Foveon Autumn Magic

All images Sigma DP2 Merrill
I've never used a camera before that makes everything else I have available seem second-best. Of the 10 cameras I currently have, the pictures I shoot on nine of them, when I return home and look at the results on my screen, are a disappointment. This probably sounds like one of my over-enthusiastic reactions to something that I have recently bought, but those who read here regularly will realise that this is something different. Different because the camera that I'm using all the time is far from the most user-friendly I have, doesn't have (on paper) the highest resolution, doesn't have a decent viewfinder, has a fixed lens and requires me to take out at least four spare batteries.

I'd have thought under normal circumstances I'd have got used to this by now, but the Sigma DP2M produces such wonderful images that my workflow timetable is changing. Normally I get back home, upload the images, look at a few and go off and do something else. Eat, watch T.V., go to sleep, stuff like that. Now I return home and sit for hours looking at my screen marvelling at the detail and sheer beauty of the images I've just taken. I realised a couple of days ago, that for the first time in my photographic life I'm close to 100% satisfied with the images I have taken, in terms of what they look like, if not always the aesthetic content.

I've had a camera before that produced incredible pictures. My Leica M9 was indeed something special and I used to love looking at what I'd shot, but the DP2M is another step on from that. I've been writing about trying to find a combination to complement the Sigma. Something that will give me more lens choice etc. However yesterday before going out I was thinking about what else to take out when I thought to myself "Why bother" I only actually want to use the DP2M. So thats what I used and throughout the whole afternoon didn't once regret my decision. 

I'm also ignoring gear that I would have previously been dying to try out. The Olympus E-PL5 and Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 are now in stock in the UK, but my credit cards have remained in my wallet. I've thought about buying them, but just don't seem to have the enthusiasm for it. I keep thinking that this will stop soon and things will return to "normal" i.e. I stop using my current obsession all the time and start using other cameras again.  However that doesn't seem to be happening this time. 

In between these brief bursts of wonderful Autumn light, I'm editing the huge number of images I've shot this year, so I'm constantly looking at pictures shot on my m4/3 cameras, my Nikons, Leica X2 etc. and I just seem to want to get them done ASAP so I can concentrate on the DP2M images I have. While I obviously get enormous pleasure from images that I shot in great light and that I think work well in terms of whats actually in them, the additional pleasure of seeing an image I've shot on the DP2M, with its extra biting sharpness and detail is proving addictive. Its also proving difficult to stop the idea of selling everything else and buy an SD1 gathering momentum. All those warning voices saying "It won't do everything" "ISO 100 and nothing else" "I might get a call from National Geographic" don't seem to be as loud as before. 

This is something I've never encountered before and I'm not sure what to do about it. Its sort of like I've finally found the way to really capture what I see when I'm out shooting and bring it home with me. Its also like the gear doesn't matter any more. I still have no idea as to where this is heading and what it means for what I do and what I use. Past experience tells me that by now I should be moving onto something else, and that may well still happen. However I can't seem to shake the thought that I may have finally found what I've been looking for all these years, a camera that produces the results I imagine when I press the shutter. Am I getting to the situation when I'm totally satisfied with the gear I use to create pictures? If so thats a pretty scary thought.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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