The best of both worlds 6


For some time now, I have been using my Fuji xE2 more and more, which was my first hybrid digital camera. I had switched from the D200 to the Fuji. Since I had entered the Ricoh sphere, the Fuji XE2 had been put back in the wardrobe. Even for photos of my family, the GRD IV was king. I think I started using my old Fuji again because Joachim asked me to take pictures of him for his Instagram account. Like all teenagers, Joachim puts himself on display in his photos. He literally poses and I thought I could use my old Nikon lenses which are better suited for portraits. That’s how I ended up buying the 7 Artisan 35mm at f0.95

Fuji XE2 | 35 mm f0.95

I unconsciously imposed a kind of segregation on my work. The Ricoh GRD IV was my tool for street work and the Fuji XE2 was used for family photos. This was unthinkable until a few months ago. I have always said that there is no difference between what I do on the street and how I photograph my family. I kept the same approach: capturing moments, refusing to take posed pictures…  It wasn’t a posture, I was really doing it that way. But my children are growing up. They are more and more attentive to their image and the camera is more and more experienced as something intrusive.

I reassure you, they are not yet making big eyes at me because I take their picture, but their attitude is changing. Especially my big one who is almost 13. To make it more acceptable and to continue taking pictures of them, I have to change my approach and keep a certain distance. Hence the use of a more “portrait” type of lens. I lose a lot of spontaneity, but the photos are much more beautiful and my son loves it ! Here is something to feed his Instagram account. Yes, I know it’s very superficial, but I won’t explain this phase of adolescence where the image takes precedence over the background. It’s funny, it’s like in Street Photography where the form takes precedence over the content… Which leads me to think that some people still haven’t finished their teenage crisis in Street Photography !

This weekend, we went to celebrate the beginning of the holidays at the beach. I had started to take my Ricoh GRD IV out of my bag to take only the Fuji XE2|35 mm f0.95, but I changed my mind and went with both ! My bag was quite heavy, but I wanted to keep my little Ricoh with me … During this day, I alternated photos with the two cameras. I did some portraits and I also did what I usually do, namely snapshots.

When I look at the photos from that day, I can clearly see two very different approaches. If I were to look only at the image quality, the Fuji XE2 wins hands down, but the photos taken with the Ricoh GRD IV are more vivid because they are more immersive. I really like the intrusive side where you are close to people. My photos with the Fuji are more static because I don’t have autofocus and I’m not yet fast enough to focus quickly. The pictures I show you in this Blog are more interesting with the Ricoh GRD IV. I must admit that I only took the Fuji XE2 out for lunch and that it is not very representative. But you will easily understand that I can’t make the same kind of pictures with these two cameras which have very different characteristics.

Clearly, I am more comfortable and creative with the Ricoh GRD IV. But I also like the pictures made with the Fuji XE2. I may invest in a slightly larger bag from now on…

Ricoh GRD IV

All the photographs were made with the Ricoh GRD IV et le Fuji XE2|35 mm f0.95

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6 thoughts on “The best of both worlds

  • John Harper

    The Ricoh shots are much more expressive, they draw you into the scene and of course they’re natural. Candid trumps Posed every time though posed photos have their place for sure. No one wants a photo of themselves that is quirky, an odd expression caught in a thousandth of second displayed on their social media profile, I see why he prefers your Fuji shots. Of course as photographers we find candid infinitely more interesting, he will too eventually.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      We, street photographers, we like it candid for sure. But it’s like a wedding. Some posed photos are compulsory. Same goes here for family shots. People want that to record memories. Every time we have a family party at my parents place, we end up posing all together for memories. It looks so artificial to me, but they like it!
      My kids just love to pick up the annual family album to look at it. Every time it’s laughs and smiles when they look at the past photos. Almost all the photos are candid and that’s what they like. I think that candid photos bring back more memories than posed photographs because these memories are alive, linked to an action, to an emotion.
      Well may be I think like that because I like it candid 😊

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      I guess that it comes from the mindset and the way I’m using the camera. The ricoh is perfect camera and you can have a creative approach when using it. Despite this. I love the imperfections of this camera. When I look at the photos, I see life, I see emotion… But its it the camera or the way i’m using it?

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      We love The GR series and specially the GRD IV as far as I’m concerned, but it’s a niche. I ‘m not sure that ricoh attract people. Even in street photography, I would be interested in knowing what people use. Well we all know that it’s not a matter of gear. My work didn’t changed a bit when I used the fuji XF10 last year. All I need is a small camera with a LCD screen