Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome: First Look, First Photos

Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 is a significant update to the raw processor for X3F Raw files from Sigma’s cameras featuring the unique Foveon X3 Direct Image sensor as there is a completely new, dedicated monochrome processor for raw files from the original Sigma SD1 and all Merrill generation cameras, the SD1M, DP1M, DP2M, and the brand-new DP3M. And it is now available for download.

Eastern Willet, Sandy Hook, NJ. The dedicated black and white X3F RAW conversion mode in the newest version of SPP creates stunning silvertone images. Sigma SD1 and 50-500mm zoom. 1/640 F6.3 ISO 100. Converted to grayscale in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome.
The combination of the signature superfine detail of the X3 sensor and a touch of the film grain effect makes for amazingly tactile black and white images! This swan was seen through the SD1 and 50-500mm at 1/1600 F6.3 ISO 400 fully zoomed.

I was lucky enough to have spent much of the week prior to the release going public working up a ton of my X3 files in the new software, and I’ve smiled a lot seeing just how beautifully the new monochrome mode renders detail and tonal gradations. And the film-grain option is simply wonderful for adding a classic feel to images. The results, truly, can be breathtaking. I’ve worked up close to fifty of my shots so far, and this new monochrome process has me excited to get out and shoot more images with my SD1 and DP2M specifically for monochrome output. Continue reading Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome: First Look, First Photos

Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome: Video Tutorial

Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 now offers dedicated Monochrome processing for X3 raw files from the original SD1 and all cameras in the Merrill Generation, the SD1 Merrill, the DP2 Merrill, and the new DP3 Merrill.

Abandoned Diner, White House, NJ. Shot with the Sigma SD1 and Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. X3F Raw file processed in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome mode.

The X3 processing has completely re-engineered for exceptional monochrome results, with great control over tonal range, contrast, subtle gradations, and a simply beautiful film grain option for expressive creative control.

In this demonstration, I work up three images captured with the Sigma SD1. One is a very low contrast image, the second a very high contrast image, and the third, an infrared shot through an IR-passing filter with the Infrared cutting filter in the SD1 removed.

Learn more about Sigma Photo Pro Monochrome, and view many more sample images.


Accolades for the Sigma DP2 Merrill

SIGMA DP2 Merrill

Editorial reviewers and photographers around the globe have been amazed at the exceptional image quality of the Sigma DP2 Merrill.

Here’s a sampling of recent quotes that have caught our eye about this amazing compact camera.

The Absolute Sounds

“In optical quality, Reichmann claims it plays second fiddle to no other  ‘standard’ lens from any other manufacturer including Leitz and Zeiss.”

“The DP2 Merrill has a unique and extraordinary sensor and an equally extraordinary lens”

“In my experience no other camera, short of a 4×5 or a medium-format digital rig with a high-res back, has outdone it in image quality under the right circumstances.”

Continue reading Accolades for the Sigma DP2 Merrill

Sigma DP2 Merrill Model Shoot with Robert Lopshire

Longtime readers of the Sigma blog will recall that last year we spent a day with photographer Robert Lopshire and the Sigma SD1.

So when the first shipments of the Sigma DP2 Merrill arrived we asked Robert if he’d be interested in doing a follow-up to this story featuring this amazing compact camera and his immediate email reply was simply this: YES! When? And then right after we posted this First Impressions blog post, we started making plans to spend a day with Robert Lopshire and model Abbie Davidson and the Sigma DP2 Merrill. We spent a Tuesday in early September at Robert’s home studio, and he and his team made a series of amazing photos.

Photographer Robert Lopshire swapped out his DSLR for the Sigma DP2 Merrill for a recent model shoot with Abbie Davidson. Sigma DP2 Merrill 1/125 F8.0 ISO 100. (Make-up: Cristin Rose Goldsmith, Hair: Tarissa Gesner) ©2012 Robert Lopshire. Other equipment used: Bowens Gemini 500R monolight (key light) w/ 22" Beauty dish. 2 Impact VSD160 monolights (backdrop lights). MicroSync Wireless Strobe Sync System.

Robert admitted to being just a little nervous about swapping out the DSLR for a compact camera, especially since this was a full-production shoot with a make-up artist and a hair stylist, but that quickly gave way to amazement and excitement as he checked out the images captured by the Sigma DP2 Merrill, first on the LCD, and then on his big computer monitor during a break in the photo session.

Continue reading Sigma DP2 Merrill Model Shoot with Robert Lopshire

Sigma DP2 Merrill: First Impressions by Jack Howard

The Sigma DP2 Merrill is seriously amazing at capturing even the finest nuances of detail. Check out this super-detailed view of Battery Peck at Sandy Hook, NJ shot at F7.1 for serious depth of field. 1/320 F7.1 ISO 100.

I’ve spent the past few weeks experimenting with the Sigma DP2 Merrill and I am quite honestly blown away by the images this compact prime lens camera produces. The Sigma DP2 Merrill creates amazing photographs with exceptional detail and beautifully smooth color gradations and nuances of tone. The overall image quality of this camera is simply amazing and outstanding.

Click here to view the images in this story in full 4704x 3136 pixels resolution in a Flickr Set.








Here is another variation of this scene, shot at F/4 to selectively focus on the greenery popping up from the safety fence. Notice the fine details in the leaf and the gorgeously defocused quality of the background. 1/800 F4 ISO 100







And the feel of the images is stunning both when there is significant depth of field, and also when there is selective focus and a softened background thanks to the F2.8 maximum aperture with rounded blades and that large APS-C sensor for a “big camera” aesthetic to the images that is often lacking from so many small-chipped compact cameras.

Continue reading Sigma DP2 Merrill: First Impressions by Jack Howard

The Vision and Passion of Dick Merrill

Today, Sigma officially launches three new digital cameras, the Sigma SD1 Merill, the DP1 Merill, and the DP2 Merrill.  Each of these cameras wears the name “Merrill” in honor and recognition of the passion, drive and vision of Richard “Dick” Merrill, a founding father of the Foveon sensor that is at the heart of Sigma’s Digital cameras.

Prior to being a member of Foveon’s team at its founding  with Carver Mead and Dick Lyon among others in 1997, Merrill worked on semiconductor research and design at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, as well as National Semiconductor. Foveon colleagues talk warmly about Merrill as a prolific inventor, explorer, and problem-solver who owned an oscilloscope at the age of ten.  His genius for tackling challenges in design and function is evidenced in the many patents awarded Merrill, and it is here, fueled by Merrill’s passion and brilliance, where so much of the story of Foveon and Sigma Digital Imaging truly unfolds.

Dick Merrill of Foveon, photographed by Dick Lyon, made with the Sigma SD14 DSLR.

Foveon’s first full-color digital imaging system, introduced in 1999, involved three image sensors aligned to the three exit planes for red, blue, and green light from a prism. This first device was capable of producing high-quality color images that recorded all primary colors at each pixel, but the prism manufacturing and assembly process was very complex. Guided by that singular focus–the creation of images in one shot that are comprised of three complete color image planes–was to be Foveon’s driving force throughout its evolution.

Continue reading The Vision and Passion of Dick Merrill

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