After shooting for a while with 50mm and 40mm fixed lens cameras, I stumbled onto a Ricoh SLR and the old guy at the shop offered me a Pentax 28mm lens for cheap to go with the 50mm f1.7 standard lens. I had shot with an ultrawide 24mm equivalent lens on a digital camera, but found it almost too wide for most shots – the subjects seemed so small unless I got very close.
I am sure to get some grief about this piece given that my last article on the analog Ricoh GR1s ended with my resolution that I was not interested in buying a digital GR. Well, that sentiment lasted about two weeks before I broke down and bought a Ricoh GRIII. And I’m glad I did. The digital GRIII remains remarkably faithful to its analog predecessors, while taking what makes the analog GR cameras so distinct to the next level, without compromise or gratuitousness of functionality. The GRIII is one of the best digital cameras I have ever used.
The Ricoh GR cameras have had a kind of cult following as a street photographer’s tool of choice going back to the days when Daido Moriyama was roaming the streets of Kabukicho and Ikebukuro in Tokyo during the 1990s, creating what are now his iconic works of art with one of the early film versions of the Ricoh GR series.
I live in Tsukuba, Japan—home to Japan’s foremost science university as well as most of the government’s R&D institutes. I love living in Tsukuba because of its easy access to Tokyo and some of the best road bike cycling Japan has to offer just out my front door. I cycle early mornings several times per week, and often use my rides as an opportunity to shoot!
I would be fibbing if I said my late teens and early 20’s weren’t somewhat filled with the actions of a self confessed hedonist. But life changes these ways, responsibility, jobs, partners and children come along and those lost days of selfish pleasure become a thing of the past… Until that is a stag weekend …