Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
richard stone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,147
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

Other people more frequently do take pictures of details, and the image is to some extent of and about those details. Gate Bois (Noel Billy) recently posted a whole series of images from Paris made with the Sigma Quattro ("Q")  sensor which were, in my view, excellent. Plenty of details. And the images were, to a large extent, as I see it, about those details. Gate Bois is very good.

I would have thought that would be the end of any Q/Merrill detail discussion.

The detail issue is, again as I see it, that if you want those details you don't just stop and snap. It takes some thought and planning. And a good tripod. It is not just the camera.

In my use of cameras, sometimes things work out well, sometimes they don't. And I have made some images that I like, and a few that seem to bring some pleasure to other people.

But my use of any camera is to make images, not to test it as a camera. Testing cameras seems to be an undertaking on its own, and bears only a slight relation to actually making good or pleasing or even excellent images. In terms of camera design, I really like the Sigma, as a tool. At this point I expect the Sigma company to do plenty of camera testing, to the point where I don't have to. My test of an image is not if I can blow it up to over 100% and see some particular detail, although I admit that can be fun, but rather if at normal viewing distance the image is clear, if I meant it to be clear.

When I used MF film, I frequently used a heavy wooden tripod, and a Leitz ball head. These days I don't tend to do that. Detail suffers. Or should I say "details suffer?" Such is life. Examining nature pictures and rocks in the distance introduces issues of atmospheric haze, etc., AND issues of "haze reduction" in the processing software.

But everyone has their own pleasures in life, I guess.

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Sigma SD10 Sigma sd Quattro Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art
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