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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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The forgotten DSLR
Old 03-31-2016   #1
Keith
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The forgotten DSLR

Sigma's SD1M. I bought it in the middle of a foveon love fest, got totally frustrated with the camera's short comings of which there are plenty, then put it in the cupboard and tried to convince myself that I hadn't just wasted $1800.00!

The AF is slow, it hunts badly unless the light/conditions are perfect and manual focus is hindered by the very average view finder. The write speed after each shot is painfully slow and basically bricks the camera until it's done ... you can't even access the menu while it's doing it's thing. All the camera's resources are occupied while it writes the file, usually between five and ten seconds, sometimes longer! Battery life is poor compared to it's contemporaries ... maybe 150 to 200 exposures if you're lucky! High ISO performance is terrible which means anything over 400 ISO can give poor results. Did I mention the frequent green fringing in high contrast situations? Luckily there is a fix for this in SPP which I have to say is a very good piece of software ... which is just as well because no other credible manufacturer supports the Sigma's raw files.

Yes ... the camera is a dog and probably one of the least user friendly picture taking devices you could ever own!

However! I took it out of the cupboard a couple of weeks ago to reacquaint myself with it's numerous foibles and haven't really put it down since. The 240 is feeling very unloved at the moment I suspect because deep down in it's full frame CMOS sensor it knows it can't compete with the foveon magic that this DSLR provides. This camera really is an enigma ... I hate it at times but I also love it more than any digital camera I have ever owned!























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Old 03-31-2016   #2
Timmyjoe
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The results are wonderful Keith.
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Old 03-31-2016   #3
JP Owens
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Obviously not a fast action camera. But limitations are often good for our art. Easiest certainly isn't always best. Great photos you are getting out of the beast.
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Old 03-31-2016   #4
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Very impressive and film like.
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Old 03-31-2016   #5
Keith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
Obviously not a fast action camera. But limitations are often good for our art. Easiest certainly isn't always best. Great photos you are getting out of the beast.


Luckily the Sigma suits my style of shooting ... premeditative and deliberate!
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Old 03-31-2016   #6
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The tonality and colours in those shots are gorgeous Keith. Is that typical of this camera? Or have you worked them over in post? (No problem if you have - I do as a matter of course as my cameras are incapable of producing images like that especially without a lot of help in post processing) But I would love to get those colors and tones, from any camera. They suit my style of image making.

BTW Yesterday I was looking at a book of photos by Mark Strizic a Melbourne based photographer who was more or less a contemporary of Max Dupain (actually a decade or so later). I was looking at some lovely black and white streetscapes taken in Collins Street and lamenting that I could not go close to getting the lovely gradations of tone he got from film due to the way even the best digital sensors blow highlights. I love the way some of his shots went from black and white in the foreground to soft greys in the background but still retained image detail. Your images captured that kind of situation well too with the bonus of color.

https://au.pinterest.com/mirrorsystems/mark-strizic-systems/
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Old 03-31-2016   #7
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Wink

For this money I bought 2 Bronica RF bodies with 45,65 and 100mm lenses, and I have spent less on the M7 I got from you in 2008 Keith
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Old 03-31-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
The tonality and colours in those shots are gorgeous Keith. Is that typical of this camera? Or have you worked them over in post? (No problem if you have - I do as a matter of course as my cameras are incapable of producing images like that especially without a lot of help in post processing) But I would love to get those colors and tones, from any camera. They suit my style of image making.

Mostly they come out of SPP as tiffs with a couple of minor adjustments Peter ... then off to LR to convert to jpeg and resize for web viewing. SPP is a fairly limited piece of software but it works very well with the Sigma files. You can output the files as original, vivid or foveon blue ... and landscape from memory. I think what really impresses me about the files is the detail they contain ... but without that eye bleeding digital sharpness that cameras like the D800 provide.
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Old 03-31-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
For this money I bought 2 Bronica RF bodies with 45,65 and 100mm lenses, and I have spent less on the M7 I got from you in 2008 Keith


I never insinuated it was a wise decision!
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Old 03-31-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Mostly they come out of SPP as tiffs with a couple of minor adjustments Peter ... then off to LR to convert to jpeg and resize for web viewing. SPP is a fairly limited piece of software but it works very well with the Sigma files. You can output the files as original, vivid or foveon blue ... and landscape from memory. I think what really impresses me about the files is the detail they contain ... but without that eye bleeding digital sharpness that cameras like the D800 provide.

A camera I have resurrected recently (due to having acquired a lens I have long lusted after - the first Leica designed 25mm f1.4 Summilux for four thirds) is the Panasonic L1. Different technology but in one respect its reputation is similar to the reputation of the SD1M in that it produces extremely nice low ISO images (though quite different and, to my eye, not so nice as the ones you posted) but is much poorer above about ISO 400 or at a stretch, 800. In its case this is because the sensor is an old CCD design.

And now that I am trying it again I see that it also does not produce bitingly sharp images notwithstanding the images very pleasing "rounded" appearance. In its case it may be due to the relatively low sensor res. but there is something abou the way the camera processes them that gives a great look. Proof if proof be needed that good images are not all about sharpness.

I am never the less very impressed with the results from your Sigma.
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Old 03-31-2016   #11
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Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Yum!
Atmospheric & Beautiful .... as if a Dream, a Distant Memory come to Life
makes me want it !!!

What lenses did You use Keith ?


I have three lenses Helen. The 50mm f1.4 old version. 35mm f1.4 ART and the amazing 18-35mm f1.8 zoom.
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Old 03-31-2016   #12
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very nice keith!
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Old 03-31-2016   #13
leica M2 fan
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Keith, very exciting images and beautiful B&W. The Foveon still
produces some of the best photographs ever!
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Old 03-31-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leica M2 fan View Post
Keith, very exciting images and beautiful B&W. The Foveon still
produces some of the best photographs ever!
+1
And the camera just sings with your eye
$1800 well spent
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Old 03-31-2016   #15
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Fantastic color Keith. I give you credit for the courage to buy such a beast but my goodness it has its strengths! The green pathway is superb!!
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