- Mar 23, 2015
- Andrew Lossing
It's a bit of a good news/bad news situation, with the bad news being that the GRII has a lot fewer parameters for setting JPEGs. I'll show my settings below. The good news is that I feel like the GRII's hi-contrast settings out of the box are better than the GRIII's, they just have a level of punch that looks really great. It took me some experimentation to find my feet with the new model's hi-contrast setting.If you don't mind my curiosity, Andrew -- what exactly were or are the tweaks that you did or do, in achieving this particular hi-contrast B&W look? I know your GRiii has a significantly updated processing 'engine' than my GRii, but I'm wondering if I can borrow or steal any of your specific 'settings' or tweaks, and apply them to the GR II?
Inside the GR II menu, under the Hi-Contrast B&W 'effect' - there are only 3 variable settings:
Contrast - which only offers 3 choices: Max, -1, or -2
Sharpness - with an adjustable scale from 1 to 9
Vignetting - with 4 choices: Off, Weak, Medium, Strong
In my ongoing experiments with the GRII, the Max contrast setting is almost too insanely extreme, so either the -1 or -2 seem stronger to me. With regards to sharpness, I'm clueless though my tendency is to not oversharpen inside the camera but where necessary to use the Topaz AI sharpening plugin which Ctein raved about some time ago on TheOnlinePhotographer site. And I haven't tried the vignetting setting at all.
So---are there any parallels or useful tips from your iii that I can beg, borrow or steal for me ii?
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The settings were almost the same for both images, though when making JPEGs from RAW I find myself adjusting the exposure up or down as necessary. The info setting on playback shows every conversion setting I used, which is brilliant, just another of the fine touches Ricoh put into the camera and has been invaluable to me after sending the camera in for servicing and finding that all my preferred JPEG settings were reset.
Starting with the top-leftmost JPEG setting next to the HI-BW setting icon, I've got hi/low key=0, contrast=+3, highlight contrast=-2, shadow contrast=-1, sharpness=-1, toning=0 (this adds a color tint to images, I never use it), shading=-2 (vignette), clarity=-3, grain=+1 (low). Then underneath is the color filter, which is the user customizable option with color values tweaked to my liking (imitating the GRII to the best of my ability actually, based solely on eyeballing the results).
So not too much of this translates to the GRII unfortunately, but, like I said, the GRII comes with a pretty well-tuned look to begin with. I'd turn sharpness down, and give it a little bit of extra vignetting (also, turn off the shading compensation which is intended to offset the natural vignette of the lens, but which results in some weird artifacting if you push a RAW file too hard).
Early on, I gave my files extra sharpening, but when I thought about it, if you want the look to be more authentically pushed-film-like, you don't really want a lot of sharpness. Also, if you have a tool like Nik, I know Silver Efex has filters which let you set the individual color channels much like the GRIII does, so if you take a RAW file (or color JPEG at least) and do a conversion with Nik you should be able to replicate the color sensitivities I used in-camera.