150526 RGB - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Tonight was another FujiTuesday walk, and as usual I carried my token Fujifilm XQ1 and took photos with a Sigma camera. It's a friendly group with a sense of humour, so they put up with me and even show some polite interest. A very enjoyable way to spend an evening, and we were practically in my front yard as we strolled through the University of Toronto's main campus.

Fujifilm makes charming cameras with operational grace and elegance, while Sigma makes minimalist bricks riddled with caveats. I tried to explain some of the Sigma/Foveon drawbacks – although the Fujifilm people are never as shocked by my fifty exposures per battery as SLR people are – but that just underlines the point that I still find them worth using. And photos like this are a big part of the reason why.

All three photos in this series were taken with the lens wide open. It's a bit sharper and more contrasty when it's stopped down, but there's ample detail and I really enjoy the rendering of the lens. I've spent many years being very clean and detached, but now I actually am thinking of my Merrills as medium-format film cameras and embracing more of their character.

It seems like answering this question is the first step to identifying the problem and resolving the underlying issues. Of course the sign originally said "danger", but the point still applies.

This photo clearly wasn't my idea – it has depth and perspective. To be honest it was the result of a bit of a geek-off between myself and Jerry, our excellent Fujifilm technical expert, who was playing with a new lens that hasn't reached the market yet. From a quick back-of-the-camera comparison I'd say that mine shows better fine detail in the dandelion, which is why I've included a detail crop of it below, but maybe has a less pleasant background defocus. Of course mine's a fixed standard lens, while his was shot with an interchangeable long portrait lens, so the results aren't directly comparable. 

This crop of the dandelion is about a third of the width of the full photo, or about 1500 pixels across out of the original 4700, so it's still reduced slightly to fit here. Considering that the DP2M's standard lens isn't designed for close focus, and that I've placed the focus point at the top third of the wide-open lens, I'm amazed at how well it has come out. I don't have nearly as much experience with the DP2M as I do with the longer macroish DP3M, which I like better and have owned for longer, so this really boosts my confidence in the wider camera. As I simplify what I carry I want to use the DP2M as an only camera in place of my usual DP3M-GR long-wide pair, so now I don't have to worry so much about missing photos of the smaller details. 

All told it was an excellent evening.


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