Eric L. Woods

Legend vs. A Weird One: Hasselblad 501c and the Sigma dp2 Quattro

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Was motivated to create this post after kicking about with a camera I recently wrote a blog post about. The Sigma dp2 Quattro. Before the purchase I had read that this camera can produce image quality that rivals medium format cameras. After initial testing I would have to agree. In isolation I could see it. But how would it compare back to back. Well last weekend I figured I would find out.

The Contenders

Film Medium Format Legend

Film

Digital Weird One

Sigma dp2 Quattro

Ground Rules

  • Shot back to back.
  • Made a swipe at matching the framing. Was more successful with some than others. Both cameras approximate a 50mm-ish full frame field on view.
  • Used a Sekonic light meter up against the Sigma’s metering.
  • Nothing fancy subject wise. What I saw on my way to the camera shop.
  • For better or worse showing all 12 from the roll and digital image I took to match.
  • Did not mess with either results much in Lightroom. Adjusted all with a light application of the Lightroom stick to get them where I like.
  • Cropped the dp2 shots to 1:1 after the fact to give myself a little wiggle room to match the framing later. May have backfired on me as it made it more difficult to match the framing at times.

Here are the shots, 501c first, with my thoughts afterward.

501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2
501c - Lomography 400
501c
Sigma dp2 Quattro
dp2

My thoughts? A lot closer than I thought it would be if I am honest. I kind of did this as a joke like when I wrote a comparison between the Leica M3 and a FED 2 for KEH. The FED 2 did ok, but had its clock cleaned by the M3 overall. Of course. The gap here is not nearly as wide. Add that to the results I have been seeing out of this camera…

Sigma dp2 Quattro
Sigma dp2 Quattro

…and I am pleasantly surprised.

So what does this mean? I have no idea.

If you have wanted a Hasselblad, get a Hasselblad.

If you have a Hasselblad, keep it.

If you want a good bit of that medium format look with a digital camera that slows you down to film shooting speeds due to some unique idiosyncrasies check out the Sigma dp2 Quattro if you can find a copy at a reasonable price used.

Or you can put this down as nothing more than a distracting aside that occupied you for a few minutes and kept you off of social media, your news feed, and new camera reviews and announcements coming for your wallet. In that case you are welcome.

Happy shooting.

-ELW

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