Stuart has been using the SIGMA fp for several months, testing its capability in a range of real-world situations. Weighing in at 422g, it is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera. Sigma has 20 compatible L-Mount lenses in its range, and Leica and full-frame Panasonic lens also fit natively.
While out and about this month with the SIGMA fp I came across an abandoned summer house. My curiosity got the better of me and I pushed open the door to reveal an interior that hadn’t been cared for in many years. Nature had begun to take hold with vibrant green moss growing on surfaces, spider webs highlighted by shafts of sunlight and algae lining a glass jug once used to hold cold drinks on hot, summer days. As I explored, I could see the fading story of the former owners, minute tableaus that hinted of a previous life.
Earlier in the year I had decided to buy an L-Mount to M42 screw mount adapter so that I could use a wider range of lenses on the fp. Actually, there are plenty of low-priced optics out there that can be used with this converter, including old Pentax and Practica SLR lenses from back in the days of film. Quite often the beauty of vintage lenses is that they aren’t super-sharp, and under certain lighting conditions can produce interesting flare due to the limitations of the older lens coatings. This may sound like a step backwards for modern image-making, but vintage lenses can bring a certain character to photographs and allow a whole new level of expression.
I had also managed to acquire a set of extension tubes, which enabled me to get very close to my subject. The idea was to treat these tiny objects as players in a micro movie. The final images have been cropped to a 16:9 format as if each shot is a frame from an imaginary film.
Obviously when using older lenses the focusing has to be done manually, but with the focus peaking functionality of the fp it’s actually quite easy to see what is going to be in sharp focus. A good technique is to set the focus and then move the camera very slightly towards or away from the subject until it is perfectly sharp. This helps when you don’t have a tripod handy, especially when shooting close-ups where the depth-of-field is particularly shallow.
I found that the best mode setting to use on the camera is aperture priority, and then you simply adjust the aperture on the lens and the ISO on the camera to balance the exposure. The images in this blog are deliberately ambiguous and abstract. It’s really amazing what you can discover when you take a closer look.