Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?

Started Aug 8, 2012 | Discussions
balchinian
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Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
Aug 8, 2012

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

Sigma marketing announced the following about the new DP2 Merrill lens:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/dp2-merrill-compact-digital-camera

Unlike the SD1 ... the DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill each boast exclusively-designed, high-performance fixed lenses. ... and include “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass to correct abberations and Super Multi Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting.

Since the lens flare is far worse than is expected in most high end modern lenses from other manufacturers, is it possible that some of the new DP2 Merrill camera lenses are defective? If they're not defective, then is the lens marketing dishonest, innocently wrong, or just hype that should be ignored? In other words, can Sigma marketing be trusted to inform us of what we should expect when we buy their products?

Sigma DP2 Merrill
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Bodoh
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Re: It's not lens flare...
In reply to balchinian, Aug 8, 2012

...read the thread you linked. It's a reflection between the sensor and the IR filter. Nothing to do with the lens. You have come to the wrong conclusion and started a pointless thread based on it. I guess that's the danger of pointing out flaws.
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balchinian
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Re: It's not lens flare...
In reply to Bodoh, Aug 9, 2012

Bodoh wrote:

...read the thread you linked. It's a reflection between the sensor and the IR filter. Nothing to do with the lens. You have come to the wrong conclusion and started a pointless thread based on it. I guess that's the danger of pointing out flaws.
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Pointless? Danger? You mean like having a question answered, and a misunderstanding corrected?

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JLK
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Re: It's not lens flare...
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

Pointless? Danger? You mean like having a question answered, and a misunderstanding corrected?

You didn't ask a question. You made a pretty obnoxious and uninformed statement:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

So what is it? Lens flare or internal reflections?? The red dot issue is internal reflections between the IR filter and the microlens array. You're confusing the two. They're not the same.

Since the lens flare is far worse than is expected in most high end modern lenses from other manufacturers, is it possible that some of the new DP2 Merrill camera lenses are defective? If they're not defective, then is the lens marketing dishonest, innocently wrong, or just hype that should be ignored? In other words, can Sigma marketing be trusted to inform us of what we should expect when we buy their products?

So there's no hype. In fact, I expect the marketing to be fairly factual (coatings cut down flare). If you trust a marketing group to inform you when you should buy stuff---then I expect you have a pretty full closet of junk. Evaluate the images, learn what the issues are for the camera, and then decide for yourself. But don't blame a company for lying when you don't understand the issues.

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balchinian
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Re: It's not lens flare...
In reply to JLK, Aug 9, 2012

So, with the technicalities out of the way, have we concluded that the IR filter probably didn't get the "Super Multi Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting" that the rest of the optics supposedly received? What about the microlenses?

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Tom Schum
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Re: freshing to see the first negative DP2M thread
In reply to JLK, Aug 9, 2012

All this adulation for the DP2M is already getting OLD! Lens flare will get any camera all the time. It's a sure fire solution to the boredom of excellence!

I spent $$ on my 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM and what do I get? Flare!
I spent $ on my 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro and what do I get? Color casts!
I spent $$$ on my SD1 and what do I get? Flare! Color blotches! Sky texturing!
Why can't I just point any camera at the sun and take a simple picture?

I'd buy a DP2M except for (place your complaint here).

Really, these are just cameras and we all know there are plenty of soft spots in any Sigma camera. We all know if we play to the strengths of the Sigmas they can't be beat. Still, it's nice to see a few complaints.

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SandyF
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

balchinian wrote:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

.....

IMHO, your points are silly and exaggerated, as a purchaser of the DP2M. Just curious, have you actually used a DP2M?
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2M photos)

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balchinian
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to SandyF, Aug 9, 2012

SandyF wrote:

balchinian wrote:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

.....

IMHO, your points are silly and exaggerated, as a purchaser of the DP2M. Just curious, have you actually used a DP2M?
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2M photos)

Most unhelpful answer yet! You win the polemic prize!

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SandyF
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

balchinian wrote:

SandyF wrote:

balchinian wrote:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

.....

IMHO, your points are silly and exaggerated, as a purchaser of the DP2M. Just curious, have you actually used a DP2M?
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2M photos)

Most unhelpful answer yet! You win the polemic prize!

I note you didn't answer the question, so I assume your answer would be, no, you haven't actually USED the camera.

That's not "unhelpful" ... readers may be interested in the opinions of those of us who HAVE actually used the camera.

Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current)

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Richard Franiec
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

balchinian wrote:

SandyF wrote:

balchinian wrote:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

.....

IMHO, your points are silly and exaggerated, as a purchaser of the DP2M. Just curious, have you actually used a DP2M?
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2M photos)

Most unhelpful answer yet! You win the polemic prize!

Sadly, another thread is turning into a war of words. Maybe there is a way around it?

I'm trying hard to convince myself getting one of DPM models. So far presented evidence still shows imperfections of Foveon concept.

The real question I'm asking myself is: how and for what purpose will I use the camera. The more I'm finding out about positives the more I tend to ignore shortcomings. This is a simple process of consumer education and choices made against the desires and dislikes, I guess.

No amount of praising or bashing the product should be the decisive factor in making ones decision. I try to look for the best fit of relatively expensive product into my personal needs. Would artifacts shown in some examples bother me in my intended use of particular cam? Most likely. Should I force myself to limit general usefulness of the cam based on differing performance level under different circumstances? This is the question I have to answer to myself.

One way or another I most likely will get DPM, maybe for different reason than solely picture taking. This should make the decision easier. Time will answer the other questions I raised in my musings.

Please, be kind to each other

Cheers

Richard

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PrebenR
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

Do we really need a new thread on this?
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SigmaChrome
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to Richard Franiec, Aug 9, 2012

Richard Franiec wrote:

One way or another I most likely will get DPM, maybe for different reason than solely picture taking. This should make the decision easier. Time will answer the other questions I raised in my musings.

Yes, get a DP2M for that other reason at least, Richard. Everything I have seen so far tells me one of your grips would be a wonderful addition.

Maybe Sandy can tell us how it feels in the hand - without a grip...?
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Gesture
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to PrebenR, Aug 9, 2012

The appeal of the DP series for me is the quality of the lens, Foveon sensor and near APS-C sensor in a quite small and quiet platform.

"It's a reflection between the sensor and the IR filter"

Wish Sigma could have solved that. Apparently, not an easy solve, but how do other manufacturers handle that.

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Raist3d
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I honestly wouldn't say that for that issue of the IR flares...
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

the lens from the shots I am seeing, seems better than the DP2's. The sun grid of red dots seems more of a sensor IR filter issue (coatings, whatever).

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balchinian
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to Richard Franiec, Aug 9, 2012

Richard Franiec wrote:

balchinian wrote:

SandyF wrote:

balchinian wrote:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

.....

IMHO, your points are silly and exaggerated, as a purchaser of the DP2M. Just curious, have you actually used a DP2M?
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2M photos)

Most unhelpful answer yet! You win the polemic prize!

Sadly, another thread is turning into a war of words. Maybe there is a way around it?

You sir, are a genius. What these forums lack is leadership that insists on politeness and courtesy. People can do pretty much anything people normally do, and mandatory courtesy will never unduly limit the discussions. It will only make them more focused and informative.

Instead of Sandy trying to find some personal flaw in me or my character to explain why I would question one of her favorite cameras, she'll have no choice but to either contribute something helpful to the discussion, or stay out of it.

I'm trying hard to convince myself getting one of DPM models. So far presented evidence still shows imperfections of Foveon concept.

The real question I'm asking myself is: how and for what purpose will I use the camera. The more I'm finding out about positives the more I tend to ignore shortcomings. This is a simple process of consumer education and choices made against the desires and dislikes, I guess.

No amount of praising or bashing the product should be the decisive factor in making ones decision. I try to look for the best fit of relatively expensive product into my personal needs. Would artifacts shown in some examples bother me in my intended use of particular cam? Most likely. Should I force myself to limit general usefulness of the cam based on differing performance level under different circumstances? This is the question I have to answer to myself.

Yes, that is a very wise decision-making process. Knowing all of the limitations of the camera will help you formulate reasonable expectations in what you want to do with it, and at what price you're willing to pay for it (wait for the price to drop, or buy now).

One way or another I most likely will get DPM, maybe for different reason than solely picture taking. This should make the decision easier. Time will answer the other questions I raised in my musings.

Please, be kind to each other

Cheers

Richard

Amen. I agree, I'm fascinated by the Foveon sensor, and I'm attracted to the camera just for it's gadgetry aesthetics. But, I'm not wealthy enough to buy it for only that reason, so I need a good understand of the camera before I can justify its cost. Then, I'll be able to formulate reasonable expectations so there will be no possibility that I'll be disappointed, and I'll be able to make images that suit the strengths of Foveon, while avoiding its weaknesses.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is whether this optic reflectivity problem is a minor oversight, or a deliberate engineering decision. If it's an oversight, then maybe we'll get an update version of the camera that's worth waiting for.

If the only problem is just one optical component that didn't get an anti-reflection coating, then that should be pretty easy to fix, and we should expect an update to the camera when a new production run is made, if we whine about it enough. Coating that one tiny component shouldn't add more than another $50 to $100 to the cost of the camera, which would be worth paying.

Also, if the problem is only on the IR filter and the sensor, then that means it could be possible to eliminate or reduce the reflections by changing the angle of incidence of incoming light. Since the Foveon sensor is being supplied light from a telecentric lens, that might not be possible without moving the light source out of the field of view. A polarization filter might be worth a try, but I don't think that will work BEFORE the reflections occur.

If i understand this issue correctly, and the lens/optic reflections are occurring at the final stage of the flat IR filter, with telecentric light, then the contrast problem is worse than I thought it was. Instead of only occurring at some angles, with some kinds of lighting, it's probably happening at all angles, in all lighting, and there may be no way to work around it. That's definitely a flaw worth complaining about, if only to get it fixed. In that case, it would mean the cameras are defective, and should be updated with a new model, or even repaired for the old models.

Yesno?

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balchinian
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to SigmaChrome, Aug 9, 2012

SigmaChrome wrote:

Richard Franiec wrote:

One way or another I most likely will get DPM, maybe for different reason than solely picture taking. This should make the decision easier. Time will answer the other questions I raised in my musings.

Yes, get a DP2M for that other reason at least, Richard. Everything I have seen so far tells me one of your grips would be a wonderful addition.

Maybe Sandy can tell us how it feels in the hand - without a grip...?
--
Regards,

Vitée

Capture all the light and colour!

http://www.pbase.com/vitee/galleries

I'm guessing that the thicker body will make it more comfortable to hold, compared to thinner bodies. But, the curves of an accessory grip will still probably be an improvement.

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PrebenR
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to Gesture, Aug 9, 2012

Gesture wrote:

The appeal of the DP series for me is the quality of the lens, Foveon sensor and near APS-C sensor in a quite small and quiet platform.

For the Merrill cameras it is actually APS-C sensor (1.5 crop).
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HBowman
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to PrebenR, Aug 9, 2012

PrebenR wrote:

Gesture wrote:

The appeal of the DP series for me is the quality of the lens, Foveon sensor and near APS-C sensor in a quite small and quiet platform.

For the Merrill cameras it is actually APS-C sensor (1.5 crop).
--
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and the guy say he is fascinated by foveon technology lol What a troll !

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HBowman
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For Richard
In reply to HBowman, Aug 9, 2012

I you think about making a power grip here is the adapter :

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SandyF
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Re: Sigma DP2 Merrill marketing: Hyped, wrong, dishonest, or just defective cameras?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 9, 2012

balchinian wrote:

Richard Franiec wrote:

balchinian wrote:

SandyF wrote:

balchinian wrote:

We've seen some demonstrations of extreme levels of internal lens reflections in THE new Sigma DP2 Merrill that produce unusable images any time the sun is in the photo:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=42185242&page=1

The lens flare caused by internal reflections is most obvious in high dynamic range scenes, where there is a lot of brightness in a single point (the sun). However, the problem still exists when the lens flare is not visible, and it reduces the contrast of the image with extra random light striking the sensor without forming an image.

.....

IMHO, your points are silly and exaggerated, as a purchaser of the DP2M. Just curious, have you actually used a DP2M?
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2M photos)

Most unhelpful answer yet! You win the polemic prize!

Sadly, another thread is turning into a war of words. Maybe there is a way around it?

You sir, are a genius. What these forums lack is leadership that insists on politeness and courtesy. People can do pretty much anything people normally do, and mandatory courtesy will never unduly limit the discussions. It will only make them more focused and informative.

Instead of Sandy trying to find some personal flaw in me or my character to explain why I would question one of her favorite cameras, she'll have no choice but to either contribute something helpful to the discussion, or stay out of it.

.....

I said your points were silly and exaggerated, such as even your title, "hyped, wrong, dishonest or just defective cameras." I made no comment about your character, as you state above "some personal flaw in me or my character...." etc.

"Contribute something helpful to the discussion" ? ....I'm contributing PHOTOS and details about settings and processing.

You are not contributing PHOTOS nor much that I see other than hyperbole.

I never wrote or stated the DP2M is quote "one of my favorite cameras." In fact I'm still trying to get the hang of usage and processing the files. My main statement to date has been that the files are BIG, which they are, which is an advantage yet disadvantage in a manner. 50MB-60+MB RAW files are indeed large... lots of write and processing time not to mention the storage requirements, especially on this laptop. Backup, backup, store elsewhere.

My initial sense is that the DP2Merrill would not be my all-around camera, in large measure due to those huge file sizes. I haven't tried hobbling it yet to lower resolutions though, I've been shooting full, BIG, high res RAW. You can see from my examples online that RAW processed to JPEG is 'better' than in-cam JPEG, although the in-cam JPEG aren't bad. I would say the quality difference between RAW and in-cam JPEG is in line with my Canon 5DII, which I stopped shooting RAW+JPEG when I saw how much better my DPP processed RAWs were as compared to in-cam 5DII in-cam JPEGs.

But the extremely high resolution appears to be there in the DP2Merrill from what I've seen from my 50 some photos. If you're a high resolution seeker, as I am, the DP2M has extremely high merit... especially in view of its compact and lightweight size, compared to a big DSLR, even full-frame DSLR.
Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current DP2Merrill photos)

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