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Monday, 29 August 2022


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Hi Mike
I have followed you thru this whole saga. It’s been one of the longest threads focused on photography here in a while. What many commentators seem to miss is this is a business for you, buying a new camera is a business expense. You aren’t squandering the money that otherwise could have been spent on new curtains, you are investing it in your business. Judging from your results so far it seems like a good investment

If you can, compare the full version images processed in Silver Efex Pro. Has some excellent controls and does a fine job of B&W. Am interested in seeing and reading of your experiences and judgment if you do.

Good for you. I hope you enjoy it. It’s a good summer/fall project.

After all this Sigma fp noise I decided to rent an fp-L kit with both the EVF and OVF and the 45mm lens just to get the feeling for it and see how it compares to other cameras. And see it it really is as miserable as DPreview claims it to be! (As if I need to try one more camera system! 🤨) I’ve been shooting Canon and Leica most of the summer so it will be a nice Labor Day change-up for a week.

Re: your “Interiors” image, very nice light. It’s a very serene scene. Kinda channeling a little bit of Kertesz’s very famous image "Chez Mondrian".

alright!!! Great! I have been greatly enjoying your adventures with this Sigma camera. Wish I could afford one.

Well, that was unexpected!

You now have the opportunity to confound, or not, all the commenters who advise you to keep the full version but set it to ‘see’ B&W only in the workflow.

Using it alongside the converted would be an interesting test of brain training.

Excellent! Now you can get back to reading reviews of the fp and pondering the next buy. ;)

I have two older Sigmas that I don't intend selling, the SD Quattro and dp2 with LVF-01. Such special cameras, I've often wondered whether they'd be your bag....

Mike, just as an FYI. I have had good results using Silver Efex Pro when I first created a slightly “overdone” color effect using a HDR program on the original color file/image. I then converted it to B&W using one of many presets in Silver Efex Pro. The overdone color HDR file seems to help quite a bit when converting to B&W. It’s not a cure all for all images but it does result in images with some very nice B&W tones.

Good choice. It’s nice to see you having fun with a new camera. It should also be fun making prints with all that resolution at your disposal. It’s hard to believe that those files come from a 24-MP camera. Enjoy.

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up. ~Mark Twain

Congratulations are in order from one to photographer to another. :)

Recently I came to the conclusion I needed to change things up a little in one of my camera bags. A well known camera builder made a decision last year to move home and retire, but I did not know that. I sent him an email two weeks ago asking if he could build me a camera I can shoot out in alligator land because ‘wood fields’ do not do so well there. I have been using a Cambo Wide for this film project, but time has shown I need a change of gear. The camera maker emailed me back and told me about his retirement and that he intended not to build this particular camera any longer once he closed shop and moved, but he would build me one. Well, how can I walk away from that? Decision made.

I am very happy for you Mike. It is a wonderful experience when we find a piece of gear that inspires. I look forward to your journey up ahead with the Sigma.

So I've been quietly reading and watching your monochrome camera adventure. I honestly expected the purchase of a Leica Monochrom of some provenance, somehow. I did not see the Sigma fp coming at all.

All that to say, welcome to the Sigma-branded camera club. I've owned multiple DP-series, the SD1 Merrill, and now an SD Quattro. While Sigma is known for their lenses, I think of their cameras as Kazuto Yamaki's enduring honorific to his father, the founder of Sigma, while still an expression of the son's different idea of success.


"Not only can I compare the monochrome-sensor fp to edits from the regular unco[n]verted color fp, but so can you . . ."

Plus, you can see how others massage the photo to make a good B&W print and perhaps get the "recipe" to convert the color photo to your preferred B&W look.

How serendipitous! Congratulations on your new camera! I know flickr has messed with them, but it looks like you're getting some gorgeous files from that converted loaner. I hope the new one follows suit.

Speaking of serendipity, sunlit interiors are among my favorite subjects (and a challenging one), and there's some lovely atmosphere captured in that shot.

Very nice photo. Capturing the range from full-blast sunlight outside to lamplight inside makes for a very pleasing image. I doubt that the B&W conversion would provide an improvement over what you’ve already achieved. But it already has provided the motivation for this shot and momentum is growing. Press on.

Your indoor photo is stunning! You couldn't do better with large format and all kinds of exotic development voodoo and split grade printing imho.

Sometimes a new cool tool is what it takes to find the muse.

I'm going to hazard a guess, which is that the regular color fp files will be just as good as the monochrome converted sensor, because you'll be able to take advantage of the best demosaicing and image processing applications with the color files, plus the level of detail spit out by current 24mp full frame sensors is so good that we don't need anything better, unless we're cropping halfway into the photo. Once it's displayed or printed at a size that normal humans are going to see it at, any minute improvement caused by removing the Bayer array will be invisible.

I'v enjoyed the continuing B&W saga of yours. Looking forward to your photos and explanations.

So- what lens will be next?

Congrats Mike!

I noticed you were much more enthusiastic about this camera setup than any other I can remember reading about. Not surprised and happy for you!

Looking forward to the comparos

Nice! I hope you love it.

In addition to the light I really like the composition of the Interior shot. The windows, wall hangings, object on the table and the lamp shade make for a nice swirly leading line into the image with a bold contrasting angle from the staircase. That’s a really successful image.

The EVF-11 finder appears to be infinitely more desirable than the straight-back horizontal stovepipe; It is orientable!

That is good news Mike. I sort of think Adorama has been reading the blog and figured out a way to make a sale. It is a win win situation. I am looking forward to seeing what you and others can achieve with the files.
Is there a way to make a one time contribution to help defray the costs. I am already a Patreon supporter but would like to donate a few dollars to the grand experiment. I am certainly going to get something out of it, if from nothing else the entertainment value of reading the blog. There may be others who would want to contribute.

I like the tonalities of your test pictures a lot Mike. The HDR picture in particular may change my mind about how that feature is used (usually it is "too much," leading to what I call "alien planet lighting syndrome").

check your email about Dark Power Laboratories accessories for the Sigma fp that I bet you'd be interested in at some point. your audience might be as well.


This kit is appealing to me too, especially as the EVF seems like such a cleaner setup than than the LVF attachment.

I rent rather than own. Therefore I always have the right tools for the job!

The "Interior" photo, with the background view of the barn and the wagon wheel, evokes Andrew Wyeth. Also Orson Welles, in the second scene of Citizen Kane, where Kane's mother is signing over guardianship of her son to the bank while the boy plays outside in the snow.

Excellent choice, congratulations! I'll be interested to see how you get along and what the monochrome frames look like.

[I've got a Sample Gallery at Flickr:



I have been tempted by the fp ever since reading the glowing review from Kirk on Visual Science Lab. I'm not ready to buy now, but maybe in a few months. And I can use my Leica M lenses on it. I wonder how frames through my Jupiter-8 would look?

I have been very happy with my fp and I think you will enjoy the DNG b&w. Plus you will still have the option of the great color you get out of the fp. Enjoy

I am excited for your purchase. I'm also very much liking "the look" you seek in B&W. This has all been instructive to see.

I'd love if Sigma made a monochrome fp, say, when the color version was being sunset-ed, or replaced by a newer model. I'd buy that older model for sure. Come to think of it, maybe camera makers should do that with their older models. I think it somehow ups the specs of something that's a few years old.

An $1800 paired comparison experiment...bravo, it will be interesting! That said, and paraphrasing what you attributed to Ctein "no body cares how hard you worked", I would add a corollary "nobody cares how much money you spend to share information freely with others". LOL.

Someone at Adorama has been watching this thread!

I am very curious about the "interior" shot: How close could a single exposure have come to this combo image, given tonal adjustments in Photoshop (or wherever) ??

Hey Mike, I'm surprised your going for the fp. By most accounts, it's geared more towards video. The video specs are awesome.

Congrats! And besides all the FP-specific and monochrome-specific-specific attributes you’re now enthused by, there is the L-Mount component, which you’re about to adopt, too. I’m a big fan of L-Mount—the lenses, of course, from the excellent compact Sigma f/2.8 primes, to the range of superb Lumix S and S Pro zooms and primes, all the way to Leica’s APO-Summicron-SL series, plus the hundreds of other lenses that can be adapted. But mostly, I’m an L-Mount fan for the bodies, specifically, for me, the fabulous Lumix S1R, two of which now serve as my studio workhorse tools, having some time ago replaced Nikon D8xx and Pentax 645 systems. If you ever want to try your new 45mm Sigma, or any other lenses you eventually pick up for your FP, on a more conventionally laid out, feature-packed, super-configurable, professional-sized, high-rez, full-frame, color-capable body, you can’t go wrong with an S1R.


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