Saturday, 11 July 2009


Used the Ricoh earlier today for these images, combined in Photoshop, illustrating the benefits of the Joby Gorillapod ...which I plan to put to much more use shortly.

Whereas the Panasonic LX3 can be set for slow shutter times - fantastic results (for night shots, especially) with a tripod, the CX1 has unfortunately far less control ... but redeemed itself with some daylight product images here that were exactly as I'd hoped.

There's a reason why Ricoh cameras are famed for their macro peformance ...

Monday, 29 June 2009


It's all about the colour on this image ...CX1 colour rendition is great - good job, considering there isn't a RAW file option, and isn't likely to be in the future, either.

In the compact camera market, Fuji had previously built a great reputation for fantastic colour rendering, and made some really excellent cameras ...F10, F11, F30 ... to the extent that it would previously have been awkward for its users to change to another brand. The feeling was that they'd have to 'put up' with the way the image would look, from a colour viewpoint ... clearly an area that Ricoh have worked very hard at, and a good sign for future models.

Monday, 22 June 2009


A b&w image from this morning - Shillingford Street, London Borough of Islington, on an overcast but reasonably bright day.

Islington is hugely mixed ... in this part, there's a superb Greek coffee bar, which also sells some unidentifiable food and odd ingredients, a high-end kitchen showroom, interior designers, music shop, you name it ... makes for an interesting place.


Just as well ... they really are everywhere. These taken at the long end of the zoom on CX1 ... definitely something my LX3 unfortunately can't manage, which is why I use them both.
What's impressive is that I've not had a single blurred image with the CX1 due to camera shake - the image stabilisation works brilliantly at all focal lengths, right up to 200mm, which along with its ultra fast-focusing ability means its easy to grab a shot when there's little time.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

E-P1 £799 ...or £24.95 ?

Well the new Olympus E-P1, after so much speculation, should see the light of day in the UK sometime around early July. No doubt, a great camera, with the 'dream spec' for some photographers. So much anticipation & excitement.

Suggestion from me : whether you're planning to buy it or not, invest less than £25 -first - in what's probably the most interesting general photography book I've read in ages. Absolutely guaranteed to improve your photography ...can the same be said of the E-P1 ?

Saturday, 6 June 2009


LX3 f/4.5, 1/640, ISO80, -0.7EV

Struck me when processing this image earlier how similar it looks to some of those architectural 'Artist's impression' images you see in marketing brochures for new housing and commercial developments ... this image shot at the Hub, Milton Keynes ... one of the most recent, and therefore thoroughly modern in styling - very fitting for this modern city.


LX3 f/4.5, 1/2000, ISO80, -1.3EV

Digging through a 'to be processed' folder of fairly recent LX3 images, reminding myself just how great a camera it is - and the 'Dynamic Black & White' output, with a very film-like feel, was one of the big attractions in acquiring an LX3. Advantage over the CX1 is the customisation of the 'film' type, which perhaps Ricoh will learn from ?

Friday, 5 June 2009


CX1 f/5, 1/1620, ISO80, -0.7EV

Captured in the Hertfordshire countryside, this image has also had a touch of DxO FilmPack processing - rather than the original wispy-clouded blue sky, I went for a cool toning on this for a more interesting look that's decidedly more moody and less 'summery' than the original. Had to be 1:1 format for this one.


CX1 f/4.8, 1/104, ISO130, 0EV

Varying textures became the theme for this image, which I also processed in DxO Labs FilmPack - this time I chose a Fuji Provia 400X film type, for rich colours and great contrast. CX1 lens quality shines here especially, as it picked up superbly the textural detail of the different finishes on the packaging.


CX1 f3.9, 1/176, ISO80, -0.7EV

I've walked past this gate in Cambridge so many times, and it always strikes me as the strangest, most modern-looking I've seen ... and a different photographic subject that I wanted to capture in decent light.

Saturday, 30 May 2009


Interesting to note that tomorrow will see yet another Panasonic firmware update that should further improve white balance performance (again!) ... I'm interested to see if they achieve what for some reason is an awkward aspect for Panasonic, and one that would make a great difference to LX3's usability for many.

Even though the LX3 Dynamic BW is stunningly good and highly addictive, we do need far better jpeg wb accuracy as well for colour images, especially as SilkyPix raw file conversion is so painful and time-consuming in attempting to gain good wb ... so fingers crossed.


Ricoh CX1 f/5, 1/470, ISO80, -0.7EV

Vodafone billboard ad, actually taken on a lovely blue-sky evening earlier in the week ... desaturated all but the ad in post-processing for greater effect

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/5.2, 1/189, ISO125, -0.7EV

British Summer Time, so it was out with the brollies in North London today, on a typical grey day - had to be monochrome for this image.


Ricoh CX1 f/6.6, 1/440, ISO80, -0.3EV

Foreign feel to this image, but actually fairly close to home - the warm colours & contrast caught my eye ...

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/5.2, 1/18, ISO161, -2EV

Not just any flute ...this is something very special, a bamboo flute that Niall uses regularly on many of his tracks, and well worthy of careful photography, as it also features some very detailed inscribed symbols.

The sunlight had gone, showers came literally the moment I'd made this shot ...just as well I was able to work very quickly, with a touch of ambient light (that's easily seen in the top right section of the image), combined with a CTO-gelled SB-800, camera left, to replicate some warmth from evening sunlight... an intentional contrast, and an image that's a little different from the norm.


Nikon D3/24-70 (@34mm), f/11, 1/250, ISO200, -1EV

From a couple of evenings ago, one of the D3 images of Niall, a good friend and prolific composer of some superb World music (check iTunes and web link for more!), this image made with a couple of SB-800s off-camera for a striking and dramatic effect.

Location for this image was the first Peace Pagoda in the Western hemisphere. And another essential component for the success of this shot - that's a real Far-Eastern shirt.

Monday, 25 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/6.3, 1/2, ISO80, -2EV

Ricoh CX1 f/5, 1/7, ISO161,-1.3EV

Strobist ? Isn't that to do with off-camera flash, DSLRs, hotshoes, wireless, pocket wizards, cactus triggers, sync cords ? ...the list goes on. Answer yes. So how can CX1 be a part of that ?

CX1 is not a DSLR, doesn't have a pc socket or hotshoe for external flash triggering, so there's no way of connecting, and it definitely doesn't have wireless flash control built-in...we could live in hope !

But what the CX1 does have is, like most compacts, an onboard flash - and a reasonably powerful one at that. But it goes beyond the usual p&s brigade for two reasons :

1/ The internal flash has output compensation control. In the words of the brilliant Joe McNally, that means you're not going to nuke every subject you point the camera at can reduce the level to fill-in, or even -2 ... hardly noticeable, but there.

2/ CX1 also has a 'slow synchro' flash mode - so you can pick up the ambient light as well as adding flash to your exposure.

Having used the D3 the other evening, with 3 x SB-800s (one on camera as master, two off-camera 'slaves'), and being inspired by some of what I've read so far of 'The Hot Shoe Diaries' (McNally), I thought the least I could do was try using a couple of SB-800s in
'SU-4/slave' mode, to see what I could get. In a way ridiculous that each cost more than the CX1, but as I have them, wanted to use them !

With a CTO gel in each to warm things up, here are a couple of examples of indoor 'strobist'/off-camera flash usage, where the CX1 flash comp, set to -2, triggered both SBs in sync. The strobes are of course then each manually set for the required power output to taste. I'm pleased with the results so far, and it's a great way to set-up different-looking shots quickly & easily. More to come...


Boy ..... or Girl ?
Ricoh CX1 f/5.2, 1/189, ISO135, 0EV
The toning and general treatment applied can make a huge difference to the viewer's perception of an image ... we're used to seeing dramatic high-saturation shots, cinematic muted styles, and increasingly lately, black & white images, but careful use of toning - and there are several choices in DxO Labs FilmPack 2 - can really add to an image, or offer an alternative version with an entirely different feel.
The guys in the darkrooms of old certainly were pioneering 'looks' that we now aim to replicate digitally these days, sometimes with inconsistent results. Wonder if they knew then that they were virtually 'setting in stone' established styles that will be used in visual communication for decades, probably centuries, to come ?
Example here is Henry ...but I had you guessin' ...

Friday, 22 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.3, 1/64, ISO125, -1.0EV

One of my favourite subjects (ie anything to do with music !), this image of my Yamaha AES620 made this evening in the remaining daylight. I needed to take particular care with the shooting angle on this one to get the right lighting accents in the areas I wanted them, without recording odd reflections. Almost mono, I decided to keep it in colour for the 'blueness' that I think adds to the feel.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.1, 1/410, ISO80, -0.3EV

Shot in London's Edgeware Road, stuck in traffic ... The King's Head Dive Bar & Music Joint - possibly looks better by night - and the girl with a thoughtful/worried look, maybe from an incoming text or missed call ? CX1 zoom range and fast focusing enabled this image to be captured, in mono, with post-processing for added contrast.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/5.9, 1/1230, ISO80, -0.7EV

Ricoh CX1 f/7.2, 1/540, ISO80, -0.7EV

Ricoh CX1 f/5, 1/1520, ISO80, -0.7EV
Just up the road from the filling station ...scenes like this (just above), bathed in sunlight occasionally, followed by darkened skies and a feeling almost of mid-winter at times. The 1:1 format keeps it tight & uncluttered, and I'm finding it a great option instead of the usual 3:2 and 4:3 images that we're all so used to seeing.


Ricoh CX1 f/5.9, 1/620, ISO80, -0.7EV

Guess they did sell some fuel, sometimes ... reminded me of some American 50's movie. Passed this filling station, as was, on the Essex/Suffolk border today, down the back of beyond. I'm sure some motorists would have occasionally been delighted at the sight of this - an oasis when desperate to refuel. Whether they were ever tempted by an 'AfFORDable Classic' - who knows ? I suspect not.

Monday, 18 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/6.3, 1/1620, ISO80, -0.3EV

On my way from a car park in Cambridge today, passed this great-looking building : 7A Jesus Lane. The white building against (mostly) blue sky reminded me of how well the CX1 'Outdoors' white balance works, and I was pleased to grab this before the rain came very shortly after.

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.5, 1/73,ISO135,-1.7EV

A 1:1 format macro shot - part of a 'lucky', if slightly dusty, pine cone that caught the daylight beautifully ...great detail in the usual CX1 style.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.6, 1/52, ISO200, -1.3EV

Ricoh CX1 f/4.6, 1/17, ISO200, -0.7EV

Couple more examples where the CX1's 1:1 image format lends itself to different - and sometimes ideal - compositions. As I often do, I was aiming for a commercial look to these images, with great clarity and a certain 'something extra'. Second shot is typical Ricoh macro, with great light draw (these images taken in early evening daylight) and fantastic detailing. And look at the flamed maple inside back of the violin, through the f-hole ... again, colours are spot-on in these shots of the stunning new Eastman Master Series instruments.


Ricoh CX1 f/5, 1/1150, ISO80, -0.7EV

Thanks to the digital level, the CX1 is an ideal tool for architectural shots... or just for anytime when you need things absolutely horizontal, rather than just 'close' ...and reduces the need for processing afterwards. As usual in daylight, I used the 'Outdoors' white balance for this image to maintain the white of the building and the true colours of the other elements.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/9.4, 1/570, ISO80, -0.7EV

Ricoh CX1 f/6.9, 1/540, ISO80, -0.7EV

Fantastic day at Silverstone on a 'Single Seater Thrill' Driving Experience today...didn't get too many photos from the cockpit of the Formula Ford, but I was pleased with this one, taken on the way out from the race track. We stopped to watch some of the Historic Car racing, and this parked Austin-Healey 'Frogeye' Sprite was well cared-for, and definitely in concours condition.

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 : in-camera mono shots

Friday, 8 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 images - shot at the weekend in Linford Wood, Milton Keynes


Ricoh CX1 f/4.8, 1/189, ISO80, -0.7EV

Still no real sign of sunny conditions, but at least the wet weather enhanced the colour here - again very ably captured at the long end of the zoom on CX1 post-processing on colours done here, they remain entirely true-to-life thanks to the Sony CMOS sensor and great in-camera processing engine.


Ricoh CX1 f/4.9, 1/380, ISO80, -0.7EV

Near to the top of an old building, this intricate work got my attention from the roadside, with my CX1 at the long end of the zoom doing a great job of accurately capturing the colour and detail, despite fairly dull conditions.


Ricoh CX1 f/4.2, 1/620, ISO80, -0.7EV

Today was, weatherwise, a mostly damp day, and this scene to my left, while waiting in traffic, typified this part of Hornchurch, especially in the relative dull greyness ...thankfully, there are much nicer parts very close by, but again it was the light here that grabbed me.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.3, 1/540, ISO80, -1EV

Also the name of a great track on an earlier Steve Lukather album ('Lukather' - from 1989 !), I shot this image this evening, in what seemed very strange light ... a very dark sky, but anything at ground level remained fairly bright, trees, buildings.

That'll be the English Summer, then.

REVIEW round-up: Ricoh CX1, Hot Shoe Diaries and more - 1001 Noisy Cameras

All at 1001 Noisy Cameras

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.8, 1/48, ISO200, -0.7EV

Loved the play of light on the violin, which was already in this position on the chair - all I had to do was capture it, and chose a 1:1 format (again !) for this image.

Monday, 4 May 2009


Ricoh CX1 f/4.5, 1/153, ISO161, -0.3EV

Ricoh has long been noted for the stunning macro abilities of its cameras - the CX1 is no exception. This image was made in the useful 1:1 format, previously typified by Medium-format film photographers, that lends itself to new compositions with a different view from the norm - surely the aim of most creative photographers.


Ricoh CX1 / DxO Labs FilmPack v2

One of my favourite settings in DxO FilmPack v2 is this 'Sepia Terra' setting. Very similar to the 'Ambrotype' setting from Nik Silver Efex Pro, this gives a fairly strong toning effect without looking too overblown in the brown/yellow spectrum, and can work really well for certain images. For comparison, here's a conversion of a recently posted image.