Late every summer, nature photographers flock to the Pacific Northwest with the hope of capturing the majestic beauty of Mount Rainier and its gorgeous subalpine meadows. After much obsessive planning and conversations with photographers around Washington State, I was able to make my first trip to the region this year. My biggest concern was whether I would arrive on time to catch the peak wildflower bloom. The area experienced a warm spring and summer, and thus the wildflowers emerged earlier than expected. But, as luck would have it, that shouldn’t have been my primary worry. Continue reading Morning at the Reflection Lakes, Mount Rainier National Park
The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art lens replaces the very popular 30mm EX DC HSM lens as the fast, standard prime designed exclusively for DLSRs with APS-C sensors including the Sigma SD1 Merrill, the Canon EOS Rebels, 60D and 7D and a number of Nikon models including the D7100, D90, and D5100. And based on the updates and upgrades, the 30mm F1.4 Art lens is going to make a lot of photographers very happy.
As an Art lens the 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | A is built to the same design and performance standards introduced with the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens, the first lens in this line to be announced. In fact, this lens feels like a scaled-down version of that fast, full-frame prime lens. And it’s not simply a cosmetic change. The new 30mm F1.4 has a completely new optical design, with more lens elements, including a double-aspheric lens which minimizes spherical distortion. As far as focusing goes, there’s been a lot of advancements since the original 30mm F1.4 was released in 2005. The autofocus is much faster, and much more quiet. And the full-time manual focus ring is very responsive for complete creative control. And as a Global Vision lens, each and every 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art lens is individually tested on the A1 MTF device at the Aizu, Japan factory.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.