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Author Topic: Sigma DP2 Merrill Experiences  (Read 234215 times)
Brucecairns
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« Reply #340 on: October 31, 2012, 12:32:42 PM »
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I've enjoyed reading this thread - and am waiting for my DP2 to arrive!

I had some interesting correspondence with Sigma UK today. I emailed them asking when they are planning to share their algorithms with Adobe and Phase One so that we can use LR/ACR/C1. I wasn't  really expecting anything other than a standard corporate response telling me how good the Sigma software is, but I received the following:

Thank you for your email and interest in the Sigma cameras. I understand
your comments about Adobe/Phase One compatibility. A few people have
requested this. As far as I have been told, we have supplied the
information to Adobe so hopefully in the near future our files will be
compatible.

Let's hope the guy is right!

Bruce
www.brucecairns.com

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #341 on: October 31, 2012, 12:57:36 PM »
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... Alone in the fog...

Ha!

I knew there must be a downside to all this detail porn! I can see power lines above the tree! DP2M actually penetrates fog in search for details, like a hound dog, or heat-seaking missiles. Wink

Nice picture, btw.
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Slobodan

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sigmasharpshooter
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« Reply #342 on: October 31, 2012, 01:57:00 PM »
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Hi all Foveon friends, where can I download a user guide/manual for Sigma Photo Pro? I can only find quite old versions on the net.

Thanks!
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #343 on: October 31, 2012, 02:00:39 PM »
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Akira, thanks for the feedback on using a 50mm lens with the DP2M for macro.  I have an old Nikon f/1.8 (dating back to the 70's) and look forward to experimenting with it.  I've tried holding it in place on some interior subjects (tea towel and rug) just to see how the focus, etc. would work (I just move the camera back and forth), without actually doing any exposures, and am looking forward to something outside when this seemingly interminable rain in the Pacific Northwest lets up (next summer if not before --just kidding!).  Did you crop your shots to eliminate the prominent vignetting, or is there something else I should be doing?  Is there an optimal focus setting on the 50mm lens?  Thanks again. --Barbara
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masabu
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« Reply #344 on: October 31, 2012, 02:07:27 PM »
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Bruce, that is indeed a great news.

I actually requested return authorization to B&H (retainer in the US) to return DP2M precisely because of the lack of LR support.   I was ready to pack my DP2M and say farewell to this camera.   Now I need to think a bit more. 

SPP is really not usable, slow, hard to control/adjust color and white balance and crushes frequently.   


Quote
Thank you for your email and interest in the Sigma cameras. I understand
your comments about Adobe/Phase One compatibility. A few people have
requested this. As far as I have been told, we have supplied the
information to Adobe so hopefully in the near future our files will be
compatible.

Let's hope the guy is right!

Bruce
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tornwald
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« Reply #345 on: November 01, 2012, 06:11:39 AM »
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There are some amazing shots to be found on this forum and a lot of great info, thank you al very much!
I just recieved my dp2m and since I do not like to compose with a lcd screen, I prefer to use a viewfinder. (most of my shooting is handheld) However, since the dp2m has a 45mm effective view, I cannot decide wether to get a 40 or a 50mm viewfinder (voigtlander)
for it. Using it as a rangefinder type camera, a 40 would be more logical, but since I am so used to my Pentax 67 a 50mm would not be a strange choice perhaps. (The Pentax finder shows less then I actually am shooting)
This might seem a nitpicking question, but I think it is essential in my shooting flow. I'd thought maybe you guys recognise this situation and wanna share some thoughts.
All the best and happy shooting!

Ricky
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janus
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« Reply #346 on: November 01, 2012, 06:51:27 AM »
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There are some amazing shots to be found on this forum and a lot of great info, thank you al very much!
I just recieved my dp2m and since I do not like to compose with a lcd screen, I prefer to use a viewfinder. (most of my shooting is handheld) However, since the dp2m has a 45mm effective view, I cannot decide wether to get a 40 or a 50mm viewfinder (voigtlander)
for it. Using it as a rangefinder type camera, a 40 would be more logical, but since I am so used to my Pentax 67 a 50mm would not be a strange choice perhaps. (The Pentax finder shows less then I actually am shooting)
This might seem a nitpicking question, but I think it is essential in my shooting flow. I'd thought maybe you guys recognise this situation and wanna share some thoughts.
All the best and happy shooting!

Ricky

Sigma makes a viewfinder for this camera.

It has often been said for the Sigma cameras to expose a little to the right when looking at your histogram, and this is why I personally like to keep an eye on that on the lcd screen, and make slight adjustments to prevent blotchy shadows. There is potentially (if you did it right) enough headroom to darken your highlights.

Using a viewfinder seems to presume that this camera is (like) a point and shoot, which it decidedly isn't. Each shot needs some attention.


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tornwald
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« Reply #347 on: November 01, 2012, 07:09:42 AM »
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I will treat this camera as serious as I treat my MF camera, very seriously.
However, I am a intuitive shooter. When I made my composition (handheld) I 'know' when to press. People who shoot rangefinders will know what I mean, 90% is making a consious composition, but that 10% is intuition and what in the end makes a good shot, a great shot. (and where the fun lies IMO)

The Sigma finder is 40mm and the Voigtlanders seem to be a tad better.
Any more thoughts on the 40 / 50 finder question?

Ricky
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Hulyss
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« Reply #348 on: November 01, 2012, 08:53:15 AM »
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The end is near !



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Kind Regards - www.hulyssbowman.com
wildstork
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« Reply #349 on: November 01, 2012, 10:33:31 AM »
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Ricky,
The 50mm Voigtlander finder, which provides a slightly more magnified field of view than the Sigma's 45mm lens (35mm full frame equivalent), will show you less than the lens is capturing so you will always have a little more information in your photos than the viewfinder reveals.  Conversely, the Sigma finder will slightly crop the lens' true field of view so you will always have to be vigilant so as not to crop details out of your frame.

Janus' point above about paying close attention to the histogram in order to expose properly is well taken as the Foveon sensor requires proper exposure to avoid issues.  Someone made the point earlier on this thread that the DP2M is like a "tech cam in your pocket" and I think that point is very well taken.  Like a tech cam, the camera really should be tripod mounted to achieve the incredible pixel level detail the camera is capable of. 

There are up to 9 focus points you can select from in the menu.  The selected focus point will appear in the lcd but you'll only have a vague idea as to where it "might" be if you're using the external Sigma or Voigtlander viewfinders.  There are any number of compact cameras with EVF's that are much better suited to street photography and hand holding than the Sigma... but you probably know that.

Finally, the Hoodman HoodLoupe 3 is a useful accessory when side or backlight is washing out your lcd.  Uwe Steinmuller's Outback Photography shows the HoodLoupe 3 here: http://outbackphoto.squarespace.com/news/2012/10/18/sigma-p2-merrill-field-report.html  It provides 1:1 magnification with a +/- 3 diopter corrections, but it's also best suited for use on a tripod mounted camera.

To my way of thinking, hand holding a camera with the imaging capabilities of the DP2M is a bit like trying to force a square peg through a round hole.  If that hole is large enough... you might succeed.  I use the camera for landscapes and florals exclusively on a rigid tripod with the 2 second shutter delay as I've been "gobsmacked" by the quality of Carl Schofield's samples posted earlier on this thread.  Carl's images of Ithaca Falls show what the DP2M is capable of when tripod mounted.  I don't think you'll approach this by handholding and guessing on the focus with an external viewfinder. 

Best of luck in your efforts not to use it on a tripod.

Lawrence   
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NancyP
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« Reply #350 on: November 01, 2012, 11:52:36 AM »
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Preliminary scouting of possible shots is easier for me with an optical viewfinder, having been raised on the SLR. It may also be a help with the battery life issue. Once I decide on the shots I want to make, then the tripod can be set up and the LCD can be employed for critical composition and focusing. I have never had an LCD-only serious camera before, and I anticipate that the Sigma viewfinder, whenever it arrives (I hope with extra batteries in tow), will be helpful.
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tornwald
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« Reply #351 on: November 01, 2012, 01:01:13 PM »
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Very good point Nancy, for scouting I too prefer to use the viewfinder.
Lawrence, thanks for the advice. I agree with you that a tripod is a must in most cases to achieve absolute sharpness and get
the most out of this great sensor/lens combo that is the dp2m. Maybe I find the dp2m to be much less forgiving then my medium format film camera (which I use 80% handheld) The results with handheld MF are great. Although sharpness can be better with tripod, in many cases it just works for me. The 'feel' of a picture is what counts in the end, not the highest posible sharpness. For instance the work of Anton Corbijn is not super sharp most of the times, more raw. But he is concious about it and he uses it in his advantage.
Perhaps I find the dp2m not satisfying handheld at all and i'll switch to tripod completely in the end Smiley
Great advice guys, thanks again!
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wildstork
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« Reply #352 on: November 01, 2012, 01:17:23 PM »
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I completely agree with you on your point of how important the 'feel' is, Ricky.  The absence of that critical factor can leave one with a "ho hum" image.  I wish you every success in making this work handheld.  I'd like to do the same... but for the time being I'm exploring the qualities of tripod use as I print large and love what I'm seeing when everything lines up with a striking landscape.


Very good point Nancy, for scouting I too prefer to use the viewfinder.
Lawrence, thanks for the advice. I agree with you that a tripod is a must in most cases to achieve absolute sharpness and get
the most out of this great sensor/lens combo that is the dp2m. Maybe I find the dp2m to be much less forgiving then my medium format film camera (which I use 80% handheld) The results with handheld MF are great. Although sharpness can be better with tripod, in many cases it just works for me. The 'feel' of a picture is what counts in the end, not the highest posible sharpness. For instance the work of Anton Corbijn is not super sharp most of the times, more raw. But he is concious about it and he uses it in his advantage.
Perhaps I find the dp2m not satisfying handheld at all and i'll switch to tripod completely in the end Smiley
Great advice guys, thanks again!
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wildstork
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« Reply #353 on: November 01, 2012, 01:37:15 PM »
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For those who have iPhones and are considering an external Sigma or Voigtlander viewfinder you might also consider the Viewfinder Pro iPhone app that Michael reviewed in 3.2010.  It has been updated to now include the DP2 Merrill so you can now see the exact angle of view the DP2M provides through your iPhone and it will only cost you $20.  Link here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/viewfinder-pro/id362496185?mt=8
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #354 on: November 01, 2012, 07:23:26 PM »
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A first sample...



Got a very good deal on a like new second hand body.

First impression is that image quality is good, excellent compared to anything else this small but perhaps a tad overhyped in terms of absolute image quality. The package is clearly an excellent deal though.

The lens seems to be sweet, no visible issues in corners even at f2.8.

The Sigma raw converter (v5.4) is obviously very basic but I will need more time to get to know it better. I have not found an easy way to check sharpness at 100% which is annoying.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 08:08:10 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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ndevlin
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« Reply #355 on: November 01, 2012, 08:43:45 PM »
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Is is just me or has this suddenly become the best thread on LL? Some really nice work on here. Akira - love these. Very creative macro work! Hulys, you really surprised me with those ISO 1000 shots - a very filmic look . And Bernard, nice capture.  I thought you'd like this camera!

And yes, my understanding is that Adobe has received an SDK.  I can't imagine this is their number one priority, but I'm sure Eric will work his magic in due course.  Maybe he'll do it faster if we chip in and buy him one  Wink

Bernard, to check 100% in SPP, open a file, click on the "Full res" tab along the top, which will then load and crunch the extra data in a few seconds, then click on the arrow to the right of the % value under the words "fit in" beside little magnifier glass. Voila.

Cheers,

- N.
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« Reply #356 on: November 01, 2012, 08:57:49 PM »
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Bernard, to check 100% in SPP, open a file, click on the "Full res" tab along the top, which will then load and crunch the extra data in a few seconds, then click on the arrow to the right of the % value under the words "fit in" beside little magnifier glass. Voila.

Thank you Sir!  Smiley

Cheers,
Bernard
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #357 on: November 01, 2012, 09:04:21 PM »
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I'll be interested in seeing others' responses to Bernard's suggestion that the image quality of the DP2M may be "a tad overhyped."  My response is, "Compared to what?"  I've been using a Nikon D3 and Panasonic GH2.  Price aside, I would say, "What does one have to go to, and with what lenses, to get this image quality?"  I understand Bernard is an advocate of the Nikon D800.  I have to admit I've ruled that camera out as it didn't feel good in hand (my hand).  I just didn't want to pick it up.  Yes, I understand it should go on a tripod, where I do a lot of my shooting (I enjoy landscape, so tripod is easy), but for reasons of comfort and balance in my hand, I have ruled it out.  What should one use, and with what lenses, to get the image quality that I am now enjoying with my DP2M?  I would love to find that quality in a full-frame camera with interchangeable lenses.  My dismay is that I'm wondering if the only equivalence (aside from the Nikon D800) is a medium format system.  What do all of you have to say?  I'm considering renting full-frames from Canon or Sony to compare.  Also, I'm wondering if the Nikon D600 would give me what I'm looking for.  --Barbara
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #358 on: November 01, 2012, 09:30:34 PM »
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I'll be interested in seeing others' responses to Bernard's suggestion that the image quality of the DP2M may be "a tad overhyped."  My response is, "Compared to what?"  

No intend to start a heated discussion with this comment.  Wink I need to spend more time with the DP2m and I like it!

This comment is coming from the review of some first files shot on tripod and with the best possible AF/manual focus (100% live view) I could achieve in pretty easy conditions. I like the files, but I don't really see clearly superior pixel quality compared to what my D800 delivers when converted with the best converters, like C1 Pro 7 and optimally sharpened.

Now, this may be the result of me not using optimally the Sigma raw converter. I am also using only the very best primes from Nikon (24mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 300 f2.Cool, Zeiss ZF (50 and 100mm makro) and Leica (180 f2.8 APO) on my D800 at they optimal aperture, so the comparison may not be fair, but reading comments in this thread and elsewhere I was expecting to be blown away when looking at files at 100% on screen. So far I see nice files, but I am not blown away.... yet.  Smiley

What I need to do is:
- identify the sharpest aperture of the Sigma lens, I guess it is going to be around f4.5-5.6,
- improve the way I fine tune focus in live view,
- identify the best sharpening routine (involving probably both the Sigma raw converter + other sharpening in PS)
- receive my bracket and test again with the camera firmly attached to the tripod instead of just resting on top of it.

Now, all that may help extract more, but it may not be how I end up using the DP2m.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 09:43:32 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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janus
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« Reply #359 on: November 01, 2012, 09:45:07 PM »
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REGARDING OPTICAL VIEWFINDER:

I quickly found out that the DP2M is not a P&S rangefinder. To me, the LCD is THE most helpful, easy-to-use, and necessary control panel to ensure all parameteres, that make for well-thought-out and controlled shots, are properly set.

I use the accessory slot for a two-way spirit level.


REGARDING "TAD OVERHYPED":

Did you read Michael Reichmann's review?

The D800 cost how much? And the DP2M cost how little? If this DP2M was made by Leica, how much would it cost?

Once you master this little gem, you will be blown away by the IQ.

The D800 also needs to be mastered; I've seen a lot of crappy images from this big machine on flickr and pbase. The DP2M can also make crappy images.


AND THIS IS MY POINT OVERALL:

Images are an expression of the talent, as well as skill of the photographer.

Skills can be mastered.
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