Which Sigma best for macro ?

Discussion in 'Sigma DP Forum' started by Richkaz, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Richkaz

    Richkaz SC Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    I would appreciate some advice from Sigma owners.
    Here's my dilemma..
    I currently use a Samsung EX1 and am very pleased with the general quality of the images and versatility of the camera.
    However, I am now taking more macro shots and the the EX1 uses it's widest 24 mm setting for macro work. This means getting very
    close to the subject and sometimes distortion is inevitable.

    Look at the steering wheel .


    If I pull back and then crop the watch in this image is still pretty round


    Both these jpegs were hand held using image stabilization which means that the first shot rated 800 iso and looks grainy..

    I have been looking at Sigma offerings and would appreciate some guidance. I would keep the Samsung , so the Sigma doesn't need to be all that practical ( just as well by what Iv'e read :tongue:)

    I initially considered the SD1 Merrill. This is currently on offer in the UK at £ 999.00 with 17 - 50 f2.8 EX DCOS HSM. Seems great value
    But ------ also on offer in Europe is the SD15 + 18 -50 f2.8 - 4.5 DCOS with image stabilization for under £ 350.00
    Or the DP3 Merrill with a fixed 70mm f 2.8 lens without any stabilization and costing the same £ 350.00

    I know that the Merrill models have three times the pixels, but i will never be making life sized prints. The largest would be A4 sized 210 x 297 mm .
    The images would be viewed either on a 24 inch monitor or a 9 " tablet.
    The bigger SD camera's with zoom lenses are more versatile but don't have live LCD viewing. This might mean standing on my head to see the the view finder ?
    The DP3 sports a rear screen, but that's hardly ideal for fine focusing.
    I am given to understand that the raw software is pants on these camera's and you can't even crop images ?
    If 3 identical images from each of these camera's were compared on a 24 inch monitor would there be a big quality difference ?
    Questions questions - Any observations would be appreciated
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  2. Fiddler

    Fiddler SC Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Real Name:
    Sigma Photo Professional is not as bad as some people make it out to be. As a RAW converter, it's absolutely fine, IMO. I'm trying out Iridient Developer (Mac only,) and that's good too. I'm more than happy with what I'm getting out of my DP1M and my DP2M, but haven't tried any of the SIGMA DSLRs, so can't comment on them. If I remember correctly, the minimum focussing distance of the DP3M is 8 or 9 inches - not sure if that would meet your needs, but IQ is excellent.
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  3. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk SC Top Veteran

    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    This is a 100% crop from a DP3M image (click it for full size), I'm not sure how macro you want to get, but I'm very happy with it.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianhass/13012431163/sizes/o/in/photostream/" title="DP3M0622_cr_cr by ChristianHass, on Flickr">[​IMG]"640" height="360" alt="DP3M0622_cr_cr"></a>

    One thing you need to remember when going from a small sensor camera to a larger sensor is that you have a lot more of your target in focus with the small sensor, which can be an advantage for closeups.

    I don't find Sigma Photo Pro that big of a hassle, it works really well for what it does, but if you're using to shooting jpeg only then it is a big change. I use Faststone Image Viewer for sorting/previewing my images and cropping after SPP.
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  4. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    From what I've read and seen, the DP3 Merrill is the one to go for. If I look at your example shots, you don't need 1:1.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Real Name:
    I bought the DP3 last week and absolutely love it. I love the colours , bokeh and its ability to close focus down to about 9 inches.
    I just grabbed this shot indoors with the watch in one hand and camera in the other and just daylight through the window. It's about as close as it goes but it's ideal for watch photography.

    • Like Like x 2
  6. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I have sd1m and the dp1&2m not the dp3m.

    The biggest advantage to the dp family is the lens is perfectly matched to the sensor compared to the sd1m where the lenses were designed to work w/ Canon, Nikon, etc...

    I tend to use my sd1m for macro works as well as taking advantage of more lens options. The main reason I ended up using the sd1m for macro rather than buy the dp3m was because I like more stand off from my subject. The two lenses I like for this is the 70 and 105 macro. I ended up w/ the 70 due to finding a great deal on it.

    Your going to have more stand off distance w/ the dp3m then u would your nx. I don't think u can go wrong w/ the dp3m.. Just depends on how much stand off u are really after. Once u c all the fine detail the sigma can resolve, u are going to be spoiled.

    The older Sigma sensor like the one in the sd15, will not resolve the same amount of detail, but I love what I have seen in terms of the silky smooth tonal quality of the images from them...

    Good luck
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