One of the benefits for outdoor sports shooters on APS-C sensors is the gain in reach with telephotos lenses. The negative of course is that now your wide angle 16mm is now not so wide at 25.6mm. Thankfully Sigma has a great wide-angle lens perfect for crop sensor shooters…the 10-20mm f3.5! I picked up this lens about a year ago and have shot outdoor sports and adventure travel with it extensively.
Whether I am at home or on the road I tend to start out most of my shoots with my wide-angle lens and gradually work my way into the telephoto range. When I am shooting editorial in a new area one of the most important things to capture is the sense of place and the quickest, easiest way to get it is with your wide angle. By keeping my athlete close to the lens (5-10 ft) I can immediately let the viewer know what we are doing and where the action is taking place.
One of the great advantages of being an outdoor sports photographer versus a conventional sports shooter (hint: its not the money) is the creative freedom you get when not constrained to the sideline. When you are shooting skiing, biking, trail running, fly-fishing or any other outdoor sport your camera placement is essentially only limited by your imagination. I often like to get up close and below the action to get a more powerful perspective.
The Sigma 10-20 f3.5 is an incredible tool and it is in my pack every day I shoot with a crop sensor camera. It is well built, incredibly sharp, handles distortion nicely and even though is not technically a sealed lens it handles extreme conditions with ease. For those that like to shoot into the sun the multi-layer coating keeps ghosting and flare to a minimum. If you are looking for an upgrade to your kit lens I highly encourage you to go wide…it will have you seeing the world from a fresh angle.