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Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?
  
 
Kibsgaard
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p.15 #1 · p.15 #1 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


Just a test


Oct 15, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Herb1911
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p.15 #2 · p.15 #2 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


FlyPenFly wrote:
Weird, the grass looks like a crunchy mess on the first few pics but on the most recent one, looks more normal although maybe too soft now.


FlyPenFly,
The Sigma files respond in another way than for instance my Nex 5n/7 or Canon files.
In Sigma Photo Pro I settled now on an adjustment of -1.5 as default. Also changes of the noise reduction
in SPP have a rather large influence. By default the noise reduction is quite high.
Now imported in Lightroom I have to do only a very small amount of sharpening like 10 - 0,5 - 25 - 45.
I keep the radius also at the lowest setting with grassy images.
For posting on the web I do no screen sharpening anymore. So after years of sharpening procedures for Bayer sensors and sometimes heavy AA filters it takes some time of getting used to. But the results for landscape work are far superior than from my Nex 7 or Canon with the very best lenses I can put on it. From corner to corner and from a few meters to infinity.
To get in control of color is again another challenge. But it is a very interesting one because I have never achieved these results since I started in photography in the 1970's. I have a fortune of camera's and lenses around but the Sigma is now my main tool with all it's shortcomings.
But the other day I had to make pictures of my nephew during a sports game. I knew for shure I had to leave my Sigma home and pick up the Canon dslr again to get the job done. With some hazy files coming from my L glass :-) but it did it.

Herb



Oct 15, 2012 at 08:30 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.15 #3 · p.15 #3 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


I'm happy to hear you're obtaining fantastic results.

I may jump on board on the next iteration once Adobe RAW or Capture one catches up to it.



Oct 15, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Herb1911
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p.15 #4 · p.15 #4 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


FlyPenFly wrote:
I'm happy to hear you're obtaining fantastic results.

I may jump on board on the next iteration once Adobe RAW or Capture one catches up to it.


Your are spot on. That is what we really need for the Sigma's. And let's hope they do a better job than for the
Fuji camera's.




Oct 15, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Herb1911
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p.15 #5 · p.15 #5 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


No Merill this time, just a Bayer interpolating AA filtering Nex 7 for a really sharp image.
Just to shut up all this Merill noise :-)

Herb

...but there was a Sigma macro lens involved




Housefly




Oct 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
carstenw
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p.15 #6 · p.15 #6 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


Great shot! Was there more involved than just the NEX-7 and 90 Macro?


Oct 15, 2012 at 09:16 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.15 #7 · p.15 #7 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


This Saturday I got to see how the DP2M worked on its first "real" outing, a day hike through Solstice Canyon National Recreation Area near Santa Monica, CA. Here are my impressions from the trip.

I brought 3 batteries, and needed just one. On the other hand, I only took 40 pictures, by which point the the first battery was down to "1 segment" full. Using the camera discouraged me from taking as many photos as usual (partly through foreboding that every frame taken would require using SPP). I don't feel that I missed out taking any shots I should have taken --- I was very pleased with my "keeper" ratio, so I consider it good that the camera encouraged me to take a more slow and deliberate approach than machine-gunning throw-away snapshots.

The day was brightly sunlit, few clouds in the sky, and just a bit hazy; just about my least favorite (most harsh and dull) lighting situation. To bring some "pop" to otherwise bland scenes, I took many of the shots through a B+W 091 "dark red" color filter. I love how well the DP2M handles deep color filtration --- it's impossible to get the same resolution and clarity with any Bayer-filtered sensor after throwing away 3/4 of the pixels. I think the 091 filter will be a "must-have" accessory to carry with the camera (I have a 49mm filter on order to replace the hilariously oversized 77mm I had with me for the day).

I was selected to take an obligatory group shot of my fellow hikers (for some reason, people assume you are good at photography just because you're carrying a giant sack full of camera gear). The good news: the photo came out looking like a high-budget movie poster. The bad news: the movie would have been about the living dead. If I particularly cared about shooting mixed-skin-tone group portraits, I would be disconcerted by the color palette (admittedly, with inexpert adjustments) produced by the camera. Fortunately for me, I do not particularly care, and none of my fellow hikers are likely to scrutinize the shot on color-calibrated monitors.

I found the camera handling for shooting rather unpleasant. Much of this is that I am entirely unused to holding a tiny camera and composing on a screen instead of a nice, big DSLR with a full-frame optical viewfinder; but it didn't help that I often couldn't really see what was on the screen while shooting (so lots of sloppy framing and composition); does anyone know if one of the screen finders (e.g. Zacuto) will play nicely with the DP2M? Anyway, I hope my ability to visualize and frame shots without relying on the camera display will improve with further practice/experience, since the camera itself isn't helpful in this regard.

Was it nice to leave my heavy gear at home? I'll have to wait for some future trip to find out, since I was still hauling my 5D and a set of primes up the switchbacks (without sufficient prior experience, I wasn't ready to trust the DP2M as my only option). I ended up only using the 5D, with CY 21/2.8, for a few shots (and none spectacular); my other two "backup" lenses never came out of the bag. In retrospect, I would have been perfectly happy had I left the whole DSLR kit at home (although pairing the DP2M with a nice wideangle on my 5D also seems like an attractive combination, with the added convenience of not needing to swap out lenses).

After returning home, I discovered a new method that greatly improves SPP processing:
a) buy a nice bottle of wine
b) pour a large glass
c) open a file or tweak an adjustment in SPP, which will somehow manage to bog down your quad-core i7 with 16GB RAM and SSD
d) swirl the wine in your glass; savor a deep whiff of the aroma
e) take a sip, allowing the wine to roll around and linger on different portions of the palate
f) swallow the wine; inhale and exhale deeply, enjoying the lingering aftertaste
g) refill glass as necessary
h) if SPP is still grinding away, return to (d); otherwise, proceed with a new step at (c).

This procedure vastly improves the SPP workflow, converting it from a tedious chore to a state of enjoyable anticipation, like developing and slowly unfurling each frame of film for a first look. Depending on how many files you have to process, you may need to adjust the number of bottles of wine, or maybe switch to scotch. Should you run out of booze, I recommend keeping a medium sized rock nearby, with which to bash your head until SPP is no longer your greatest annoyance.

After processing (and exporting TIFFs to Aperture for cataloging and final tweaks), I decided that the DP2M has met my most important criterion for camera gear: I am personally extremely happy with the results. Between the less-than-ideal photographic situation (it's a beautiful area, but the wrong time and season for light), and my less-than-ideal photographic skills, I was not expecting much from the outing; I was pleasantly surprised at the end with the quality of shots produced. I like the amazing detail, reasonably flexible dynamic range, and general clarity/"presence" of the DP2M images. I now feel confident that I could take the DP2M as my sole camera for an outing.

Here is a gallery of shots from the trip (including a few using 5Dc+21/2.8, which should be easily identifiable); click through the thumbnails and previews to download full-sized JPEGs.








Oct 16, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.15 #8 · p.15 #8 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


mpmendenhall wrote:
I found the camera handling for shooting rather unpleasant. Much of this is that I am entirely unused to holding a tiny camera and composing on a screen instead of a nice, big DSLR with a full-frame optical viewfinder; but it didn't help that I often couldn't really see what was on the screen while shooting (so lots of sloppy framing and composition); does anyone know if one of the screen finders (e.g. Zacuto) will play nicely with the DP2M? Anyway, I hope my ability to visualize and frame shots without relying on the camera display will improve with further
...Show more

I don't know about the screen finders you mention but I would highly recommend an optical finder for the hot shoe. For me, it makes a world of difference when shooting a camera like this. Along with your remark about shooting slower and having a higher keeper rate, shooting with a pure optical finder with no histogram, af confirm and so on can be liberating once one becomes comfortable with the camera (and knows what to expect).



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:10 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.15 #9 · p.15 #9 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


Tariq Gibran wrote:
I don't know about the screen finders you mention but I would highly recommend an optical finder for the hot shoe.


Thanks for the suggestion. I've seen one report that the Sigma finder meant for the DP2M is a bit narrow compared to the actual field of view. Do you (or anyone else reading this thread) happen to know of any finders that ideally match the DP2M (e.g. some variety of slightly-too-wide 50mm finder), or is the Sigma one the right choice? For the $160 Sigma charges for their finder, I want something that provides really accurate framing, up to the ~2" unavoidable parallax error, so I'm not cropping away or re-straightening too many pixels to get what I intended.



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:30 AM
glacierpete
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p.15 #10 · p.15 #10 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


Herb1911
Nice portrait. When I saw this shot, I thougt about stacking a reverse Voigtländer CV15 ond the DP2M. It should give a 2:1 macro lens when my math is right, so early in the morning. (30/15). Unfortunately I have the older version of the CV15 without filter thread, I cannot try it out.



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:50 AM
 

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Tariq Gibran
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p.15 #11 · p.15 #11 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


I have not used a DP2 plus finder yet. I have one of the Leica plastic 28 finders with lock on order right now for my DP1M and had previously used a metal Voigtlander 28 finder on the original DP1 earlier. I'm guessing if the Sigma finder is indeed narrow that your best (only?) bet would be the Voigtlander 40mm finder. "Really accurate framing" with any of these is not going to happen. I guess with trial and error, you would learn about what is close though.


Oct 16, 2012 at 03:54 AM
contas
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p.15 #12 · p.15 #12 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


@Herb1911: the color shift is still there in lesser scale but still obvious.I wonder why Sigma DP serie cameras already use retrofocus mechanism to avoid this kind of vignetting.If it's still there it 'll be tough.It's a common issue for digital RF from Leica M8 and others.I once mentioned about it here with my DSLR SD1:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1130998
And a FM parallel forum saying about it :
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1150772



Oct 16, 2012 at 04:19 AM
millsart
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p.15 #13 · p.15 #13 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


mpmendenhall wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion. I've seen one report that the Sigma finder meant for the DP2M is a bit narrow compared to the actual field of view. Do you (or anyone else reading this thread) happen to know of any finders that ideally match the DP2M (e.g. some variety of slightly-too-wide 50mm finder), or is the Sigma one the right choice? For the $160 Sigma charges for their finder, I want something that provides really accurate framing, up to the ~2" unavoidable parallax error, so I'm not cropping away or re-straightening too many pixels to get what I intended.



Accurate framing and external finders just never have gone hand and hand. I've owned everything from cheapie VC and Sigma ones to $400+ Zeiss finders and they all suffer from parallax and issues at what distance the frame lines are optimized to. Best to just accept this limitation and use them as a coarse tool, saving the LCD (or EVF which sadly isn't an option for the DPs) when you need accurate framing.



Oct 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM
timpdx
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p.15 #14 · p.15 #14 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


mpmendenhall

I like your spp workflow, I am sure I will follow

I was also hiking around the Santa Monica mountains, but up in Ventura Co. No DP2M to hike with, its on the truck or plane from Sigma and gets here tomorrow. Will be bringing it to Portland this weekend to give it a little workout. As for DSLRs, I am selling mine off and going DP2M, NEX7 and RX100 as a p&s. I like to travel and hike and I know I will not miss the bulk and weight. Going to SE Asia carry-on only will be a pleasure in December.



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Herb1911
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p.15 #15 · p.15 #15 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


carstenw wrote:
Great shot! Was there more involved than just the NEX-7 and 90 Macro?


carstenw,
Actually a lot more, but this is a bit beyond the scope of this Merill thread.
I was mistaken regarding the lens; it was the newest Canon 100 mm macro with a 1.4x extender (cheap Kenko!) in use

Herb


Edited on Oct 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM · View previous versions



Oct 16, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Herb1911
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p.15 #16 · p.15 #16 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


contas wrote:
@Herb1911: the color shift is still there in lesser scale but still obvious.I wonder why Sigma DP serie cameras already use retrofocus mechanism to avoid this kind of vignetting.If it's still there it 'll be tough.It's a common issue for digital RF from Leica M8 and others.I once mentioned about it here with my DSLR SD1:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1130998
And a FM parallel forum saying about it :
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1150772


contas,
I sincerely believe you are mixing up a few things. The phenomena you are referring to is an issue mostly seen with typical range finder wide angle lenses used with adapters on m4/3 or Nex camera's. Sometimes called Ray Angle issues. Due to the thick cover glass used on top of the sensors in combination with the not suitable lens designs gives color shift that can be removed in post process with for instance Cornerfix or LCC profiles in Capture One.
I have been busy with this phenomena since the introduction of the first m4/3 camera's. In most cases these color shifts go hand in hand with softening / unsharpness towards the edges and corners.
I can assure you that the Sigma DP2M has none of these issues.
Image noise / applied vignette in post process and pushing colors can introduce some color shifts / color blotching as with any digital camera.
I measured the image you mentioned from left to right and I can not find any more color shift. I did apply a little gradient to get more drama in the sky, maybe you are seeing this.
So I post a smaller sample this time without the sky gradient.

Herb










Oct 16, 2012 at 04:26 PM
andyjaggy82
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p.15 #17 · p.15 #17 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


Reminds me of a client who would give me the feedback of "anomaly" and an arrow pointed at some general area of the image...


Oct 16, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Herb1911
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p.15 #18 · p.15 #18 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


andyjaggy82 wrote:
Reminds me of a client who would give me the feedback of "anomaly" and an arrow pointed at some general area of the image...






Oct 16, 2012 at 05:29 PM
millsart
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p.15 #19 · p.15 #19 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


There becomes a point where you have to wonder if the viewer is looking at the image or simply at the pixels.

A question of what is the actual scene of verses looking for things like blotchiness and color shifts.

If one simply wants to have images that show color shifts, edge sharpness, etc, then it would be far less effort to simply stay inside and shoot some plain white walls rather than make the effort to go outside, hike to a nice scene and try to compose a pleasing photo.

Obviously this is a gear/technical based forum at its core, but I think sometimes we can rather miss the forest for the trees as the old saying goes.



Oct 16, 2012 at 05:43 PM
itai195
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p.15 #20 · p.15 #20 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?


Has anyone here been able to use SPP on a Mac? I can't even manage to get it to launch, it immediately hangs. It's a pity, this would be enough to kill the idea of getting a DP2M for me.


Oct 16, 2012 at 05:43 PM
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