I use extraordinary tools
to preserve life’s extraordinary moments.
When I go mountaineering,
it’s really important that my photographic kit is lightweight without compromising on image quality.
This combination of portability and quality is quite rare,
but the full-frame SIGMA fp camera fulfils my needs perfectly.
Since its release in 2019, it has accompanied me on many trips into the mountains.
Recently, I had the chance to take the new 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary
with me to the Northern Alps in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, shortly after winter had arrived.
The lens is part of the new I series and matches the SIGMA fp perfectly for compactness and excellent optical quality.
* Images without photograph data have been created with cameras by other manufacturers
I always keep my camera fixed to the right shoulder strap of my backpack so that I can quickly capture anything I see as I hike through the mountains.
I want to avoid any equipment that is too heavy, as it would unbalance my body. That’s why the fp is such an appealing product for mountaineering, with a weight of 422g for the body alone or about 650g if you add the 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary.
SIGMA has introduced a magnetic lens cap with the I series. To accompany this is a corresponding magnetic lens cap holder that I have placed on my left shoulder opposite the camera, making it very quick and smooth to start photographing.
I began my climb in the dark before the sun came up. As I was ascending dawn broke,and the mountains of the Northern Alps became visible, crowned by the first layer of snow.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp, ISO 200, F5, 1/30s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp, ISO 100, F16, 1/100s
At an altitude of 2,800m I arrived at the ridge of the Northern Alps and I could look along the path that I would be tackling that day. Thanks to the wide angle-of-view of the 24mm lens, I was able to include the entirety of the mountain ridge in my shot from this position.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp, ISO 100, F13, 1/200s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp, ISO 100, F16, 1/50s
The ridge ahead of me stretched out to the north, all the way into Toyama Prefecture. Its peaks were covered by the first snow of the season, and I was treated to the rare sight of snow-capped mountains, red autumn foliage and green trees at the same time.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp, ISO 100, F6.3, 1/400s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp, ISO 100, F14, 1/100s
This is where I spent the night, overlooking Mt. Yari, the ‘Leader of the Northern Alps’. As the sun set, clouds gathered in the sky to gift me this dramatic moment.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F16, 1/200s
The sky was covered in a dense fog when I peeked out of my tent at 10pm. I was able to take a photograph of Mt. Yari as it stood illuminated by the moonlight.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO2000, F3.5, 3.2s
At 4am, the moon was now hidden and I could see the sky covered in stars.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO3200, F3.5, 13s
Below the clouds, the city of Azumino stretched out into the night.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO4000, F3.5, 20s
At 6am, with the skies still clear, I photographed the first rays of sun as it came up over the horizon.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO800, F4, 1/125s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO800, F22, 1/40s
Several days later I climbed Mt. Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, again accompanied by the SIGMA fp and the 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary.
Fog had been rising since the previous day, and a strong wind was blowing. Rocks and trees at the summit were covered by a layer of frost, giving me the chance to try out the macro capability of the 24mm lens, with its minimum focusing distance of 10cm.
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F8, 1/200s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F4.5, 1/1600s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F8, 1/640s
SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, ISO100, F3.5, 1/100s
With the SIGMA 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary, we finally get a wide-angle lens that matches the fp in compactness and offers incredible optical quality. I feel that the texture of the metal body and the overall experience of using this lens encourage me to shoot more photographs.
In 2020, we have to endure long stretches of time when we cannot go out as much as we would like. With the voluntary lockdowns now behind us here in Japan, the mountains that I climb now feel more vibrant and more beautiful than any mountain I have climbed before. They reawaken my senses and allow me to recharge.
In order to store such moments in my memory, I try to capture these amazing places as beautiful images using my favorite tools. The SIGMA fp and the I series lenses allow me to capture, and then relive these moments forever.