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Thread: Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

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    New Member swartzfeger's Avatar
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    Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

    Hi gang, long time lurker and I've been looking at Sigma's Foveon for a quite awhile. After debating whether I go Merrill or Quattro, I decided on the DP2Q. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy one or more additional Sigmas, so I figure I can always buy a Merrill for my next choice.

    Having quite a few artists in my family + an artist girlfriend, I enjoy taking shots of paintings with my Nikon D750. One print that I did came out rather well... the rest have been merely satisfactory. Since I just received the Quattro, I decided to go back and reshoot many of these paintings with the DP2Q.

    I know that this is by no means even a remotely scientific comparison. I'd need identical lenses, which just isn't possible with the fixed Quattro. I did this simply out of curiosity... what can each camera deliver with my typical approach? All of these examples are unsharpened, virtually unadjusted RAWs (with the exception of minor white balancing). AWB on both cameras, tripod, f/5.6. Nikon lens was 50 f/1.4G.

    The first shot is a self-portrait painted by David Anderson (my grandmother's cousin), a prominent painter in Florida from the 1970s through the 90s. Here are thumbnails (Nikon left, Sigma right):



    First immediate reaction -- the Sigma nails the color.

    Here's the D750 at 200%:



    And the DP2Q:



    I've got a bunch more examples, but I'll end with this piece by my girlfriend (this time, Sigma on the left, Nikon on the right):



    As before, the Sigma nails the color -- much richer, ruddy browns. At 200%, the D750 didn't lag as badly resolution-wise... I'm guessing because the feline piece employed a razor/scratching technique along with fine strokes, vs. the less defined oils of the self portrait. But there were differences at the corners:



    I didn't correct for CA, etc, and notice the fringing along the black in the D750 example.

    Bottom line -- really not a fair comparison, and not apples to apples, but I **LOVE** my Quattro. It's insanely detailed, and even at 2.8 it's sharp across the board.

    I went into my Quattro purchase fully knowing the downsides (charms?). SPP, no viewfinder, slow write times, abysmal battery life. Those actually haven't bothered me as much as I expected, and the file quality speaks for itself. I'm thrilled. What I thought was a touch of hyperbole on behalf of Sigma fans isn't exaggeration at all. I can't get enough of these images. Have experimented many times resizing images and have been simply stunned on how well my files have maintained sharpness and integrity at unbelievable sizes.

    I'm completely sold. Will probably hold off on buying a Merrill until I see if Sigma has any 'announcements' at the February trade show in Japan.

    LOVE MY QUATTRO!
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    Re: Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

    IMO your Nikon- pics are out of focus

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    Re: Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

    The Quattro is pushing the RAWs quiet a bit in SPP (sharpness, colors, micro contrast..)
    There is also more hidden in the Nikon file:



    (I will remove my version if you don't like your images to be edited)
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    New Member swartzfeger's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneage View Post
    The Quattro is pushing the RAWs quiet a bit in SPP (sharpness, colors, micro contrast..)
    There is also more hidden in the Nikon file:

    (I will remove my version if you don't like your images to be edited)
    Thanks, Stoneage!

    In my haste to post I didn't explain well at all... the D750 files *do* clean up nicely, and yes -- there's a lot of latitude in pulling out more detail, sharpening a bit, etc. Just like in your edit, I was able to get a pretty nice file from the original raw/NEF file.

    I guess the thing that struck me was simply the comparison straight out of the camera. The Sigma seems, at least so far, to require much less fiddling. In fact, once I export my x3f as a tiff into Photoshop, I've never done any post-RAW sharpening at all. Anything over a pixel radius of .3 just seems extreme. With any of my other Nikons, it seems as if I could never sharpen enough, and always trying different techniques to avoid obvious sharpening artifacts such as halos, etc.

    One thing I'm curious about that you mentioned here the I've seen mentioned elsewhere, is that SPP is 'aggressive' with its default settings. Does anyone know how much extra SPP is 'pushing' a file?

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    Re: Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by swartzfeger View Post
    Thanks, Stoneage!

    In my haste to post I didn't explain well at all... the D750 files *do* clean up nicely, and yes -- there's a lot of latitude in pulling out more detail, sharpening a bit, etc. Just like in your edit, I was able to get a pretty nice file from the original raw/NEF file.
    Yes, i thought so.

    I guess the thing that struck me was simply the comparison straight out of the camera. The Sigma seems, at least so far, to require much less fiddling. In fact, once I export my x3f as a tiff into Photoshop, I've never done any post-RAW sharpening at all. Anything over a pixel radius of .3 just seems extreme. With any of my other Nikons, it seems as if I could never sharpen enough, and always trying different techniques to avoid obvious sharpening artifacts such as halos, etc.

    One thing I'm curious about that you mentioned here the I've seen mentioned elsewhere, is that SPP is 'aggressive' with its default settings. Does anyone know how much extra SPP is 'pushing' a file?
    We can only guess how much Sigma is processing its RAWs. One possibility is to use the Kalpanika converter and compare it to the output of SPP. As i prefer "flat" RAWs i was trying to figure out whats going on. I think that SPP "portrait" mode and sharpening of about -1.4 comes close to the more "flat" Kalpanika conversion which does no sharpening (only noise reduction, as Sigma RAWs must be very noisy without denoising)
    I usually sharpen the images later in photoshop and use, same as you, mostly a small radius of 0.3. That's indeed totally different to my Bayer full frame images where such a small radius has nearly no impact.
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    Re: Sigma Quattro DP2Q + Nikon D750 comparison

    Kalpanika is well worth a go and the portrait colour mode is great for detail ('standard' does some weird contrast enhancement that produces artefacts) but requires a bit of graft to get colour and contrast back to where they should be.
    For the record though, most RAW developers 'boost' files! Aperture, Capture 1, Lightroom and Photo Ninja for example all have defaults that cannot be described as flat.

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