Back in business with the Sigma DP2 Merrill

Fitted with its new rather splendid L-Bracket grip, I went out early this morning into sub-zero temperatures to get some shots of the heavy overnight frost with my Sigma DP2 Merrill. 

Firstly I should say again just how different (in a good way) this grip makes the camera feel. It makes it feel much more "serious" to me which probably sounds silly, but it does now better match up in looks and handling to whats going on under the hood, which after having being away from it for a while, is pretty spectacular. The detail on these shots at 100% is just breathtaking, and even though I was editing some previous shots yesterday, I still get get blown away everytime I look at new pictures I shoot with the camera.

This kind of image works so well with the DP2M, recording all the complexity and beauty of the natural world that I just don't see with any other camera. In some senses it can be seen as a kind of hyper-reality, since there is no way I can see all this with my eyes. There is of course no sharpening applied at any stage to these images, and there is an argument that could be put forward that they are in some way over sharp. They certainly are by some distance sharper than anything else out there and I often wonder whether the real world has this kind of crispness. Certainly I wouldn't think that there is any need to capture images sharper than this because that would certainly look "unworldly"

All of this takes place, of course, within the confines of ISO 100. The light wasn't that bright this morning so I was shooting a fair bit at around 1/50th. sec. and f/2.8. Not every image was pin sharp I must admit and there is no IS in the camera to compensate. I do also have to shoot with the screen more than I would like, particularly for critical focusing. I like to use the optical viewfinder I have fitted as much as possible, but that isn't always the best alternative.

Despite these operational handicaps, I still love the camera and what it can produce. Its a one-trick pony for sure, but what a trick!! I read some comment this morning about the "epic" image quality of the Fuji EX-1, and I just burst out laughing. The Sigma may be completely useless for whole areas of photography, and I do acknowledge how good the new Fuji's are in low light, but for me picking my jaw off the floor every time I open a new image on my screen taken with the DP2M is pretty much my greatest current photographic pleasure. Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape talked about shooting pictures with this camera just to see what they looked like and I can understand what he is talking about. There's this tingle of excitement as Sigma Photo Pro grinds away at processing them into something I can view and the camera constantly fails to disappoint me with what it produces.

It just makes everything else look ordinary.

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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