Perenet your photos with whichever Ricoh you folks use, to me are fantastic and his Leica x2 likewise. I follow you because Jean recommended you and I purchased GRD4 and GR11. Only I am not as talented as you gentlemen.i would like you opinion on your gr111 since you sent back for heat problem, because that new one they have special edition coming out, looks like something I could buy, but if heat problem still there get another 11 or 4. I have to tell you the verification nonsense to be able to comment isCRAP. IDONT KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE BEEN REJECTED, SO I HAVENT BOTHERED .

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye

      Ah ah. First thing first. Thanks for the comment John. I must say that I didn’t know that there were some captcha thing when commenting… I just had a look and disabled an extension that might be responsible for all this mess. Let me know if any other problems!
      I can’t tell you more about the GR 3… I’m using again this old trusty GRD4 and well, I can say that i’m fully satisfied by the photos I get. But I did some shots when it came back from pentax and I could still feel the heat… My two cents is that this camera has a heat issue. I should test it in the streets but when the GRD4 is my camea to go… I just need to force myself. I might give it a try instead of letting it sleep in his cardboard…

  • John Harper

    Is that ‘International Airport’ of yours grass or tarmac?😉
    Our children go back to school in September and then it’ll be part time. Over five months off from school, Louis is living the dream!
    We know gear or cameras make no difference as is evident through your photography. Strange thing is that these photos look slightly more relaxed, comfortable. I know that sounds strange, but is it because making them you felt at ease with your old friend the GRD4 or maybe the feeling of wanting to document the Street has returned. Of course manufacturers must hate it when photographers say the camera is irrelevant, but it is a fact. Providing it responds quickly and is discreet what more could anyone want? Certainly excessive MP isn’t necessary for most photography.
    Big fan of the shot with the two ladies in front of the shutters by the way.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      I feel at ease in the streets and i’m glad that my photos reflect that. I also think that this lockdown has been beneficial to me. A fresh start from now to document the streets of Saint-Denis. I don’t know if it has to do with the camera but the GRD4 forced me to operate differently in the streets. A slower approach as the camera required constant adjustments. Changing all the time the aperture and ISO help me stay focus on what i’m doing in the streets and over everything, it’s nice to have a camera which has such a massive DoF. Just have to point and shoot!
      Kids are in school for 3 more weeks. I’m happy that they have recover some kind of routine as well. I couldn’t imagine them staying 6 months away from school… They would be like wild children running barefoot…
      Today I went just one hour in the city. Definitely, it’s the day to go for street photography! Lot of people. I had fun 📸