Tuesday, February 28, 2012

D3 with Sigma 12-24 revisited

Now i feel stupid .. What did i overlook when i initially tested the D3 with the Sigma 12-24 ? Why didn’t i test properly the Sigma to rule it out as a dud ? Why didn’t i treat with some more respect the possibly greatest FF DSLR ever created  ?

Im not going to beat it to death - here is my new take : 

Im now very impressed with the D3 and the Sigma in the front of it ! I guess my revisit was largely triggered by the (unreal) geometrical, CA , and resolution (centre at least) performance of the Sigma. Add in the mix a lingering suspicion that i’ve done something wrong in my original tests - especially when looking at the very first shots with the Sigma (inside the house), taken at the "bad" f5.6 (wide open) - images, which even then made me sit back and take note .. Subsequently i've shot patterns and lines enough to confirm that stopping down the Sigma to f8 - f11 changes things in sharpness (and vignette) sufficiently to call the Sigma a one very sharp lens, corner to corner

I can only imagine what stopped down Nikkor 50mm 1.8D or 35mm f2 could bring to the table - for portrait and “non-portrait”  photography - I was very tempted to order myself one of these just because of this camera, which is not even mine and might decide to grow legs and leave me - to go back where it came from hopefully ..

OK .. What did change this time around  :

1. ISO limited to 5000. Was it 6400 before ? I guess so
2. Speed set to a minimum of 1/30th. Was 1/10th or less before
3. A revisit of the Aperture preset for the D3 raws - a critical review and adjustments
4. The outside images were shot at EV −0.33 .. Cannot yet decide if it's better with compensation dialed in or without and for what conditions - see my end comments

This is it .. the rest is as in the first time around : handheld, Auto WB, Spot AF, blah blah blah ..

You be the judge - i think i like much what comes out now.  Processing : batch Aperture followed by batch Filmpack, but i can safely leave out the Filmpack - that is how good the images came out - if not for the magenta cast issues mentioned further, which im too lazy to resolve still in Aperture at this point.. Very tired from the darkroom, very ..

I could also easily and very effectively lift the shadows / dark areas where needed, without affecting the mid-high band, but don’t see this as necessary - me and HDR / deep shadow detail are not the greatest of friends ..

Here we go  - a walk around this place again, which, as with the D3 - was initially questioned, to only become a fetish of form and light later. However, please remember when viewing the samples below, that i have a problem with pronounced green channel luminance (something i find often with Nikon) - accordingly corrected. I also cannot tolerate very well even the slightest magenta/blue/cyan cast which is removed too in the images below as part of the processing above.

Finally, one question still remains after “this 2nd trip” and that is : metering with very bright frames as well as in very low light, and the appropriate exposure compensation for either. As of the past day or two, i might be looking for the answer to this completely elsewhere - like in the new Nikon V1 ..


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