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11-03-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
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HELP. I can't seem to get anything in focus. - Ricoh GR

A little Background:
First off I'm a graphic designer by trade, have been fror 16 years now professionally. Although I studied photography a lot in school, everything was film in my time and digital was just coming on the scene. I never really made the switch once digital took over. It felt very unnatural to me and I just never invested the time in making the transition. Eventually film seemed to die away in the late 90's early 2000's and I just put the camera on the shelf.

Recently with the resurgence in film photography I've dusted off the old cameras and taken it back up. In the process I've seen the need to learn digital photography as well (outside of my cell phone)

My wife and I just got a new puppy and are planning a trip to NYC in Dec, so it seemed like a good time to really dive into digital. I've had a K5 sitting on the shelf for awhile and have rarely used it. When I did I just set it to auto so I could get fast shots of the pups and family. As much as I love film it does have some down falls; cost, convince, speed and it's difficult to shot at night. The digital gave me the option to shoot at night easier and most of the time when I'm out with friends or family it's at night. But I very quickly noticed I'd leave the K5 at home and just use my iPhone just due to it's size and portability. So when I saw the GR it seemed like a prefect fit.

Small camera with big sensor + Pocketable + New Puppy + Trip to NY + better night shooting + Opportunity to finally learn digital = Purchase of GR


Now with all that said… I'm really struggling with the GR. I need some advice. I've read through several boards, tested, read, retested, searched YouTube, combed the net and the manual but I'm still missing too many shots. There are somethings about the camera that I don't understand and I can't seem to get anything in focus.

At first I was excited about Snap Focus, but I never can seem to hit the field correctly (from reading I think a lot of people have the same issue or they expected Snap to me more than it is) I decided to drop snap for awhile and just focus on learning the rest of the camera with using the autofocus.

Here is a list of things I've noticed or questions I have. If anyone can shed any light on these I would really, really appreciate it.


1. DNGs appear sharper than JPEGS. But DNGs seem to show more grain. Why?

2. DNGs appear truer to color, JPEGS take on a honey golden tone, especially on indoor photos. Any ideas?

3. TAV mode always seem to blow out the ISO when inside or low light conditions The results are very grainy. Is this common or am I at fault?

4. Snap Focus seems to miss focus more than I'd like. I know this is a result of my skill level in understanding zone focusing. Things like hyperfocial or infinity I just don't get.

5. In Av or P mode I seem to get a lot of missed focus shots due to s slower shutter speed. I can't imagine the light is always that low. ?

6. ND filter… what is it? Should I use it? Why is it in two places in the camera settings?

7. P mode never seems to drop below f4?

8. Full Press Snap, sometimes still seems to try and focus with both FPS and Snap focus on. I can feel/hear the lens adjust. I get the feeling that's why it misses focus a lot. I thought the point of FPS was to remove the autofocus half press since the focus point is already set.

9. AF seems to hunt in lower light. It helps if the AF light is turned on as it speeds up a little, but then I'm less incognito. Is this common for digital AF cameras? I'm used to old film manual focus. In low light or indoors it can hunt for focus for 3-5 seconds before grabbing a focus.


Here is a situation I ran into last night:

M Mode
ss 1/500
fstop 5.6
iso 3200

F1 button is set to AF/Snap
Snap is set at 2m
AF is set to Point
Button is set to Full Press Snap

I point the camera, using F1 I set it to AF, I press the AFL button to set the focus, and meter the exposure.

Obviously I'm way under exposed, so I tap the ExpComp + button.
The exposure corrects, I'm close maybe a tab bit over, but the SS drops all the way down to 1/20

Obviously I'll never get a image in focus with 1/20 due to shake, but why didn't the camera leave SS where I set it?

In the past it's done the same thing in other modes when I hit the ExpCom+ button but it would adjust the ISO or the Fstop

I've posted some images on my Flickr account if you want to take a look. You'll see how many are taken in daylight, at a high SS and with AF grabbing the areas I expect should be in focus, but they're not.

Ricoh GR Test Shots - a set on Flickr

Please help.
Thanks!

11-03-2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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Location: Paris, France
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
AF seems to hunt in lower light. It helps if the AF light is turned on as it speeds up a little, but then I'm less incognito. Is this common for digital AF cameras? I'm used to old film manual focus. In low light or indoors it can hunt for focus for 3-5 seconds before grabbing a focus.
I remember about a cool feature (seen in the Hands-on by Adam) that might help you : by using the menu, you can chose a pre-set focus distance. For exemple (pure speculation in that example) 0.5-1m, 1-3m, 3- infinity.

i go check the review and post you the appropriate link

https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/ricoh-gr-vs-nikon-coolpix-a/interface-and-performance.html

scroll down the the GR part. there is two picture that show what i mean
11-04-2013, 07:51 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 43
Original Poster
Aurele,
Thanks so much! I'll check it out!
11-07-2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: La Crescenta, CA
Posts: 7,452
1. DNGs appear sharper than JPEGS. But DNGs seem to show more grain. Why?

DNGs should be slightly softer than JPEGs, actually. RAWs are completely unprocessed, while the GR's JPEG engine is pretty aggressive with software edge enhancement.

2. DNGs appear truer to color, JPEGS take on a honey golden tone, especially on indoor photos. Any ideas?

Are you shooting in any of the effects modes? Even standard mode will produce slightly different colors than RAW, but it should be pretty close.

3. TAV mode always seem to blow out the ISO when inside or low light conditions The results are very grainy. Is this common or am I at fault?

TAv takes your input on shutter speed and aperture and adjusts the ISO as necessary to get a proper exposure. In dim light, you need to widen the aperture and lower the shutter speed, or else the camera has no option but to jack up the ISO.

4. Snap Focus seems to miss focus more than I'd like. I know this is a result of my skill level in understanding zone focusing. Things like hyperfocial or infinity I just don't get.

See #8.

5. In Av or P mode I seem to get a lot of missed focus shots due to s slower shutter speed. I can't imagine the light is always that low. ?

When shooting in Av and P you probably want to set ISO to auto so it can scale as necessary. You can change the upper ISO limit for Auto so it doesn't go nuts and introduce too much grain.

6. ND filter… what is it? Should I use it? Why is it in two places in the camera settings?

ND filter is basically a dark bit of glass/film that the camera can insert between the lens and sensor to block some light. In very bright situations, this lets you shoot with a lower shutter speed/wider aperture than otherwise possible. If you want to get shallow depth of field effects in bright sunlight, for instance, it's very helpful. You can also turn it on when shooting on a tripod to reduce your shutter speed further and get "silky" waterfalls, etc.

7. P mode never seems to drop below f4?

Not sure about this one.

8. Full Press Snap, sometimes still seems to try and focus with both FPS and Snap focus on. I can feel/hear the lens adjust. I get the feeling that's why it misses focus a lot. I thought the point of FPS was to remove the autofocus half press since the focus point is already set.

Snap focus doesn't work when you have Macro turned on. Try turning it off and see if that helps.

9. AF seems to hunt in lower light. It helps if the AF light is turned on as it speeds up a little, but then I'm less incognito. Is this common for digital AF cameras? I'm used to old film manual focus. In low light or indoors it can hunt for focus for 3-5 seconds before grabbing a focus.

It's not common on _all_ digital cameras, but it does happen with both the GR and the (very similar) Nikon Coolpix A. Maybe it's something about the compact nature of the camera and the designers not being able to fit a more powerful AF system, but both cameras are pretty sluggish when the light gets low.

11-20-2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
I remember about a cool feature (seen in the Hands-on by Adam) that might help you : by using the menu, you can chose a pre-set focus distance. For exemple (pure speculation in that example) 0.5-1m, 1-3m, 3- infinity.

i go check the review and post you the appropriate link

https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/ricoh-gr-vs-nikon-coolpix-a/interface-and-performance.html

scroll down the the GR part. there is two picture that show what i mean
Hi,

This image means that everything within the green bar will be in focus right?

I set up my GR in this manner..
At f8.. Snap distance 1.5m..
And when I took a PIC of my subject at about 2m..
It didn't look like the subject was in focus..

Still not used to the snap focus..

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