SD Q Colour

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 14,433
Re: SD Q Colour

I'm generally happy with the colors that come from my Sigma SD Quattro H, my Nikon D810, and my Sigma SD1 Merrill too. In fact, I'm even pretty happy with the colors that come from my Sony A65 too. Over the years I've had other cameras too, including a Canon 5D, Sony R1, various other Sony cameras, a Sigma SD 14, and others. I haven't had "problems" with colors being not recorded properly - only printing them, and that seemed related to the papers or printers I was using.

There is something interesing I saw when reviewing the photos you posted - the colors in the group of colored circles. I'm sure you can see it too:


Hasselblad X1D-50c

There's quite a difference between the two, isn't there? I wonder which shows the "correct" color. Certainly the pink and green section in the bottom right of these shows "better" in the SDQH image. It looks more natural to me.

Ultimately, the natural look is what I want, but I want pleasing colors too. You mention color balance, and I think I understand what you mean by that. I find that the images from my Sigma cameras offer excellent color, with regard to a "natural look" or "pleasing" image. They may not be as accurate as a Phase One or Hasselblad, but I like the way the colors look. You have both types of cameras there. Have you shot a group of trees with leaves on them with both cameras, to compare? How about grass?

Recently I shot some photos of leaves on the ground in autumn. I was quite happy with what my Sigma produced. Sure, that's no scientific statement, but I'm no scientist, and I'm not trying to color match swatches. I'm trying to make photos of scenes I see. If one color is a little off, but I see more variance in the colors of leaves or flowers or pebbles on the ground, which looks more realistic to me, I'll choose the camera that gives me that result. So far I've found that it's the Sigma cameras that offer me that result. I have to admit though that my friend who recently got a Fuji GFX100 seems to be able to capture the real colors of neon lights better than I can with my Nikon D810 or my Sigma SD Quattro H, so there definitely is a difference from camera to camera, whether you're using cameras with Foveon or CFA sensors. I guess that's one reason you pay $10,000 for the Fuji vs. the cheaper full-frame cameras from Nikon, Sony, and Canon. We all know of the major differences between the Sigma SD1 Merrill and the Sigma SD Quattro (and SD Quattro H and other Quattro cameras), right? There are differences between the way colors are captured or recorded with cameras that have CFA sensors too, obviously. No doubt some of it's in the post-processing, but I think some of it's related to the colors of the filters in the CFAs they employ, circuitry, firmware, etc.

How much effort have you put into checking the colors using various color modes in SPP? You do realize that colors seem to be rendered differently in Normal vs Neutral color modes, right?

One other thing I think you should know is that you're comparing a very expensive Hasselblad with a $1,000 Sigma. Do you realize that? I would hope the Hasselblad captures and records more accurate color. If it didn't, it'd make me wonder why people are willing to pay so much money to buy them, vs the Sonys, Nikons, and Canons of the World.

Here's a comparison of my Sigma SD Quattro H to my Nikon D810 (both processed from the raw files, and adjusted to a white balance setting selected to remove the brown from the waterfall):

Sigma SDQH

Nikon D810

As you can see, the white waterfall of the Nikon shot, which may be slightly less exposed than the shot from my Sigma, is a bit too blue. This may be a result of too much white balance adjustment, but I was just trying to get rid of the brown in the waterfall, which you can see on the left. Using a warmer white balance setting (like 5700 K) results in lots of brown like that across the waterfall, which I think looks terrible. I will probably end up doing a bunch of image editing to one of these photos, before I'm done. I'm still not sure which I like better.

You might say my "comparison" above is not fair, since I shot the Nikon photo long before the Sigma photo, and the light surely changed. I would have to say I agree with you in that case. No doubt the color of light was quite different from one shot to the other, so it's not really a good or scientific comparison. Then again, I didn't use the exact same lens either, so there would have been the color of the lens elements influencing what the camera captured too, so there could be no true comparison between the two cameras, unless I had taken a special lens with adapters to fit it onto both cameras (i.e. an old medium format lens maybe).


Another thought I just had is that colors are different in different software. Have you checked to see what the results would be in other programs? Are you using ProPhotoRGB when you export your 16 bit TIFF files from SPP 6.7? I'd be interested to know your work flow, just to get some ideas about processing for accurate color. So far I'm pretty happy with what I do, though there's a myriad of scenarios, and I can imagine one in which a painter with a very critical eye for color might want me to shoot an image for print reproduction. I've done this with my Nikon D810 a couple of times (the print shop knows how to deal with "standard" Nikon raw files). I'd like to try my Sigma for that type of thing at some point, to see how the critical painter reacts. (I'd probably shoot with both cameras, and allow the painter to choose which image/print looks best to him/her.)

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Scott Barton Kennelly

 Scottelly's gear list:Scottelly's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Nikon D810 Sigma sd Quattro H Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +21 more
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