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Author Topic: Is there any Landscape photographer using a SD1 Merrill in the house?  (Read 1928 times)

Vieri Bottazzini

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Hello Foveon lovers,

since using the DP1M, DP2M and DP3M the Foveon bug started working its way in my head and I have been considering adding a SD1 Merrill with some lenses to my arsenal. As you can see from my websites, I do Landscape / Fine Art mostly and some architectural / portrait / editorial as well. At the moment I am Nikon-based, using a D800E & D3x with a lot of Nikon glass (14-24, 24 f1.4, 35 f1.4, 50 f1.4, 85 f1.4, 135 f2, 70-200, 24-45-85 PC-E, etc); however, I am really fond of the Foveon results and would love to have a DSLR with it in it.

For my type of shooting, however, my problem is not with the camera but with the lenses.

So, any Landscape / Fine Art guys in the house that can share their impressions of the SD1 and what glass do they use with it, especially on the WA side of things?

I am thinking 8-16, 35 f1.4, 50 f2.8 (the 50 f1.4 seems a bit soft / have field curvature, for landscape), 85 f1.4 or 70 f2.8 (same logic than with the 50 mm, the 70 seems a bit more solid for landscape), 150 f2.8 macro.

Is there any users of any of this camera / lenses combo that care to share their thoughts? :)

Any help is much appreciated, thank you in advance.

Best,

Vieri
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Vieri Bottazzini
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idillic

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Re: Is there any Landscape photographer using a SD1 Merrill in the house?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 04:33:44 am »

Hello Foveon lovers,

..........

So, any Landscape / Fine Art guys in the house that can share their impressions of the SD1 and what glass do they use with it, especially on the WA side of things?

I am thinking 8-16, 35 f1.4, 50 f2.8 (the 50 f1.4 seems a bit soft / have field curvature, for landscape), 85 f1.4 or 70 f2.8 (same logic than with the 50 mm, the 70 seems a bit more solid for landscape), 150 f2.8 macro.

Is there any users of any of this camera / lenses combo that care to share their thoughts? :)

Any help is much appreciated, thank you in advance.

Best,

Vieri

I might not be the sort of photographer you are looking for comment, but I do use an SD1M with 4 of the lenses on your list. - The 8-16mm, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 2.8 macro & the 70mm macro.

My comments are as follows -
- the 8-16mm is good so long as you you focus on infinity.  It is quite sharp for a wide zoom lens.
- the 35mm is excellent in every way.
- the 50mm 2.8 macro - very, very, sharp, but check the focus.  It has taken a bit to get used to this lens, but I really enjoy using it.
- the 70mm macro - sharp, great colour contrast.  excellent lens.

Below are some samples from each, I hope you find this helpful,
Cheers, id

the 8-16mm at 11mm



the 35mm



the 50mm 2.8



& the 70mm




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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Is there any Landscape photographer using a SD1 Merrill in the house?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 04:28:33 am »

I might not be the sort of photographer you are looking for comment, but I do use an SD1M with 4 of the lenses on your list. - The 8-16mm, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 2.8 macro & the 70mm macro.

My comments are as follows -
- the 8-16mm is good so long as you you focus on infinity.  It is quite sharp for a wide zoom lens.
- the 35mm is excellent in every way.
- the 50mm 2.8 macro - very, very, sharp, but check the focus.  It has taken a bit to get used to this lens, but I really enjoy using it.
- the 70mm macro - sharp, great colour contrast.  excellent lens.

Below are some samples from each, I hope you find this helpful,
Cheers, id



Hello id,

thank you very much, your samples have been very helpful. Can I ask you two things:

- what do you mean when you say "check the focus" for the 50 f2.8?
- about the 8-16 mm, I am a bit worried to read that "is good so long as you you focus on infinity"; one of the appeals of such a WA lens is, for me, to be able to use it for near-far compositions. How do you feel it behaves for such applications?

Thank you very much again for taking the time and for the samples! Best,

Vieri
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Vieri Bottazzini
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https://www.vieribottazziniworkshops.com

idillic

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Re: Is there any Landscape photographer using a SD1 Merrill in the house?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 11:52:19 pm »

Hello id,
thank you very much, your samples have been very helpful. Can I ask you two things:

- what do you mean when you say "check the focus" for the 50 f2.8?
- about the 8-16 mm, I am a bit worried to read that "is good so long as you you focus on infinity"; one of the appeals of such a WA lens is, for me, to be able to use it for near-far compositions. How do you feel it behaves for such applications?

Thank you very much again for taking the time and for the samples! Best,
Vieri

Hi Vieri

On the 50mm, there have been a few occasions where the autofocus seems to operate from a parallel universe - mostly when it is overcast and to get a photo focussed, I have had use manual focus.  This however is a rarity & checking each time I have captured an image ensures things are ok.

With the 8-16 close up interiors are always fine, but autofocus on landscape photos have sometimes given weird results with circular patches in the centre out of focus, & at worst the left or right 25% of the frame out of focus.  The way I overcame this is when outdoors - I always point the focus point at something on the horizon & let the autofocus lock onto that.  Then usually everything else will be in focus.  And I then turn off the autofocus for the rest of the shoot if the subject matter is similar.  Manual focus is all but impossible with this lens as it is too wide. 

I know the theory says that the depth of field should mean this sort of thing is never an issue, but it is.  I am a technical nitwit & do not understand the complexities of modern zoom lenses & have found it frustrating at times, but how I now use this lens usually enables decent results with it.  It is surprisingly sharp & it renders colour beautifully in my (lay persons) opinion.

Good luck with your decisions.
cheers, id:)
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Is there any Landscape photographer using a SD1 Merrill in the house?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 12:31:29 pm »

Hi Vieri

On the 50mm, there have been a few occasions where the autofocus seems to operate from a parallel universe - mostly when it is overcast and to get a photo focussed, I have had use manual focus.  This however is a rarity & checking each time I have captured an image ensures things are ok.

With the 8-16 close up interiors are always fine, but autofocus on landscape photos have sometimes given weird results with circular patches in the centre out of focus, & at worst the left or right 25% of the frame out of focus.  The way I overcame this is when outdoors - I always point the focus point at something on the horizon & let the autofocus lock onto that.  Then usually everything else will be in focus.  And I then turn off the autofocus for the rest of the shoot if the subject matter is similar.  Manual focus is all but impossible with this lens as it is too wide. 

I know the theory says that the depth of field should mean this sort of thing is never an issue, but it is.  I am a technical nitwit & do not understand the complexities of modern zoom lenses & have found it frustrating at times, but how I now use this lens usually enables decent results with it.  It is surprisingly sharp & it renders colour beautifully in my (lay persons) opinion.

Good luck with your decisions.
cheers, id:)

Hello again id,

thank you, I'll try to keep the 50 macro into our universe then :D

About the 8-16, well depth of field does a lot, but it cannot do everything; even with ultra-wide, short of a fish-eye is is impossible for DOF to fix it all. I normally use hyper-focal distance focussing to keep everything sharp, but even so a lens' curvature and the difficulty of focussing precisely using MF, together with the either approximate or non-existant scales on the lens itself (most zooms, for practical reasons, don't have one) make things problematic at times.

Luckily, the LCD comes to the rescue. Shoot, check focus & sharpness, re-shoot if necessary. The SD1 makes this a bit tough as well, though, with its less-than-instant writing times (so to say...) :D

Thanks again, best

Vieri
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Vieri Bottazzini
Formatt-Hitech Featured Artist | ABIPP
https://www.vieribottazziniworkshops.com
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