Playing Around with the Nokia Lumia 1020

I came across a Nokia Lumia 1020 last week that was being offered at a great price (it is a really old phone as far as phones go after all), and couldn’t pass it up. Like many others I had read about the camera on this phone being somewhat of a ground breaker. It offers 41mp, has a relatively large sensor for a cell phone, it has optical image stabilization and shoots raw files in a handy DNG format.

The one thing I was really looking for was a decent camera to accompany me on my rides, so what you’ll see here are mostly gathered from my rides over the last few days.

Dueling saxophones in the saxophone hut.

Dueling saxophones in the saxophone hut.

I came across these noodles at the end of a long ride and was tempted, but I had plans to meet family and friends at a nearby cafe for lunch.

I came across these noodles at the end of a long ride and was tempted, but I had plans to meet family and friends at a nearby cafe for lunch.

My view for 12 to 15 hours a week.

My view for 12 to 15 hours a week.

So far I’m pretty happy with the phone. My biggest complaint is that the yellow channel seems way out of line and needs some work in post and in artificial light the white balance is way off. Fingers are crossed for a firmware update to correct this issues. If not, I still have my iPhone and don’t plan on getting rid of it yet.

Wandering Around the Neighborhood

This corner has a few peanut stands to choose from. They're quite good.

This corner has a few peanut stands to choose from. They’re really quite good.

I wanted to give the wide angle conversion lens a legitimate outing last night, but didn’t have the energy to make it down to my usual hunting grounds. So, tonight I headed out, but stayed close to home. I left the house on foot around dusk with the Ricoh GR and GW-3 lens attached. For the majority of photos here the camera was set up in TAv mode with a few of the photos shot in Av.

Like many of the other black and white images lately, they were converted from DNG files in Lightroom and processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 with the Kodak 100 TMAX Pro film simulation. A few of the photos have also had the shadows lifted.

Any time I get a chance to change the perspective and shoot from above, I take it.

Any time I get a chance to change the perspective and shoot from above, I take it.

There are countless food options around here and settling on one can be a tough choice.

There are countless food options around here and settling on one can be a tough choice.

This church stands out on this busy, crowded corner.

This church has always caught my eye as it stands out on this busy, crowded corner.

A 50cc scooter is plenty of for a family of three.

A 50cc scooter is plenty for a family of three. (Ricoh GR – Positive film simulation)

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Mysterious door.

A mysterious door.

This shoe store really belongs in the Cluttered post from a few days ago.

This shoe store really belongs in the Cluttered post from a few days ago.

A little peace in the city.

A little peace in the city.

Ricoh GR Wide Angle Adaptor (GW-3): Out of the Box Impressions

Yes, I am really enjoying the new GR. It easily fits in the messenger bag I tote back and forth to work, it fits in a jacket pocket and it fits in my jersey pocket when cycling. Some of the recent additions though go against one of the GR’s greatest strengths, its compact size. I’m OK with that on occasion and it’s nice to have the option to strip it down whenever needed. On this rainy evening my wife and I took a drive over to the local camera shop and picked up the GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens. It has a conversion factor of 0.75 so the 28mm lens becomes equivalent to a 21mm fov when attached. I’m pretty happy at 35mm, 28mm is a little stretch, but 21mm is definitely out of my comfort zone, but there are some advantages to shooting street photography at 21mm. On first impression I was surprised how heavy the lens is and once attached it does make the GR a little front heavy. Here are a few photos of what it looks like mounted.

Front view of the GW-3 conversion lens attached to the Ricoh GR.

Front view of the GW-3 conversion lens attached to the Ricoh GR.

It adds about the same amount of bulk as the GH-3 hood, but of course is much heavier than adding the hood.

It adds about the same amount of bulk as the GH-3 hood, but of course is much heavier than adding the hood.

Another view of the GW-3 conversion lens.

Another view of the GW-3 conversion lens.

Not sure what I think of the rubber hood yet.

Not sure what I think of the rubber hood yet.

Based on a few around-the-house photos I am impressed that a relatively inexpensive conversion lens would give you such good quality. Photos posted have been corrected for exposure, color and distortion in Lightroom.

Since we were already at the camera shop I thought I'd pick up a few extra packs  of Fuji Instax 210 Wide film.

(Shot with Ricoh GR and GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens) Since we were already at the camera shop I thought I’d pick up a few extra packs of Fuji Instax 210 Wide film.

(Shot with Ricoh GR and GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens) Two egg ham and cheese omelet coming up.

(Shot with Ricoh GR and GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens) Two egg ham and cheese omelette coming up.

(Shot with Ricoh GR and GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens) Two egg omelet coming up.

(Shot with Ricoh GR and GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens) These local eggs have rich dark yokes and taste great.

Titanium, carbon and rubber, a great combination.

(Shot with Ricoh GR and GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens) Titanium, carbon and rubber, a great combination.

Below is an uncorrected DNG file. The distortion is pretty easy to see here, but is corrected with a couple clicks and takes just a few seconds. 20141011-R0000837

Cluttered Spaces and a few Other Snaps

I’ve been walking home from work the last couple days for a couple reasons. 1. Up until about a week ago it sits around 94ºf with high humidity, but with the last typhoon the weather has changed for the better. Now it’s a ‘comfortable’ 82ºf which is a lot more pleasant to walk home in. 2. It gives me a few more chance to take the Ricoh GR out for a spin.

I don’t like clutter. I’m much more of a minimalist, which is why the following photos are so hard for me to look at. Somehow, this is a workable environment, it just couldn’t be my environment.

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There’s a lot going on in there.

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Local framing shop

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Shoe repair

Along with the clutter I’ve found in a few other slightly more pleasant street scenes.

Umbrellas for sunny weather, umbrellas for the rain and sometimes just because.

Umbrellas for sunny weather, umbrellas for the rain and sometimes just because.

One of the few open spaces I found on my walk home today.

One of the few open spaces I found on my walk home today.

Space is a precious commodity in this city.

Space is a precious commodity in this city.

Waiting outside the doctor's office.

Waiting outside the doctor’s office.

All but one of these images were edited from DNG files in Silver Efex Pro 2 and treated with the Kodak 100 TMAX Pro film simulation.

BTW - This scooter just about ran me over a block from home.

BTW – This scooter just about ran me over a block from home.

Thinking about Hong Kong

Being neighbors with Hong Kong means that any news about this unique city gets my attention. It is a vibrant city full of passion and people are demonstrating that right now with the Umbrella Revolution. This is certainly not a political blog or post, but all this news has me thinking about one of my favorite cities so I went back through my photos and dug up a few of my favorite images from past trips. These first few are a little different, because they were taken with a Fujifilm Instax 210 Wide camera. Long story short, my Leica X1 was stolen and I was left with the Instax as my only way to document our trip.

This next batch was from a trip to see the Hong Kong Sevens. I’m not a big sports fan, but this is just as much about the sport as it is an event. Think of Mardi Gras, Halloween and the Super Bowl all happening in one place a the same time, that’s the Hong Kong Sevens. The following photos were shot with a Leica M8.

The photos below were taken when my father came out for a visit in 2010. For two photographers, a trip to Hong Kong was ideal.

This was a great trip. I headed over to Hong Kong to meet Thorsten Overgaard and my wife surprised me with a Leica M9. A photography workshop in Hong Kong AND a new M9…perfect.

I’m headed back to Hong Kong in a few weeks for street photography weekend and I can’t wait. Hong Kong has been good to me and I wish them well during this difficult time.

The modern day version of Klimt's "The Kiss" complete with simultaneous selfie.

Nik’s Silver Efex Pro – Kodak 100 TMAX Pro

The modern day version of Klimt's "The Kiss" complete with simultaneous selfie.

The modern day version of Klimt’s “The Kiss” complete with simultaneous selfie.

I’ve been using Nik’s software suite for a few years now. The suite has several different modules, but I spend most of the time in Silver Efex Pro II. Within that module there are several different ways to process your color images. There are a couple dozen presets, there are tools for manipulating your image manually and then there are a set of film simulations.

Currently, the Kodak 100 TMAX Pro simulation is my favorite. It’s quite contrasty and adds a very small amount of fine grain. The images in this post were converted from raw files from the Sony RX1r and Ricoh GR.

You'll find a crowd almost everywhere in Taiwan. (Ricoh GR)

You’ll find a crowd almost everywhere in Taiwan. (Ricoh GR)

We've walked by this place for 8+ years and haven't ever tried it, maybe it's time. (Sony RX1r)

We’ve walked by this place for 8+ years and haven’t ever tried it, maybe it’s time. (Sony RX1r)

Another restaurant on our block we haven't tried. (Sony RX1r)

Another restaurant on our block we haven’t tried. (Sony RX1r)

A little landscape work with the Ricoh.

A little landscape work with the Ricoh.

Some more landscape work with the Ricoh.

Some more landscape work with the Ricoh.

A Week with the GR: Pros and Cons

On the run

On the run

I’m just going to get directly to the point with the GR.

Pros (in no order of importance):

  • Handling – No compact camera handles this well
  • Ergonomics – Buttons, dials, toggles and switches are well placed and have great feedback
  • Menu – It’s the most simplified, direct menu I’ve worked with
  • Lens – Sharp, compact and 28mm is just about ideal for street photography
  • Looks – Of course this and the other items I’ve mentioned above are subjective, but it’s gorgeous in a non-dramatic, understated way

Cons:

  • Battery life – It would be nice to see another hundred-ish shots out of one battery
  • ISO – The ISO ceiling is lower than I expected. We are getting greedy and spoiled these days, but I would like to have seen better results from the color files at ISO3200. Black and white is where I choose to shoot most often, and it’s not really much of an issue.
  • Aperture – Everything is a compromise, but I would have loved to seen f/2 lens on the GR.
  • Charger – The recent movement of not including a dedicated battery charger in the kit is frustrating, but is easily overcome.

Bottom Line:

What do I think? Would I recommend this to my fellow photographers? I love it and yes. It is not the most flexible camera on the market right now; instead Ricoh/Pentax have created a finely sharpened photographic tool aimed at photo enthusiasts and I for one am grateful.

Waiting for the light

Waiting for the light

A few things for sale

A few things for sale

This will give you an idea of the way the Ricoh GR processes it's color files. Exposure adjustments were made, but colors were not touched.

Yes, it actually does shoot color files…sometimes. This will give you an idea of the way the Ricoh GR processes it’s color files. Exposure adjustments were made, but colors were not touched.

Short final

Short final

Sunshine and an umbrella

Sunshine and an umbrella