Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome: First Look, First Photos
Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 is a significant update to the raw processor for X3F Raw files from Sigma’s cameras featuring the unique Foveon X3 Direct Image sensor as there is a completely new, dedicated monochrome processor for raw files from the original Sigma SD1 and all Merrill generation cameras, the SD1M, DP1M, DP2M, and the brand-new DP3M. And it is now available for download.
I was lucky enough to have spent much of the week prior to the release going public working up a ton of my X3 files in the new software, and I’ve smiled a lot seeing just how beautifully the new monochrome mode renders detail and tonal gradations. And the film-grain option is simply wonderful for adding a classic feel to images. The results, truly, can be breathtaking. I’ve worked up close to fifty of my shots so far, and this new monochrome process has me excited to get out and shoot more images with my SD1 and DP2M specifically for monochrome output.
The controls are easy and intuitive, and the new processing behind the monochrome operations is outstanding in its ability to create black and white images with a serious degree of tactility, even on the computer monitor. And I’ve already printed a few of these out at large size–and wow, holding them in your hands is flat-out amazing. It really feels like these are big prints out of an old chemical darkroom.
To put it in black and white: The Merrill Generation Foveon Sensor and the new Monochrome processing in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 is a winning combination for photographers looking for outstanding detail and sharpness in silvertone images that have a timeless, classic feel.
Jack Howard is a lifelong photographer and author of two editions of the how-to book, Practical HDRI. Based in Central Jersey, Jack's go-to photography spots are backroads and beaches of his home state. He loves to travel far and wide with his wife and daughter, visiting national parks, museums, tropical islands and more along the way.