Sigma DP2m Merrill - Gettin' jiggy wid it...

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SteveBudd
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Sigma DP2m Merrill - Gettin' jiggy wid it...

Postby SteveBudd » Thu 03 Jan 2019, 00:18

Hi folks.

Before Mike's post on December 28 about Sigma RAW, I was blissfully ignorant of the existence of Foveon sensors and the three Merrill versions of a fixed lens compact(ish) camera that truly has the snap happy polarised in that Marmite way, over whether the whole lot should go in a crusher or be worshipped as a deity.

My (apparently 'superb condition') DP2 Merrill is presently en route from the land of the rising sun. So why throw beer vouchers at something that's largely a one trick pony? Something that needs to take up residence atop one's studio tripod, whistling 100 ISO and positively demanding correct exposures each and every time? I guess for me, 20+ years with a Mamiya RB67, fed over 100,000 frames of Kodak 160 ISO film, all on a hefty tripod and ably assisted by my handheld Lunasix 'F', has made the narrow flight envelope of the DP2 Merrill both familiar and nostalgically appealing. And therein lies the grand plan - treat the thing the same as a Mamiya RB67, loaded with 100 ISO 'film'.

Beyond that, is the attraction of image rendering 'unlike anything else in the Bayer universe' and as though that wasn't enough, I was finally seduced by a line in a web review that ended with the DP2 Merrill being described as 'the worst camera you'll ever fall in love with'. Works for me.

Images to follow...


Steve Von Merrill
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Mike Farley
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Re: Sigma DP2m Merrill - Gettin' jiggy wid it...

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 03 Jan 2019, 08:31

Hi Steve

In their time, the DP Merrills were premium priced cameras with Sigma demanding around £800 apiece for them. They had to be confident that the image quality justified the cost.

SteveBudd wrote:My (apparently 'superb condition') DP2 Merrill is presently en route from the land of the rising sun.

If you are importing from Japan, expect HMRC to add at least 20% VAT to the price you paid, which will include delivery charges. There might also be 6.7% import duty levied first. The situation is a bit uncertain, in my mind at least, as cameras do not attract import duty but lenses do. Without taking on the challenge of negotiating the HMRC website, I am not sure what happens with fixed lens cameras. The courier will also add an administration charge.

Time was when low value goods would often enter the country without customs taking much interest. In my experience, those days are long past. VAT is one thing, but the mixed approach to import duty is another. Tariffs have two main functions. Revenue raising and protection of indigenous industries. Aside from Leica, how many companies within the EU are manufacturing camera lenses these days? The only way to avoid the charges is if the seller deliberately makes a customs declaration less than the true value. That has its risks. Customs can seize the goods on entry and although the offence was committed by the exporter, have no jurisdiction over them. They do have the buyer firmly in their sights, however. Not to mention that if the package goes missing in transit, insurance will only cover the declared value.

Japanese eBayers tend to be very fastidious in their descriptions, so hopefully the condition will be as stated.

I await further news with interest.
Regards

Mike Farley

Check out my website and latest blog post: http://www.mikefarley.net

My most recent images can be viewed at http://365project.org/pictor/365
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SteveBudd
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Re: Sigma DP2m Merrill - Gettin' jiggy wid it...

Postby SteveBudd » Thu 03 Jan 2019, 09:11

Hi Mike.

Thanks for that.

I’m well acquainted with the import thing, having purchased things from abroad quite a number of times previously.

If I’m charged, so be it, I’m certainly ready for that to be the case.

As an aside, did you use any Foveon images in your APOY submissions this year?


TTFN

Steve
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Mike Farley
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Re: Sigma DP2m Merrill - Gettin' jiggy wid it...

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 03 Jan 2019, 11:36

SteveBudd wrote:As an aside, did you use any Foveon images in your APOY submissions this year?

Most of my entries were either shot on Fuji or Canon. My current work is mainly with a Fuji and I hardly touch the Sigmas these days. Rather, I am experimenting more with old manual focus lenses although I did consider this DP2M shot for one of the rounds. In what was probably a good example of matching an image to a judge, albeit unintentionally, this one hit the mark. The judge in question was Cliver Tanner, who mainly does record photography in cathedrals, and he was enthralled. He took quite a bit of time examining all the details on the print.

Old Times.jpg
Old Times
Old Times.jpg (84.93 KiB) Viewed 81 times
Regards

Mike Farley

Check out my website and latest blog post: http://www.mikefarley.net

My most recent images can be viewed at http://365project.org/pictor/365
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SteveBudd
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Re: Sigma DP2m Merrill - Gettin' jiggy wid it...

Postby SteveBudd » Thu 10 Jan 2019, 18:38

Thanks for that sample image Mike. A fine shot indeed.
My DP2 Merrill arrived from Japan yesterday unmolested by import controls, so happy days there and the camera itself looks and handles as described in the sale description, so more smiles on top.
Sadly, I ordered batteries for the DP2, rather than the Merrill, so they're going back and the correct ones (four) are en route. I'm just familiarising myself with the lump and much looking forward to live fire exercises this week, having checked it's loaded with the up to date firmware. Such a modest and unobtrusive little thing, my interest in it has risen even higher and with 100 ISO and best quality RAW files dialled in, still couldn't care less about the bits folks moan about.
It'll be used with my Lunasix 'F' hand held meter in 'incident' mode to ensure keeping control of the highlights, another bonus in slowing down the image making process.
Funny thing but I can't ever see myself selling it...


TTFN

Steve Von Goneallfoveon
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