Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Posts tagged “sigma sd15

A morning walk on the hill

A Morning walk up the hill 5
Carrigmaclear hill, County Tipperary
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

This Morning the weather here was a welcome break from the days of rain we have been having since Christmas. Parts of the south of Ireland has been getting the
worst floods for over a hundred years.

This Morning however we had clear blue sky’s and a frost, I just had to get out early and take a walk. Carrigmaclear is a local hill near the mountain of SLievenamon , County Tipperary, the following images are taken on this mornings walk in the first light of the day.

Gallery

A Morning walk up the hill 4

A Morning walk up the hill 1

A Morning walk up the hill 2

A Morning walk up the hill 3

A Morning walk up the hill 6

A Morning walk up the hill 7


Getting close in the landscape

Mirror lenses 3
Following the fence
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Mirror lenses 1

Way back in 1986 I purchased a Tamron SP500 f8 Mirror (Telephoto) lens from a camera shop in London, it was second hand and cost around £150 back then.

The lens is reviewed very well here : Photozone review

I came across this lens again while sorting out some equipment last week and could not resist taking some images with it, so I put it onto my Sigma x3 camera and took a walk with both through some local fields.

I am not going to reviews the lens as such here as this is done so well in the above review, what I would say however is that this is a manual focus lens that is able and very capable of producing some very detailed and delicate images.

I really enjoyed using it again, if you are looking for a lens that is quick to use then this lens is not for you. If you take your time while creating your images however then this lens offers some very different and interesting results. I very much liked the shallow depth of field, there is something about the design in a mirror lens that produces a very find focus area in the image results.

I also felt that the combination of this lens alongside the sigma x3 sensor, produced some of the closest results to using film that I have noticed while using a digital camera.

The lens is very sharp, it produces wonderful colour and contrast, focuses down to 1.7 meters from the nearest subject and has a very shallow depth of field through out its focus range. Photographers spend a lifetime looking for lenses that have these features along with very distinctive results, if you can give this lens the time to learn how best to use it, I feel you will love it !

These lenses are often for sale on Ebay, if you want to purchases one and try one out !

Gallery

Mirror lenses 2

Mirror lenses 3

Mirror lenses 4

Mirror lenses 5


Sigma SD15

Sigma SD15 1
Sigma SD15 with 15-30mm f3.5 lens

Sigma’s SD15

If anyone has read my other camera reviews you will have noticed that I don’t review any of my Pro level slr cameras from Nikon or Canon , the reason I don’t do that here is simple.

Here is a good reason why, I was out walking our golden retriever, one Sunday about two weeks ago and passed two photographers with Canon SLR’s, Tripods, all top of the range equipment. On passing I overheard one talking to the other about the lens he had just purchased “It the best in the country , the only one so far”, I am mostly very good at passing on these types of comments and I didn’t know them . However on returning past them again about an hour later, they were still talking cameras, pointing in the same direction and taking pictures of very little if anything.

If this is what they enjoy doing then good luck to them, it did however remind me of just how some people can be, when it comes to camera equipment and the need to have the best. For what reason though, for image creation or talking to friends about.

So I don’t believe that the race to the top of the camera food chain has anything to do with good or great photography, photography is the skill of good and interesting image making, it goes back well over a hundred years and in all that time photographers have been making images that are both iconic and outstanding.

You don’t need the perception of owning the best and greatest equipment to create good images.

While being into image creation, you do need a camera that you both like to use and can trust. For me out in the field the choice of which camera I would take for any given function is selective. I don’t think I have a best camera body, they all do something differently good and bad, they can be used in different ways.

So down to this review

The Sigma SD15

Sigma SD15 2
Sigma Sd15 Slr.

Firstly I think this is one of the most interesting, challenging and creative cameras to be produced for a long time, it will never be seen as the king of the food chain nor will many photographers, with the need for the best to boost their self esteem, stop looking down on it and the even newer Sigma SD1.

Sigma cameras contain foveon, ccd imaging sensors

Foveon X3® direct image sensor

Foveon has combined the best of what both film and digital have to offer. This is accomplished by the innovative design of the three layer Foveon X3 direct image sensor. Similar to the layers of chemical emulsion used in color film, Foveon X3 image sensors have three layers of pixels. The layers of pixels are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green, and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths – forming the first and only image sensor that captures full color at every point in the captured image.

A Dramatically Different Design

The revolutionary design of Foveon X3 direct image sensors features three layers of pixels. The layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green, and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths — forming the world’s first direct image sensor.

From point-and-shoot digital cameras to high-end professional equipment, Foveon X3 technology offers multiple benefits to consumers and manufacturers alike. At the same time, it opens the door for other innovations, such as new kinds of cameras that record both video and still images without compromising the image quality of either.

Having read about this sensor technology and the camera for sometime, in May 2013, I exchanged an old Nikon D200 for a Sigma sd15 camera and a couple lenses, ( 15-30mm f3.5 and a 70-300mm f4-5.6).

I was no longer using the D200 so felt, why not take a chance and try the claims for the Foveon sensor and the SD15 out.

Sigma SD15 3
Sigma SD15

Something that is less important than you my think to the pro/semi-pro photographers alike is images size or pixel counts, a much more important aspect of a digital image is the amount of details captured at any defined pixel location and this is something that I have found the Sigma SD15 to be wonderful at.

There is little point in crushing huge amounts of pixels on to an image sensor if the detail capture is low or poor.

The simple facts with the Foveon x3 sensor is that all possible colours are captured at each pixel location, this fact alone increases the level of detail some three fold over a traditional sensor, that splits colour detection into groups of three pixels, each of which can only see one colour from (Red, Green or blue), the effect on an image using this method are the creation of unwanted artefacts in the final image. So the use of a filter over the sensor is needed to stop this effect. This filter blurs the detail level in the image by a factor of around a third at each pixel group locations.

In recent times traditional sensors have increased in pixel counts to a point where the effects of artefact creation are less than before, so some expensive camera models have removed the needed filter over the sensor. This is good and produces better image resolution, however you need a three times bigger image file size to produce the same level of true detail that you find from the Foveon sensor.

Large image sizes take up more disk space are slower to process and longer to upload or email.

My final question related to printed and end results, if you print an unprocessed file from the SD15 at the same size as one from say a Nikon D700, do you get the same detail in the final image, well I have found the answer to mostly be yes, in most cases, yes looking at large prints I can detect very little difference if any.

Don’t get me wrong, I still own and use other cameras , however I have been amazed at the results from this Camera and its Foveon sensor, the colour definition is also wonderful.

Sigma and Foveon claim that the SD15 has 14 million pixels, but this is in three layers and that the newer Sigma Sd1 has 48 million pixels again layered, this is a difficult and controversial claim as each image size is only the given amount divided by three.

However if you take into account that they are only saying this because the camera market has taken as a standard, mega-pixel counts, image detail and colour definition are a much harder subject to sell, to the general public. So what Sigma and Foveon are doing with this claim of high pixel count is to say our cameras produce the same detail yet better colour definition than other cameras with traditional sensors at the level of 14mp or 48mp.

Is this claim true, well side by side A3 or A2 prints appear to say yes. This along with the fact that I just love the colour and image brightness and the great exposure produced from these cameras.

Pixel Counting Definitions

Prior to the existence of the Foveon X3 direct image sensor, there has been a 1:1 relationship between the number of pixels (photodetectors) and the number of pixel locations for a traditional CCD and CMOS image sensor. Given this relationship, the generic term “pixel” has been commonly used to reference both the pixel (photodetector) and the pixel location. Foveon direct image sensors are a new type of image sensor that incorporates three pixels(photodetectors) at every pixel location on the image sensor. The definition of a pixel as indicated below is consistent with standard industry conventions as applied to CCD image sensors, CMOS image sensors, and the Foveon X3 direct image sensor.

Pixel
A pixel on the image sensor of a digital camera is a light absorbing element (photodetector) that converts light (photons) into electrons. A pixel is also referred to as a pixel sensor when there is a need to distinguish the pixel from its location.

Pixel Location
A pixel location is the X,Y coordinate on the two-dimensional grid of an image sensor at which the pixel is located.

Below I have included some images from my first six months of personal photography while using this camera, I have grouped them into colour and black and white images.

I have also found the camera to be wonderful in the production of black and white photographs, the fact that it is naturally capturing colours in the way it is helps to produce a black and white result as a finish image.

One area that is possibly the only down side I have found is the fact that at higher than 800 iso, the images are noisy in low light, which is why you would need higher ISO, my reaction to finding this out is to say well so, every camera has its weak points. I guess what you could ask is , do the good sides of this camera out do the bad, in my own opinion yes they do, every single bit of camera equipment on the market today has good sides and bad sides.

This is what photography is about, learning what your camera is good at and bad at and working with these details in order to get the best results possible.

Can this sigma help you do that, yes it can and some !

Colour Gallery

Dragon fly on the Barrow 1

Golden Trees of Autumn 2

Grubb Monument the Vee county Tipperarys

When Rhododendron Bloom at the Vee 3

Kilkenny slate quaries 8s

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 1

Lismore castle 5

Merge

Sigma SD15 Golden fall 1

Sigma SD15 Kilkenny sunset 1

Sundays on the river bank 1

Sundays on the river bank 3

Black and white Gallery

The forgotten at rest 1

The forgotten at rest 4

Trees on the river bank

Images from the banks of the river suir 1

Kilcooley Abbey 3

Kilcooley Abbey 4

Sigma sd15 trees


Winter Chills : Gallary and Poem by Ellen Ni Bheachain

Winter she calls me_0001

Winter Chills

By : Ellen Ni Bheachain

Winter hills of white with silverish gleam,
Of winter season and colors that reflect,
The shades of Gray and silver,
From the suns reflection on natures winter,

Bleak and empty yet in a solitude way,
Resting or sleeping,
Hibernating and regenerated,
Till spring arrives,
Bringing back its florishing blooms,

Winter she calls me_0002.

What is pretty to watch is cold to indure,
The chills of winter from watching it indoors,
For the nature trial of winter will,
Chill and freeze,
And numb you till,
Your lips turn color,
The freeze and chills of real winter,

And then as you warm up,
And your nose and finger tips tingle,
And looking around you on natures trails,
Will be the reminding of the hiding buds and roots,
Laying buried beneath the snows of winter,

Winter she calls me_0003.

Reminding you,
That too in the spring,
Like the birds will return,
Bringing color and birth back into the light,
With the sounds of nature,
Becoming more musical than winter,

As the birds and the bees,
And all that return or hibernate,
All wake up to wake us up,
To the spring,
When winter chills and freezes thaw,
Taking away the winter chills,
By bringing in the springtime breeze.

Winter she calls me_0004


Yellow Tutsan flowers

Yellow Tutsan flowwers 1
(hypericum), known as tutsan.
Irish nature and wildlife photography : Nigel Borrington

Hypericum

is a genus of about 400 species of flowering plants in the family Hypericaceae

Some species are used as ornamental plants and have large, showy flowers. Numerous hybrids and cultivars have been developed for use in horticulture, such as H. × moserianum (H. calycinum × H. patulum), H. ‘Hidcote’ and H. ‘Rowallane’. All of the above cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

St. John’s-worts can occur as nuisance weeds in farmland and gardens. On pastures, some can be more than a nuisance, causing debilitating photosensitivity and sometimes abortion in livestock. The beetles Chrysolina quadrigemina, Chrysolina hyperici and the St. John’s-wort Root Borer (Agrilus hyperici) like to feed on Common St. John’s-wort (H. perforatum) and have been used for biocontrol where the plant has become an invasive weed.

Hypericum species are the only known food plants of the caterpillar of the Treble-bar, a species of moth. Other Lepidoptera species whose larvae sometimes feed on Hypericum include Common Emerald, The Engrailed (recorded on Imperforate St. John’s-wort, H. maculatum), Grey Pug and Setaceous Hebrew Character.
Hypericin
Medical properties
Hyperforin
Hypericum olympicum in Botanic garden Liberec

Yellow Tutsan flowwers 3

Common St. John’s-wort (H. perforatum) has long been used in herbalism. It was known to have medical properties in Classical Antiquity and was a standard component of theriacs, from the Mithridate of Aulus Cornelius Celsus’ De Medicina (ca. 30 CE) to the Venice treacle of d’Amsterdammer Apotheek in 1686. Folk usages included oily extract (“St. John’s oil”) and Hypericum snaps.

H. perforatum is the most potent species and it is today grown commercially for use in herbalism and medicine; other St. John’s-worts possess interesting properties and chemical compounds but are not well researched. As these secondary compounds appear to be related to deterring herbivores, they are present in varying and unpredictable quantities: still, a number of high-yield cultivars have been developed.

Two main compounds of interest have been studied in more detail: hyperforin and hypericin. However, the pharmacology of H. perforatum is not resolved, and at least its antidepressant properties are caused by a wide range of factors interacting. As psychiatric medication, it is usually taken as pills, or as tea. Standardised preparations are available, and research has mainly studied alcoholic extracts and isolated compounds. What research data exists supports a noticeable effect in many cases of light and medium depression, but no significant improvement of severe depression and OCD.

The red, oily extract of H. perforatum may help heal wounds. Both hypericin and hyperforin are reported to have antibiotic properties. Justifying this view with the then-current doctrine of signatures, herbalist William Coles (1626–1662) wrote in the 17th century that

“The little holes where of the leaves of Saint Johns wort are full, doe resemble all the pores of the skin and therefore it is profitable for all hurts and wounds that can happen thereunto.”

Hypericum perforatum may also be capable of reducing the physical signs of opiate withdrawal. Caution should be taken, as high-dosage H. perforatum interacts with a wide range of medications due to activation of the Pregnane X receptor detoxification pathway, and it also causes photosensitivity.

Hypericum extract, by inducing both the CYP3A4 and the P-glycoprotein (P-gp), can reduce the plasma concentrations of different antineoplastic agents such as imatinib, irinotecan and docetaxel, thus reducing the clinical efficacy of these drugs.

Yellow Tutsan flowwers 2


Sunrise from the Mountains, By : Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935)

Slievenamon 13 11 2013 2
Sigma x3 slr camera, 18-50mm f3.5 – f4.5 lens
Slievenamon, county Tipperary
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Sunrise from the Mountains, By : Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935)

Hung thick with jets of burning gold, the sky
Crowns with its glorious dome the sleeping earth,
Illuminating hill and vale. O’erhead,
The nebulous splendor of the milky way
Stretches afar; while, crowding up the heavens,
The planets worship ‘fore the thrones of God,
Casting their crowns of gold beneath His feet.

It is a scene refulgent! and the very stars
Tremble above, as though the voice divine
Reverberated through the dread expanse.
But soft! a change!

Slievenamon 13 11 2013

A timid creeping up of gray in east–
A loss of stars on the horizon’s verge–

Gray fades to pearl and spreads up zenithward,
The while a wind runs low from hill to hill,
As if to stir the birds awake, rouse up
The nodding trees, and draw off silence like
A garment from the drowsy earth. The heavens
Are full of points of light that go and come
And go, and leave a tender ashy sky.

The pearl has pushed its way to north and south,
Save where a line spun ‘tween two peaks at east,
Gleams like a cobweb silvered by the sun.

It grows–a gilded cable binding hill
To hill! it widens to a dazzling belt
Half circling earth, then stretches up on high–
A golden cloth laid down ‘fore kingly feet.

Thus spreads the light upon the heavens above,
While earth hails each advancing step, and lifts
Clear into view her rich empurpled hills,
To keep at even beauty with the sky.

The neutral tints are deeply saffroned now;
In streaks, auroral beams of colored light
Shoot up and play about the long straight clouds
And flood the earth in seas of crimson. Ah,
A thrill of light in serpentine, quick waves,
A stooping of the eager clouds, and lo,
Majestic, lordly, blinding bright, the sun
Spans the horizon with its rim of fire!


Kilkenny photography

Golden Trees of Autumn 1
Autumn view through the trees, county Kilkenny
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Autumn through Kilkenny’s trees

Autumn is in full flight here in Kilkenny, I took these images yesterday while on a walk through one of our local woods.

The Gold of the Beach trees is just Wonderful.

Gallery

Golden Trees of Autumn 3

Golden Trees of Autumn 2

Golden Trees of Autumn 4


Sunday evening at the gate …. Poem by : John Montague

Sunday evening at the gate
Images of the Galtee Mountains
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Sunday evening and it’s time for one final walk of the weekend.

I love to find a long lane to walk down then stop for a while, rest against a gate and just take in some views of the Irish country side.

These images are of the Galtee Mountains in counties Limerick and South Tipperary, just before the sun set.

I have included a poem below.

WINDHARP

By John Montague

The sounds of Ireland,
that restless whispering
you never get away
from, seeping out of
low bushes and grass,
heatherbells and fern,
wrinkling bog pools,
scraping tree branches,

Sunday evening by the gate
.

light hunting cloud,
sound hounding sight,
a hand ceaselessly
combing and stroking
the landscape, till
the valley gleams
like the pile upon
a mountain pony’s coat..


Two Cows in county Kilkenny

Two cows county kilkenny
Sigma SD x3 Slr, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 ex lens
Two cows in County Kilkenny
Irish Landscape potography : Nigel Borrington

It’s not often, if at all I post a single image, just one image !

So maybe its time to just look at one, a single image of two cows in a field.

I was just standing at a gate that’s along a lane I often walk down in county Kilkenny and took this photo, so I hope you enjoy it !


The Lighthouse – by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

The Lighthouse 1
Sigma Sd15, 15-30mm lens
Dungarvan Lighthouse, County Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

The Lighthouse

By, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
And on its outer point, some miles away,
The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides,
Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
In the white lip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light
With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

The Lighthouse 3

Not one alone; from each projecting cape
And perilous reef along the ocean’s verge,
Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o’er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands
Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
Wading far out among the rocks and sands,
The night-o’ertaken mariner to save.

The Lighthouse 2

And the great ships sail outward and return,
Bending and bowing o’er the billowy swells,
And ever joyful, as they see it burn,
They wave their silent welcomes and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails
Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
And eager faces, as the light unveils,
Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The Lighthouse 4