The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

05.29.2013
© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill |  Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 28mm | Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f5.0 | ISO: 200 |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 28mm | Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f5.0 | ISO: 200 |

First things first: I’m a prime kind of guy. As in Prime Lenses. I love them, and they encompass about 95% of my work. And while there’s nothing wrong with a good zoom, I’m just used to one focal length most of the time. However, there are those moments where I need a lens to perform double (or triple) duty, but going to a zoom lens is usually a matter of practicality and not my first choice. Take a travel assignment, or anything that requires me to move fast, alternating between tight closeups or wide, long shots. I often find this is the case when shooting a chef in her restaurant when I need to show her cooking but also need to capture her final plated dishes. The ability to zoom wide and tight is necessary.
© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 17mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec | Aperture: f11 | ISO: 200 |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 17mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec | Aperture: f11 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 41mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec | Aperture: f6.3 | ISO: 200 |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 41mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec | Aperture: f6.3 | ISO: 200 |

When I had the opportunity to review the Sigma 17-70mm F2.84 DC Macro HSM OS lens, I approached it with an open mind. I’d read good things about the lens, but knowing how dedicated I am to my fixed lens situations I wasn’t sure if I’d take to it. I gave my neighbor a call and asked if I could spend a morning with her. She runs the neighborhood urban garden called Lot 59.  A nonprofit that focuses on training young farmers and educating us city folk about urban farming, I knew that this would be a perfect place to try out the 17-70mm plenty of wide shots as well as close ups of whatever was springing from the ground.
© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 45mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec | Aperture: f4.9 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 45mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec | Aperture: f4.9 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 53mm | Exposure: Manual Mode |  Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f4.0 | ISO: 200 |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 53mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f4.0 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 25mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f5.0 | ISO: 200 |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 25mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec | Aperture: f5.0 | ISO: 200 |

With a light meter in hand and my assistant holding a few reflectors, we headed to Lot 59 at 8am, just in time to catch Sasha feeding her chickens (and yes, I wasn’t going to leave without a dozen of those very special eggs as commercial grocery store versions have nothing on hers!). Shooting in manual mode, I made sure I was exposing properly, even a tad bit over. Because it was a very overcast morning, I wasn’t too concerned with losing any detail or color in the sky as there was none, and I was much more concerned with having a bright, open image of the land.
As it turns out, reflectors weren’t needed as I had enough ample soft light spilling over everything. A few clicks here, a few detail shots there, I ran around capturing what I could without getting in her way. Constantly checking my histogram and reviewing images, I began to really like what I was seeing: clear wide images, very detailed tight macro shots, all with the clarity and density that I absolutely love. Of course, everything changed the moment I popped my card into my computer and downloaded the images. That’s when I began to love this lens, not to mention the camera’s sensor. And when I say love I mean that with a Capital L.
© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 70mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec | Aperture: f6.3 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 70mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec | Aperture: f6.3 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 70mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: f7.1 | ISO: 200 |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Camera: SD1 Merrill | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 70mm | Exposure: Manual Mode | Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: f7.1 | ISO: 200 |

© Matt Armendariz | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 41mm | Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: f7.1 | ISO: 200 | I really think this image sums up the experience, capturing both the farmer and the environment. It’s a very urban garden surrounded by a busy city, but what impresses me most is the clarity and sharpness, certainly a perfect union of lens plus camera. Below are several other images from my morning on the farm, all shot with the 17-70mm. I really can’t wait to use this lens on an assignment!

© 2013 Matt Armendariz | Lens: 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM | Focal Length: 41mm | Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: f7.1 | ISO: 200 | I really think this image sums up the experience, capturing both the farmer and the environment. It’s a very urban garden surrounded by a busy city, but what impresses me most is the clarity and sharpness, certainly a perfect union of lens plus camera. Below are several other images from my morning on the farm, all shot with the 17-70mm. I really can’t wait to use this lens on an assignment!

Because I have a specific look I was going for with these images, post processing involved opening the mid levels for brightness, then adjusting contrast and slight color modifications. Very simple and easy stuff, but I wanted to include an original, unretouched image from the camera right next to my corrected version.
© 2013 Matt Armendariz |

© 2013 Matt Armendariz |

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