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04.11.2017

National Geographic France article by Molly Ferrill

Hi! I’m Molly Ferrill, a National Geographic Explorer with a focus on documenting wildlife and environmental issues. This week I’ll be taking over Sigma’s Instagram account with some photos from my recent project in Myanmar.

People and elephants have had a unique relationship in Myanmar for generations. Elephants play a key role in daily life and several industries in Myanmar. Until very recently, timber elephants were used as a major part of the country’s extensive logging industry. Elephants also carry spiritual significance in Myanmar. Long ago, special white elephants were kept by royalty and worshipped as sacred. Even now, white elephants are seen as a symbol of peace and prosperity. This belief in the value of elephants also extends to wild elephants: In some places, people still refer to them as “respected elders”.

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04.09.2017

Desert Light. Geography has a profound impact on the eyes perception of daylight. Areas with large volumes of water (while necessary for life), causes variables that reflect, soften, and at worst completely obscure the essence of daylight. To limit those variables this photographer chooses the Mojave Desert in south-eastern California to maximize an entire day’s lighting aesthetics.

To be camped out in the Mojave when black skies full of stars slowly give way to the deep blues of the first hint of morning is an awakening of the soul on so many levels. For me it’s the excitement of the day’s possibilities, it’s what drives us to be in position for passions such as photography. Never mind the uniqueness of the landscape in this desolate yet beautiful landscape. All it takes Is being their, you’ll see.

The subtleties don’t last long as black and blue turns to pink. BNSF has been pushing trains past our campsite all night. An eastbound sneaks out from behind a high fill with the western sky in full pink. I’m able to handhold this shot already with subtitle golden rays just hinting on the nose of the lead locomotive. It’s 5:26 am, I’m at ISO 2000 on my Canon 5d Mark III and shooting with my Sigma 150-600 Contemporary F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens. I’ve talked about the stabilization before, but I must reiterate how clutch this lens is in low-light situations with the stabilization active. But sharpness is only one of its strengths, I really enjoy the fineness of detail the lens reproduces, its very pleasing to me, and I’m sure those who use this lens will agree!

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© William Beecher 2016

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04.05.2017

Click the lens to view pricing and availability info!

This past weekend I had the chance to take the Sigma 135 f/1.8 DG HSM | Art Series lens on a test-drive in Texas.  I was at Precision Camera’s event called “Precision Camera University”.  This event, held in Bastrop, was a great chance to take some models out to truly test the performance of this highly-anticipated new Sigma portrait lens. The images shown were photographed with the 50-megapixel Canon 5DSr camera.

My first thought after taking it out of the box was about the size.  The 135mm Art lens is smaller in both length and diameter than the 85mm Art lens.  With a filter size of 82mm compared the 85mm Art lens filter size of 86mm, this lens is sure a nice alternative if you are looking for something a bit smaller in physical size.  As for weight, the 135mm is slightly heavier coming at 40.9oz. vs. 39.9oz on the 85mm.

The 135mm Art series lens is a popular focal length for portrait photographers focusing on individuals and couples.  When you start photographing families and groups, the distance you need to capture everyone starts to hinder your abilities to be effective in posing.

© 2017 Ryan Brown | Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG Art | Aperture: F2.5 | Shutter speed: 1/1000 sec | ISO 250

I had the chance to photograph two different models with the 135mm Art series lens.  One of my favorite ways to photograph a model is to keep the camera level while lowering the entire camera.  This gives the appearance of more power to the model.  When looking at the portraits, you will notice that the 135mm focal length creates a great amount of compression with the subject to the background.  The bokeh of this focal length with its wide f/1.8 aperture creates a stunning, almost surreal quality to the background.  In addition to the background, I photographed the female model with flowers in the foreground.  With the thin depth of field at f/2.5 this image shows the blurred foreground and background that draws your eye into the subject.

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04.04.2017

“I wish this lens had been in my bag back in my newspaper days” is the first thing I thought when learning of the newest Art prime, the 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art. This super-fast aperture tele prime is a big chunk of cutting edge lens technology that is nice and sharp wide open and even sharper stopped down just a touch. And after a visit to my local gourmet cafe and bakery, Conlin’s, for a test shoot, I’d gladly trade the zoom range of a 70-200mm F2.8 for the middle of that range plus the extra stop and a third of light-gathering power for pretty much any restaurant photo assignment.

The Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens delivers super-sharp focal plane details and creamy bokeh, making it perfect for all sorts of documentary work. All images in this piece were captured with the lens paired with a Canon EOS 6D, Large, fine JPG, with minimal tonal adjustments made in Adobe Camera RAW. This shot: 1/100 F1.8 ISO 400.

Click here for pricing and availability info on the 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art.

The telephoto focal length is perfect for capturing subjects at their tasks, from an inconspicuous working distance. And the three-zone focus limiter helps make the zippy autofocus even more responsive when you are concentrating on a known distance subject.

The focal plane is sliced thin at widest apertures, like this shot at 1/160 F1.8 ISO 400. Notice both the foreground and background blur characteristics, perfect for focus isolation to draw the viewer’s eye into the frame where you choose.

As you can imagine, wide aperture depth of field at closer focal distances is paper thin, perfect for guiding the viewer’s eye exactly where you have chosen to focus.

We are focused exactly on the edge of these breakfast sandwiches, a Jersey classic: Pork Roll Egg and Cheese on fresh bagels. The line cook, the tickets and everything else is softened yet recognizable at 1/125 F1.8 ISO 400 with a touch of bounced fill-flash

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03.31.2017

Sigma Ambassador Jack Fusco shares his growth as a photographer and his discovery of Sigma lenses for his outstanding night sky photography.

The first camera I purchased was intended to document my travels through Europe. I was playing guitar in a punk band and excited to capture each new country along the way. Sadly, for the first three years, my camera seldom made its way out of my bag. This would change towards the end of my time touring, as I finally was putting my camera to use. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my camera was replacing the love I had for being on stage.

© Jack Fusco 2017 | Sony A7RII – Sigma 24mm – f/1.8 ISO3200 3 sec | It was nearly the same time that we were preparing to head to a new location that the pillar of Northern lights began to dance over the mountains. Of all the times I’ve witnessed the aurora, this was a first for me. I carefully made my way back on to the ice and set up another timelapse sequence to capture it in motion.

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03.15.2017
© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art at 24mm at f/1.4 for 15 sec. and ISO 3200 all mounted on Induro CT304 tripod and BHL3 head, moonlit and light painted

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art at 24mm at f/1.4 for 15 sec. and ISO 3200 all mounted on Induro CT304 tripod and BHL3 head, moonlit and light painted

Many of you ask me what’s in my bag when I go on one of my photo workshops. My reply is always the same: depends on where I’m going! I take commercial flights to every one of my workshop locations. Each photographic location requires different gear so in part one I will start with the location that is the most difficult to pack for: Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Why is this the most difficult location? Because you will need lenses for landscape and wildlife photography and with current airline carry on restrictions it makes packing everything into one bag very difficult but I will show you that it can be done.

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03.13.2017

By John Lincourt

I’m a Rhode Island based photographer specializing in nautical photography. That means I get to capture a lot of the beauty that is the New England shoreline as well as a variety of uniquely Rhode Island events.  It also means that I get to shoot some incredible sailboat racing, many times I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the best photographers in the world. It can be intimidating shooting next to a photographer with the latest big full frame camera and an even bigger super expensive, super fast lens.  I’ve been shooting digital with my crop sensor cameras since around 2005 and shooting sailboat races with my D7000, a D5100 and my trusty Sigma 150-500mm (and several other Sigma lenses) since 2012.

 

This spring when I was given the opportunity to shoot a great event called J Fest New England in Bristol, RI as their official photographer, I knew instantly that I’d be giving my gear a good workout.  Knowing that if I did a good job for the event, I’d get great exposure and the possibilities of shooting more work for J Boats the makers of the very popular J22’s and J24’s among many other models. Then the wheels started turning.  Nikon just came out with their new flagship Crop Sensor Camera, the D500, Sigma recently launched the  150-600mm Contemporary and Sport lenses and now the 50-100mm f/1.8.  A few emails and a manageable credit card bill later I had what I hoped would be the ideal kit for shooting regattas on its way, a rented Nikon D500 and the 2 lenses on loan for the whole month of August from Sigma. The original plan was to shoot the regatta and then return all the equipment, write this blog for Sigma and that would be the end. Having the 2 lenses for the whole month though gave me a few more options to put the lenses through a good workout. The D500 went back the day after J Fest, but since I had the 2 lenses for an additional 3 weeks, I was able to shoot 2 other regattas and a really cool night event using the 2 lenses and my D7000 and the D5100 that I use as my 2nd camera when I shoot regattas.

I made sure I had all the equipment a week before J Fest so that I could set everything up and get used to all the new gear. I didn’t want to show up at the regatta and not be able to set up all my new equipment. To my delight, an opportunity presented itself, a friend’s Little League team made it to Northeast Regional tournament in Bristol, Ct. Shooting that event would certainly be a challenge though, the game would be under the lights, so I was dealing with low light and fast action.  I set up the cameras the same way I’d be using them for the regatta the following weekend. The only real difference was that I was shooting at a much higher ISO. The 150-600 would be on the D500 and the 50-100 would be on my older D7000.

I expected the images to be sharper than what I could have gotten with my old well used 150-500mm and my 1st generation 50-150mm f2.8, I wasn’t expecting what I got. Both lenses produced what I considered unbelievably sharp images and tracked the action very well even with the relatively low light of being under the lights.

© John Lincourt | Nikon D500, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, at 180mm, 1/1,250th sec, f5, ISO 12,800

© John Lincourt | Nikon D500, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, at 180mm, 1/1,250th sec, f5, ISO 12,800

© John Lincourt | Nikon D7000, Sigma 50-100 f1.8, at 92mm, 1/1,250th sec, f4, ISO 400

© John Lincourt | Nikon D7000, Sigma 50-100 f1.8, at 92mm, 1/1,250th sec, f4, ISO 400

Based on just this practice outing, paring the 150-600mm with the D500 would be everything I’d hoped for. I was able to shoot a high enough ISO so that I could stop any action even late in the game with only the stadium lighting.

So let’s back up and talk about what it’s like to shoot a regatta for a second. If I’m shooting from a boat, I’m going to have my subjects moving in all different directions at the same time, couple that with the fact that I’m going to be bouncing around on a boat too while I’m chasing the fleet, making sure I stay out of their way and still get the boats from different angles, get close ups of individual boats, bows plowing through the chop, wider angle shots of the whole fleet, and while I’m at it, maybe even a few shots of the participants grinding a winch or driving the boat, or even being hoisted up the mast if I’m lucky. If I’m on shore, it’s easier to get full fleets, but I need as much reach as I can to get the activity on deck. The combination, of the two lenses I’ll be using gives me a 35mm equivalent range from 75 mm to a whopping 900 mm on my crop sensor Nikon cameras.

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03.10.2017

I thought it might be fun to gather some of my favorite images created with Sigma’s 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A lens I created in 2016.  This wide-angle perspective is a fun look for me when shooting portraits. There are so many elements that make for a great image and perspective is one of them.  As a portrait artist I’m always experimenting and trying to create a “unique look,” something that will separate me from my peers.  Using a different lens forces me to see differently. The added value of using a lens like this is being able to photograph in small spaces and still capture the whole scene. I have found no distortion in this lens at any aperture, which is extremely important to me given that I like to shoot wide open.  This is one of Sigma’s “Art” lenses and is f 2.0 at all focal lengths.

In this image of Lauren, I was shooting in an old elevator shaft.  My lights were set up behind me and I was standing about 6-7 feet away from the back wall and my subject.  The window above her gave me the additional light I needed to back light her hair.  What I love about photographing this way is I am able to capture the inside of the walls, creating a tunnel like effect which adds to the overall look that I wanted given her expression.  Had I backed up any farther, I would have been standing on the edge of the Hallway.   I specifically chose this location to showcase what this amazing lens can do.  Not too mention to create a very fun image.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A f 2.0 s 1/80 ISO 2000 Focal length 35mm. Hand Held, manual mode.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A f 2.0 s 1/80 ISO 2000 Focal length 35mm. Hand Held, manual mode.

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03.02.2017
© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 1/50 sec. and ISO 640 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 1/50 sec. and ISO 640 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

When I think about the lenses I travel with the most, the one constant in my bag is the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art.  Why?  It is the often under appreciated workhorse for my landscape photography because of its versatility and incredible sharpness throughout the frame. Its zoom range allows me to compose and recompose the scene without having to physically move my tripod.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to 62mm at f/22 for 15 sec. and ISO 50 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art set to 62mm at f/22 for 15 sec. and ISO 50 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

I find this versatility especially important when I am photographing waterfalls and physically can’t get to a different location to reposition myself.  The long end of the zoom range allows me to tighten up my composition and give the viewer a much cleaner composition.

 © Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to28mm at f/16 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 640 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to28mm at f/16 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 640 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

It is also the lens I keep on my camera when I am driving around, so I can quickly jump out of the truck and compose the scene hand holding as shown in the image of the grain elevator above.  I crouched down to hide the main road behind the golden grasses.  In the image below, I was able to quickly run down to the waters edge in the Grand Tetons as the morning fog was lifting.

 © Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to51mm at f/11 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 250 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to51mm at f/11 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 250 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

Now, while I don’t mind getting wet for a shot, it is nice to have the 105mm focal length to keep me from getting wet by the frigid north Atlantic as I am in Iceland trying to capture the icebergs on the black sand beaches of Jökulsárlón.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 0.5 sec. and ISO 160 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 0.5 sec. and ISO 160 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

Like the rest of the Art lineup it’s solid build and edge-to-edge sharpness is perfect for most situations you will encounter out in the field.  The optimum zoom range should make this your go to lens on all of your landscape shoots. Learn more about the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art lens.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to35mm at f/10 for 1/20 sec. and ISO 400 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to35mm at f/10 for 1/20 sec. and ISO 400 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

Roman Kurywczak is a full time nature photographer and proud Sigma Pro team member who conducts lectures and workshops across the globe. His boutique tour company, Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours, caters to very small groups (only 4) to provide the ultimate learning experience for participants. His down to earth and easy to follow teaching style make him a highly sought after lecturer. The author of several instructional eBook’s on nature photography, Roman strives to share his passion for photography as others have shared with him. He is married for over 26 years with two sons and lives in NJ. You can learn more about Roman’s workshops, lectures, eBook’s, galleries, and more at: www.roaminwithroman.com

02.22.2017

Sigma Pro Liam Doran gives a first-look account at the new Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art lens for on-mountain winter sports photography. Check out the video to hear his thoughts and to see a sampling of his first shots with this great new ultrawide full-frame constant-aperture Art zoom lens!

 

Photo © Liam Doran Photography. Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art lens at 13mm 1/1250 F16 ISO 400 paired with a Canon 1DX

Photo © Liam Doran Photography. Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art lens at 13mm 1/1250 F16 ISO 400 paired with a Canon 1DX

1224Liam