Useful Accessories for the Sigma DP2M
I thought it might be interesting for other DP2M users to know which accessories are useful for me. Keep in mind that I’m mainly doing landscape and travel photography.
Batteries and charger
Some spare batteries are really necessary because one fully charged battery lasts only for about 100 images. I bought 6 spare batteries and decided to get the original Sigma batteries because most of the non-OEM batteries have to be modified to fit in the DP2M (you often have to cut with a knife some additional grooves in the plastic shell). The Ricoh OEM-batteries that also fit in the DP2M are more expensive than the Sigma ones in Germany and are therefore no alternative. For the future I’ve planned to buy another charger because charging 6 batteries during the night after a long shooting day with only one charger is probably not very funny.
I’ve tested different carrying straps, but finally bought the Leica X1/X2 carrying strap for my DP2M. It is not cheap, but the quality is much better compared to the cheaper alternatives I had tried.
Typically I use three different types of filters for landscape shooting.
I use polfilters for reducing reflections on water surfaces and/or leaves and sometimes, but rather seldom, for raising the contrast between clouds and the blue sky.
ND-filters are used mainly in combination with flowing or moving water to give it a silky-milky smooth look and a nice contrast to non-moving objects like rocks. Sometimes you also get nice effects by using a ND-filter with moving clouds or wind-blown plants or leaves. My favorite strengths are 1.8 and 3.0. Since my DP2M kit should be a lightweight minimalistic kit I only have the 1.8 in 49mm, but could probably also live with just one 3.0.
My favorite brands for filters are B+W and Heliopan. I bought the following pol- and ND-filters for my DP2M:
B+W 49mm ND 1.8 MRC F-Pro ND-filter
B+W 49mm Kaesemann C-Pol MRC nano XS-Pro polfilter
For landscapes I often use a graduated neutral density (GND) filter to reduce the contrast between the darker foreground and the lighter sky. While I often do the final adjustments with the more flexible digital GND function in Lightroom, the GND filter helps to keep the RAW data of the image within the dynamic range of the camera is therefore prerequisite for any further high quality adjustments in LR.
With my DSLR cameras I always used Lee GND filters which are of great quality and have no color cast. But they are only available in large sizes and it makes in my opinion no sense to carry filters that are larger than the camera. Therefore I decided to use Cokin series A filters for my DP2M (and also for my Leica M9). They are made of the same material (resin) as the Lee filters but are a bit more sensitive to scratches. But since they are cheap (12€ instead of 100€ for a Lee filter) I just throw them away after each longer trip and buy a new clean one.
Cokin filters can sometimes have a slight color cast, which was a big problem in the past when used with slide films. But with digital images this is easily corrected by a slight white balance adjustment and therefore not really a problem anymore. Besides this the quality of the Cokin filters is quite good. If you use just one filter (and a clean one) there is only a very small reduction of sharpness and contrast visible in the images, probably less than the reduction in sharpness due to diffraction if you stop down from f/8 to f/11.
Sometimes I use the Cokin series A filter holder with the 49mm adapter, but sometimes I just hand hold the GND filters in front of the lens.
I carry and use two different GND filters, both are 2 stop versions, but one has a softer graduation than the other. The filter with the hard edge is typically used for situations with a rather straight horizon in the image, for example at the sea. While the filter with the soft edge is used for situations with an uneven transition between the darker foreground and the lighter sky, for example when large trees or mountains are part of the image. With Lee filters I often used in addition to the 2 stop GND filters some 3 stop filters, but they are not available from Cokin. These are the two GND-filters I always carry with me (in the same Cokin filter box with some cloth between them to reduce scratches):
Cokin A 121 (2 stops, hard edge)
Cokin A 121 S (2 stops, soft edge)
Since I never had any problems with memory cards from Sandisk I typically stay with this brand. But cards from other brands are probably just as good. For the DP2M I use either 16GB Extreme III or 32 GB Ultra SD cards. These are not the fastest cards, but they work reliable. The number of cards I take on a trip depends on the length and the supposed shooting opportunities. I have 2 16 GB and 6 32 GB cards.
When I work from a tripod I nearly always use a small Manfrotto bubble-level for the hot shoe to get straight horizons (and straight verticals of buildings, trees etc.). On longer trips I sometimes carry a second bubble-level because they are easily lost.
I have and often use the original Sigma lens hood LH2-01 for the DP2M, especially when working from a tripod. Besides reducing flare and raising the contrast the lens hood can also protect the lens from water drops when it rains or near waterfalls.
I carry 2-3 Hama Lenspens (only the tips, the other parts are removed), 1-2 microfiber cloths and some Hama Pro-Optic wet cleaning cloths.
Since I often shoot at night or around sunset/sunrise carrying a small flashlight is a must. I use a Fenix PD20 which has enough output even for some difficult hikes back to the parking lot in complete darkness, it is small enough to fit in any bag, and has a long lasting battery.
Everything of the above equipment (besides the charger) fits together with the Sigma DP2M in my Lowe D-Res 200 AW belt pouch. This bag has a small separate compartment for the accessories, an integrated rain-cover, and has a perfect size for the Sigma DP2M.
I use either a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom or a Gitzo G1127 tripod with my DP2M.
The GorillaPod is used without a head but instead I’ve mounted a Novoflex MiniConnect MR quick-release system on top of the GorillaPod. The horizontal adjustment is done by turning the camera in the round quick-release (which is easy when you slightly open the manual release lever). Any other adjustments are done just by the extremely flexible legs. Even vertical shots are possible with some practise.
My Gitzo 1127 tripod is fitted with a Kirk base (instead of the center column) and an Acratech Ultimate ballhead with a Novoflex Mini Connect quick release system.
The advantage of the Novoflex quick release system is, that the baseplate is extremely small (about the size of a 1€ coin) and can therefore always stay on the camera. For the same reason I also use this system with my Leica M9.
I nearly always carry my Gorillapod (even on business trips and often in the pocket of my jacket) but take the Gitzo tripod only when I do some serious landscape shooting with the DP2M.