On Sunday I brought along my Sigma SD15 as one of my bonus cameras. Just to get some field time with it and hopefully decent raw files that can be used for comparisons or editing “fun.” I’ve obviously written about these unique cameras on my site many times, but here’s an actual attempt at using this particular model to supplement real event coverage. Quite early in the day I knew it wasn’t going to mesh well with the Canon that I was shooting as my main combo. The wonky Sigma auto WB balance showed up again, even in immediate consecutive frames in continuous mode. The two picture modes I bounced between were Standard and Portrait. Both once again give such wildly different results. The red paint of the temple sim, and orange robes of the monks definitely does not look like that in real life or with other traditional cameras. Would the Sigma SD14 have done better? Maybe, but with that camera auto WB and even custom WB oftentimes just gives an ugly yellow color cast over everything.
Now before I get to the SD15 images, yes I do realize that I also shot a portion of today’s event with an ancient Panasonic VHS-C camera from 1999 and an iPhone 3GS from 2008. Cameras with technically far worse image quality, but you know, both of them have a certain charm and baked in nostalgia. Sigma files have the potential to be a home run, but man is it ever rare in my opinion. Especially in a non studio setting. Anyways I’ve been plugging away at these side cameras since like 2009 because I do like them. Would love to test that mythical Sigma FF if it ever comes out…
I only brought along two lenses for the SD15, a 50mm 2.8 Macro that only manually focuses and an early 17-70mm lens that is pretty much an okay at best kit lens. The smaller sensor and small aperture of the kit lens makes for deep depth of field, and for a community event like this with hundreds of people, there’s so much in the frame that is in focus and distracting. Perhaps one day I’ll get a decent modern lens for my Sigma cameras, but again, these are my weekend and “artistic” cameras.
All photos converted from the X3F raw in Sigma Photo Pro, adjusted in Nikon Capture NX2, and finalized and exported in Photoshop. This SD15 when I first got it had the most clean sensor, with not a single speck of dust on it, even at f/16, but somehow dust still got under the IR cut filter and it now shows up even at f/5.6.
Anyways, here are only a few results that I got out of many many awful uninspiring shots. If you would like to see what types of images I prefer to deliver for my community, the previous posts will show that, which over the years has always been a mixture of Nikon and Canon cameras. As they say, always use the right tool for the job at hand.