Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    133
    Post Thanks / Like

    Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    Hi,
    I have a growing interest in these cameras. Been studying but want to ask you experienced folks.
    1) Anyone use an optical finder? Do you find in helpful?

    2) Since these cameras are used at a lower ISO, in lower light one might need a tripod and longer exposure. Does a long exposure degrade the image quality, noise etc. ??

    3) How is it to use in manual exposure? I can't tell how you change the shutter speed and f-stop?

    4) I like the idea of a simple camera even to the point of being sort of utilitarian in function and looks. I also like good image quality. So, really now, shooting mostly B&W, these cameras can give a Sony A7, RX1 or Nikon D800 a run for their money on image quality?
    Thank you all,

    Robert
    Last edited by OlderThenDirt; 14th February 2014 at 11:10.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    83
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    Hi Robert,

    I've only had my DP3M for a few weeks, but I've been shooting Sigma/Foveon since the SD10, so I'll take a crack at your questions.

    1. I haven't yet. I have smudged the LCD on the back with my nose as I've brought the camera up to eye level, however... :-)

    2. The camera (sensor) does like good light. Long exposures are not a problem given reasonable light. This is not a camera for astrophotography (30 s exposure is max). If your primary work is done in the dark (or under incandescent lighting), you might want to rent before buying to see if the camera works for you.

    3. In manual mode, the way I have it configured is that the command wheel (at the top) controls the aperture, and the four-way controller (on the back) controls the shutter speed (left/right). You can reverse those, if you prefer. It's pretty easy to use in manual mode, and you can have a live histogram on the LCD during shooting.

    4. Yes. Easily. At work, I have nearly a hundred images from the SD10, SD14 and SD14 printed at 12x18" displayed in public places. All my friends with their nice high end Nikons and Canons always marvel at the quality of the prints—and I do very little to prep these and print them on my HP DJ30. With regards to the output of the Merrill's, read this article by Mike Johnston: The Online Photographer: The Sigma Bigprint Unofficial National Tour
    This was output from the SD1 Merrill. I'll tell you that the DP Merrill series has better lenses in front of the sensor than the SD1 does. For quality (in good light, low ISO), these things can't be beat, once you get the exposure right.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    82
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    Before I bought the DP2m, I downloaded some some of the test XF3 files and the SPP software. I was astounded by the level of detail. I then made a test print at 24x36 doing the interpolation in Photoshop. Pretty incredible if you ask me - any noise you see in this image is from my Leica X1 shot at ISO 1600 to grab this shot. The print is noise free and no pixelization with my nose right up to the print:






  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    82
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    I would also like to add:

    regarding manual exposure...it has it's quirks. Rather than a tradition meter reading, the camera gives you +/- EV in stops. I would much rather see the light meter for some reason, also what REALLY bothers me, is the live view does not correspond with your exposure. It seems it is alway auto correcting to give to an accurate scene to view, no matter what exposure settings you choose. This can be misleading, and sometimes I take the shot and forget that my exposure is off, thinking it looked good in the live view mode.

    If those issues could be addressed, along with a proper shutter release and an actual dial for shutterspeed, like aperture wheel (similar dials on the X1), I might find this camera closer to perfection.

  5. #5
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    980
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    Quote Originally Posted by OlderThenDirt View Post
    Hi,
    I have a growing interest in these cameras. Been studying but want to ask you experienced folks.
    1) Anyone use an optical finder? Do you find in helpful?
    I purchased the optical finders for the DP1M and DP2M, but used them very briefly and do not use them on the cameras anymore. I keep them in my bag (they are tiny-small) in case I want to use them for scouting, which has not happened yet.

    2) Since these cameras are used at a lower ISO, in lower light one might need a tripod and longer exposure. Does a long exposure degrade the image quality, noise etc. ??
    I most always shoot with a tripod as I am training myself to use these cameras (I have all three DPMs) instead of my ALPA and P45 back and shoot them at ISO 100, and the longest exposure I have made has been in the 30 sec range. I personally do not see a problem there.

    3) How is it to use in manual exposure? I can't tell how you change the shutter speed and f-stop?
    Manuel exposure is easy. I was trained as a 4x5" transparency shooting advertising photographer many years ago and shoot cameras on tripods and bracket. I use the automatic exposure compensation bracket mode with -0.7, 0, +0.7 and self-timer set for 2 seconds.

    The shutter speed and f-stop are changed easily by first selecting the mode and then turning the top knob/wheel on the extreme right. I shoot "A" (Aperture Priority) 99.9% of the time, so my cameras are set to "A" mode and then after I frame my picture, I turn the knob/wheel until I see the f-stop I want and then I push the button inside the same knob/wheel and the 2 seconds timer goes off, then the -0.7 exposure is made, followed by the 0 shot and finally the +0.7 exposure all done automatically. If I want to shoot in Shutter Priority Mode, it is the exact same procedure after you set the camera to "S" (Shutter Priority) mode and follow the same procedure with the top right knob/wheel.

    4) I like the idea of a simple camera even to the point of being sort of utilitarian in function and looks. I also like good image quality. So, really now, shooting mostly B&W, these cameras can give a Sony A7, RX1 or Nikon D800 a run for their money on image quality?
    Thank you all,

    Robert
    I do not shoot these cameras in black and white, but can say I am probably walking away from my medium format system because the quality I am able to achieve from these cameras are meeting the quality I am looking for. I have not sold my system yet, but it has been almost a year since I pulled the medium format out and I recently sold the last two 4x5 cameras I had, an Arca Swiss ML2 and an Ebony 45S.

    Hope this helps,
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    133
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    Wow, those are all great answers and really helpful !!
    Thank you very much.
    Robert

  7. #7
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,122
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma DP Merrill Questions ???

    Purchasing my two DP merrills was the thin end of the wedge which finally had me selling all my MF film kit.

    The only problem you will encounter is your own personal disbelief at the results possible as long as you treat this as a 'film' camera only capable of working up to iso800 successfully.

    Unless you are do not focus the camera or use it at too slow a shutter speed there is no such thing as an unsharp pixel right down to 100%.

    LouisB

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •