So, I just wrote about the Fujifilm X-Pro 2. It is a nice enough camera. I used it over the past six months. The fact of the matter is though, I never felt much of a connection to that camera. It worked just fine, but it never made me want to take photos. It was just, well, there.
For reference, here is a picture of my Leica M3. It is probably the most lovely camera I’ve ever used or seen. It had spent much of its time in a closet. When this camera finds its way into my hands I just want to take photos. The Fuji never made me feel that way. For the amount of photos I took with the Fuji I would have been better off just carrying the M3 around. It is certainly sexier 😉
Last weekend I brought my M3 to get checked since it had been sitting for a while. While Pyeonghoon (pictured) was looking at it he handed me a Ricoh GR II he had for me to use. He said he always thought I was “supposed” to use a Ricoh.
Interesting thought, that.
First of all, I’ve come to the conclusion that I use a lot of cameras and I’m not going to fight it anymore. It is what it is. Whether I take better photos with a certain camera, I dunno. I think all my photos are intrinsically ‘mine’…
To be fair, I’ve always loved Ricoh cameras. I loved the GRD from 2006. I loved the GRD3 and 4. I even loved the GR from 2013. The problem with any Ricoh camera is reliability. Every one I’ve ever had has broken. They basically feel like disposable cameras to me. I love using them, and the GR felt to me very similar to using something like the GR1V I had loved for a long time.
The beauty of a Ricoh camera is of course, size. There were many times in the last six months where I just didn’t take a camera because I didn’t want to carry the Fuji around. When I own a Ricoh, it always is around. No point for it not to be.
Because of this, I have more “keeper” photos from Ricoh cameras than any other. It is simple math. I carry and use them more therefor they yield more results.
I have a friend who swears by the newer Ricoh cameras. He, like me, doesn’t trust them though. He always has two in case one breaks. When one breaks he buys another. For him, it is literally only about the results. These cameras are tools, nothing more or less. He figures even if he buys 4 a year it is cheaper than a Leica. I suppose he’s right.
Any Ricoh camera basically replaces my phone. As much as I love to shoot with my iPhone, I rarely do when I own a Ricoh camera. There just isn’t a point if I have a Ricoh with me. During the past couple of days with the Ricoh GR II I haven’t taken a single photo with my phone.
More than any other kind of camera, Ricoh cameras always seem to allow me to take photos that most closely match my feelings. I don’t like to think much when I take photos and they work well to this end. Probably why I end up with lots of my favorite photos from them.
When I say ‘match my feelings’ I basically mean the process of taking a photo never gets in the way of my emotion when I use a Ricoh compact camera. They just take photos when I need them to. They simply are there when I need them to be there.
Hopefully, working, ha.
I wish I had something more interesting to say about the GR II. It is a lovely camera, considering it is working perfectly at this moment. When I use it, I love using it. Like with any Ricoh I set the three ‘my’ settings for certain situations and never use anything else.
The GR II is basically the GR from what I can gather. Seems the autofocus may be a little better, it is hard to tell. I kind of like the new hump on the top, even if I’m the only one.
I’m really happy he got me this camera to use. I think I’ll probably take a lot more photos in the next couple of months because of it. Also, hopefully put a few rolls through my M3 😉
On a side note, the photography ‘group’ I co-founded called @wearethestreet is starting a blog in the next couple of days. The members include Junku Nishimura, Sean Lotman, Chulsu Kim, Aik Beng Chia, and Nicholas Dominic Talvola. We are going to start by introducing ourselves on the blog and then eventually have some behind the scenes stuff about what we are up to. Stay tuned 😉