My 1st ILC setup for street photography: all the things I had to buy and why

A compact camera like the GR III is awesome for street photography but its fixed lens may push you to get an interchangeable lens camera (ILC) down the road. I’m putting down all the things I had to buy for my first street photography ILC setup, with the hope that it can be useful to you or someone else one day. Read on.

SIGMA FP L full-frame camera

The first thing that attracted me to the SIGMA FP L was its compact size and full-frame sensor. The idea of using a full-frame camera for street photography can seem to be overkill but for me, it’s not. Why not get the “best” setup I can and focus on photography instead of always thinking about gears like the little audiophile part of me? I chose the SIGMA FP L over other compact ILCs for its 61MP sensor, price, and software. You can read more about that in my blog post: Why I’ve bought the SIGMA FP L + Voigtländer Heliar 40mm over other cameras.

Battery charger (SIGMA BC-51)

It’s possible to use the camera to charge a battery but I like to use an external charger, just in case. I’d rather have the battery to have a problem inside a 29€ external charger than inside a 2,299€ camera. The BC-51 is cheap, and does what it’s supposed to do—charging a battery—well. The only downside: it can only charge a single battery at a time at a rather slow speed. So, not great if you end up having multiple batteries. There are third-party chargers that can take care of two batteries at once but from what I gathered online they lack the connection to monitor the battery’s health. Another point regarding battery chargers for the SIGMA FP L: the BC-71 cost 119€, I don’t see a reason to overpay for this one when the cheaper official BC-51 is at 29€.

A reliable and fast memory card (Lexar Gold 2000x)

I’ve read on the web a few comments about the FP L being slow when shooting JPEGs. So, I opted for one of the fastest memory card that I could afford: the Lexar Professional Gold 2000x (in 32 GB). It has a read speed of 270 MB/s (megabytes per second) but what matters when shooting is the write speed. This Lexar SDXC card can reach a write speed of up to 260 MB/s. The real writing speed will depend on the camera and will probably be slower but I didn’t feel my FP L was slow when shooting JPEGs at the best quality (Fine) with the single capture drive mode. Regarding reliability, Lexar Professional’s memory cards have been used for a long time by photographers without a problem from what I gathered from my online searches on forums and Reddit.

M-to-L mount adapter (Rayqual LM-LA)

The Voigtländer Heliar 40mm that I fell in love with is an M mount lens (also available in M39 mount), and the FP L is an L mount camera. To use them together, I had to get an M-to-L mount adapter. I’ve read that cheap adapters can be unreliable: they can stay stuck and they can focus past infinity. So, I opted for the Rayqual LM-LA adapter which is made in Japan and cost me around 120€ on Amazon Japan with the shipping charge and duty fees included. I’m mentioning Bezos’s online store cause it was cheaper there.

Voigtländer Heliar 40mm f/2.8

I wanted a small manual lens for my first street photography ILC setup. One that could be a little, discreet and easy to carry inside a small shoulder bag. I also wanted a lens with character. The Voigtländer Heliar 40mm f/2.8 is all that for me. You can read more about why I opted for the FP L + Voigtländer Heliar 40mm here.

Marumi 34mm UV filter

How to protect my lens against dust, sand, and raindrops? To not stress about it, I opted for a simple UV filter. The problem is: 34mm filters are hard to find, especially quality ones. I was going for second-hand ones but what a joke they look beat down and they are expensive! The Marumi is made in Japan and cost me around 7€ (without shipping charge) on Amazon Japan. You can get it on eBay for around 24€.

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