The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

08.29.2015
All images © Al Satterwhite

All images © Al Satterwhite

If you are in the Los Angeles area this month, be sure to check out Al Satterwhite’s aRound New York exhibition at the Leica Gallery/Los Angeles for his unique circular perspective on the Big Apple made through the Sigma 8mm Fisheye lens!

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08.28.2015

Sigma Art lenses are renowned for razor-sharp detail on the focal plane, even at widest apertures. It seems simple, enough, doesn’t it? If you are buying a very fast aperture lens, you will want to take advantage of the extra light-gathering power, not just for the through-the viewfinder experience, but also for the on-the-sensor feel of an F1.4, F1.8 or F2 aperture, whether in dim lighting situations to keep ISOs low, or simply for the aesthetic that a very shallow focal plane offers and how the foreground and background are rendered.

A raindrop hangs from a leaf as seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens wide open at F1.4. 1/200 F1.4 ISO 400 on a Canon EOS 6D. The focal point is sharp and crisp, while the depth of field is ridiculously shallow.

A raindrop hangs from a leaf as seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens wide open at F1.4. 1/200 F1.4 ISO 400 on a Canon EOS 6D. The focal point is sharp and crisp, while the depth of field is ridiculously shallow.

The laws of optical physics do insist that every lens will be a bit sharper overall when the aperture is stopped down slightly, and the same holds true for Sigma Art lenses. This is most noticeable on test targets, which, honestly, are one of the most boring photo subjects ever. In real world situations, Sigma Art lenses are growing more legendary each day for the total imaging performance this gear delivers, whether wide open,  or stopped down a touch.

Razor thin focus on a hibiscus flower, which is mirrored in color by the red umbrellas blurred in the background. Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art wide open at F2 at 35mm on the 6D. 1/1000 at F2.0 ISO 100

Razor thin focus on a hibiscus flower, which is mirrored in color by the red umbrellas blurred in the background. Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art wide open at F2 at 35mm on the 6D. 1/1000 at F2.0 ISO 100

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08.21.2015
© 2015 Steve Chesler |

© 2015 Steve Chesler |

I was about 13 years old when I saw the USAF Thunderbirds air demonstration team for the first time. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but alas, it was not meant to be. My eye sight wasn’t 20/20, which back in the 80’s meant that I was ineligible. Nevertheless, my passion for flight never dwindled and I make it a point to see every air show that I can. At this years Rochester International Air Show, I had the opportunity to photograph the Navy’s Blue Angels with Sigma’s 150-600mm Sport lens. Could this lens possibly be the best lens ever to photograph an air show?

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08.19.2015
attachment-7-sm-600x400

© 2015 James Schmelzer | SIGMA 70-200mm @ 168mm | ISO 100 | Aperture: F8 | Shutter speed: 1/3200sec

Shooting on location in the middle of the day can make controlling the sunlight very difficult. I have chosen my canon 5D mk iii.  So if I want to shoot with flash off camera to control the bright sun I’m limited to a x sync of 1/200 of a second. This is going to make my aperture F16 and that is too much depth of field for my preference. I don’t like to use ND filters to open up my aperture because they make it difficult to see through the camera. I could use high-speed sync but this technique is flawed by the fact that the flash is at its lowest power as it pulses across the chip. Also, it would never give me enough power to overpower the sun in the middle of the day, so I only use this technique on cloudy days.

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08.12.2015

Timing

Getting the best experience out of a wildlife photo tour in Alaska means choosing the optimal month to visit to get the best balance of daylight, temperature, and weather. Learn what animals, mammals, and plants / flowers to look out for on your tour. Learn what to do and what not to do around wildlife. Get advice from from an expert guide or tour leader, ask locals or join an experienced photo tour leader. My favorite month for photographing brown bear is July to late August, for bald eagles, March is my favorite time of the year.

Bring the Perfect Lens

When I first starting traveling to Alaska 10 years ago to photograph wildlife the best equipment at that time was a 600mm lens on a tripod and 300mm prime as a secondary lens. The problem with a system like that was the limited flexibility when it came to framing as there were times where you would too tight or too loose when the action broke out. With modern zoom lenses that problem is long gone, now you can just relax and wait for the action with the confidence that you will be able to frame and capture the action perfectly whatever happens, even if the subject heads straight at you. Once you use a modern lens like the 150-600 sports lens, the image quality and high coverage zoom ratio will make it very hard to justify going back to a long prime lens.
This is my current lens arsenal that I will taking to Alaska in July and August this year.

 

Lenses

This four lens set-up has me perfect coverage from 12mm up to 600mm (up to 900mm equivalent with a crop sensor) with professional image quality. The 120-300 F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports lens with and without the 1.4X or 2X has me covered in low light situations.

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08.03.2015
©2015 Roman Kurywczak | Canon 1Dx body with the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II at 12mm, f/16 for 0.5 sec. at ISO 50 all mounted on Induro CT304 tripod and BHL3 head.

©2015 Roman Kurywczak | Canon 1Dx body with the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II at 12mm, f/16 for 0.5 sec. at ISO 50 all mounted on Induro CT304 tripod and BHL3 head.

Many people often ask me how I travel to my Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours workshop locations with my camera gear? I’ll try to answer that with the gear I brought with me to Iceland on my just concluded workshop. Iceland is fast becoming my favorite landscape destination mostly because I can travel light!  This year, I traveled there with just four Sigma lenses; the 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II, my new 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art, and the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary.  These four lenses would allow me to capture everything from the grand waterfalls to the puffin and Icelandic horses with everything else in between.  The image up top of Selandjafoss and the colorful boat below are good examples of the ultra wide-angle view the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II making it my favorite lens when I want to capture that extreme view.  I do not run perspective control (although I easily could) on the lens, as I really like the extreme look.

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07.31.2015

Philip Wen, of Redondo Beach, California, is our #SigmaSuperFan for August! A hobbyist who originally picked up a DSLR upon learning he’d be a father, he owns a number of Sigma lenses including the 10-20mm, 30mm F1.4 EX DG HSM and the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens, which he uses to capture special moments in his family’s life. We spent a few minutes talking to the newest member of the SuperFan Winner’s Circle.

SIgma SuperFan, Philip Wen, of Redondo Beach, California.

SIgma SuperFan, Philip Wen, of Redondo Beach, California.

 Tell us about yourself

I am a consultant by trade, but a photography enthusiast by heart.   I picked up my first DSLR in 2008 when I started my beautiful family and wanted to document it, and fell in love with photography ever since.

Is photography a passion or a career?

It is a passion for me, and the skills of which I get to occasionally utilize in my work related activities.

What kind of images do you shoot?

I mostly shoot family photos, kids’ sports games and some occasional landscapes when I travel.
Nikon D600, Sigma 35mm F1 (25) 1200

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07.31.2015

In the third episode, Sigma Pro Jen Rozenbaum offers advice on creating poses that transition seamlessly without wasting time and shooting more to create more options for your client. Jen uses the versatile Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM lens and the 85mm F1.4 DG HSM lens.

© 2015 Jen Rozenbaum

© 2015 Jen Rozenbaum

Check out more sample images from the photo shoot after the jump!

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07.31.2015

Sigma Pro Judy Host offers great tips for photographing children, from Maternity through teen years in this new video series.

This episode covers posing with the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art.

Watch the series

Introduction

Episode 1: Maternity Sessions

Episode 2: Babies and Toddlers

Episode 3: Toddlers

Episode 4: Young Children

07.30.2015

Many photographers have a certain style when it comes to photographing weddings, and that has a lot to do with their own personal tastes as artists.  Having the right equipment can help you fulfill your style. Cameras, lighting, and lenses all work together to help make your style the way it is.

I love photographing weddings and having the freedom to change my technique at each event, and I feel the thing that changes my look the most is the lens that I choose to use.  I have a selection of Sigma primes in my bag at all times, including the 35mm F1.4 | Art, 50mm F1.4 | Art, and 85mm F1.4 DG HSM.

© 2015 James Schmelzer | Being a professional photographer means paying attention to little details and fine-tuning them to make a better image. For this first photograph, I turned on the lamp in the background and placed the bouquet on the table for accent. I then placed the veil over the hanger so that it would be less distracting. To light the dress I chose to use a constant light so that the videographer and myself could shoot at the same time.  I used the 35mm 1.4 set to aperture priority because that lens gives me the ability to shoot in a smaller room and I am still able to get a full-length shot. I am also able to blur any distracting elements in the background with the 1.4 aperture.

© 2015 James Schmelzer | Being a professional photographer means paying attention to little details and fine-tuning them to make a better image. For this first photograph, I turned on the lamp in the background and placed the bouquet on the table for accent. I then placed the veil over the hanger so that it would be less distracting. To light the dress I chose to use a constant light so that the videographer and myself could shoot at the same time.  I used the 35mm 1.4 set to aperture priority because that lens gives me the ability to shoot in a smaller room and I am still able to get a full-length shot. I am also able to blur any distracting elements in the background with the 1.4 aperture.

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