Frequently Asked Questions from eBay members for: BRAND NEW SIGMA SD14 WITH CUSTOM LEICA-R MOUNT


Q: Question & Answer

Is it manually stepdown the aperture to take the photo ?
May-25-08
A: 
Leica-R lenses are fully manual , but the SD14 camera Shutter can be set to be controlled by the meter in what is called Aperture Priority mode.In this mode the camera meter is independent of the lens aperture, so you could use any aperture and the meter will automatically adjust the Shutter Speed correctly for it . In Manual Mode the aperture and the meter are FULLY independent .The camera will not change the Shutter Speed when you change the Aperture. You will have to adjust both of them yourself. Aperture Priority works really well . Thanks for a great question . Luis

Q: 
Can you suggest an ultra wide r lens that would not break the bank? Sorry for all the questions but I am an art student trying to familiarize myself with this system and of course trying to be able to piece it together on a limited budget. Thank once again.
May-24-08
A: 
Yes . My preferred lens is the 16mm f2.8 Fisheye Elmarit.This lens covers 180 degrees of view , that is why is called a Fisheye , however when installed on a Sigma SDxx camera , that has a cropping factor of 1.7 it uses only about 110 degrees of the 180 available, making it an amazing Rectilinear Ultra Wide Angle. This image was made with the Fisheye : http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=6548803 www.keh.com has one for $599, they also have the exellent 24mm Elmarit for $325. Luis


Q: 
Hi, I'd like to buy your Sigma SD14R camera. Please, advise the reserve as I don't want to make a lot of bids guessing the reserve price. Do you have an experince of changing the focusing screen on Sigma SD14? As far as its default screen is optimized for AF lens, does it make sense to change it for a matte screen optimized for manual focusing lens? Sincerely, Andrew
May-21-08
A: 
Hi Andrew I have never tried to do anything to the SD14 screens , but I did take apart an older SA7 screen just to see how it was mounted. It was easy to remove . I dont think that the Screen is optimised for Auto Focus , BUT THE LENS IS . What I mean the AF lens has a very narrow focus Zone with big changes in contrast at each side of Focus. That is really one of the main reasons for changing to Leica Optics that MAXIMIZES the Depth of Focus , since it optimizes SHARPNESS instead of CONTRAST. These substantial Optical Differences will be the subject of an article that will be posted soon on my website: luis@sigmacumlaude.com


Q: 
If you have installed the Leica-R mount then the warranty by Sigma is likely gone and you don't take returns. I just want a camera that works. Will Sigma still work on this body if it has problems?
May-20-08
A: 
I dont have an answer to this yet, and I have been asked this before , so I will reproduce my answer here: "That is an excellent question that at first one tend to think that most likely Yes ,but Sigma being so different to other camera makers often reacts very unexpectedly . There have been other Third Party Mount manufacturers , like the M42 mounts and the J mount for SD9 and SD10 , and to my knowledge there have never been a problem, since none of this mounts , including mine , modify the Sigma Body and are entirely reversible. But the honest , and proper ,answer is I dont know. This question clearly is a legitimate one, however , so far ,it has been irrelevant for my buyers ,people that invest heavily in Leica lenses , since an SD14 body cost less than one Fifth , sometimes one Tenth of what they will pay for the lenses they intend to mount of them. This mount was not created with old Leica lenses in mind . It was created to offer an upward digital Path to to hard core Leica devotees . Unconfirmed Rumors are going around that Leica itself is considering the Foveon sensor for future models , and Sigma with its DPI model,seem to be already offering them a ready made Rangefinder of sorts, so it is possible that my Leica-R mount might be welcomed by Sigma rather than rejected , since it seems to be convergent with their own trends. So again ,the honest , and proper ,answer is I dont know." Thanks for a great question.Luis


Q: 
The more I look at the pictures taken with this camera I can't decide if they are sharp or not. What I think I'm seeing is that they are sharp but differently from those of the bayer type sensor. They are clearer without the false "cartoon" type sharpness of other digital cameras. Is this the effect?
May-19-08
A: 
Excellent observation!! I dont know which pictures you are looking at , in my websites for lack of time , the majority of my images are from the SD9 camera , but the sharpness should be apparent . For example , look at these images at full size : -- http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/image/90556386/original -- http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/image/90215060/original -- http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/image/90215059/original -- Image Clarity is certainly one of the attributes ,but there is also a sense of "Realism" and "Three Dimensionality" on them . Bayer sensors ,instead , in spite of tremendous advances in Pixel Count, are "Fussy" , because they cannot resolve the three Primary Colors Red,Green and Blue , to a Common Pixel. In other words to make a color pixel representation they need to use at least 3 Pixels ,one of each R.G.B, therefore increasing the Equivalent Pixel Size. As we all know the bigger the Pixel , the coarser the image ( The News Paper image quality is a good example of this). Now back to your keen observation, what happens is that the new model , the SD14, can create JPG files directly ,and most people are doing that,instead of shooting RAW and exercising personal control over the Processing Decisions, JPG generated automatically ,have heavy compression and to compensate for artifacts that occur when you do that ,they apply some degree of Blurring.Thus you get that "Partially Sharp , Partially Blurred" kind of images. This is understandable, most people shoot hundreds of pictures on parties or events and dont have , either the Time or the Expertise to do RAW Post Processing.

Honestly this camera wasnt created for them. It was created for Artists ,that will go to any extent to produce the Image Quality they envision and that always shoot RAW. Thanks for raising this great point. If you like to discuss some more , you can email me directly to luis@sigmacumlaude.com

 

Q: 

I have several 35mm cameras, a pentax 6x7 system, two 4x5's and one 8x10 camera, plus modern enlargers and
lenses for all of the larger formats. Also have film scanners to 8x10 inches. I am sure one of the larger film cameras will out preform the sigma
if I needed to.

I just wish one of the large format digital companies would go to the same type of sensor that the sigma
has.

A: 

We all have to go through the same heart braking transition to Digital . No matter how beautiful , well designed , exquisitely engineered , or how big a format a Film Camera might be , unless you are a Craftman dedicated to Alternative Processes of the past ( You can count me there with my 11x14 Burk and James doing Palladium printing), you will have to transform the Analog Image stored in the Film Negative to Digital. To do that you need a Sensor to do the Digitation and there are only two Architectures so far : Bayer and Foveon.

All existing scanners of all Pedigrees use the Bayer Sensor . Nobody other than Sigma and a short lived interim licensing to Polaroid , has rights to Foveon.

I do not dispute that a Negative , specially a Large Format Negative, contains more imformation than a Full Frame Digital, but it also contains more grain noise , costs more and worse , we are not able to extract that information since the current crop of Scanners are Based on ugly Bayer Interpolation.

Maybe one day we will have large format Foveon scanners that could make things different , but then why would we need film then .

Your wishes will soon come to life , competition in the digital arena is fierce and we have already seen magnificent casualties there , like Contax and Minolta that entered the field too late.

I must confess that leica is going through the same risk, having become a follower rather than a leader. Sigma is the only brave company that is leading . My hope is that Leica wises up soon and purchase Sigma soon if they can and put all their magnificent engineering power on taking the Foveon Sensor to a position of Exellence.

In the mean time the best we can have is a Sigma SD14 with Leica lenses.Luis


Q: 
1. Has the latest firmware been installed? 2. Does Sigma have good service in USA?
May-16-08
A: 
Sigma Service has one of the best Customers Services that there is. There are numerous reports at dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1027 where people tell the incredible fact , for America, that Sigma have solved their problems without charge. Thanks for your interest.You can email me directly at luis@sigmacumlaude.com Luis

Question & Answer
Answered On
Q: 
Do you have Sigma SD14 in Canon mount? If you have, does the autofocus work with Canon EF lens? Thank you
May-27-08
A: 
This is a Million dollar question .I am asked for this repeatedly , and unfortunately the answer is NO. It can be done , but is a very BRUT FORCE operation that requires MODIFICATION of the camera body and the EOS mount as well , since the EOS mount has a LARGER DIAMETER than the Sigma SA . This means that the screws attachment points cannot be used and new ones would have to be created with EPOXY. Also the Button release present a problem and would have to be TRANSPLANTED from a Canon camera and epoxied as well. The Electronic Communication Bus ,between the body and the lens, are almost identical and lenses will operate but autofocus seems to become erratic. However Electronic lenses are only OPTICALLY PARTIALLY CORRECTED , the rest of the correction is performed by the Software using an internal Table of corrections that is different for every lens . What this means is that if you manage to solve all the mechanical difficulties , you will end up with a camera that is OPTICALLY UNDER CORRECTED . It has been done , but it is not worth it. Frankly it makes no sense to me ,WHEN YOU CAN HAVE SUPERB LEICA-R LENSES ON IT , THAT ARE THE BEST THERE IS. It is an excellent question , though, and that is why I took the time to answer it properly .Thanks .Luis


Q: 
You mention in the text, that the camera will not work with all Summilux's. How about Summilux-R 35, 50, 80? These are the ones I have and would like to use with the Sigma. Txs. markus
May-27-08
A: 
Good questions Markus , since those lenses are one of the most desirable Leica-R lenses. I own them both and are my most cherished ones. The current 50 and 80 Summilux will work with no problem, it is the two 35 lenses the Summilux and the Summicron that due to their internal Floating elements project rearward to the extent of touching the Dust Filter. The 35 Summilux barely touches the filter so using a Slim version of the Dust Filter eliminates the problem . The 35 Summicrom however has a light Shield or Baffle that touches even the Slim Filter and it needs to be cut. This is easy to do since it is Soft Brass . Eventually I will post instructions on my web site on how to do this operation that is generally needed for some of the Older Versions of lenses. The Slim filter is still in Prototype Stage and eventually will be available for sale. However it is not difficult for someone handy with small ,fragile things to make its own. I can provide illustrated instructions on how to do it . I apologise that I forgot to include a link to the Lens Usability List page , in my listing . I would revise the listing to include it and also include a link to a F.A.Q. page as well. Here is a link to the list: http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/usablelenses.html Thanks for your interest and dont hesitate to contact me again her or better yet at luis@sigmacumlaude.com Luis

 

Q: Hi, very nice idea! Is the Sigma bayonet that was removed from the SD14 included in the listing of the modified camera? Thanks, Stefan May-30-08
A: Hi Stefan . I normally dont include it since most people just want to rededicate their cameras with no intention of turning back to lenses that didnt satisfy them and motivated them to switch mounts. However since it could be necessary in order to sell it or send it for repairs under warranty I would make it a point to ask the buyer previous to shipping. So the answer is, if you want it you can have it. Thanks for a great question.Luis


Q: Can you do this with contax/yashica mount? Very interested if so . I admire your biz plan here. All the best to you. Andy May-29-08
A: Andy it looks very feasible , but although I did purchase a C/Y lens to study the mount architecture I have not yet started on a Prototype. My Biz plan is driven by a Poll I did at Dpreview and I have been manufacturing the mounts in the order that reflects the interest shown .The Contax C/Y was almost the one with the least number of people interested on it , followed only by the Canon FD. It is possible that this is motivated by the difficulties associated with those mounts and general skepticism about its feasibility . I believe that once I have a working prototype the interest might snowball. The mount that has the most intense calling is the Canon EOS to SD14 !! and that escapes me. Thanks for your comments and feel free to email me directly at luis@sigmacumlaude.com so I can ad you to my Contax mail group list.

Q: Do you have Sigma SD14 in Canon mount? If you have, does the autofocus work with Canon EF lens? Thank you May-27-08
A: This is a Million dollar question .I am asked for this repeatedly , and unfortunately the answer is NO. It can be done , but is a very BRUT FORCE operation that requires MODIFICATION of the camera body and the EOS mount as well , since the EOS mount has a LARGER DIAMETER than the Sigma SA . This means that the screws attachment points cannot be used and new ones would have to be created with EPOXY. Also the Button release present a problem and would have to be TRANSPLANTED from a Canon camera and epoxied as well. The Electronic Communication Bus ,between the body and the lens, are almost identical and lenses will operate but autofocus seems to become erratic. However Electronic lenses are only OPTICALLY PARTIALLY CORRECTED , the rest of the correction is performed by the Software using an internal Table of corrections that is different for every lens . What this means is that if you manage to solve all the mechanical difficulties , you will end up with a camera that is OPTICALLY UNDER CORRECTED . It has been done , but it is not worth it. Frankly it makes no sense to me ,WHEN YOU CAN HAVE SUPERB LEICA-R LENSES ON IT , THAT ARE THE BEST THERE IS. It is an excellent question , though, and that is why I took the time to answer it properly .Thanks .Luis

Q: You mention in the text, that the camera will not work with all Summilux's. How about Summilux-R 35, 50, 80? These are the ones I have and would like to use with the Sigma. Txs. markus May-27-08
A: Good questions Markus , since those lenses are one of the most desirable Leica-R lenses. I own them both and are my most cherished ones. The current 50 and 80 Summilux will work with no problem, it is the two 35 lenses the Summilux and the Summicron that due to their internal Floating elements project rearward to the extent of touching the Dust Filter. The 35 Summilux barely touches the filter so using a Slim version of the Dust Filter eliminates the problem . The 35 Summicrom however has a light Shield or Baffle that touches even the Slim Filter and it needs to be cut. This is easy to do since it is Soft Brass . Eventually I will post instructions on my web site on how to do this operation that is generally needed for some of the Older Versions of lenses. The Slim filter is still in Prototype Stage and eventually will be available for sale. However it is not difficult for someone handy with small ,fragile things to make its own. I can provide illustrated instructions on how to do it . I apologise that I forgot to include a link to the Lens Usability List page , in my listing . I would revise the listing to include it and also include a link to a F.A.Q. page as well. Here is a link to the list: http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/usablelenses.html Thanks for your interest and dont hesitate to contact me again her or better yet at luis@sigmacumlaude.com Luis
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