Monday, December 2, 2013

Carlos' Donuts Tour - Tehachapi, California (Sigma DP2 Merrill Low-Light Black & White Photography)

Dipping Donut - Tehachapi, California
My son's preschool class took a tour of Carlos' Donuts in Tehachapi, California. This is one of my favorite places, with many soft and tasty treats. Honestly, these donuts are right up there with the best, well above any of the chain donut shops.

This was also a great opportunity to put my Sigma DP2 Merrill camera to the test for low-light use. If you don't know, the DP2 Merrill uses a three-layer Foveon sensor that is much different than a "normal" Bayer sensor. It has some great advantages and some great disadvantages. One of the great disadvantages is that image quality drops significantly as one increases ISO.
Rolling Dough - Tehachapi, California
Can the DP2 Merrill be counted on in low-light situations?

One thing to know is that the camera has color noise issues starting around ISO 400. I try to avoid using this camera for color photographs above ISO 200, although I've made successful color images as high as ISO 800. It depends on exactly how I want the image to look and the situation.
Carlos Explaining - Tehachapi, California
But what about black-and-white? How do monochrome images look at ISO 400 or 800? How do images look if I have to push the exposure up in post-processing?

I was actually quite impressed with how the camera handled the less-than-ideal lighting of Carlos' Donuts. I was able to get very nice black-and-white photographs using ISO 400 through ISO 800, and the digital noise had a nice film-grain-like look.
Donut Sprinkles - Tehachapi, California
I underexposed some frames by one stop and corrected the exposure in post-processing. I was pleased with the results, although at ISO 800 one stop exposure correction is definitely pushing it.

I would not hesitate to use the Sigma DP2 Merrill in certain low-light situations where the intent is to create black-and-white images. Again, it's a different story for color photographs.
Two Donuts - Tehachapi, California
If you are every in Tehachapi, California, stop by Carlos' Donuts and get a dozen. You won't be disappointed.

Oh, and Carlos did a fantastic job with the tour. It is not easy keeping a bunch of preschoolers attention for over half-an-hour in a small "don't-touch-anything" kind of space. But he did. My son absolutely loved the tour.
How Donuts Are Made - Tehachapi, California
Mixed Dough - Tehachapi, California
Jon Eating A Donut #1 - Tehachapi, California
Jon Eating A Donut #2 - Tehachapi, California

No comments:

Post a Comment