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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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7 Sep 2021 8:31AM   Views : 380 Unique : 274


My name is John Duder, and I own a Sigma SD-9. I have successfully completed might 12 step recovery plan. Well thatís certainly how it feels with an SD-9: itís got more quirks than a French family car, and Iíve never quite recovered from some of them.

The big attraction was that it used a Forveon sensor, which delivers rather nice results in a very quirky way Ė and within limits. The limits are largely to do with a limited ISO range that tops out at 400, by which point the quality is seriously compromised. But an all-plastic body, and separate batteries for the metering and autofocus systems and for the sensor donít do it any favours at all. Itís superficially appealing to power the electronics with AA cells, but they need to be in very good shape. Zinc-carbon cells are useless, and NiCd batteries were of little use. Eventually, I bought a couple of sets of lithium disposables, at around £8 a set, and they seem to work.


Itís also a shameless camera in two senses. First, itís cosmetically very similar to a Minolta Dynax 9 despite being vastly less solid lead built. And second, itís a film camera with a sensor added and minimal other modifications. In the viewfinder, you can actually see the full frame view but with a greyed-out areas around the APS-C area of the sensor itself. Not so much a case of Ďshow your workingsí as Ďshow nothing but the workingsí.

The Forveon sensor works differently from others because instead of having a grid of tiny light sensitive cells each picking up one of the primary colours, each pixel has got three cells stacked on top of each other, one for each colour red, blue and green. This is massively confusing because Sigma claim itís a 9-megapixel device while the pixels along each side suggests itís 3-megapixels. The confusion continues with current Sigma cameras, many of which have Forveon sensors.

On the plus side, colours are nicely rendered, and the standard zoom lens is well up to standard in terms of sharpness, though it lacks image stabilisation. So does the body. I imagine that itís a bit of a collectorís item now, as there are none currently for sale on eBay.


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altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
7 Sep 2021 12:07PM
John. I had a Sigma SD15 for a couple of years, taking the IR filter out from behind the lens (easy) and adding another filter in front of the lens it made a quite good infrared camera. The downside was that nothing could be seen through the viewfinder or on the screen. I started by taking pictures by guesswork, then used a Yashica optical viewfinder so that I could see approximately what I was aiming at. The camera could be converted back to normal use very quickly.
The results were quite good really and have a nice grainy film-like quality. Eventually I tired of the cameras inadequacies and sold it, although the lenses were very good. I now use a Lumix GX 7 permanently converted.
whatriveristhis Avatar
7 Sep 2021 5:31PM
Sounds to me like a load of pointless crap.

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