The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

09.19.2014

Tout_LensExploration-15mm

Sometimes a camera wants to see differently. That happens to me I get inspired to go wide… really wide. I’m talking fisheye wide. That’s when I put away the other primes and zooms and pickup the ultra compact, wide and fast Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye lens. The lens covers a full frame format camera  providing a 180º angle of view. That’s half a circle!

Read More >>

09.17.2014

I’ve been on an extended test-drive with the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 this year, paired with my trusty Nikon D7100.  The great thing about this match is since the D7100 has a cropped sensor with a 1.5x factor, the 500mm reach effectively becomes 750mm.  Using the in-camera 1.3 crop for added photo burst rate I end up with nearly 900mm of reach at the long end!  That really comes in handy with wildlife photography.  I have had a ton of fun with the lens and have to say I will have a very hard time ever giving it back.  Besides being light enough to carry all day, the lens performs extremely well for wildlife, action sports, and big-orb sunsets, both on land, and on board boats in the waters off Long Island.  And more recently, it’s been my go-to lens for New York whale watching.

Having now  made several whale watching voyages, I have had had no problem getting sharp shots from a moving boat.  The harder part was getting the whales to cooperate by doing anything other than slowly swimming and surfacing briefly!  This all changed when my friend Artie Raslich recently invited me on his 26 foot boat named Ship of Fools to follow a pod of whales that had been feeding actively close to shore within sight of New York City off Long Beach and East Rockaway New York. After passing through Deb’s inlet and breaking through a fog bank we found our first whale that we ended up following for several hours.  One of my first shots was a fairly young Humpback gliding out of the fog.  Artie knows his Whales and quickly identified this one as NYC0015.  Apparently this one and his Mother have been in the area all year feeding on the abundant bunker in the area.

© 2014 Mike Busch

© 2014 Mike Busch

Read More >>

09.02.2014

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A sets the new benchmark for fast standard prime lenses for full-frame DSLRs, and is offered at a very fair price for its total performance. And the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, originally introduces in 2008, is still in production; and it remains an exceptional fast fifty designed for both the performance and build expectations of professional photographers at a price that puts it well within reach of enthusiasts looking for both fantastic optics, and a pro build quality. Choosing either one of these full-frame Sigma 50mm F1.4 stablemates over an OEM lens is a wise choice. Choosing which one is exactly right for your bag really is basically a matter of budget, plus weight and size considerations. But either way, adding one of these Sigma 50mm F1.4s to your kit is a great idea.

The original high-performance 50mm F1.4

50ex

To repeat, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM is still in production, and ships for a pretty fantastic street price, especially right now with $100 Instant Savings through October 31st. At 3.3” x 2.7” and weighing in at 17.8 ounces, this lens is heavy and stocky. Packing eight elements in six groups, it close focuses to 17.7 inches at 1:7.4 magnification. Nine rounded aperture blades and an aspherical element make for pleasing defocused and focused image elements, while a full-time manual-focus ring allows for on-the-fly adjustments.

The world-beating 50mm F1.4

50art

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A was announced earlier this year and has been the talk of the photography world ever since. Pairing world-beating optics and imaging performance with a hypersonic motor for fast, quiet AF, along with four zone microtuning, wrist-flick Manual focus override and firmware updates via the USB Dock, this lens has already gained a number of prestigious awards, and earned tons of positive reviews from the most demanding photographers around the world. Physically, it is a very large standard lens, at 3.4” x 3.9 inches and weighing in at 28.7 ounces. Much of that weight comes form the 13 elements in 8 groups, so it is a more complex optical design. Super low dispersion glass and super multi-layer lens coatings, along with nine round aperture blades renders photographs with extraordinary image quality. Field distortion is virtually non-existent. Demand is incredibly high, and supplies are still very limited thanks to its very fair street price.

Read More >>

09.02.2014

The greatest thing about interchangeable camera lenses is the variety of optical designs, from ultrawide to supertelephoto and everything in between, that offer an incredible amount of variety for visual expression, creativity, and optical performance optimized for different photographic situations.  And while it may be sometimes completely and totally obvious what types of photography a certain lens excels at—for example, everyone knows that Macros are designed to capture close-up details; telephoto lenses are great for long-reach wildlife and sports from the sidelines—many styles of camera lenses have lesser-known secret superpowers that can be called upon to make a photo. Let’s take a look!

Supertelephoto lenses

Long lenses, like the Sigma 150-500mm F5.6.3, or 300-800 F5.6 to name two, are known to be great for making sports and wildlife images. Wide open, these lenses can isolate the subject from the background to really make the images pop. And of course, the wide apertures which give very shallow depth of field feel also yield the fastest shutter speeds, which are necessary to freeze a bird in flight, or an athlete on the move.

Everyone knows supertelephoto zoom lenses are great for long-reach photography at widest, like wild birds. Here, the Sigma 150-500mm is trained on an American Anhinga, at 500mm, wide open at F6.3.

Everyone knows supertelephoto zoom lenses are great for long-reach photography at widest apertures for freezing active subjects, like wild birds, with fast shutter speeds. Here, the Sigma 150-500mm is trained on an American Anhinga, at 500mm, wide open at F6.3.

And Landscape, or should we say sky-scape, photographers also know that longer focal lengths also can make for huge suns and moons, the effect of which is amplified when the celestial orb is near earthbound features in the frame.

Read More >>

08.04.2014

Tout_LensExploration

 

Intro

If you want to photograph all kinds of subjects from long distances—from wildlife to athletes to fast-moving vehicles—then the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM telephoto zoom is for you.

Telephoto zooms allow photographers to locate moving subjects and then zoom in on them, making them great choices for photographing birds in flight, such as bald eagles swooping down for dinner near Homer, Alaska. Nikon D800E, Sigma 150-500mm at 350mm. Hand-held, from a boat. OS Mode 1. f/8, 1/4000 second, ISO 1600. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Telephoto zooms allow photographers to locate moving subjects and then zoom in on them, making them great choices for photographing birds in flight, such as bald eagles swooping down for dinner near Homer, Alaska. Nikon D800E, Sigma 150-500mm at 350mm. Hand-held, from a boat. OS Mode 1. f/8, 1/4000 second, ISO 1600. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Among birders, the Sigma 150-500mm has become legendary. Birder photographers need at least 400mm of telephoto power; 500mm is better. So birders have adopted the 150-500mm, as well as its stable mate, the 50-500mm, as their go-to lens.

Read More >>

08.04.2014

Our new video quicktips series offers advice for photographers who are looking to understand more about the techniques and technologies that can help them make better pictures. Each episode is just a few minutes long and looks to explain and offer advice in an easy-to-grasp way. Check back on this posting all month long as we continue to add new episodes to this series.

Our First Episode demonstrates how to Hold a Big Camera Lens:

 

And here we explain How, When, and Why to Use Optical Stabilization:

 

Got a topic you’d like us to tackle? Leave a comment for consideration!

08.04.2014

Whenever I spend time making photos with a Sigma camera, like the new dp2 Quattro, for example, it makes me slow down, think a little bit more about the overall composition, framing, and aesthetics of the image. In short, the nuances and quirks of the Sigma cameras helps me fine-tune my vision, and I strive to make each frame count. And the end result images are always a sight to behold, first on my monitor, and preferably, printed out in large format. It is a process that takes time; but the results are well worth it, thanks to the overall quality of the images.

I brought the Sigma dp2 Quattro along on a recent beach vacation to Cape May, NJ, a spot I've visited many times.  I made a series of photos of many of my favorite spots in town with this compact camera, which has simply incredible image quality. Here is one of the lifeboats along the beach in the morning. 1/250 F5.6 ISO 100.

I brought the Sigma dp2 Quattro along on a recent beach vacation to Cape May, NJ, a spot I’ve visited many times. I made a series of photos of many of my favorite spots in town with this compact camera, which has simply incredible image quality. Here is one of the lifeboats along the beach in the morning. 1/250 F5.6 ISO 100.

That same feeling of value, permanence, and overall material importance is likewise encapsulated in my personal images made with DSLRs and interchangeable lens compact cameras in general. I choose to capture almost all of my images of family adventures on dedicated cameras with bigger sensors because these are moments that matter to me. And for me, the long-term image quality matters significantly more than the instant-sharing capabilities of a smart-phone snap.

This landlocked Buoy sits on the beach entrance by Gurney Street in Cape May. There is such level of detail captured in this shot--you can read the tiniest of words imprinted on the top of the beacon. Sigma dp2 Quattro 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

This landlocked Buoy sits on the beach entrance by Gurney Street in Cape May. There is such level of detail captured in this shot–you can read the tiniest of words imprinted on the top of the beacon. Sigma dp2 Quattro 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

And of course, with such a great variety of lenses available for DSLRs, there’s always a fresh perspective to be captured, from ultrawide, to supertelephoto, wide open for gorgeous background separation and bokeh, or stopped down for telephoto compression, or any of the many other at-capture effects and stylings possible with sharp lenses on big camera sensors.

Read More >>

07.01.2014

The very first advance shipment of the Sigma dp2 Quattro camera has just arrived, and as I write, our team is preparing a number of these compact, high-resolution cameras for the dp2 Quattro Test Shoot: Try Before You Buy program. Here’s our exclusive first look at the Sigma dp2 Quattro.

dp2Q  small

I’ve spent the weekend with the dp2 Quattro, and I can tell you straight-out that this is far and away the best dp camera I’ve had my hands on. And for those keeping score, I’ve been working with these cameras for a long time. In fact, I published one of the very first hands-on reports of the original DP1 back when I was Online Editor of PopPhoto.com.

The Red Mill in Clinton, NJ, as seen through the Sigma dp2 Quattro. 1/20 F8 ISO 100, Sigma 58mm Circular Polarizer. X3F Raw processed through Sigma Photo Pro 6. All photos in this article were captured as X3F Raw, Processed in Sigma Photo Pro, and tuned for final web output in Adobe Camera Raw 8.5.

The Red Mill in Clinton, NJ, as seen through the Sigma dp2 Quattro. 1/20 F8 ISO 100, Sigma 58mm Circular Polarizer. X3F Raw processed through Sigma Photo Pro 6. All photos in this article were captured as X3F Raw, Processed in Sigma Photo Pro, and tuned for final web output in Adobe Camera Raw 8.5.

I have always been a fan of the elegant simplicity of the dp cameras, the uncluttered interface, and the refreshing lack of frills and bloat in the menus and commands. The dp cameras have always been designed with an eye on image-making, and to that end, the functionality trumped any fashion issues for me.

Read More >>

06.10.2014

As a portrait and wedding photographer, you have got a lot to think about and have a lot of responsibility. You must consider exposure, composition, lighting, lens choice, flattering the subject and posing. On an engagement session or wedding you are capturing one of the most important days of a person’s life. Now, add on top of that you may have a very limited time to capture these images! It is a lot to think about!

When I was first photographing couples, it seemed overwhelming to manage all of these things AND to remember a wide range of poses. I always wanted to capture a variety for use in the album, or in a guest book, or a wall cluster, or simply to give the couples a variety to choose from. When the time came for me to photograph the couple and I only had a few minutes to do so, I seemed to only be able to remember 2 or 3 different poses! I tried to remember 10 or 15 poses, and they never seemed to ‘stick’ especially when I was under pressure.

A lot of stress and many years later, I eventually developed a system to help me create endless posing that worked naturally while I was shooting. Most importantly, it helps me remember lots of poses in an extremely short time-frame. I’d like to take some time to share the method I have developed to be sure that I have a wide range of images to provide couples for their wedding albums or engagement announcements.

I call it “Making the Rounds” for couples’ posing, and it doesn’t require you to ‘memorize’ poses, but instead just make a few variations!

Put simply, I have the man stay relatively stationary while I move the woman around him. From there, I adjust hands, head position and eye contact to create ‘new poses’ and then vary my lens choice and camera angle to create entire new shots. Quite honestly, I can make dozens of drastically different images in just a couple minutes!

Let’s take a closer look.

The man will stay in a relatively stationary pose, more or less straight on toward camera. Now we will pose the woman around him (hence, “making the rounds”).

1.The woman begins with her back to his chest.

 

©2014 Lindsay Adler | Lens: Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM | Aperture: F2.2 | Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
©2014 Lindsay Adler | Lens: Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM | Aperture: F2.2 | Camera: Canon 5D Mark III

 

Read More >>

05.31.2014

©Judy Host 2014 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 DG HSM I A | Aperture: F2.0 | Shutter speed: 1/125sec | ISO 400 | Manual Mode – Window Light | Make up and Hair by Jennie Carroll | Stylist – Judy Host
©Judy Host 2014 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 DG HSM I A | Aperture: F2.0 | Shutter speed: 1/125sec | ISO 400 | Manual Mode – Window Light | Make up and Hair by Jennie Carroll | Stylist – Judy Host

A few weeks ago while presenting a seminar in Southern California, I was lucky enough to get my hands on Sigma’s brand new art lens, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM| A and all I can say is WOW—what an amazing lens!  For someone like me who prefers to photograph in low light, this is the perfect camera lens.

As you can see from this image of Jennie, which was photographed inside my hotel room using only window light and hand held at f 2.0 s1/125 ISO 400 in manual mode, the image is beautifully sharp and the fabric, which is a hand painted silk, has been accurately recorded both in color and texture.  This kind of clarity is stunning especially shooting from this distance.  I chose to overexpose my image by one stop to soften the detail in Jennie’s skin tone to make it look almost painterly. Very little processing was necessary.

Read More >>