Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison

Started May 26, 2013 | Discussions
Robert F. Tobler
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Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
May 26, 2013

Since I was asked about the differences in flare-susceptibility of
the Sigma DPx Merrill cameras, I decided to make a small comparison:

Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill Flare Comparison @ rftobler.at

Greetings,

Robert

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to Robert F. Tobler, May 26, 2013

Robert F. Tobler wrote:

Since I was asked about the differences in flare-susceptibility of
the Sigma DPx Merrill cameras, I decided to make a small comparison:

Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill Flare Comparison @ rftobler.at

Thanx for your test. Its revealing. It shows very clearly that the old red spots problem is very evident in the Merrill DP cameras. It also show, surprisingly, that the wider the FOV, the less the problem. As far as I know, its the other way around for the pre Merrill cameras.

I assume the lack of such images in this forum is due to DP Merrill owners either avoiding taking such images or avoiding showing them to the forum, wise from earlier discussions of DP camera flaws.

The latter would be a pity. I.e. if DP Merrill owners chooses to hide (?) the flaws. Knowing about the flaws is very important if you are considering buying something.

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diolus
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Saw these..
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

ugly spots from another test. Is one of the many reason I decided not to buy a foveon based camera. Too damn limited.

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Johan Borg
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Re: Saw these..
In reply to diolus, May 26, 2013

diolus wrote:

ugly spots from another test. Is one of the many reason I decided not to buy a foveon based camera. Too damn limited.

Good thing you didn't buy it so we don't need to hear your complaints about them, then

In reality many of us have these cameras for years without seeing this flare unless we deliberately test for it, can't remember a single ruined shot since my first DP in 2009. Not one.

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Saw these..
In reply to Johan Borg, May 26, 2013

Johan Borg wrote:

In reality many of us have these cameras for years without seeing this flare unless we deliberately test for it, can't remember a single ruined shot since my first DP in 2009. Not one.

I quite commonly take wide angle shots with the sun in the frame.

I have to avoid those images if I get a DP1M camera. Good to know.

That the DP2M and DP3M are much worse is maybe not important, or maybe it is - depending on the type of images you plan to take. I will probably not have the sun in the frame with those. Hmmm .. maybe with DP2M. But ... here it is much more important to know what happens with street lights.

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nick_webster
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Thanks Robert,
In reply to Robert F. Tobler, May 26, 2013

I was going to check for flare resistance yesterday with my 3 but the battery failed before I got round to it and the 2 spares I brought with me were for old DPs - d'oh !

I did take a couple with the sun just out of frame and without the lens hood and they looked OK so it might just be when there is a bright light source actually in the frame. I'll look into this more when I get the chance.

Thanks again for the test, I appreciate the time you have spent so the rest of us don't have to

Nick

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Thanks Robert,
In reply to nick_webster, May 26, 2013

nick_webster wrote:

I did take a couple with the sun just out of frame and without the lens hood and they looked OK so it might just be when there is a bright light source actually in the frame.

Yes, the red spots only appear if there is a bright light within the actual frame.

And ... its not really flare. At least not lens flare.

The mechanism is something like this.

The image of the sun (or a bright street light) is focussed on the sensor. The sensor consists of a grid of pixels, including metal connections and also micro lenses, parts that are highly reflective.

The image of this grid is reflected back to the lens. And in the lens its reflected back to the sensor.

What's surprising is that the grid image is so large. We have tried to explain that, but ... not really with 100% success.

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nick_webster
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Not lens flare then ;-)
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

I'd forgotten about the Foveon red spot problem and was just considering lens flare Thanks for the reminder.

I'd actually been impressed with the 3's lack of actual lens flare with my quick shots yesterday, particularly without the lens hood which I'd left at home with the spare batteries ;-). I'll have to remember to keep light sources out of frame in the future ...

Nick

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diolus
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Re: Saw these..
In reply to Johan Borg, May 26, 2013

That's ok there's plenty of people here complaining.

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vkphoto
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to Robert F. Tobler, May 26, 2013

Hi Robert,

thanks for sharing your findings. Your blog is a great starting point for new sigma users.

I am still learning the "Merrill world" and can only say that  so far I am impressed.

Taken today with DP2M, seems ok to me

Thanks,

vkphoto

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to vkphoto, May 26, 2013

vkphoto wrote:

Hi Robert,

thanks for sharing your findings. Your blog is a great starting point for new sigma users.

I am still learning the "Merrill world" and can only say that  so far I am impressed.

Taken today with DP2M, seems ok to me

Do you have one where the sun is not behind some branches?

Thanks,

vkphoto

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vkphoto
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

No I don't. But I got your point, I'll take couple shots at sunset tonight.

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SandyF
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

sun in frame, DP2Merrill, no trees....

DP2Merrill Carmel beach, CA

I have a lot more setting sun beach scenes, various Sigma cameras and Canon 5DII  in this set, scroll down http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann/sets/72157631359840500/

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

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3dreal
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to SandyF, May 26, 2013

The wonderful red spots grid is sigmas exclusivity. Why complain?

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www.stereopan.org

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mark-vdi
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Re: Thanks Robert,
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

Hi Roland, at a guess, if it is caused by a double internal reflection first off the micro-lens covering the sensors and then back off the surface of the last lens element, then, if the last element has a convex surface, it will magnify and distribute the spots with the spots furthest from the centre becoming more distorted since this reflection strike an oblique surface . . .

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mark-vdi
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Re: Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill flare comparison
In reply to Robert F. Tobler, May 26, 2013

Hi Robert, thanks for doing the test - shows what one needs to be careful of . . .

NB - Great to see somebody else who started their digital life with a coolpix! Mine was the 950 and I loved it!

Cheers, Mark

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Thanks Robert,
In reply to mark-vdi, May 26, 2013

mark-vdi wrote:

Hi Roland, at a guess, if it is caused by a double internal reflection first off the micro-lens covering the sensors and then back off the surface of the last lens element, then, if the last element has a convex surface, it will magnify and distribute the spots with the spots furthest from the centre becoming more distorted since this reflection strike an oblique surface . . .

Yeah, maybe ...

But how do you explain that they always are red?

The only bright red reflection in the DP camera comes from the IR filter.

The IR filter is probably flat.

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Panoramas
In reply to Robert F. Tobler, May 26, 2013

BTW - what equipment and program do you use for your panoramas?

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mark-vdi
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Re: refelction
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

perhaps the reflection comes back off the the 'joins' between the layers meaning that the light has already travelled through the blue layer and hit the green layer (giving some absorbance here as well due to wave penetration) - that would also explain why its an artifact of this type of sensor.

Cheers, Mark

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mark-vdi
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Re: Panoramas
In reply to Roland Karlsson, May 26, 2013

Hi Roland,  the couple that are posted in the gallery here are from a Linhof Technorama 6x17cm film camera - a bit of an excursion for me but a lot of fun (focusing upside down on a glass screen, etc etc)  All my other work has been with simple tripod mounted (in portrait mode) digitals starting from a coolpix 950, through Fuji S2/S2, Phase One 65MB (way too much data: Midway through the work with 20+layers, file size was ca 5GB . . .which was more than the total memory of the computer i worked on the 950 files ) and the last was with the X-Pro-1 (some to be supplemented with the DP3M) All stitching is manual down to pixel level in Photoshop. I've explained the workflow a bit more at www.blauvista.com. The website was hand-built BTW (every visual element is programmed rather than drawn(!) and is,one could say, more for the enthusiast than the 'quick browser'

Cheers, Mark

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