Is there any Landscape photographer using a SD1 Merrill in the house?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP vbd70 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,980
Re: some thoughts..

maceoQ wrote:

Hello Vieri

I use my SD1 mostly for landscape and nature photography (animals, macro…)
For landscapes i use the 8-16mm lens with lucroit filterholder and hitech filters.
Sometimes the DP1m or DP2m.
I also own the 17-50mm, 70mm, 150mm and 120-300mm. The last 3 lenses are amazing, the 17-50mm not so much.

The problem is, there is no really great ultra-wide lens for Sigma. The 8-16mm is ok, but can't match what the sensor is able to deliver. So you lose that special "Foveon" thing that amazes you when you use the DP1/2/3m or SD1 with high quality lenses.
My DP Merrills outresolve the Canon 5D MK2 by far, but when i compare the SD1 (8-16mm) with the 5D MK2 and 17mm TS-E, then the Canon wins. Maybe not in the center but at the corners.
I pray for a high quality WA lens from Sigma every day

I was looking for Nikon D800 landscape pictures (full resolution) to see whats "state of the art". Unfortunately i just get mediocre samples or no "full res" samples and only 2 RAWs.

What i could see is, that the output of the Nikon is cleaner, almost no noise even with long exposures.
Thats not possible with the SD1. I don't recommend long exposures of 30s or more.
What i missed in these samples (of the D800) is something like microcontrast/plasticity.
They look clean but flat.
(I'm sure this can be corrected in post processing and prints will look good.)
And these images are huge, but it seems also nikons wide angle lenses struggle with the resolution of the sensor. I could't find real sharpness.

If you shoot sunsets/sunrises, the dynamic range, in my opinion, is better with D800, especially because with the SD1 you have to stay with ISO100 to get the cleanest output.
You have to expose very carefully and ND Grad filters are "a must". Red skies can blow out easily.

Things change of course if you use longer focal length. There are some great lenses from Sigma that gives you back the "DP Merrill" feeling.

I don't know if this helps. I can send you a RAW file from the SD1 with 8-16mm lens if you like.


Hello Maceo,

thank you very much for your detailed reply, it helps a lot. Yeah, my problem (as with most APS-C cameras) is with the lack of WA and ultra-WA. The 8-16 looks good, but not great; I'd stay clear of the 10-20 from what I have seen online.

The D800E is a fantastic machine, but as you said it lacks the Foveon plasticity and micro-contrast, and that you cannot quite add back in post-processing, unfortunately. Other than that, the 14-24 is very good but not perfect, especially in the far corners.

About your filter remark, I am fine there, I wouldn't get out of the door without filters anyway

Interesting remark about the 30s long-exposure limit. Do you know if the SD1 subtracts a black frame for noise or not?

Thanks again, best,


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