The number one question that I expect to receive is: What are JPEG recipes? Recipes are camera settings that allow you to achieve various looks straight-out-of-camera without the need for post-processing. You dial in the specific settings into your Ricoh GR camera, and you get a certain aesthetic from your pictures. It’s kind of like loading film into an analog camera (such as the original GR film camera), except you get all of the convenience of digital. Think of each recipe as a different film canister, except that you can capture as many or as few frames as you’d like before changing the “film” and you don’t have to wait for it to come back from the lab before seeing the results.
Can I still edit the SOOC JPEGs? Yes, of course, if you want to you can, but you certainly don’t have to. The idea is that the pictures produced by the camera are finished images, and editing is unnecessary; however, there’s no right or wrong way to do things, and if you want to edit you can. You might find that you like the pictures unedited, or that it’s 90% of the way there and just a little tweaking is needed to get it the rest of the way. Find what works for you, whether it is unedited or edited, and do that.
If I shoot with a recipe, can I still use the RAW files? Yes, but the RAW editing software won’t apply all of the JPEG settings, so if you are trying to recreate the look in-software it will take some work. Each program is a little different, but you will not get the same results with software as the camera-made JPEGs. However, it’s a good idea to shoot RAW+JPEG, just in case you don’t like how the JPEG turned out. You can edit the RAW file in the software of your choice, or (my preferred option) you can reprocess the RAW file in-camera using a different recipe.
Why should I use these recipes? There are three main benefits to using recipes with your Ricoh GR camera. First, it can save you a whole bunch of time, as you no longer need to sit in front of a computer editing pictures. You can increase your productivity (it frees up time to capture even more pictures) and/or improve your home life (spend more time with family/friends or reading books, etc.). Using recipes will be a game-changer for some of you—it certainly has been for me. Second, it can be more fun. It harkens back to the film era, except with the convenience of digital. Third, it opens up photography for people who don’t have access to or who don’t have the desire to learn Lightroom or other programs. Editing isn’t for everyone, and shouldn’t be a prerequisite to creating great photographs.
You might be surprised to learn that Ansel Adams was a fan of instant film photography, which he called “revolutionary.” One of his famous pictures was captured with a Polaroid camera. In his book Polaroid Land Camera, Adams talked at length of the “one-step process” of instant film photography. By removing the darkroom requirement, Polaroid opened up photography to so many more people, and had an “effect on creative photography” by those who “revel in the advantages” of it. In a similar way, recipes remove the Lightroom requirement, which makes photography more accessible, and is a creative avenue for those who wish to explore the advantages of it.
Are these recipes compatible with all Ricoh GR cameras? My Ricoh recipes are compatible with the GR, GR II, and GR III cameras. GR and GR II recipes are not compatible with GR III cameras and GR III recipes are not compatible with GR and GR II cameras. These recipes are not compatible with “GR Digital” (a.k.a. “GRD”) cameras, as far as I am aware. If you have a Ricoh GR, GR II or GR III, there are many recipes on this website that I created which you can use on your camera.