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Old 18th February 2013   #1
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Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Hi all, I have been using Minolta/sony digitals almost exclusively since the introduction of the KM A1. Not for any other reason than it was what I liked. I have gotten very used to the cameras, controls, and manipulation of the files in PP. That said I recently jumped ship so to speak and bought this DP2m and am really enjoying the IQ this lil black brick creates. I am sure I will buy more of these as time goes on.

Yesterday Charle2 made a post about setting the sharpening to -1 and positions for two of the noise reduction sliders to the left of center position. I tried these and he was spot on it did make a difference. But, anyone who has worked with Sony 24mp apc sensors knows moving to less NR and sharpening just never is a good thing to do so these moves never crossed my mind with PP sigma files either.

Michiel and others have graciously offered me some SPP and camera starting points to try and those too have been spot on. I thought that a best practice thread and discussion maybe a good thing for new DP users such as me and for the more experienced users who may like me just never thought to make this or that adjustment due to their past practices with other cameras and makes.

Here's what I have found so far in using my DP2m for scenics: I set the color to Neutral in camera..... the white balance the jury is still out on for me and I usually am shooting AWB..... always shoot iso 100.... now using a UV filter due to IQ suggestions of others.... the sigma hood with a neoprene hood hat.. a Franiec grip... and a manifrotto hotshoe bubble level... I shoot M or A, center weighted metering, manual focus mostly, and a exp comp of +3 - +7, using a 2 sec delay shutter on a light tripod. Now, these are my goto "starting points" for my scenics but I do make other adjustments as needed.

In SPP I am using the custom setting with the exposure set back a bit -.7, sharpening to -1, Croma NR set far left and luma NR set 1st position left, my color wheel setting is halfway from center to the 0300 position, and that is pretty much it then I export a full size 16bit tiff to my desktop to be finessed in other PP software if needed.....which usually isn't needed now.

Those are my starting points for my camera and SPP..... but as I said I am very new with this camera and PP software. Lots of the stated items above are pretty SOP stuff and of little help but maybe it just might help someone looking for a place to start.

How about you all..... would you care to share your goto initial camera and SPP settings so others may see something or try a setting they never considered due to their past practices? I know it sounds like a lame thing to post but I am sure I was not the only one so set in his ways with another make camera and PP techniques that the settings Charles suggested NEVER would of been considered by me if he had not of posted them and I gave them a try........... How about it? Care to share? Who know if we see trends maybe Sigma might make some product software changes to take care of them for us.
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Old 18th February 2013   #2
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
Hi all, I have been using Minolta/sony digitals almost exclusively since the introduction of the KM A1. Not for any other reason than it was what I liked. I have gotten very used to the cameras, controls, and manipulation of the files in PP. That said I recently jumped ship so to speak and bought this DP2m and am really enjoying the IQ this lil black brick creates. I am sure I will buy more of these as time goes on.

Yesterday Charle2 made a post about setting the sharpening to -1 and positions for two of the noise reduction sliders to the left of center position. I tried these and he was spot on it did make a difference. But, anyone who has worked with Sony 24mp apc sensors knows moving to less NR and sharpening just never is a good thing to do so these moves never crossed my mind with PP sigma files either.

Michiel and others have graciously offered me some SPP and camera starting points to try and those too have been spot on. I thought that a best practice thread and discussion maybe a good thing for new DP users such as me and for the more experienced users who may like me just never thought to make this or that adjustment due to their past practices with other cameras and makes.

Here's what I have found so far in using my DP2m for scenics: I set the color to Neutral in camera..... the white balance the jury is still out on for me and I usually am shooting AWB..... always shoot iso 100.... now using a UV filter due to IQ suggestions of others.... the sigma hood with a neoprene hood hat.. a Franiec grip... and a manifrotto hotshoe bubble level... I shoot M or A, center weighted metering, manual focus mostly, and a exp comp of +3 - +7, using a 2 sec delay shutter on a light tripod. Now, these are my goto "starting points" for my scenics but I do make other adjustments as needed.

In SPP I am using the custom setting with the exposure set back a bit -.7, sharpening to -1, Croma NR set far left and luma NR set 1st position left, my color wheel setting is halfway from center to the 0300 position, and that is pretty much it then I export a full size 16bit tiff to my desktop to be finessed in other PP software if needed.....which usually isn't needed now.

Those are my starting points for my camera and SPP..... but as I said I am very new with this camera and PP software. Lots of the stated items above are pretty SOP stuff and of little help but maybe it just might help someone looking for a place to start.

How about you all..... would you care to share your goto initial camera and SPP settings so others may see something or try a setting they never considered due to their past practices? I know it sounds like a lame thing to post but I am sure I was not the only one so set in his ways with another make camera and PP techniques that the settings Charles suggested NEVER would of been considered by me if he had not of posted them and I gave them a try........... How about it? Care to share? Who know if we see trends maybe Sigma might make some product software changes to take care of them for us.
Jim: This is a great idea. I'm not sure i have anything to contribute, but I'm looking forward to additional recommendations as Charles has noted.

Thx!
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Old 18th February 2013   #3
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Am no expert, merely shared a counter-intuitive setting that works for my shots. That is the best method I've found: try it and if you like it, keep it.

With some adjustments, it is difficult to see much difference. These become territory for those who insist they have scientific data in favor of one setting or another. They rarely convince my eye.

After these remarks, comments on a few settings in Jim's initial post:
- I use Daylight or Shade white balance in the camera. Can't prove that AWB is shaky, just a feeling. Sometimes I use one of those translucent white gadgets that go over the lens (incidental, not reflective, balancing) for custom white balance; verdict still out on that.

- I shoot ISO 200 when there is plenty of light, based on slightly more than a feeling that you can draw out more shadow detail later than with ISO 100. Some experts state that 200 is the base ISO of the camera. When light begins to challenge the shutter time, I go to ISO 320 max for good IQ, higher for a shot intended only to document something.

- Perhaps Jim meant +0.3 - +0.7 EC in camera? That's what I do, occasionally even +1.0. But when the camera really needs light, don't be afraid to go -EC.
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Old 18th February 2013   #4
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

A few additions from me:

* ISO 200 has somewhat greater dynamic range in highlight recovery than ISO 100. If you have a scene that does not have a lot of DR use ISO 100; but if you have a wide range of brightness then use ISO 200, but expose to try and blow out the in-camera JPG a little (+0.3 to +1.0ev). You can recover nearly two stops of blown highlights in ISO200.

ISO 200 will have a bit more shadow noise and more sky noise, so you may want to leave the noise reduction sliders at least one unit away from the left end.

* To best recover blown highlights, first add some fill light (just around +0.3), then reduce the exposure slider until you get your highlight back. Fill Light also acts to recover highlights a little so doing that before adjusting exposure means the resulting image will not be as dark. You can then try adjusting up shadow or highlights sliders, but if you do too much of either it can reduce saturation in darker parts of the image. Instead export after highlight recovery into a 16-bit TIFF file and recover darker areas in other applications.

* If you find color looking a little weak in Neutral mode, try adding just +0.3 exposure. There's kind of a gap between +0.2 and +0.3 that brings a lot of life back into colors (though it can be a bit much for some scenes).

* Don't forget that SPP features CA reduction controls!

* If you save a set of custom settings for batch conversion of images, it will not save noise reduction or other non-primary settings. Those do get saved to the X3F though so you can go through, set noise reduction settings and batch process when done. I think Sigma may change that in the future.
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Old 18th February 2013   #5
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Some very informative information already shared on this thread ... Thanks all!

With the mention of using ISO 200 instead of ISO 100 for greater DR I spent the last two hours on the net looking for a definitive Sigma statement on what the base iso is for the Merrill's. All I got for my 2 hours was a definitive headache and no definitive answer. Wonder why this is so difficult find.

I do truly believe you guys that you are getting better DR from ISO 200 and it is worth a try but I must warn you I am anal about noise. Even in the 60's I went to medium format gear because I hated the grain that was visible on my 11x14 prints using a 35mm. I acquired a boatload of softwares to try and defeat noise on my Sony 24mp apc sensored cameras. As I said I am anal about noise far more than I need added NR. I know me if I see noise at 200 I will go back to 100 ASAP . But I will give it a go...

Did not know the changes in NR did not carry over .. Thanks for the heads up and I will keep an eye on this.
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Old 18th February 2013   #6
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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I do truly believe you guys that you are getting better DR from ISO 200 and it is worth a try but I must warn you I am anal about noise. Even in the 60's I went to medium format gear because I hated the grain that was visible on my 11x14 prints using a 35mm. I acquired a boatload of softwares to try and defeat noise on my Sony 24mp apc sensored cameras. As I said I am anal about noise far more than I need added NR. I know me if I see noise at 200 I will go back to 100 ASAP . But I will give it a go...
There's no question you will like the skies more at ISO 100. I'd mostly shoot using ISO100 if noise is a real concern, the DR and highlight recover at ISO 100 is still pretty good (say a bit over a stop).

Quote:
Did not know the changes in NR did not carry over .. Thanks for the heads up and I will keep an eye on this.
That's only for saved SPP custom presets though, it is at least properly saved into the X3F file if you save image settings.

If you don't like noise you may want to leave chroma NR up one notch or so, but turn luminance NR all the way off (or also one notch above the leftmost setting).
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Old 19th February 2013   #7
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Has anyone seen a definitive answer from Sigma or even a reputable testing site what the merrills base ISO really is. I know my a77's base was around 100 but it had 3 other iso's below it down to iso 50 that were software generated.

I brought up many of this forums pics and looked at the metadata on the ones that had it attached and it was pretty much a split between 100 and 200 in amount of usage. One other thing I noticed is though some stated differently they seemed to use auto WB on more images than the other WB settings. That was unexpected...... Mant bracketed their exposures and the exp comps were pretty well spread from -.3 to +1 with +.3 and +.7 the most common.
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Old 19th February 2013   #8
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

I can't recall why but I do know I read somewhere that the base iso is 200 and for what it is worth that is my default setting.

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Old 19th February 2013   #9
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Yeah Louis... I have read both that 200 is base and 100 is base. All the sources seem reputable enough but there is a definite difference between them .......

Honestly, this information really won't make much of a difference in the long run but it is now more a quest for the fact's more than anything. I just e-mailed someone who can get the answer (I think) from the horse's mouth.

Last edited by Jim DE; 19th February 2013 at 10:35.
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Old 19th February 2013   #10
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

I get better results at ISO100 than I do at 200. Some say use ISO200 and overexpose by 1.3 stops, but that is broadly the same as 100ISO and overexpose by 0.3 stops, which is my usual modus operandi. 200 is the base ISO when the camera is set to auto ISO which might or might not be a pointer, but for me the argument is academic. I use a workflow that works for me. I should add that while I turn down luminance NR in Sigma Photo Pro, most of my finished images are subject to some small degree of NR in Photoshop using Neat Image.
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Old 19th February 2013   #11
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Thanks Quentin that is good information to know....... by the way your images are always stellar and were one of several reasons I bought the Sigma. The tomato's in the box image comes to mind as one of images that sent me over the edge Michiels images on the NEX thread is what ignited this thought to buy something other than a Sony and his plus yours and the rest on this forum and the others finalized the decision. I am very happy it worked out this way
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Old 19th February 2013   #12
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

OK, my source at Sigma just answered my E-Mail and stated "the base ISO is 200" for the DP Merrill's. That's solves that "quest for the facts" for me ... nothing better than getting it straight from the horse's mouth.

Now we all know......
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Old 19th February 2013   #13
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

I did a ISO 200 test shot ..... now it was grey and raining outside so maybe not the best test. Did a SPP conversion reducing the noise sliders and took the TIFF to aperture. A lil tweak here and there then a 400x magnifier view did see noise in grey areas. A quick stop at Topaz denoise at a medium jpg setting and poof no more noise but incredible detail and DR.
I can live with that
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Old 25th February 2013   #14
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

I think after many shots using both the 200 iso and the 100 iso I too get results more to my liking at 100 iso like Quentin.

I still seem to like the std color a bit better than the neutral setting ... just seems a bit warmer. I am still playing with this as it seems to be a 70-30 thing as to std to neutral results being more to my liking.

I have found that I set my sharpness in SPP to -1 - -4 on most shots. At zero setting with any fill light used at all to control highlights being blown out it just ends up too edgy or HDR like in appearance. I am not a fan of HDR images.

All in all I really like this DP2m and its merrill sensor. So much so I find it difficult to use my cameras with bayer sensors anymore. If the SD1m would do 1600 iso for BIF work I would sell all my gear and switch over to all Foveon merrill gear.
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Old 26th February 2013   #15
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Can't the color settings be changed after the fact if you use RAW? Is there any difference to picking one or another when shooting?
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Old 26th February 2013   #16
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Yeah they can and it is a really nothing more than highlighting one or the other but for time saving during the SPP process to take the raw and convert them to a TIF its faster to select the one you want initially in camera as it is one less thing to do during the conversion process.
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Old 27th February 2013   #17
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

If you are not printing your DP2m images you are missing out on really experiencing this tools ultimate potential. It has to be seen to be appreciated fully..........

I'm gonna need more wall space

Not in my wildest imagination did I ever think a fixed lens apc P&S would become my favorite photographic tool......
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Old 28th February 2013   #18
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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All in all I really like this DP2m and its merrill sensor. So much so I find it difficult to use my cameras with bayer sensors anymore. If the SD1m would do 1600 iso for BIF work I would sell all my gear and switch over to all Foveon merrill gear.
Try out the newer SPP with ISO1600 shots, color results have been improved for high ISO...
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Old 28th February 2013   #19
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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If you are not printing your DP2m images you are missing out on really experiencing this tools ultimate potential. It has to be seen to be appreciated fully..........

I'm gonna need more wall space

Not in my wildest imagination did I ever think a fixed lens apc P&S would become my favorite photographic tool......

I was a Sony shooter as well. I'm so impressed w the Merrills my Sony is up for sale now.

Having an absolute ball w. these cameras. just had my first canvass print done in 20 x 30. It's beautiful.

I might need more wall space too.

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Old 28th February 2013   #20
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

When I walk around with this little gem neatly disguised by the grip I feel like James Bond.

I have a secret weapon and nobody evens suspects.

Wonderful.

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Old 28th February 2013   #21
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Ute, If Sigma made the DP's with interchangeable lenses like the NEX series my 2 NEX cameras and all the associated glass and accessories would be in my local photo shop on consignment the next day. If the SD1m did 1600 BIF even near as good as my a77 or a33 (and the a77 is not all that good above 600 iso imo anyway so I am not asking for much) those would be on consignment as well.

I never thought at my age I would be considering a brand change but the merrill sensor has spoiled me and turned me off of my bayer sensored gear. The idea of carrying 3 cameras for 3 focal lengths for my scenics I could accept but I need a long focal length high MP camera for my wildlife work and right now sadly Sigma does not have a camera for that.
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Old 1st March 2013   #22
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Ute, If Sigma made the DP's with interchangeable lenses like the NEX series my 2 NEX cameras and all the associated glass and accessories would be in my local photo shop on consignment the next day. If the SD1m did 1600 BIF even near as good as my a77 or a33 (and the a77 is not all that good above 600 iso imo anyway so I am not asking for much) those would be on consignment as well.

I never thought at my age I would be considering a brand change but the merrill sensor has spoiled me and turned me off of my bayer sensored gear. The idea of carrying 3 cameras for 3 focal lengths for my scenics I could accept but I need a long focal length high MP camera for my wildlife work and right now sadly Sigma does not have a camera for that.


Jim-

I'm going w. a Panasonic FZ40 for higher ISO and longer shots.

Plan on carrying the DP1/2 and FZ40.

All 3 together are probably lighter than the A850 body alone.
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Old 1st March 2013   #23
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Coming from the Sony camp I must admit I have been spoiled by articulating LCD screens on my cameras. Fact is I rarely used the EVF on my NEX 7 because I got used to shooting waist level or much lower on my scenics with my original NEX 5. The DP2m had me shooting eye level on many shots because I did not feel like laying on the cold wet ground to take the picture.

With much deliberation and some skepticism I ordered a 3" Flipbac for my DP2m. It arrived yesterday and it installed very easily. Today I went out and played with it. So far so good..... You do have to get used to a mirrored reversed image but I have dealt with upside down views before The advantages for me and my scenics seem to far outweigh it's disadvantages. Guess we will see how it lasts and functions as time goes on. I know something like this seems hokie and is not for everyone but I am just too old to be belly crawling in the dirt to manual focus my low angle shots anymore.
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Old 2nd March 2013   #24
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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The idea of carrying 3 cameras for 3 focal lengths for my scenics I could accept but I need a long focal length high MP camera for my wildlife work and right now sadly Sigma does not have a camera for that.
In fact, Sigma does make such a camera. It's called the SD1!
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Old 2nd March 2013   #25
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

FYI the Sigma USA Outlet store has DP Merrill batteries on sale for $35 usd ea and chargers for $35 usd each. That is a 30% savings. I ordered one extra charger and 2 more batteries making my battery count go to 5. Let it drain battery power as quick as it wants I am set now
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Old 2nd March 2013   #26
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Ggibson yeah I wish
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Old 4th March 2013   #27
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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Coming from the Sony camp I must admit I have been spoiled by articulating LCD screens on my cameras. Fact is I rarely used the EVF on my NEX 7 because I got used to shooting waist level or much lower on my scenics with my original NEX 5. The DP2m had me shooting eye level on many shots because I did not feel like laying on the cold wet ground to take the picture.

With much deliberation and some skepticism I ordered a 3" Flipbac for my DP2m. It arrived yesterday and it installed very easily. Today I went out and played with it. So far so good..... You do have to get used to a mirrored reversed image but I have dealt with upside down views before The advantages for me and my scenics seem to far outweigh it's disadvantages. Guess we will see how it lasts and functions as time goes on. I know something like this seems hokie and is not for everyone but I am just too old to be belly crawling in the dirt to manual focus my low angle shots anymore.
I had 3 Flipbacs and all got loose in a short time - i.e. the mirror just flaps open easily in a month or two ...

I got this one now -> 3" Black Viewplayer New LCD Viewfinder LCD Screen Protector LCD Hood LCD Cover | eBay

Only time will tell if it will loosen up too, I don't know yet ...
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Old 5th March 2013   #28
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Did you mount it on a DPxmerrill? If you did mount it on a DPmerrill did you order the 3" or the 3" wide?

So far my Flipbac is working very well but it is nice to know there are other options......
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Old 6th March 2013   #29
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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FYI the Sigma USA Outlet store has DP Merrill batteries on sale for $35 usd ea and chargers for $35 usd each. That is a 30% savings. I ordered one extra charger and 2 more batteries making my battery count go to 5. Let it drain battery power as quick as it wants I am set now
Wasabi sells a charger and 2 battery combo for less than you paid for just your battery.

I have around 8 batteries now for my DP1 and 2.

The charger and batteries work just fine.

Save yourself some money.
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Old 6th March 2013   #30
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Ute I have read that one must do some grinding on the batteries to make them work in the DPx Merrill's. Not supposedly a complex function but still a alteration to get them to install and release properly. Did you grind yours?

I am set now anyway. The charger and two other batteries arrived yesterday. But will be good information for others reading this thread.
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Old 6th March 2013   #31
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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Ute I have read that one must do some grinding on the batteries to make them work in the DPx Merrill's. Not supposedly a complex function but still a alteration to get them to install and release properly. Did you grind yours?

I am set now anyway. The charger and two other batteries arrived yesterday. But will be good information for others reading this thread.
No grinding necessary. They fit just like the OEM's.
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Old 6th March 2013   #32
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Nice to know Ute.... that should save others some $$$
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Old 7th March 2013   #33
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

You have to make absolutely sure you have the correct Wasabi battery for it to fit properly - my Wasabi battery has BTR-BH125C-JWP written on it, this is the battery with the larger notch that allows it to fit the Sigma without grinding the notch larger.
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Old 7th March 2013   #34
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Thanks for the clarification PeteG .... I know I read somewhere on one of the DPxm threads that there was a issue with some of them and thought from Ute's post it might of been corrected.
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Old 7th March 2013   #35
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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Did you mount it on a DPxmerrill? If you did mount it on a DPmerrill did you order the 3" or the 3" wide?

So far my Flipbac is working very well but it is nice to know there are other options......
Yes, on the Dp1m, 3", not wide. On the dp2m, i got an lcd hood instead
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Old 14th March 2013   #36
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Did find something the DP2m didn't like much today ..... Long daylight exposures using a Singh Ray variND dialed up. Seems it tends to create a magenta center section in the middle of the exposure. 5 out of 6 exposures using this technique on wind blown water had this IQ issue and it was not a lens flair but something else. Strange it was dead center on all 5 occurrences.

No big deal as I have other cameras I can use for this technique but is worth noting for others to be aware of in case they do a lot of VariND shots.

Last edited by Jim DE; 14th March 2013 at 18:07.
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Old 19th March 2013   #37
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

What's the best way to export to TIFF with zero NR? I have been doing this then import into LR only to find the images look softer than in SPP. I assumed this was because the zero NR setting was being ignored. Ah, Save Images As defaults to X3F setting, so that's with default NR unless I have explicitly saved it otherwise to X3F. Changing, for example, exposure, automatically sets SPP to Custom mode and saving an image then saves it by default into Custom mode. However, if NR is the only change then it doesn't change it to Custom mode and my Save As defaults to X3F ...

What?

Lee
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Old 24th March 2013   #38
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

As a former Canon owner, I have a Zacuto Z-finder that was used when recording video.
I investigated the possibility of attaching the frame used to attach the finder to the camera, but the dimensions of the DPx Merrill LCD is not the same, so the frame (glued on) would not be a good fit.

Instead I attached an aluminium angle to the Z-finder with Gaffer tape. This enables me to hold the finder and the camera firmly together with one hand only. The finder will not move while in use, and I get the all important mass coupling with my eye ridge to stabilize the camera (in addition to being able to see the screen properly, of course).

And when not in use, simply let them hang - the rubber eye piece will protect both items.

The eye cup must be rotated 1/4 turn for vertical vs. horizontal pictures, and care must be taken that it does not fall off and get lost.

Oyvind
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Old 27th March 2013   #39
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Just a FYI SPP 5.5.1 is now available........... I just downloaded the MAC version but have not used it yet.

I really like so far how Sigma listens and responds to user issues by addressing them in software updates. Seems like they are moving at the speed of light compared to the other brand I use.
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Old 27th March 2013   #40
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
What's the best way to export to TIFF with zero NR? I have been doing this then import into LR only to find the images look softer than in SPP. I assumed this was because the zero NR setting was being ignored. Ah, Save Images As defaults to X3F setting, so that's with default NR unless I have explicitly saved it otherwise to X3F. Changing, for example, exposure, automatically sets SPP to Custom mode and saving an image then saves it by default into Custom mode. However, if NR is the only change then it doesn't change it to Custom mode and my Save As defaults to X3F ...

What?

Lee
That's kind of a long standing bug - changes to NR do not activate the X3F button to save the settings to the file. But you can make any other small tweak, like a +0.1 increase in exposure, then make changes to NR and hit the X3F button - all settings including NR and CA alterations will be saved into the X3F, and used when you use the batch export option with "X3F" selected.
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Old 27th March 2013   #41
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

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Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
I really like so far how Sigma listens and responds to user issues by addressing them in software updates
However, it seems that Sigma does not document all changes.

I reported a suggestion earlier about a recipe to get detail without brittle sharpening: reduce Sharpen to -1 while setting Chroma NR to 1 (of 1..5) and Luminance NR to 2. However, processing a few shots with SPP 5.5.1, I findSharpening at -1 is soft. Sharpening 0 now seems a good starting point. If this is correct, SPP "best practices" must be tagged by the SPP version number!
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Old 28th March 2013   #42
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

That would make sense though as I am sure like all companies the keyword is continuous improvement. I am pretty sure that they are paying attention to what people are praising and what they would like to see improved. The wise software team would strive to reduce common complaints and dial their software in more for the mean.

I am reading that some say the sharpening was reduced and changes in the noise reduction area are being noticed when using 5.5.1. It may be a few days before I get a chance at seeing for myself.

I am hoping it is a improvement just like 5.5 was over 5.4.... I truly feel 5.5 resolved some of the common complaints about issues with the color mode settings and auto white balance..... at least it did for me and my images. Before I could only tolerate standard and neutral modes: now I can use them all and achieve satisfying results. Really like the "landscape" color mode now on most of my scenics (made me vomit before ) As for AWB it is nailing my shots now where before it was unacceptable most of the time.

Last edited by Jim DE; 28th March 2013 at 08:30.
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Old 18th April 2013   #43
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Hi all. I'm a new member but have been lurking for at least six months. Photography is a hobby for me and most of my knowledge is self taught, from reading books, and from asking questions on sites like this.

I have a DP2M and a DP3M and am receiving my RX1 in the mail tomorrow. (Ute, you are to blame. Scho has a hand in this too).

My question is around the SPP software. My practice has been simply to adjust the exposure slide until the blinkies go away. I choose a white balance and one of the rendering styles - usually standard.

It seems that this is ripe for batch processing. I can't seem to figure out how to create more than a single Tiff at a time. How can I send a batch of photos through SPP without having to work each image separately? I swear, I'm not a beginner.
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Old 19th April 2013   #44
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Do your adjustments in the Review window and click on the Save Setting button at the top left. Name your setting something useful.

Then from the main window, with the grid, select the photos you want to export as tiffs with this setting and click on "save images as" button. A dialog box pops up. The second pane is marked Adjustment mode. Click on the "custom" button and from the Color drop down menu choose your saved setting. The images should then have that setting applied to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
Hi all. I'm a new member but have been lurking for at least six months. Photography is a hobby for me and most of my knowledge is self taught, from reading books, and from asking questions on sites like this.

I have a DP2M and a DP3M and am receiving my RX1 in the mail tomorrow. (Ute, you are to blame. Scho has a hand in this too).

My question is around the SPP software. My practice has been simply to adjust the exposure slide until the blinkies go away. I choose a white balance and one of the rendering styles - usually standard.

It seems that this is ripe for batch processing. I can't seem to figure out how to create more than a single Tiff at a time. How can I send a batch of photos through SPP without having to work each image separately? I swear, I'm not a beginner.
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Old 26th May 2013   #45
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Hi all

I was just wondering what colour space you are all using and if it really matters? To be honest life is complicated enough really but I was just curious. In camera you can select sRGB or AdobeRGB and then in SPP there is the working colour space preference that some seem to set to ProPhoto RGB.

Lee
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Old 26th May 2013   #46
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Choices of color space

Ah, the great swamp of color management. Careful when you put a toe in, it is easy to sink completely.

The camera setting does not affect the raw files. For display on the LCD and other reasons, it is best left at sRGB.

I use AdobeRGB as the SPP working space. Opinions differ; the reason for not going with the larger ProPhotoRGB color space is discussed in this good introduction to color management:
http://ftp2.bmtmicro.com/dlc/Color_Management.pdf

The output color space depends on the use of the image. The Web today lives on sRGB. I output a TIF file in AdobeRGB because the next step is a wide-gamut monitor and work to prepare the shot for a print. The Picture Window Pro program and many others have a menu option for contracting an AdobeRGB image to sRGB.
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Old 6th June 2013   #47
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

Thanks everyone for your valuable input to this topic.
I'm curious if there is any way to make SPP apply 0 NR to the imported RAW files by default instead of repeating the same task every time I add new images?
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Old 7th June 2013   #48
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

I just discovered this thread. Great! While I've been close on much of the workflow, it's given me some fresh insights to experiment with. On the Diglloyd website there is a lot of information on the Merrill's. It's in the Guide to Mirrorless Camers section (requires subscription). The tests he's done would seem to indicate that ISO 200 gives a bit more DR at the cost of a slight loss of micro contrast compared to ISO 100.

I'm now using the DP2M for black & white and I'm interested in getting other's opinions for workflow. I've tried doing the B&W conversion in SPP which works very well. But, I miss the ability to alter the luminosity of separate color channels in ACR (or in LR). So, currently in SPP I work to get a good color image, then change to B&W in ACR and adjust the luminosity of each color channel then make other adjustments in ACR/PS. What are you doing?
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Old 7th June 2013   #49
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Re: Sigma DPxmerrill best practice thread

[QUOTE=PaulO;518748]I just discovered this thread. Great! While I've been close on much of the workflow, it's given me some fresh insights to experiment with. On the Diglloyd website there is a lot of information on the Merrill's. It's in the Guide to Mirrorless Camers section (requires subscription). The tests he's done would seem to indicate that ISO 200 gives a bit more DR at the cost of a slight loss of micro contrast compared to ISO 100.

I'm now using the DP2M for black & white and I'm interested in getting other's opinions for workflow. I've tried doing the B&W conversion in SPP which works very well. But, I miss the ability to alter the luminosity of separate color channels in ACR (or in LR). So, currently in SPP I work to get a good color image, then change to B&W in ACR and adjust the luminosity of each color channel then make other adjustments in ACR/PS. What are you doing?[/QUOTE

About iso 200: And a tiny bit of noise, if you care about so litle.

---

I think Nik software Silver Efex Pro can do something for you.

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