There’s nothing quite like the new gear buzz. And the buzz applies not only to new gear, but used gear that’s new to me. I find it to be an emotional rollercoaster. Peaks and valleys. There’s almost always an initial feeling of buyer’s remorse. Even though I thoroughly attempt to justify a purchase with hours and hours of research, I’ll still feel it. Specs. Reviews. Forums. Image samples. Budgeting. Then repeat. Over and over again. But then there’s the rush. The thrill of exploring what a new camera or lens is capable of. And there’s also frustration with newer digital cameras. The menus. Getting the settings dialed in. Just getting the feel. I felt all these things when I purchased a Ricoh GR recently. But in all honestly, it’s all irrelevant now, because this little gem has brought a huge amount of joy to my shooting in a very short amount of time. I’m so in love with this little beast and I think we’re going to have a very special relationship.
This shot was one of the very early ones I shot with the GR. I took it on a street hunt at the Sowebo Festival in Baltimore. Previously, I had only a few chances to fumble about with it on a quick outing in York. I was still trying to get it “dialed in”, so to speak. Muscling my way through the menu. I had used the wonderful snap focus, but this time I was playing with the autofocus. I wanted to see how well it performed in a very “live” environment.
I was moving up a side street to a main artery of the street festival, and I was walking directly into the sun. I was squinting as I moved up the street, the camera left on autofocus, wide open in aperture priority, and at my side. I stopped briefly to watch a juggler and turned to see this couple dancing in the street. I raised the GR and lined up the shot on the LCD. I half-pressed the shutter and realized I had the GR set on spot autofocus. I heard the beep as it locked in and the couple broke apart from their tango-like dance. I fully pushed the shutter and caught them in a pretty cool swing-apart from their embrace.
When I got home, I had to do some recovery in Lightroom with the shadows, but I was satisfied with the performance of the GR in the harsh light. I’ll admit, I could have been better prepared, but for what was basically a maiden voyage with the GR, I was quite pleased with the autofocus capabilities. I look forward to learning what this camera, and myself, working together, are really capable of.