Sigma SD14 revisited..

Been fooling around with my mirror adjustments and one of my old SD14’s got helped and asked for a last ride – we had our glorious moments in the past and I must say that although the SD15 is a much improved camera with it’s awesome LCD and more realistic colors – the SD14 does indeed have another stop or two of highlights and those colors are much more playful and “foveonish” than later cameras. (including the DP series). Having used the SD15 as my main work horse since it was released the SD14 feelt very old, perhaps mainly because of the tiny LCD! It’s so hard to evaluate anything useful from it compared to it’s bigger brother, the SD15. I was also reminded that bigger buffer is better. :)

Hawk dead Bird crop Something american

I will not write much here, but let these pictures do the talk. It’s some of what’s been passing by the last two days and well.. SD14 is a great camera and somehow I feel that it has a wider spectrum of colors compared to anything out there – especially in ISO50 mode and that will also be the reason for me to keep using it. It has a depth that’s really hard to beat.

The two bird shots are both highly cropped.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
This entry was posted in 120-300, 18-50, Adobe Lightroom, Full size, ISO50, Sigma Photo Pro, Sigma SD14. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Sigma SD14 revisited..

  1. Toby says:

    Hey Carl,
    i send you a mail a few days ago, that i’m planning to buy a SD10 with some old analog lenses. Now i’ve taken my first 200 pics and i’m so much surprised about the quality! My DP2s takes grandious pictures but the SD10 is so close to this! I love the bokeh from that old russian helios lens and i never saw a sharpness equivalent to this!
    I also bought a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm 1:3,5, hope it will arrive soon!
    Old stuff rocks! ;)

    • Nice Toby! Would you mind try a portrait wide open – or close to. Would be nice to see how it performs. Thanks for the update!

    • Yes the Helios are kinda cool. I got a 58mm working with a m42/SA adapter, and it is delivering rather interesting shots.
      I find that I have to be extra careful with stray light.
      Or like my friend would say it’s not a bug it’s a feature…

  2. Toby says:

    Carl, i only have one, aperture around f2.8.
    I set the focus on the sunglass brand, the light situation wasn’t the best one, i know.

    • Very nice! The SD10 is also a camera that is easily forgotten but if I remember it correctly – it’s noise characteristics was pretty nice even at higher ISO – especially in shadow areas compared to SD14 / 15. Perhaps I should start it up again just for the sake of comparison. Do a SD9 / SD10 / SD14 / SD15 and SD1 comparison! :D

  3. Toby says:

    Thanks a lot Carl!
    To make it perfect you should add the DP series to youre comparison. ;)

    • baaaa.. I’m just starting next week at the biggest fruit company in the world. The one Forrest Gump bough stocks from. So time will initially be a bit limited and I hope SD1 isn’t released when I’m on my introduction / education trip. :)

  4. Person says:

    I think you’re right about the ‘deeper colors’ and bigger dynamic range of the SD14, Carl.

    I think the tradeoff, though, is that it’s less accurate. The newer cameras trade this range for greater accuracy. This is probably why the SD15 and DP1x will actually clip color channels more easily.

    I’m hoping that the SD1 sensor with its new fundamental architecture will give us the best of both worlds! I have a feeling it will…

    • Yes, the SD15 and more or less all DP’s all have more accurate colors – easy to spot if you take a shot of a grey card with 10 or more patches. On the SD14, these patches will likely have some greenish / bluish /magentish tone depending on what patch you select WB from. This has been much better calibrated on newer sensors.

      But more accurate isn’t always more interesting! SD14 at sunset can create some stunning colors a bit like some film types in the past. They all had their own view of reality. :)

  5. I am hoping you will find time to make a walk through of accessories. especially what flash goes with what model SD.

    I get a lot of mixed results from this, and have been using manual Metz for anything crucial.

  6. I am doing a train photo show next weekend featuring my work with my SD14 over the past 3 years with it. I recently shot New Mexico with a friend and he was blown away by the color that I got compared to his shots with his 50D.
    Here is my Keeper
    As a camera I hate using it compared to my Nikons but the output stands apart.
    Reposted to the intended thread.

  7. rodzyn says:

    I’ve just signed up, I greet you from the Polish port of Gdynia and the city, though I fall here for long (forgive any slip, and poor English), play with the Sigma cameras for a long time, waiting for the SD1, but I really like the SD14-number, for example:

    The image is not processed-sun looked so authentic – it is divided in half clouds that so stained in red ..

  8. rodzyn says:

    pictures are not added, can now:

  9. rodzyn says:

    Sorry for the mess, please remove the unnecessary entries, and subjected to.

    • Interesting to follow your progress – only that nothing works for you. :( I wonder if perhaps it’s due to a old web browser? I’m running Chrome myself and that works great.

  10. rodzyn says:

    One more time, with FireFox.

  11. rodzyn says:

    Ok. Now I know it was Opera’s fault. This time the image in bigger size. Sorry for the mess, if it possible please delete my past notes on this topic.

    The image is not processed-this is how the sun really looked like – it is divided in half clouds that so stained in red. I still have the RAW image as a proof.

  12. rodzyn says:


  13. rodzyn says:


  14. rodzyn says:


  15. rodzyn says:

    One pasted twice, instead of a second so it adds to the very end.

  16. maceo says:

    “the SD14 does indeed have another stop or two of highlights”

    Hi Carl, it would be nice to see a comparison (SD14/SD15) to proof this statement. (SD15 should be used in “neutral” color-mode to keep the highlights.)

    • Ah, yes – I have tested that before – I think I have my files here somewhere! :) it’s really no problems to back this up – I’m gone most of this week thought, so it might take some time before publishing.

  17. Person says:

    Going away, huh? To SD1 land maybe!?

    Ok, i need the gear shrink now…

  18. Thanks Carl that shot will part of my 12 min. slide show at GorgeRail this coming weekend. The shows title is Sigmachrome, where I proffer that X3 sensor is the digital generation’s equivilent of the revered color slide film that was the standard for train shooters for decades. That was until Velvia and Digital caused Kodak to throw in the towel. Maybe I will share it with the folks here after its debut at the show.

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