Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?
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mpmendenhall
Registered: Aug 09, 2008
Total Posts: 2034
Country: United States

A couple DP2M shots from this weekend (Bearwaller Gap Trail, Cordell Hull Lake, Tennessee).
I really like the camera's ability to capture "busy" complexly detailed scenes. With my 5D, I typically prefer results from closer/simpler compositions, because I wouldn't get enough supporting detail to make the image more than a jumbled mess (which is still what you get when displayed at web resolution...). The pristine pixel-level detail from the DP2M is letting me re-think what compositions are "feasible" to capture (at least without stitching).











cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4243
Country: United States

Just to chime in to this thread - I have no real intention of buying this camera, but I must admit I was impressed after I stumbled across LL's DP2 field test last night (I'm slow, I know) - the shot-vs-shot examples were quite impressive, and this camera seems to capture an incredible amount of detail.



ultrapix
Registered: Feb 03, 2010
Total Posts: 642
Country: Italy

mpmendenhall wrote:
A couple DP2M shots from this weekend (Bearwaller Gap Trail, Cordell Hull Lake, Tennessee).
I really like the camera's ability to capture "busy" complexly detailed scenes. With my 5D, I typically prefer results from closer/simpler compositions, because I wouldn't get enough supporting detail to make the image more than a jumbled mess (which is still what you get when displayed at we resolution...). The pristine pixel-level detail from the DP2M is letting me re-think what compositions are "feasible" to capture (at least without stitching).












It couldn't be said better

Same that large format photography.


Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 9938
Country: United States

Lawrence Beck wrote:
It also captures paper texture beautifully with the 100 APO Macro or 60 Macro lens and there is no moiré in spite of the lack of an AA filter. Of course, both of the aforementioned lenses are better suited than the 45mm focal length of the Sigma to photographing flat art... but his test was about how the Sigma excels at photographing art.


Hi Lawrence,

I shoot quite a bit of original art work for various museums and artists and specifically brought up the poor choice of focal length for this intended purpose in one of Gary's threads about the subject at DpReview. I'm a bit perplexed that he would recommend the DP2M for that use for the reasons you cite.

I have used everything going back to the Fuji S2 Pro, Canon 5D2, Sony a900 and MF Hasselblad H3D-39 for the reproduction of art work, all with medium focal length Macros having an angle of view around 27 degrees or so. A normal to wide/ normal would be way down on the list of appropriate focal lengths to use. Likewise, while the Foveon based cameras certainly have that "wow" factor, it comes with a few restrictions with regard to ultimate color fidelity/ accuracy - not to mention the "built-in", clarity like contrast boost effect (which is one of the aspects most folks are attracted to when they see Foveon images imo). All of those factors work against using the DP2 Merrill (and likely any current Foveon based camera) when the goal is the most faithful reproduction of color and contrast to the original.



Lawrence Beck
Registered: Dec 17, 2006
Total Posts: 29
Country: United States

Good points, Tariq.
Whether the clarity like contrast boost effect is "built in" or not is beyond my pay grade (ha ha ha) but it's there and I agree that it makes for one aspect that attracted me to the DP2M for landscapes. And as you commented, it could also compromise the finer tonal transitions that would be seen in watercolor paintings, for example, leading to a less-than-accurate rendition. I don't think it would be my choice for art reproductions but I'll do some comparisons with the DMR before I make any final decisions. (My DP2M is on it's way back from Really Right Stuff, where they used it to design an L-bracket w/grip for the DP2M. I'm told the bracket will be available in three weeks.)

I also had the same reaction to mpmendenhall's Bearwaller Gap shot above as ultrapix commented: it does look a lot like large format detail rendition!



timpdx
Registered: Feb 02, 2005
Total Posts: 1767
Country: United States

I am certainly liking this as a landscape camera, and I am finding the exposure is very accurate and did a good job with the high DR in this shot. This is the jpeg SOOC, have not worked with the RAW yet.





Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 9938
Country: United States

Lawrence Beck wrote:

I also had the same reaction to mpmendenhall's Bearwaller Gap shot above as ultrapix commented: it does look a lot like large format detail rendition!


Yeah, I would third that. I think we were talking about it earlier in this thread that the DP Merrill images look like big, color transparencies on a light table - Immediate and palpable.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4196
Country: Norway

ultrapix wrote:
mpmendenhall wrote:
A couple DP2M shots from this weekend (Bearwaller Gap Trail, Cordell Hull Lake, Tennessee).
I really like the camera's ability to capture "busy" complexly detailed scenes. With my 5D, I typically prefer results from closer/simpler compositions, because I wouldn't get enough supporting detail to make the image more than a jumbled mess (which is still what you get when displayed at we resolution...). The pristine pixel-level detail from the DP2M is letting me re-think what compositions are "feasible" to capture (at least without stitching).












It couldn't be said better

Same that large format photography.

+1
The images illustrate the point well, even at web size.

The same goes for more megapixels.
(But try to tell that to the "16 MP is enough for landscape" crowd )


glacierpete
Registered: Sep 17, 2010
Total Posts: 148
Country: N/A

Tariq,
I do a lot shooting in old buildings like churches and castles. I love the Foveon color transition, smoothness and 3D effect, something I don't get with bayer sensors. The interior walls are mostly filled with paintings, sculptures and ornaments. This is where the DP2M really shines IMHO. I would love to see Capture One Pro as an alternativ to spp for raw development.
BTW I even managed to get some moire with the DP2M on the ceiling of the futuristic BMW world building in Munich


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Lawrence Beck wrote:
It also captures paper texture beautifully with the 100 APO Macro or 60 Macro lens and there is no moiré in spite of the lack of an AA filter. Ofa course, both of the aforementioned lenses are better suited than the 45mm focal length of the Sigma to photographing flat art... but his test was about how the Sigma excels at photographing art.


Hi Lawrence,

I shoot quite a bit of original art work for various museums and artists and specifically brought up the poor choice of focal length for this intended purpose in one of Gary's threads about the subject at DpReview. I'm a bit perplexed that he would recommend the DP2M for that use for the reasons you cite.

I have used everything going back to the Fuji S2 Pro, Canon 5D2, Sony a900 and MF Hasselblad H3D-39 for the reproduction of art work, all with medium focal length Macros having an angle of view around 27 degrees or so. A normal to wide/ normal would be way down on the list of appropriate focal lengths to use. Likewise, while the Foveon based cameras certainly have that "wow" factor, it comes with a few restrictions with regard to ultimate color fidelity/ accuracy - not to mention the "built-in", clarity like contrast boost effect (which is one of the aspects most folks are attracted to when they see Foveon images imo). All of those factors work against using the DP2 Merrill (and likely any current Foveon based camera) when the goal is the most faithful reproduction of color and contrast to the original.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 9938
Country: United States

For those looking for a great, economical grip option for their DP Merrills, Richard Franiec has one coming in December. I only mention it because I used one of his grips on the original DP1 and found it to be very comfortable, secure and well made.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/11/14/Richard-Franiec-add-on-accessory-grip-for-Sigma-DP1-DP2-Merrill



cjrpostma
Registered: Sep 13, 2011
Total Posts: 90
Country: United States

Well, I decided to buy the DP2M. I haven't had time to test it really other than taking a few self portraits with the tungsten lights of my apartment however I can tell there is a substantial amount of detail in the files. The sensor and lens really are something. I've never seen files like this before.

This is my first foveon sensor and I've never shot medium or large format. That might be the reason the files look so unique to me but there is a sharpness to them that I do not see in my D800E. It is very unique if you look closely.

Now, waiting on more accessories to come into availability. I want the viewfinder, extra batteries, and another charger so I can charge two or three batteries at once. I ordered the lenshood but have yet to receive.



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4243
Country: United States

^ Cool, would love to see more shots when you get a chance

You guys are going to force me to rent this, at least.



glacierpete
Registered: Sep 17, 2010
Total Posts: 148
Country: N/A

Did anybody try the flipbac angle viewfinder on the dp2m? I miss the flip screen of the nex, but it looks like there might be not enough space to attach it.
http://flipbac.com/angle-viewfinder-about.htm



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 9938
Country: United States

glacierpete wrote:
Did anybody try the flipbac angle viewfinder on the dp2m? I miss the flip screen of the nex, but it looks like there might be not enough space to attach it.
http://flipbac.com/angle-viewfinder-about.htm


Interesting. So, it's a mirror that simply reflects whatever is on the LCD? I guess it would need to be angled somewhat (partially closed) to show an image. How well does this design work in practice?



cjrpostma
Registered: Sep 13, 2011
Total Posts: 90
Country: United States

So, I haven't read every page of this thread but I have Googled and am coming up empty handed.....will using my Nikon SB-910 on my Sigma DP2M cause any harm to either unit (i.e. different voltage)? Not that this is an ideal solution but I'm curious. I am fully aware that the SB-910 is probably heavier than the Sigma body.



inglis
Registered: Feb 24, 2011
Total Posts: 328
Country: United States

The flipbac works great and protects the screen. My only learning curve is the backwards mirror effect which slows down the framing. But it works and is better than no flip. Since I use it in the flip down position for holding the camera in front and below, I need to turn the camera upside down for over head shots in order to see the screen.



sculptormic
Registered: Feb 05, 2012
Total Posts: 1098
Country: Netherlands

One of my French facade series.







Kit Laughlin
Registered: Mar 08, 2004
Total Posts: 3441
Country: Australia

My DP2M arrives this coming week, so joining this thread. That Flipbac will be somewhat familiar to view camera users... at least in the mirror-reversed sense. And thanks to all who have posted in this long thead; between this one and a similar one over at GETdpi, most of what one needs to know can be found.



Bobu
Registered: Apr 22, 2004
Total Posts: 1344
Country: Germany

I've posted a short article about useful accessories for the DP2M on my blog.

Boris



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 9938
Country: United States

Probably the most useful accessory I bought for the DP1 Merrill was an optical finder. The plastic Leica 28mm one works nice as it has a sliding lock on the bottom (so there is no chance of it sliding off) and it's fov is a perfect match for the lens. I now need to get one for my new DP2 Merrill. There does not seem to be many options for the 45mm or so equiv. lens. Either the sold out Sigma one or the slightly wide Voigtlander 40mm plastic finder (which looks like it might be slightly large as well but probably has a great, large view). Just curious which finder most around here are using on the DP2.



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