Sigma Okay, there have to be some DP shooters out there...

lattiboy

Regular
I just got my DP1 and am seriously excited. I've only done some lame test pics, but I can tell I'll be keeping this one for a while.

What happened? Have these fallen out of fashion? I love the site, and the only other place to talk about them is DP Review..... so there is basically nowhere else to talk about them! :)

I had a few quick questions:

1) ISO 50 or 100? Is there a real-world difference in DR or anything else?

2) Are the default import settings in Lightroom worthwhile? I think SPP is just terrible UI.

3) Any other tips?


thanks!
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
I have the DP1 and DP2, and I love them. They practically stopped me from shooting film, as their images are very film-like to me.

ISO 50 is good, but it will blow highlights much more easily than ISO 100. I prefer ISO 100, or to use the Auto ISO function in the DP1. It never goes over ISO200 anyway.

SPP will produce images which are what Sigma intended. As much as I use Lightroom for other raw formats, I always go to SPP for straight raw conversion. The images from SPP are sharper, clearer, have more 'unique Foveon colour', and that 3D look that people talk about. Lightroom, while having a much better interface, just doesn't do the best with sigma raw files, IMO.

For the DP1, get used to slowness. Take a deliberate, meditative approach to your photography. Drink in daylight scenes as much as you can, and shoot in the low light either with long exposures or in black and white at higher ISO's. Get a JJC Auto Lens cap, as it will make life so much easier. Invest in a Voigtlander 28/35 compact external viewfinder and turn off the LCD. This will both save power and give you a cool rangefinderish feel to shooting. Glory in the shooting of magic hour, as the Foveon sensor will capture this time like no other sensor. Use the neck strap, and if you are shooting at slower speeds, pull it taut from your neck to create a form of stabilization. It works.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Location
Down Under
Real Name
Mark
Latti,

Mate you have a partner in crime here. I got excited by the concept of the DP1 when it was first announced many years ago. But, to be entirely honest, I was put off by the reviews. Well time passed and on a whim I bought myself the DP2s. And Jeez I love this little camera. Everything that the reviews have said is wrong or misleading. It is a camera that you MUST get to know. Its charm is wasted on folks who experience it for only a few minutes, hours, or days. Yes the UI of the little DPs is not the same as most other cameras....but that's what's so cool about it. After a few weeks I noticed that I not only adapted to the controls, but evolved to them. I am now in a position that my dSLR is gathering dust. It just doesn't offer the same outputs and is simply clunky in handling by comparison. The DP gives great results - I've not heard many rubbish the IQ! - but it also demands a little something of the photographer - that they slow down and focus, be in the moment and then.....well marvel at the results. My next step is a DP1.

But I digress :blush:

1) ISO 50 or 100? Is there a real-world difference in DR or anything else?
In my experience there's no real IQ advantage at ISO50. It can - sometimes - have the tendency to over-expose and blow highlights. Some say that ISO100 is the max, but that the lower 50 setting has been added as a marketing ploy...though others claim it does help with fill flash. I'm not an unnatural light sort of guy, so I couldn't say. There are other sites that go into the great detail on the use of ISO50- but I best not sully this site with competitor links :wink:. My cardinal rule is stick to 100-800 for colours and feel free to push it beyond 1600 for B+W. To me the Foveon sensor is stellar for black and white images....and the high ISO noise is the most pleasant I've encountered.

2) Are the default import settings in Lightroom worthwhile? I think SPP is just terrible UI.
Nothing delivers the picyure punch like SPP. I agree the UI is a little primitive....and you can't even crop! However, I have processed RAW directly from LR3 and found the results flat. I suppose this is to be expected, as LR is used to Bayer interpolation while SPP is native to the Foveon subtly. X3F images are always lauded for their 3D feel and I've only really found SPP can draw this out.
My workflow is: Open in SPP, tweak through the auto settings and then refine, export to double sized TIFF and then massage in LR3.

3) Any other tips?
Relax with the DP. Don't get frustrated at it for not being an SLR. It isn't. It wants you to relax in the moment. Just kick back and enjoy.

Recommendations:
1. get an optical viewfinder. They are pricey but worth every penny. I have the native Sigma VF21 - though have heard good reviews of the bigger Voigtlander too. I love the OVF. Once you get used to the frames you won't go back to hands-outstretched shooting.

2. If you intend shooting macro the AML-1 is a worthwhile purcahse. You can get cheaper via filter stacking - as the AML-1 is about 7x - but they'll all vignette. This will give you pin sharp reults acrosss the frame.

3. Once your feeling more comfortable with the UI, I'd suggest devoting some time getting familiar with manual focus. The dial is accurate and top notch. I found, with the use of aids such as this, any concerns about shutter lag or focus hunting are a thing of the past. OK it's not a Leica, but with practice, the response time will get you close.

4. check out Carl's blog for more on things specific to the Foveon experience (Mods I hope this is OK, because it is a blog and not a participative competitor)

Yep, I have become one of them fan-boys!

Enjoy every second with your new friend. But again, be an active participant of every one of those seconds. If a camera could be called "Zen", then the DP would be a contender. Actually it sometimes reminds me of a Zen Master who liberally using his cane on students to remind them to be focussed and present :eek:
 

Herman

The Image Stimulator
Location
The Netherlands
Real Name
Herman
You guys made me curious about image quality! I like to see the difference, can you post images take with a DP camera as well as taken with a non DP camera.
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
I don't have any direct comparisons, but here are a few DP1 images that I have worked over with SPP only. The colour palette is unique, IMO, and the transitions between colours and ability to show fine shades/tones is amazing. Notice how the shadow areas are subtle and contain detail, and how the images themselves have a luminous look.

3194762483_c302981c9a_z.jpg


3195609398_b028f75d42_z.jpg


4100991589_f729a9669c_z.jpg
 

Herman

The Image Stimulator
Location
The Netherlands
Real Name
Herman
Thanks for the beautiful images posted by you. Whats SPP? Mm, I already took a look myself at an used DP camera this morning after reading the thread and postings....
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Location
Philly, Pa
Hmmmm, The DP's. Let's see......
It's boxy, very sloooow, weird power management...
Great lens that's tack sharp with Leica contrast.....
Hmmmmm.

If your into photography for Cameras, these are not for you.
If images are your goal, then the DP's are the ticket.
The IQ is unsurpassed. There's a very organic thing going on.
It's the cameras for the Zen Shooter.
I had no issues doing Raw & LR. The dynamic range is very manageable.
Even when the highs look blown, their usually not.
A simple increase in Clarity brings detail back in.
Sooooo, great camera that will deliver on the images but not for the shooter liking for the bells and whistles of other cameras.

I sold my pair sometime ago but.... I still have a new in the box DP1s in the cabinet.
It's a cult camera if ever there was one and the followers just smile at all the negative crapola written about them because they know..... The Zen is in the images and the shooter, not the camera.
 

BBW

Legend
Location
betwixt and between
Real Name
BB
You know this is a dangerous thread. I think I would like these cameras. I know I love the images... One of my favorite pals on Flickr, vaquey, uses a DP2.

Both of these look super, Will - love that line of light on what I think is a taxi's rooftop in your second one. Wow!

As for color, to me, the first one has a sort of polaroid like color tone. I vote for both!
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Location
Down Under
Real Name
Mark
Will, thanks for posting your comparo shots from the DP and the GRD. I only wish you didn't choose the GRD in this case, as I still have such a fondness for the little Ricoh....so downplaying it in light of the Sigma is heart wrenching. Having said that, and back to the Herman's question on Dynamic Range (DR), I think these two images do tell the tale. Both have exposed the subject "Centrepoint" building correct but just look at the detail and colour that is captured on the building in the shadow in the foreground right. This is something that I struggle even with my dSLR to achieve. Also the sharpness across the field of view. I can easily read the signs in the bottom right on the DP image while the little GRD struggles to retain that level of detail.

Again, I don't feel right lumping this on a GRD image - as their lenses are sharp and the build quality unsurpassed - could teach Sigma a thing or two on that count!. But Sigma's got the larger sensor and that is a little unfair for the little Ricoh. But that DR!!! The DP image looks like it's been exposure blended!....and that, I believe, is down to the Foveon sensor. Funny thing is on paper the DR range is much the same as any other compact. But in reality.....well look to Will's image for testimony.

When the sun comes up today, I'll shoot some DP vs dSLR shots to add to this thread.
 

BBW

Legend
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betwixt and between
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BB
But that DR!!! The DP image looks like it's been exposure blended!....and that, I believe, is down to the Foveon sensor. Funny thing is on paper the DR range is much the same as any other compact. But in reality.....well look to Will's image for testimony.
Thank you for putting that into words, Mark. I was thinking those thoughts but didn't know how to put them into technical terms.

Great thread, you all.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Location
Down Under
Real Name
Mark
Thank you for putting that into words, Mark. I was thinking those thoughts but didn't know how to put them into technical terms.
Schucks BB, thanks. :blush:
I should have added that, I believe the DP's superior DR capability - as witnessed by Will's shots - is down to both the Foveon sensor and SPP (Sigma Photo Pro)'s processing. Just to tether it back to the OP's original question.

Meanwhile,
It's the cameras for the Zen Shooter.
Thanks Don (aka Streetshooter). I truly believe this about the DP cameras, so couldn't agree more. However I was mindful that this moniker is normally reserved for Leica cameras. Now as someone who desperately wants one, but hasn't had the gumption to buy one, I was reticent in saying it. Now you have experienced both and so I'm glad that I didn't overshoot with this statement. Having said that, I'd still like to witness the Leica difference.....
I am struck by the fact that HCB shot with one and states that "The Zen of Archery" was key to his development as a photographer. Cracking photos by HCB - understatement!! - and a cracking read by Herrigal - in my subjective opinion anyway.

Oh, yeah Don, if you want a good home for that DP1s then I'm only a PM away!:biggrin:
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Location
Philly, Pa
I got that DP1s a while ago. It was on sale for $275.00 from Dell as a 1 day sale. about 7-8 months ago. I was pointed to it from some friends at DPI....
I'll let it sleep until I can't resist....but I ain't ever never forever selling it.....
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Agree with others that you have to be very careful with ISO 50. And use SPP for processing. IME no other app works as well to get that Foveon look. If you need to you can process in SPP then save as a TIFF and process further in other apps. And use manual focus. Auto focus seems unreliable to me.

To me the DP cameras are best used on a tripod and with careful consideration. They are not fast and quick cameras, IME. But they have their own unique magic. Sadly, I don't use mine often enough as my photography time is so limited; more often than not I need a grab and go camera quick on its feet. I keep threatening to sell them but I never do.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Location
Down Under
Real Name
Mark
Agree with others that you have to be very careful with ISO 50. And use SPP for processing. IME no other app works as well to get that Foveon look. If you need to you can process in SPP then save as a TIFF and process further in other apps. And use manual focus. Auto focus seems unreliable to me.
Agree with most of this Andrew. My work-flow is identical to yours - SPP for RAW processing and then LR3 for TIFF tweaks. However, I don't find the Sigma AF unreliable, just takes a little longer than a dSLR to be sure. But I've found once it locks it's target it locks it well and true. Having said that, and please forgive the repetition, but I love MF on the DP.

To me the DP cameras are best used on a tripod and with careful consideration. They are not fast and quick cameras, IME
.
I agree the images from a tripod are top shelf but I certainly wouldn't limit my shooting to this. Also, from what I've read about the original DP1 vs. my experiences with the DP2s (and the DP1x with the similar TRUE II engine I assume) must be completely different beasts. My DP2s is plenty quick. People say the DP takes 6-7 seconds to write to the card, well my DP2s takes 2-3 seconds tops!....and I'm only using a Class 6 (Sandisk Extreme III - my fave!). Also I can still fire away another shot while it's writing from the buffer. This is quicker than what I could achieve with the LX5. Also I found the AF lock time comparable - well actually a little better - with the DP2s over the LX5. Also if you use the Sigma in MF mode there is almost zero shutter lag...which I cannot say was the case with other compacts I've used.

Anyway, I don't mean to be a Sigma apologist, but I would like to make very clear that the DP2s need not be tethered to a tripod. I've found it a great piece of kit and, with the viewfinder attached, love hunting with it on my feet.

Thanks for your reply, it's reignited my need for a DP1x...:daz: ....Thanks a lot! :laugh1:

Sadly, I don't use mine often enough as my photography time is so limited; more often than not I need a grab and go camera quick on its feet. I keep threatening to sell them but I never do.
Well mate give them another red hot go! If they don't suit your style, I'm hoping that this thread will spark others' desire to try one out....only boosting your chances of a decent sale price :wink:
 

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