Will prints from Merrill be better than from S?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Lord metroid
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Re: Will prints from Merrill be better than from S?
In reply to Lord metroid, 7 months ago

I did some test prints using PrebenR's SIGMA DP2 vs SIGMA DP2 Merrill shootout collection. Thank you PrebenR for providing the photographs, I used them a lot and am really grateful that there is such a good shootout collection.

I am printing these photopgraphs in color on 120g matte A4 and A3 paper using the best quality without any compression on the Sharp MX3140 printer at the office I work at.

Photograph set 01:

I like these photographs because on the monitor one can clearly see the crisp texture of the fabrique from the photograph made using the Merrill but not on the photograph made using the DP2. What I do not like is that the background marquise have significantly greater detail in the Merrill photograph compared to the DP2 photograph. However, I am uncertain if this is because the marquise is out of focus on the DP2 photograph or because of the lower resolution. Because of this I can not draw any conclusion from this area of the photograph.

Printing in A4 size shows no visible texture at all in the prints from neither photographs. There is a slight difference in the level of detail between the Merrill print and DP2 print. One can notice with great perception on the Merrill print, that there are white blotches in the flower pattern as a result from the wear and tear while on the DP2 prints the flowers are one solid color.

Printing in A3 size, both the DP2 print and the Merrill print are still excellent. The texture of the fabrique starts to faintly show on the Merrill print but it is only noticeable if one really studies the fabrique up close.

Conclusions I can draw are that either the printer at my office has an insufficient resolution to be able to convey the fine detail of the fabrique or that there is no advantage of a higher resolution than 5 megapixels for fine detail if one prints using A4 size or smaller. Even A3 size will only show negligibly greater detail.

Photograph set 03:

I like these photographs because on the monitor there is clear difference of detail in the red fur on the toy between the photograph made using the Merrill and DP2. The texture of the fur are significantly larger details compared to the fabrique in the previous photographs. What I do not like is that the area of the tentacle that touches the claw is out of focus in the photograph made using the Merrill while it is in focus in the photograph made using the DP2. Because of this I am uncertain if the lesser level of detail of the fur in the photograph made using the DP2 is due to the fur being slightly out of focus or because of the lower resolution of the SIGMA DP2. It also seems like the photograph made using the DP2 is slightly more exposed and because of this has more blown our detail.

Printing in A4 size shows that red do not print well on neither the DP2 print nor the Merrill print. However, Merill print is acceptable while the color resolution is severely lacking on the DP2 print and there are big areas on the fur that have the same red color without any nuances on the DP2 print.

Because the DP2 print were already unacceptable, I did not see any point in printing any A3 size copies.

The prints clearly shows a greater results from the Merill but I do not believe I can draw any clear conclusions from this because there is too many uncertainties of the quality between the photographs.

Photograph set 05:

I like this photographs because on the monitor one can clearly see the greater level of detail in the wear and tear of the buildings and the leaves of the trees on the photographs made using the Merrill. Furthermore it is a real case photograph, I can imagine making these kinds of photographs myself. I do not really dislike anything about these photographs, both images seems to be focused on the same spot and there isn't much variance between the two in any area other than the resolution.

Printing in A4 size shows a significant greater detail on the wear and tear of the Merill prints compared to the DP2 print. The soot is blurred and the cracks are less significant on the DP2 prints compared to the Merrill prints. The detail can also be seen if one studies the Merill print up close.

Printing in A3 size I find the detail in the Merrill print to be really crisp and beautiful while the finer details are generally absent or blurred in the DP2 print there still are detail, just not as vivid.

The prints clearly shows the Merill is an outstanding camera but the DP2 isn't unacceptable even though it lacks the resolution to convey the finer details. In summary, if one have a functioning SIGMA DP2 I do not find there is any significant advantage of upgrading to a Merrill if one intends to mainly print in A4 size. The Merrill prints are however superior for prints in A3 size which have a lot more fine and crispier details which imbues the print with a life like feel.

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