Experience blending exposures from Sigma DP2 classic with Affinity Photo

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(unknown member) Junior Member • Posts: 27
Experience blending exposures from Sigma DP2 classic with Affinity Photo

Hello. I have been learning so much from the forums so I hope in the same regard my post can help others when they require this information.

I have a Sigma DP2 classic, the first version. It is a horrible camera because it always forgets the date time and goes back to 2009, the lens produce radioactive green flares and what is more harmful to me is that the dynamic range is very poor so the sunsets I love don't represent what I see. But in the other part is very lovable, the lens is optically corrected so it has not the perfectly flat rendering of digital corrected lenses, nor the loss of sharpness in the corners for that stretching.

To mitigate the issue with the highlights I made an experiment to blend three photos not mean for artistic value but to try the programs with different exposures and my findings are the following:

  • Kandao Raw

I used first Kandao Raw and sadly it requires to install Adobe Camera Raw (a program that is not easy to uninstall) The blended images had a textured pattern that was mostly noticeable in the sky. I am not saying this is a bad program, so far being free it seems to be quite efficient but is not the best choice for the little Sigma DP2 classic.

DNG from Kandao Raw processed with Affinity Photo. I think it is a nice rendering but there is the issue of the pattern noticeable in the sky.

  • Affinity Photo

Affinity photo process the raw and apparently it would show that Sigma Photo Pro applies a big deal of noise reduction as a Sigma X3F file (from the Sigma DP2 Classic at least) renders even at the lowest ISO of 50 with a lot of luminance specially. But after making comparisons I cannot see loss of detail in the Sigma Photo Pro processed X3F file versus the Affinity Photo processed version. So I stick for one exposures to Sigma Photo Pro. I tried to see if I could use directly the X3F files into Affinity Photo to blend the exposures and this was my best effort:

Three X3F files processed directly in Affinity Photo using the Focus Stack option.

In Affinity Photo you can blend photographs using Photo Stacking or HDR. I tried HDR and looked similar to Focus Stacking but, perhaps due my lack of experience, I couldn't get to make to get natural highlights and all in all a natural photograph, focus stacking had the best output. I am not adding the HDR versions because it looks quite similar.

One of the hardest things was to get the while balance and colors right so I think, in my limited experience with Affinity Photo, it would take to much time to me to use Affinity Photo to process directly X3F photographs. So I opted for:

  • Sigma Photo Pro (6.6.1 - Windows) + Affinity Photo

I have far more experience getting the colors I want with Sigma Photo Pro so I think I got my best result processing in Sigma Photo Pro for Windows and then blend the TIFFs using focus stacking in Affinity Photo. This is the result:

I think it is far closer to what I saw and at last it represents better the intensity of the sky as I saw it. With one exposure sadly I would be constrained to lost highlights, what makes not so good sunsets, or underexpose a lot, usually with my Sigma DP2 classic I require to underexpose to -3EV.

If you have other model of Sigma camera or you are more skilled in the other programs of course yours results could vary but so far to me is more comfortable to use the last combination of Sigma Photo Pro + Affinity Photo. For my other photos that I don't require to blend exposures I prefer Sigma Photo Pro and fine tune the TIFFs in Photo Ninja.

Sigma DP2
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