Help please regarding 1st Sigma Merrill camera

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP idomybest Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Help please regarding 1st Sigma Merrill camera

Dryce wrote:

idomybest wrote:

I know I can get a DP1m at 28mm (which is from what I can gather the least good of the series) or a DP2m which 45mm (and which is I gather the best overall best of the series).

The DP1M is considered the weakest but it's still pretty good. It needs to be stopped down to F5.6 to get better edge definition.

The DP2M and DP3M are both better edge to edge at F2.8 and F4.

I was wondering how reliable these camera are now bearing in mind how old they are and if they are worth paying £500 for or if I would be better paying £500 ish for another Sigma camera like a quattro?

My DP2M has a 'jumping' main dial where the settings jump as the dial is turned. It needs cleaning with a switch cleaning lubricant every 6 to 9 months.

Bear in mind that these cameras are now difficult to get repaired.

The Quattro cameras are also quite interesting. However I don't think they are quite so good for landscape as they drop in effective resolution in low contrast areas such as green grass and distant foliage.

The advantage of the DPM and DPQ cameras is that they come with decent lenses (donwside is that the lens is fixed).

I will use the camera for mainly landscapes I shoot digital like I shoot film so speed is not required I just want the best quality possible and don't mind working for it.

The DPMs can produce stunning images but the dynamic range needs to be handled carefully - they lose colour detail in low contrast and shadow areas and don't deal well with shooting at light sources such as the sun or bright street lights.

With a modern APS-C or FF sensor then you can typically recover the under exposed areas and retain colour in post processing. The Merrill sensor typically doesn't provide enough colour to do this.

The Merrills can produce striking skies where there is cloud shape and texture. They can produce stunning foliage and surface texture detail. However distant low contrast detail tends to look destaturated - I tend to think of the shadows as being muddy and magenta and the mid tone low contrast areas as being grey and pale green.

If you shoot towards a light source then you can end up with a matrix of purple and green blotches extending out from the overexposes light source.

I'm not trying to put you off. The majority of 'keeper' landscape images that I have are from my DPMs - and many of my favourite urban images are from the DP0Q. But you have to accept the limitations as well as the strengths of these devices.

Thanks Dryce,

That is very helpful information. There is a chap selling a DP1M down the road from me for £500. I would only be shooting at F8 or F11 whichever give the best sharpness so that might be OK.

My Ricoh GR has a dodgey Adj wheel that needs a bit of help every year or so. Thanks for highlighting the strengths and weaknesses it will something I would need to learn. I am surprised they do not like the sun but thinking about it, it does make sense. My Fuji S5 was brilliant in the sun - wish I had kept it!

How does the DPO Q compare to the DPMs  when using, battery life, screen, handling - which would you choose if you could have only one?

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