This is an article on my latest compact camera. It may look like an old school point and shot camera, but it isn’t. Combining the current smallest L-mount interchangeable lens full frame 24mp body with a handmade super wide angle lens, it is a dream workaround combo for me.
I do not review my gear in any scientific way and write about what I like or don’t like about it subjectively in my personal experiences.
This new compact may look like my old buddy Panasonic GM1 on the outside, but they are nothing alike inside (drag the handle to see the sensor size difference). The Sigma houses a 24mp full frame image sensor, that is four times bigger than the size of the Micro Four Thirds sensor. The dynamic range and high ISO performance of the sensor seems to be better than my M10, and with the L-mount it is fully compatible with all the L-mount Leica, Sigma, Panasonic lenses. If you know me, as per my previous article, I also enjoy adapted lenses of all kinds. This camera is a pocket-rocket. It uses full electronic shutter, so it is silent in operation, and very discreet.
As part of the L-mount Alliance, Sigma launched the fp last year. Most people see it as a sensor box for video camera rig, mainly for its ability to shot 4K 422 DNG RAW. For me, I am more interested to use it for daily photography. I am going to do a separate review on the fp later.
To explain the size of this lens, just look at above, with lens hood on the left, front cap in the middle and rear cap on the right. the front and back caps with hood interchangeable with compatible thread size.
Or look at this set. From the left, a Leica L-mount body cap, the Perar, the Leica M body cap and a 50 cents Australian coin. This lens is the size of the M-mount body cap, but have working aperture and focus control built-in.
Image samples below:
Sigma has a trick up its sleeve. You can take a picture of a uniform colour wall with the fp, and it can create a custom shading compensation in camera. It also allow user to save up to 10 lens profiles with custom name, so it can be recall on the next capture. I have set up profiles to all my wide angle lenses from 28mm or wider. This is working great, and I am not sure if any other camera can do this. (best kept secret of the fp)
All my photos are full frame uncropped, with minor brightness contrast adjustments. Another note I have removed the lens vignetting in Adobe Lightroom. Just need to drag the slider to 100%. The lost of light at corners on this lens is serious, but it is also an easy fix.
On this bokeh test, you can see the lens can produce decent subject isolation even at F4.5. I can focus even closer with the helicoid adapter. Out of focus balls has fine rings around them and at the corner they become cat eyes shape. I like the character and they are not too nervous.
This high contrast scene shows the lens ability to render details. Resolution drops off at the very edge, so it is not a perfect landscape lens.
You can also see on the photo above regarding the fp camera’s ability to handle high dynamic range of light and reproduce colour wonderfully. It retains a lot of details in both the highlight and shadow area under the strong Australian Sun
For the next set of photos, you can see how this 21mm lens is great for architectural photos. The first and the fourth photos below are straightened in post. The weaker corner sharpness is clear, but I love this camera-lens combo in the way it renders the scene with good colour, good separation of layers of depths and the general clarity they brings. The photos are three-dimensional and dynamic.
I think Sigma fp + MS-Optical Super Wide Triplet Perar 21mm F4.5 is great for street photography because of its compactness. This outfit conveys an old fashion view on landscape or architecture, which I enjoy. There is a sense of airiness that I cannot quite describe, and something I love. The lens has a good vintage feel. It draws the image that is unique. I am connected to this camera-lens combo on an emotional level. It does not weight me down, which I cannot say the same about the other L-mount cameras or native lens available at present.
This lens-camera combo has its faults but I embrace them 100%. It is a romantic way of taking photos.
More about MS Optical at Japan camera hunter:
More about the fp:
More about my journey to L-mount:
More about the L-mount alliance: