ERIC KIM NECK STRAP MARK II x Ricoh GR x RICOH MAFIA Artwear

Heavy cameras are the WORST thing for your artistic thriving as a photographer.

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#RICOHMAFIA for life.

My buddy Anthony is traveling in Japan right now, and he brought his Fuji and some lenses, and his RICOH GR III.

ERIC KIM NECK STRAP MARK II x Ricoh GR II x RICOH MAFIA Artwear

He just texted me and told me:

Screw the Fuji and all these heavy lenses. Lightweight RICOH for life!

Why all this obsession with big and heavy cameras?

We make a sucker mistake:

We think bigger is better.

This bias exists even in our etymology. For example, the word ‘great’ comes from ‘magnus’ in Latin. To be great literally means to be “big”.

Humans are basic

Thus we have a basic bias:

If it is bigger, it is better.

For example we believe:

  1. Bigger homes are better
  2. Bigger cars are better
  3. Bigger muscles are better
  4. Bigger breasts are better

Etc…


Why big is bad in photography

RICOH GR III x Eric Kim NECK STRAP selfie

I’ve shot all the cameras out there, and this is the truth:

All big, heavy, and bulky cameras are bad. Irrespective of how good the image quality is.

Why? The bigger, bulkier, and more cumbersome your camera, the LESS LIKELY you are to make new photos!

Why I’m using the 21mm adapter less

I really like the 21mm adapter for the RICOH GR III. But ultimately if I had a choice, I wouldn’t use it. Why? The 21mm adapter makes the GR III bigger, bulkier, and less pocketable.

Thus, I’m just shooting with the default 28mm lens– which honestly works well in almost all situations!

Providence, 2019. RICOH GR III, 28mm, high contrast JPEG preset.

No flash with RICOH GR III

High angle street photograph. RICOH GR III (with default 28mm lens). Holding the camera high and pointing downwards.

The GR III doesn’t have an integrated flash (while the Ricoh GR II does). This means:

Don’t use flash on RICOH GR III.

Ricoh does sell an external flash with GR III, but it defeats the purpose of the camera being small and compact.


Better to shoot a bad photo than no photo

I am in a good spot. I currently have lots of racks stowed away in my savings account. I can theoretically afford any camera currently on the market. I could shoot with any digital medium format camera, or digital Leica M camera. But I prefer the RICOH GR III. Why? Once again — EXTREME PORTABILITY!

Pastiche bakery. Providence, 2019. 28mm lens on RICOH GR III,

I was testing the iPhone Pro for a while (even smaller than the GR III), but ultimately, this is my takeaway:

The RICOH GR III is only twice as big as the iPhone Pro, yet the image quality and performance is at least 20x better.

Thus iPhone Pro is an optimal productivity device (or a good ‘second shooter’ for photography), but in terms of the most epic camera, RICOH GR III is king.

Once again, the bigger, heavier, bulkier, and more cumbersome the camera, the less likely you are to shoot photos!

Portability, compactness, and ultralight ALWAYS over image quality.

Pinnochio nose. Downtown LA, 2015. Shot on RICOH GR II. The image is ‘good enough’!

A Pentax 645Z is a great camera. Yet I prefer the RICOH GR III 1000x over it. Why? The 645Z literally gave me carpal tunnel or tennis elbow pain. And it is EXHAUSTING to lug around. The goal is to walk MANY MILES every single day with minimum exhaustion. This is why also with all of our devices, to optimize ultra lightweight is the goal.

No to heavy things.

Mexico City, 2019 #abstract. RICOH GR II

For example, I do not desire the 16” MacBook Pro, as it is heavier. If I bought a new laptop today, it would definitely be a 13” MacBook Air.

Lightweight clothing and equipment

RICOH GR II

Same goes with shoes. Always optimize the lightest shoes possible. The lighter your shoes, the FURTHER you can travel with LESS FATIGUE. Phil Knight has an anecdote in his memoir ‘Shoe Dog’ in which he says something like:

Even if we can shave half an ounce off a running shoe, that will equal to TONS of force and weight saved across [x] miles.

The goal is to move more, live more, create more, act more!

RICOH GR III in Macro Mode.

Generally speaking, smaller, lighter, more compact, and simpler is better.

For myself:

  1. RICOH GR III as the best camera.
  2. To live in a minimalist (micro apartment) as optimal. Even more optimal is hotel room.
  3. When traveling, carry as few things as possible. One backpack.
  4. If you’re gonna buy a car, buy the smallest, or the lightest car possible (Mazda Miata). Even better to NOT own a car (I don’t currently own a car — I just walk, Uber, take the train, or fly everywhere).

Lighter is better.

ERIC


MINIMALISM

Surreal. Sapa, 2018.

ZEN

Less is better:

Philosophy >