18-35 compared with DP1M and DP2M

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rick decker
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18-35 compared with DP1M and DP2M
9 months ago

I did not take these shots with the idea of doing a comparison between cameras/lenses. Going back over the images from my recent trip to , I found that I had a set for each DP camera that were close enough to post. All images were shot under strong-sun conditions. The DP's were ISO100 and the SD1's ISO200. The DP1M shot was f8; the others f5.6. I used sunlight (daylight) white balance and neutral color mode. All images had all settings set to zero and no other PP.

The longer shots (DP2 and SD1 at 31mm) were taken a few minutes apart. There is not much difference if any in the sharpness as both are outstanding across the frame. The color of the SD1 is more accurate and more appealing than the DP2. The sky of the SD1 is better and more uniform across the frame. This shot is not meant to be an indicator of color. It is only one shot and I have gotten a lot of great color out of the DP2M. I was able to match the color of the SD1 quite easily by going into LAB and working the curves.

The wider shots of the pond with Smith Rock in the background (DP1M and SD1 at 18mm) were taken in the morning on different days and about 30 - 45 minutes apart with the SD shot the earlier one. Some of the differences may be a result of the time difference. The DP shot seems to have more contrast, bluer skies and warmer greens. The wall in direct sunlight holds detail a little better. Both shots show noise in the water with the 200ISO SD1 shot showing stronger noise and banding. The SD1 left side is sharper than the DP; the DP right side is sharper than the SD1. The DP shot is a little sharper than the 18-35. The differences aren't that great and the SD1 image can be easily sharpened to bring it closer. The sky presentation is better with the DP. The right corner towards the sunrise is held better by the DP (and has more color). The time difference may be a factor although I have seen this with the SD1 before. One last thing that mystifies me. If you look at the top center of the picture with the SD1, you ca see a post that has a line strung across it. I just happened to see, before I left for the trip, a video of a guy walking across this line with no balancing pole (but with a safety line). For some reason it is much more pronounced in the SD1 than the DP shot although the DP has clouds behind it that could be the reason.

In summary: All 3 are plenty sharp and more than sharp enough to keep a sharp shooter happy. The DP's have a stronger AF than the 18-35. My 18-35 (pre-production) was very sharp on the wide end, not so on the long end. I didn't do enough tests to see how it performed at different f-stop/focal-length combinations. With the DP's, you do your zooming with your feet, as Laurence Matson used to say so you give up a little. If I were just planning to shoot up to 50mm, I would go for the 3 DP's. If I already had an SD1, I would first pick up the 18-35 and then decide later whether I wanted to spend the money on the DP's. Here are the shots:

DP1M

SD1 18-35 18mm

SD1 18-35 31mm

DP2M

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sigma DP1 Sigma DP2 Sigma SD1
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