Ricoh GRD4 : the living dead camera 4


The first article I wrote on the Ricoh GRD4 dates from October 2016. It was 5 years ago ! It is as old as this Blog that I have kept for many years. I have written many articles about this camera … Surely too many, but that’s how it is. I like it a lot and although I have used other cameras, I always end up coming back to it. I started 2021 with the Ricoh GRD4 until March when I discovered the Fujifilm XF10. I don’t know if it’s the allure of novelty or just stepping out of my comfort zone, but I’ve only shot with the Fujifilm XF10 since April.

Less than 6 months after putting it away in a cupboard, I dust it off again. Why ? Tired of shooting with the Fujifilm XF10 ?? Not really, but there is something that always pushes me to come back to my little Ricoh. This is the depth of field. The fun of shooting f8 with a small sensor is just fantastic. Everything is in focus between 50 cms and infinity. The ultimate point & shoot. Unfortunately I can no longer use my small aperture GRD4. I have dust in the middle of my sensor and it is visible from f5.6. So I have to open at f4 so as not to see this annoying dust. It degrades my DoF a bit. Everything is in focus from 0.85 m to infinity. Another induced problem appears during very bright scenes. Even at f4, ISO 80 and 1/2000s, I sometimes get overexposed. I would have to close my diaph, but in this case, the dust would be visible. In short, a small additional constraint …

So I had decided to start the month of October with my Ricoh GRD4. But since this decision, I haven’t had the time to make some street photography as such. The holidays have passed by and I have even less time. I no longer have the excuse of taking pictures before picking up the children from school, they are on holidays ! So I’m still waiting to make my return to the streets with my very dear Ricoh GRD4. I did not stay inactive, I continue to document my life by taking photos on birthdays, during our little trips to the sea …

The GRD4 is clearly a camera that makes you want to take pictures. As soon as I had it in my hands again, I had only one desire: to take pictures with the flash. The flash pop-up (absent from the Ricoh GR3) is really great and you don’t have to go into very complicated menus (like on the Fuji XF10 …) to use it. And it’s really useful for uncovering portraits or foregrounds. When I looked at my first photos on my pc, I was again charmed by the rendering of the photos from this 10 years old camera. Of course my Fuji XF10 with its 24 MP offers better Image Quality, but it will never match the organic side so special of the Ricoh GRD4.

 

I wanted to make a blog of my first 6 months with the Fujifilm XF10, but I will not have gone so far … So here I am again with the Ricoh GRD4 in the streets of Saint-Denis. Since the beginning of October, I haven’t done Street Photography, this month’s slideshow will be light. But I hope to make up for it by the end of the year!

All photos were taken with the Ricoh GRD4.

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4 thoughts on “Ricoh GRD4 : the living dead camera

  • John Harper

    That camera is like a cat with nine lives and I’m guessing you’ll never let go, even if it does eventually die. I expect you’ll build a shrine to it, surrounded by the photos it’s helped you make.
    I was looking at an XF10 a while ago, might get one eventually, although I don’t really have a reason to. Of course with you I really don’t think it makes any difference what camera you use. Always you manage to come up with the goods, that being compelling images.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      I guess that a few lives have gone in the water and buried in a box of rice… Things are so much simpler with this camera. Even the raw files and the jpgs are light! With the xf10 and all the new cameras, the files are so big to post process…
      But the real thing is the DoF. Man it is so good not to care at all of the focus. Of course the xf10 did it well with the zone focusing, but the GRD4 does it better with its small sensor! And overall, I love using the flash

  • John Wilson

    I can’t make up my mind between my Grd4 or GR2 w 21mm lens. I carry both w my q and X2 never had a fuji, if I did I would try xpro series.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Oh man ! You just walk with a massive bag of gears ! Last time I went with two cameras in my bag, I couldn’t figure which one to use … That’s why I only have a single one now. Deal with it, do what you have with what you have. The GRD4 is a like a time machine for me. This camera clearly bring me back years before. And it also dictates the way I shoot with it. More randomness, more imperfections. I shoot more with my guts and I tend to get very close to people. I just dusted off my old Fuji XE2 with and old Nikon lens to take portraits of kids and it kicks ass ! But it’s just a family thing. I won’t take it anymore in the streets. Even with the 18 mm on it. Too bulky …