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Thread: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    A post by Quentin in the Sony forum closely mirrors my thoughts about whether it is worth keeping my Sigma Merrill cameras.

    A good photographer friend of mine once made the point that multiple camera systems lead to confusion, e.g. which camera for which subject/job etc. I agree with him and have tried to limit myself to two systems max at any one time.

    Currently I have a Sony A7R, A7S, the Ricoh GR and a DP2M and DP3M. I also have a Panasonic GH-2 and a 100-300 which I keep solely for the benefits of that lens.

    Since acquiring the Sony system I have barely touched the Sigmas whereas I still regularly use my Ricoh GR. The reason being that there is a lot of overlap between the Sony and Sigma systems. I told myself at the beginning of owning the Sony system that I would continue to use my Sigmas. But the truth is, each time I go out to shoot intentionally a subject I pack up my Sony system and leave the Sigmas behind.

    There are two reasons. Firstly, convenience. The Sonys are very convenient to use. The EVF is a dream and the tilting LCD is also very useful. I often find myself using the tilting screen with the Hoodman Loupe I purchased specifically to use with my Sigmas! The tilting screen and loupe allows for a convenient height for tripod shots and a working method which is very similar to my former Hasselblad (which I sold for weight issues).

    A lovely shot of the interior of Greenstead Church, DP2M


    Sony A7+CVUltron 21/1.4 - the convenience of the Sony is the interchangeable lens system.


    Secondly, the image quality while not as good as the Sigmas at the pixel level is more attractive in terms of colouration and the dynamic range of the sensors is as good as the Sigmas, imho. I get more attractive looking photographs straight out of the camera - whereas with the Sigmas I am always fiddling in SPP or LR (after exporting as TIFFs) to get what I want.

    The incredible low-light capability of the A7S - something a DPxM will never be able to match


    For unintentional shooting, when I am wandering about the east end on my way to work, the little Ricoh is so convenient. I put it into TAV mode (fixed speed, fixed aperture, floating ISO) and snap away - sometimes using the external viewfinder, sometimes not. I can't quite put my finger on why I don't just grab the DP2M but I suspect it is because the 28mm lens on the Ricoh is very forgiving and the 16mp sensor (without anti aliasing filter) is very croppable.

    One of my favourite early morning photographs in Spitalfields, Ricoh GR


    I am not one to leave a camera on the shelf just in case I might use it. Having got good use out of the bodies and seeing some of the prices even s/h Merrills get on ebay I'd rather contribute the remaining capital in the cameras towards other equipment, or possibly another camera (e.g. the A7RII).

    I really feel Sigma has not lived up to the promise of these cameras in the new product line of Quattros. The body alone leaves me cold. What we all want is simple. A Sigma CSC with EVF. I do not care if the sensor is APC or full frame. I doubt we will ever get this. Lens manufacture and sales are where Sigma earns its nut not in camera sales.

    One of my favourite captures from the DP2M - the poignant 'Sheffield Memorial Park' on the Somme battlefied in northern France.


    The Sigmas have been an extraordinary experience - and for me the experience has been worthwhile. Working with the Sigmas by definition has made me work on a tripod and compose shots carefully. But I am now transferring the exact same method to working with my A7R/S when shooting landscape. I still believe that if you cannot afford a Leica M9/240 and the 75mm APO then you can get as fine a result with the DP3M. But then I can also say the same thing about a Sony A7R/S and the excellent CZ 55/1.8 which easily rivals the captures from the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux I used to own. And likewise using the Sonys with the Loxia 2/35.

    It is the wrong time of the year to sell kit (this I have learned from being an eBay member for 15 years) but I don't think I'll have these cameras beyond the next few months.
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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    After I acquired a SD1M, my DPx Merrills have not gotten much use. For me it is the interchangeable lenses and viewfinder that makes the SD1M more useable. It is a great thing when you can find a camera system that motivates usage. Good luck with your decision Louis and I will miss your Sigma postings for sure.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Have not seen the post by Quentin Louis, must try to read when I have some time.

    I can understand your thinking and having seen what the capability of the Foveon sensor are, having enjoyed them very much and still will as I'll not sell or give them away any time soon, I do have a fondness for their uniqueness, a few years from now I am sure I bring them out. As and like at one time the Aussies conquered all before them with the bat and ball, it seems even they today have had their day, or aught I say not a whole morning having had such enjoyment and am still astounded of the output from the Merrill's, I am no longer as forgiving with the quirks as I once was or wish to process at the computer like I have in the past.
    There is I see, a lot going for the availability of all the A7r's Mint- at £999 onto the second hand market. Superb value if you have a couple of suitable lenses of your favoured focal length.

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    The Merrills still occupy the sweet spot of MF quality in a light weight jacket pocket size camera, at least the DP1M and DP2M. I got a A7rII about a week ago and for photo trips it will replace a trio of Merrills. I might sell the DP3M as it is the most demanding of the three and keep the other two. And as outstanding as the A7rII is, it can`t touch an aging Merrill in its comfort zone.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by adrewdecourcy View Post
    Have not seen the post by Quentin Louis, must try to read when I have some time.
    I could not see it Louis.

    Can you give us the URL please?

    Tony

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    The Merrills still occupy the sweet spot of MF quality in a light weight jacket pocket size camera, at least the DP1M and DP2M. I got a A7rII about a week ago and for photo trips it will replace a trio of Merrills. I might sell the DP3M as it is the most demanding of the three and keep the other two. And as outstanding as the A7rII is, it can`t touch an aging Merrill in its comfort zone.
    Seconded.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Mer & Rill is here to stay^^
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    After I acquired a SD1M, my DPx Merrills have not gotten much use. For me it is the interchangeable lenses and viewfinder that makes the SD1M more useable.
    I started with the original SD9 and "progressed" upward thru SD10 then SD14 and finally got a DP2M. Didn't like it at all compared to the DSLR's. Sold it pretty quick and got a SD1M with kit 17-50mm. Much better but SPP 5.5.3 was so slow that I sold the SD1M on and reverted to SPP 3.5.2.

    Now I have a much faster 64bit Windows computer so, once again, I bought a brand-new SD1M. Started shooting full spectrum with it in LO res., keeping the SD14 for other stuff and a DP1s for occasional pocket camera work.

    I'll be sticking with these three disparate Sigmas and using Wife's LX7 should I feel the need.

    rgds,

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 10th August 2015 at 05:20. Reason: corrected kit to 17-50mm
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    I started with the original SD9 and "progressed" upward thru SD10 then SD14 and finally got a DP2M. Didn't like it at all compared to the DSLR's. Sold it pretty quick and got a SD1M with kit 15-50mm. Much better but SPP 5.5.3 was so slow that I sold the SD1M on.

    Now I have a much faster 64bit Windows computer so, once again, I bought a brand-new SD1M. Started shooting full spectrum with it in LO res., keeping the SD14 for other stuff and a DP1s for occasional pocket camera work.

    I'll be sticking with these three disparate Sigmas and using Wife's LX7 should I feel the need.

    rgds,

    Ted
    It did for myself make a vast difference on upgrading the Pc from an off the shelf quad core albeit a decent machine in it's day, to a home build 6 core cpu and decent sever board with SSD to run the programs from. Makes using a SPP not such a pleasure as LR or Cs6 but very close in speed.

    Having legs that don't function at all to get about and with a preference to using crutches over the wheel chair for photography, I'll put up with the handling of the Merrill's. The odd thing is after using them and the LCD screen, which used to pee me off, I no longer ever have a problem seeing the screen image one is about to take, even on bright days. There's evolution in our own time for you.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by adrewdecourcy View Post
    It did for myself make a vast difference on upgrading the Pc from an off the shelf quad core albeit a decent machine in it's day, to a home build 6 core cpu and decent sever board with SSD to run the programs from. Makes using a SPP not such a pleasure as LR or Cs6 but very close in speed.

    Having legs that don't function at all to get about and with a preference to using crutches over the wheel chair for photography, I'll put up with the handling of the Merrill's. The odd thing is after using them and the LCD screen, which used to pee me off, I no longer ever have a problem seeing the screen image one is about to take, even on bright days. There's evolution in our own time for you.
    This chimes in with my feelings about the DP2M. I'm only too aware of the camera's failings but, to my surprise, I've found a way to work around them. It's a small, lightweight camera, which cost £300 new, and it's capable of nice results. What's not to like?
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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Ironically, after a bit of a hiatus, I've decided to 'double down' on my DP2 Merrill usage.

    Two years ago I got the itch to go FF and bought the Canon 6D with the fantastic Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art--truly a spectacular lens. I also purchased the Canon 50mm f1.2 bokeh master. That kit was great and produced great images.

    For a while the Sigma remained in a drawer while I went out and about with the Canon. But I kept thinking about how much I just wanted a 'simple', compact camera that I could go out and about with that would yield stellar images without the 'bulk' (even though the Canon is somewhat un-bulky for a FF (although not nearly as small as Sony's A7 series and its luscious Zeiss glass!). So I found myself reaching for the the DP2M more and more and less so the Canon using it in situations for <<400 ISO for color and up to ISO 4000 in BW (the SPP's ability to pull data only from the blue channel along with the 'grain size' and 'random grain' features allowed for some truly film-like images. As for IQ...the 15mp APS-C Foveon is more than up to taking on Canon's 20 mp FF shots.

    While I agree with Louis' observation that the DR can be a bit limiting and that detail can sometimes be TOO much, I've come to accept many limitations like its AF and Sigma's SPP software where I've experimented with tweaking the luminance so human skin doesn't have so much detail that subjects freak out when they see the final and surprisingly good BW images taken at ISO as high as 4000 with a romantic film-like quality that allow for use in low light situations that one might not have considered.

    This week, I've found a whole new world in flash photography having bought Sigma's lesser expensive EF-610 DG ST Flash with its clever bounce and diffuser for TTL perfection with the DP2M.

    After checking the flash contact pattern on the Canon I also got a Vello off camera synch cord to use with it. Result? PERFECT contact and TTL perfection.

    Next I got Vello's (4" x 3.5") Mini 'soft box' to use with it either on a table tripod, mounted on Vello's Mini Folding Bracket or held off camera with the Vello Cord (mentioned above) for off-camera lighting that seems to work rather well too along with Lumiquest's 10 x 14" Softbox LTp which is seems to work well for small still lifes and single portrait work in the field. Or mounted on a portable flash stand from Impact ($20).

    I can put everything (except for the flash stand) into a compact 11" computer back backpack I use to take the 11" MacBook Air. The pack has more than enough room for brackets, soft boxes and the like for going about taking shots with flash when I want color or without flash when the higher ISO BW works just fine. (TTL will also trigger a better AF assist if needed.)

    I am getting a Vello radio flash trigger to set up the flash at a greater distance as well as fire off a larger studio flash should the need call for it.

    Despite the failings of this camera along with its glacially slow processing software I find myself drawn to making it work no matter what I have to be subjected to (I guess I'm a masochist at heart). The AF/AEL makes for good pre-focus for anticipated shots. And I simply make adjustments to work with all the camera's other limitations. Do I wish it were better? Absolutely. But for the moment I'm content with a camera that can provide me with images few can match in terms of sheer drop dead quality.

    But...that said...while the DP2M is my first choice when I go out, I accept the fact that are times when I might long for a more responsive, compact camera I can tote along with the DP2M that can provide quicker AF, a good detailed EVF, and good low light capability with a very sharp, lens. So I just purchased the Leica DLux with a grip (that I felt would provide a better balance than the Lumix version with its built-in grip) for those situations. (The ability to shoot 4K clips isn't too bad either!)

    The new Q is a consideration down the road. The Q's responsiveness and lack of AA (like the DP2M) along with the FOV of the 28mm lens and the good AF and stellar EVF is quite something. (The Ricoh is a great alternative but if I'm going to go for it, I might as well go for it!)

    Meanwhile, the Canon gear is off to Ebay.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Some very compelling responses and reasons to keep at least the DP2M.

    I am afraid that for macro, for which I bought the DP3M, my new FE 90/2.8 Macro aces the DP3M.

    Maybe I'll sell that and keep the DP2M.

    Decisions, decisions!

    Thanks again

    LouisB
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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    (I guess I'm a masochist at heart).

    Me too when it comes to Foveon!

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Well, although I am a huge fan of the new Sony A7RII, I don't think I will wholly disavow the Merrills. I will find place for at least a DP2M in my camera bag.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Well, although I am a huge fan of the new Sony A7RII, I don't think I will wholly disavow the Merrills. I will find place for at least a DP2M in my camera bag.
    Quentin, like so many others here, I was smitten with the DP2 Merrill from the very first jaw-dropping image you posted. And as a result, I am forever grateful for you making me aware of this wonderful camera though your fantastic images.

    And...while I may have turned away for short periods of time to re-gather my wherewithal to take on camera's shortcomings and idiosyncrasies along with the infuriating SPP software, I too will never, ever relinquish it. In fact my whole experience with this camera can be summed up in the advertising tagline here in America for The North Face: "Never stop exploring."

    To Louis, I KNEW IT! HA! Seriously, the cameras you possess are stellar as are the results you've attained with them that I've admired on these threads but I have to tell you, the images you've created with the Sigma DP2M that I've seen have been in a class by themselves.

    Best, Peter
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    Some very compelling responses and reasons to keep at least the DP2M.

    I am afraid that for macro, for which I bought the DP3M, my new FE 90/2.8 Macro aces the DP3M.

    Maybe I'll sell that and keep the DP2M.

    Decisions, decisions!

    Thanks again

    LouisB
    I sold my DP2M in haste based on the horrible experience of using SPP 5.5.3 on a Windows XP machine (now used as a backup only). If I were in your shoes, I'd keep the DP2M in preference to DP1M, DP3M or any Quattro.

    Welcome back, Quentin
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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    15 August will be the 3rd anniversary of the start of the DP2m images thread on these forums. A great 3 years I say, with an abundance of super images from so many top photographers ( i.e. You lot!) Hopefully many more to come.

    I also used the DP2M and DP1M almost exclusively for my panel for my application for the Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society, which was pretty insane given the alternatives I had available, including Hassy H5D 50mp digital Turned out well, so good choice
    Last edited by Quentin_Bargate; 11th August 2015 at 23:51.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    Some very compelling responses and reasons to keep at least the DP2M.

    I am afraid that for macro, for which I bought the DP3M, my new FE 90/2.8 Macro aces the DP3M.

    Maybe I'll sell that and keep the DP2M.

    Decisions, decisions!

    Thanks again

    LouisB
    Louis, when I purchased the DP2M I also bought Sigma's close-up lens attachment (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/cl...merrill-camera) that you screw onto the main lens. I found it to be an extraordinary optic.

    In short, you won't miss the DP3M.

    Peter
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    Some very compelling responses and reasons to keep at least the DP2M.

    I am afraid that for macro, for which I bought the DP3M, my new FE 90/2.8 Macro aces the DP3M.

    Maybe I'll sell that and keep the DP2M.

    Decisions, decisions!

    Thanks again

    LouisB
    Selling the others and keeping the DP2M sounds like a good compromise to me. Do you remember that ad for the Victoria & Albert? It's an ace cafe with quite a nice museum attached? That's like the DP2M. It's got an ace lens with quite a nice sensor attached.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Why not just keep them all? They are small and when suddenly you have a Foveon urge you can fill it. They are small, don't take a lot of space and it is not like you are going to be able to sell them for a lot, so I would just keep them.

    Alan
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Why not just keep them all? They are small and when suddenly you have a Foveon urge you can fill it. They are small, don't take a lot of space and it is not like you are going to be able to sell them for a lot, so I would just keep them.

    I second that.

    I bought all three for less than 1,000 UKP. They live in an old camera bag my mother bought me thirty years ago when I felt camera bags were essential for the serious photographer - not now I hasten to add.

    I'll keep them until for 1,000 UKP I can buy a camera (or several) that covers that focal length range and shoots to the image quality of the Foveon sensor with more user friendliness than the Merrills.

    On a day to day basis I use either my E-M5 or my Ricoh GR. However, there are times when I need to up the quality to what I call medium format level. My bag of Merrills does that for me.

    The cash tied up is modest when I consider I have just paid more than two thirds that on one new lens for the E-M5.

    Tony

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    OK, well if someone can change this thread to 'hello Sigma Merrills?' (or delete it) I guess I've changed my mind. A reality check says quite rightly that for the value my DP2M actually has versus the satisfaction to be had in actually using it there is no point in selling it.

    From yesterday (near where Quentin is) using my DP2M.



    And I've just ordered a DP0Q.

    Moi a GAS junky?

    I am going to say goodbye to the DP3M, though. If anyone is interested, please PM me but I will probably put it up on ebay early September.

    At least everybody interested in Sigma compacts at GetDPI now knows how shallow and weak willed I am when it comes to decisions

    LouisB
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    ...I am going to say goodbye to the DP3M....
    dont do so, its a very good camera for shooting birds, especially swans, and hoppers, see crop^^
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Just a heads up for those looking for any of the DP Merrills, Adorama here in the US has all of the DP Merrills in stock as well as all the Quatrros.

    Alan
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    And I've just ordered a DP0Q.

    Moi a GAS junky?
    Good for you and I'm sure you will enjoy the Q0. For the type of photos you may take in and around the hidden parts of London, it will be great and I look forward to seeing them.
    Steve
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    OK, well if someone can change this thread to 'hello Sigma Merrills?' (or delete it) I guess I've changed my mind. A reality check says quite rightly that for the value my DP2M actually has versus the satisfaction to be had in actually using it there is no point in selling it.

    From yesterday (near where Quentin is) using my DP2M.


    And I've just ordered a DP0Q.

    Moi a GAS junky?

    I am going to say goodbye to the DP3M, though. If anyone is interested, please PM me but I will probably put it up on ebay early September.

    At least everybody interested in Sigma compacts at GetDPI now knows how shallow and weak willed I am when it comes to decisions

    LouisB
    I'd tweek it, or as they say give it some spin, not weak willed, you had the strength to see sense Louis I daily, sometimes twice or more daily, if time allows to , browse MPB, Wex Park Camera's, Clifton and further afield in search of that magic. Then before ordering, open an x3f file, or browse those downloaded Raws from various attractive looking cameras and realise what these Sigma's can do.
    Each and every time I come back to remind myself, for well under a grand, the value of the Sigma's is astounding.
    I am simply waiting for the Dp0Q to drop a little in price, which I see it has at Park Camera's. Just a wee bit more
    Be looking forward to your images.
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    I got sucked into the DPxM quagmire (and it is a quagmire when you add in the problems of SPP, highlight recovery, trying to manage saturated reds etc.) after Michael Reichmann's review and Quentin's enthusiastic espousal. The DP1M never appealed but I got both the 2 and 3 and when the prices fell to around £300 or so I bought backups which still sit pristine in their boxes. I have spent a lot of time recently exploring my Sony A7ii but this thread prompted me to go back and revisit my slightly beaten up originals - the problem being I couldn't find them - not in any bag, drawer or camera box. Eventually I did find them - in a jacket pocket. And that seems to me one of their enduring attractions - astonishing quality in a package that fits in a normal jacket pocket. If you don't want to lug something heavier or bigger around or are not even thinking about photographing just stick one or both them in a pocket in case something appeals.

    For myself I was slightly surprised to find that my DP3M has had more use than the DP2. Others may prefer wider - but think of this - you couldn't buy a better 75mm lens for the Sony A7 system than this for around £300. Might be worth a second look?


    Quote Originally Posted by adrewdecourcy View Post
    I'd tweek it, or as they say give it some spin, not weak willed, you had the strength to see sense Louis I daily, sometimes twice or more daily, if time allows to , browse MPB, Wex Park Camera's, Clifton and further afield in search of that magic. Then before ordering, open an x3f file, or browse those downloaded Raws from various attractive looking cameras and realise what these Sigma's can do.
    Each and every time I come back to remind myself, for well under a grand, the value of the Sigma's is astounding.
    I am simply waiting for the Dp0Q to drop a little in price, which I see it has at Park Camera's. Just a wee bit more
    Be looking forward to your images.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Louis,
    I understand your thinking process. I have been down the path as you have, I think in a similar process.

    I did purchase both the A7 and later an A7II but they were compromise purchases as what I really wanted was the IQ of the A7r or the A7s low light ability. But alas I am too poor right now to justify the expense of either. So sold both and actually made a small profit on both as I bought when cash back deals were around. I also as not doing a lot of photography right now ME, I, could not justify the cost of these systems lying about. While I agree the A7r II IQ apprears to outstrip any Merrill its still AU$5K once I put a 50mm lens on it and I could buy about 8 - 10 DP2M cameras for this price. The thing is that this is a worthless comparison as the A7rII can take images the Merrill just can't but nonetheless some of us want to be able to take some kind of hi-res image within the bounds of what the Merrill is capable.

    Like you my GR sees the bulk of use. At times I feel like quitting everything and just go GR BUT.. dagnabit there was a cashback deal on an already massively price dropped X-T1 so I have invested in one of these bodies to try - apart from a try with the X100 its new to me. I'll be keeping the GR and the DP2M and likely will flog off the DP3 to fund a Fuji XL 35mm. The thing about keeping the DP2M is its not a large cost to have sitting about in case you get a yearning to try if again. The other thing is its sooo light to carry.

    Maybe when I am more cashed up later I will Sony dabble.

    Enjoy what you have, have fun researching whats available but in the end just make some images with anything and

    Tim
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by pflower View Post
    I got sucked into the DPxM quagmire (and it is a quagmire when you add in the problems of SPP, highlight recovery, trying to manage saturated reds etc.) after Michael Reichmann's review and Quentin's enthusiastic espousal. The DP1M never appealed but I got both the 2 and 3 and when the prices fell to around £300 or so I bought backups which still sit pristine in their boxes. I have spent a lot of time recently exploring my Sony A7ii but this thread prompted me to go back and revisit my slightly beaten up originals - the problem being I couldn't find them - not in any bag, drawer or camera box. Eventually I did find them - in a jacket pocket. And that seems to me one of their enduring attractions - astonishing quality in a package that fits in a normal jacket pocket. If you don't want to lug something heavier or bigger around or are not even thinking about photographing just stick one or both them in a pocket in case something appeals.

    For myself I was slightly surprised to find that my DP3M has had more use than the DP2. Others may prefer wider - but think of this - you couldn't buy a better 75mm lens for the Sony A7 system than this for around £300. Might be worth a second look?
    Hi yes I do acutually have the Dp3 &2 & 1. Yet as you say the lenses on these camera's are their blessing, being fixed helps again. I am have always found SPP ok, but then I was used to Canon raw software converter which back then was quite restrictive. I did though build a lovely computer myself, with specs around a video editing machine using a server board and very decent CPU and even with a measly 16GB Ram which can be upped to 64GB if I so choose, Sigma Photo Pro flies along, not lagging far behind Cs6 or Lr 6, that I put the Tiff's through.
    My main contention is that, my mind wonders of wanting another camera to try, but always come back to the conclusion, for what I do, nothing will be as enjoyable as the three Merrill's, maybe the Quattro's but that I'll discover when one is in hand

  30. #30
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Tim

    You won't go wrong with the Fuji system. It is excellent and the results in the Fuji thread speak for themselves.

    I'm not so sure that they A7rII will eclipse the base IQ of a Merrill. However, it will eclipse anything above iso800 and has the versatility of a interchangeable lens system. Like you I would own one if I could afford it but I've just blown my savings on the DP0Q.

    I'm embarrassed about such a public volte face but from day one - when it was announced I wanted the DP0Q and in the final analysis I've chosen it over expanding my Sony system further (for now).

    Happy shooting with the Fuji - I am sure you will like it a lot.

    LouisB
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    My new book "Whitechapel in 50 BUildings", Flikr Stream, www.louisberk.com
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Like you my GR sees the bulk of use. At times I feel like quitting everything and just go GR BUT.. dagnabit there was a cashback deal on an already massively price dropped X-T1 so I have invested in one of these bodies to try.

    Tim. Are you suggesting the Fuji will replace your GR?

    Tony

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Louis,

    What an interesting thread you started. You went away and came back.

    During the chat I seriously considered migrating from m43 to Sony a7r ii. From time to time I work some old DSLR files and regret the bokeh that we don't often see with m43. It would be good to have that and the larger image files of the Sony - but when one does the maths of a change they are a hard price to pay.

    In chatting on the Sony section someone suggested the Brenizer technique.This is a great technique for all us bokeh and shallow DOF junkies; the final image resembles the look of medium format photography and the inherent extremely shallow depth. I tried it yesterday with my new 42.5 f1.2 and got some fun results.

    I also reminded myself of the need to have a backup camera and to add a second a7r put the whole concept out of the question. However, whilst calculating the cost of the move it also made me realise how many m43 lenses I have and now no longer need. So, today, I am having a clear out on to eBay and I'll end up not only in pocket but also with a second E-M5. I'll have my safety net second body and I'll also try working with two bodies and three primes rather than with one body and zoom(s).

    And, as I keep saying, I have my magic bag of three Merrills which are always there for when I need a step up in IQ - and, as I think you said above, that will be one step further up than I'd have got with the Sony.

    Not much to do with your original post but a way of saying Thank You for helping me think out of the box and removing a few blinkers.

    Tony
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  33. #33
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    Like you my GR sees the bulk of use. At times I feel like quitting everything and just go GR BUT.. dagnabit there was a cashback deal on an already massively price dropped X-T1 so I have invested in one of these bodies to try.

    Tim. Are you suggesting the Fuji will replace your GR?

    Tony
    Hi Tony,

    The Fuji could not replace the GR for me. I often need to travel or carry light so for me the GR would be the last camera I'd part with. It would win over the DP2M (just). The Fuji is more to fill a role of tripod portraits and the like, the interchangeable lenses and option to use longer focal lengths. I do have a wedding coming up where I am not the Pro - I'll use the XT1 for that.

    If out and about taking a X-T1 the GR would go as well as its no more weight or hassle than say one extra lens. But at times the GR will go alone. Last family holiday I had I took the GR and DP2M and maybe a couple of times could have used a longer lens. I more often want wider.

    I love the form factor of m43, those tiny primes are exquisite to carry and handle. Its the lenses and what I see as a little broader DR that attracted me to Fuji. The lenses are a little larger than m43 but cheaper than Sony A lenses.
    Last edited by Tim; 16th August 2015 at 17:29.

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Thanks Tim,

    Good to hear your views.

    My GR is safe then.

    I love the feel of those Fujis. I took a look at the XT1 specs just now. I was surprised to see that RAW does not work above 6400 ASA. I use higher speeds than that quite often with my e-m5 and rely on Qimage's RAW recovery to give me relatively noise free images. I also looked at the range of lenses, primes and a walk around zoom - and felt I was being better served with m43.

    So I start the week with a light heart. eBay has my three spare lenses awaiting new homes and then I'll spend the cash on a wide prime and swop my safety body from Panny to Oly. And my three Merrrills will await their next outing.

    Tony
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  35. #35
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    Thanks Tim,

    Good to hear your views.

    My GR is safe then.

    I love the feel of those Fujis. I took a look at the XT1 specs just now. I was surprised to see that RAW does not work above 6400 ASA. I use higher speeds than that quite often with my e-m5 and rely on Qimage's RAW recovery to give me relatively noise free images. I also looked at the range of lenses, primes and a walk around zoom - and felt I was being better served with m43.

    So I start the week with a light heart. eBay has my three spare lenses awaiting new homes and then I'll spend the cash on a wide prime and swop my safety body from Panny to Oly. And my three Merrrills will await their next outing.

    Tony
    Tony,

    Keep or sell your GR its only a choice you can make.
    Thanks for the info on the RAW ISO. I didn't know this, as I am a film user from decades past I am used to working with 3200 or less.
    As you know the m43 doubles up for video very well also. I don't do much but may miss/regret not having good video later.

    Tim

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    I told myself at the beginning of owning the Sony system that I would continue to use my Sigmas. But the truth is, each time I go out to shoot intentionally a subject I pack up my Sony system and leave the Sigmas behind.

    There are two reasons. Firstly, convenience. The Sonys are very convenient to use. The EVF is a dream and the tilting LCD is also very useful. I often find myself using the tilting screen with the Hoodman Loupe I purchased specifically to use with my Sigmas! The tilting screen and loupe allows for a convenient height for tripod shots and a working method which is very similar to my former Hasselblad (which I sold for weight issues).

    Secondly, the image quality while not as good as the Sigmas at the pixel level is more attractive in terms of colouration and the dynamic range of the sensors is as good as the Sigmas, imho. I get more attractive looking photographs straight out of the camera - whereas with the Sigmas I am always fiddling in SPP or LR (after exporting as TIFFs) to get what I want.
    On the other hand, here is some interesting information on the A7R II and one of its lenses:

    http://diglloyd.com/index.html

  37. #37
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by saltytri View Post
    On the other hand, here is some interesting information on the A7R II and one of its lenses:

    http://diglloyd.com/index.html
    In my testing of the DP0Q so far I cannot attain the same level of sharpness with my A7R and CV 21/1.8 Ultron at f8. The DP0Q is sharp and more detailed. Now, there is a small difference in sensor resolution but that does not explain the large difference I subjectively see. On the other hand the A7R is far less noisy at iso400.

    So, there is a trade off which we are all aware of, of resolution for noise on the DP0Q.

    LouisB

  38. #38
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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    In my testing of the DP0Q so far I cannot attain the same level of sharpness with my A7R and CV 21/1.8 Ultron at f8. The DP0Q is sharp and more detailed. Now, there is a small difference in sensor resolution but that does not explain the large difference I subjectively see.

    LouisB
    Perhaps these older Foveon papers will help, if you haven't already seen them:

    http://kronometric.org/phot/sensor/f...FinalHiRes.pdf

    http://kronometric.org/phot/sensor/f...ubel_FINAL.pdf

    I do find with my own cameras (SD14, SD1) that images made direct from raw data (without conversion and without processing) have detail that is quite soft compared with SPP's converted review images.

    Which implies that comparing this camera with that inevitably involves the conversion software and, in my view, SPP is quite acutance-oriented by default. For example, check out the edge halos in Merrill images at a sharpness setting of "zero".

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 22nd August 2015 at 11:29.

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    same here, I often have to set sharpness to -0.2 or something to avoid halos; often the halos appear after sharpening in photoshop, indicating that there has been some sharpening applied before

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    You mentioned sharpness.

    I use SSP for files from my DPM cameras.

    How do you preview sharpness changes? Am I right in thinking there is no way to enlarge/zoom the preview images when moving the sharpness slider?

    Do you sharpen and then convert and then inspect the converted image?

    I am sorry this is such a trivial question in this 'Rest and Return' thread but it is getting a bit quiet so maybe I can be foregiven.

    Tony

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    Re: Goodbye Sigma Merrills?

    imo you first have to render the image to be able to zoom in, its the button near "fit in"

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