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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.

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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.

Cape May is known for its Victorian houses. Here is the Gingerbread House, a very nice B&B. I captured this image in 1:1 square mode on the dp2 Quattro. 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

Cape May is known for its Victorian houses. Here is the Gingerbread House, a very nice B&B. I captured this image in 1:1 square mode on the dp2 Quattro. 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

I’ve been a photographer a long time and I’ll tell you flat-out: there’s never been a better time to create personal documentary photos with serious staying power. Even today’s entry-level DSLRs and ILCs—which can be found on sale and close-outs for just a couple hundred bucks—create images that blow away the results of pro-level DSLRs from the early ’00s that cost upwards of ten thousand dollars at time of release.

Two views of the row of "Painted Ladies" of Gurney Street captured with the dp2 Quattro.

Two views of the row of “Painted Ladies” of Gurney Street captured with the dp2 Quattro.

gurney 16 9 3 - blog

The Abbey, at the corner of Columbia and Gurney, is a very distinctive house and it is situation on a great corner for making photos. 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

The Abbey, at the corner of Columbia and Gurney, is a very distinctive house and it is situation on a great corner for making photos. 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

It is very easy to get caught up in the immediacy offered by pocketable gadgetry for snapping, tinting, and instantly sharing on social channels. But imagine, years from now, having to explain to your grown child that, yes, you wholly had the means to make, print and preserve high-resolution, high-quality photos of your time together during life’s greatest milestones, but instead, all that remains is a scraped and cobbled set of low-resolution cameraphone snaps with a bunch of tinted filters hastily pulled down off social channels after losing your smartphone where all the photos of your child’s first year were stored with no backup. Your moments matter. And so many of the moments worth making should be printed, framed, and used for personal photo books and projects, as well as shared socially on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. (And of course, backed up, and archived for long-term preservation.)

The morning sun came through the trees on Columbia Street at the perfect angle to illuminate this flad hanging off a porch. It just pops! Sigma dp2 Quattro 1/80 F4.5 ISO 100.

The morning sun came through the trees on Columbia Street at the perfect angle to illuminate this flad hanging off a porch. It just pops! I love wandering the streets of Cape May, looking for whatever catches my eye next. Sigma dp2 Quattro 1/80 F4.5 ISO 100.

Full moon rising over the Atlantic Ocean, July 12, 2014 as seen from the rooftop deck of The Capri. Since the moon was going to be small in the frame on the dp2 Quattro, I concentrated here instead on the overall composition to give a sense of time and place to this image. I like how the umbrellas in lower left mirror the glow of the moon, and how the streetlight and moon are aligned. 1/25 F2.8 ISO 100

Full moon rising over the Atlantic Ocean, July 12, 2014 as seen from the rooftop deck of The Capri. Since the moon was going to be small in the frame on the dp2 Quattro, I concentrated here instead on the overall composition to give a sense of time and place to this image. I like how the umbrellas in lower left mirror the glow of the moon, and how the streetlight and moon are aligned. 1/25 F2.8 ISO 100

Over the years, I’ve made a ton of photos, both for my work, and of my personal journeys through life. And while my work photos matter to me somewhat; my personal photographs truly matter to me on a much deeper level. These are the places I have been with my family and friends, things I’ve seen and experienced, and the personal milestones we’ve celebrated: skiing in Big Sky and snowmobiling in a blizzard in Yellowstone, a honeymoon in St. Lucia, staying cliffside in Negril, helicoptering around Kauai, exploring historical towns in Portugal, whiling away lazy afternoons in the Burgundy vineyards, many visits to Cape May, NJ; the birth of my daughter, and every amazing step of the journey with her since.

We've visited the Cape May Lighthouse many times, but this summer marked the first time we climbed to the top. In the fog and rain, which got thicker as we climbed. When we got to the top, it was tough to see the ocean through the mist; so instead of trying to shoot a photo through the bars of the fogginess, I incorporated the safety bars and courtesy sign to give a sense of place. Next time I climb this, I want nicer weather! 1/200 F2.8 ISO 100.

We’ve visited the Cape May Lighthouse many times, but this summer marked the first time we ever climbed to the top.  In the fog and rain, which got thicker as we climbed. When we got to the top, it was tough to see the ocean through the mist; so instead of trying to shoot a photo through the bars of the fogginess, I incorporated the safety bars and courtesy sign to give a sense of place. Next time I climb this, I want nicer weather! 1/200 F2.8 ISO 100.

And this is why I choose to make almost all my personal images with cameras with big sensors and sharp lenses. These moments matter to me, and I want images that will look fantastic not only on a tiny screen tomorrow, but also printed large five, ten, or twenty years from now. And this is why we have a regular editing, printing, and archiving regimen here in my family. Keep in mind that this is my workflow, and it works for me. Feel free to adapt or adjust to fit your life; but whatever you do, make sure you’ve got some sort of system of backup in place, because the memories and moments captured in your photos are worth it.

 

Raw plus JPEG, instead of Raw versus JPEG

Starting in camera, I always choose to shoot in RAW, plus highest-quality JPEG, as the image type and sRGB as the color space. This offers the highest quality ready-to-go images straight out of the camera for both quick web/monitor viewing, plus the flexibility of RAW image processing for advanced toning and adjusting when it’s  time to edit and prep the selects for printing. (My local lab, like almost all consumer-oriented labs, works in 8-bit sRGB color space, so that’s the working color space for RAW images as well during toning and print preparation in Adobe Camera Raw and/or Photoshop.)

Some may argue that shooting both JPEG plus RAW is redundant, but I firmly disagree. JPEG is a universal file format for images, and it is viewable on almost any device with a screen now, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.  Most RAW formats are proprietary, and require specialized software for toning and conversion to more universal filetypes. As a long-term archiving strategy, it’s probably best not to have all your images in a filetype that may only have limited conversion and toning support some day far down the line.

On import, I append the filenames with a decriptor, and add some metadata and keywords for sifting/sorting/archiving/cataloging.

On import, I append the filenames with a descriptor (CapeMay2014, in this case), and add some metadata and keywords for sifting/sorting/archiving/cataloging.

When importing the images from the camera card, I use Adobe Camera Raw photo importer, and add descriptors to the filename, as well as applying some keywords and descriptions to the metadata, and import into a folder with a descriptive name. Again, redundancy in naming, tagging, and keywording is a good thing for cataloging/indexing/and keeping track of images. Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, Photoshop Elements and most other photo management/editing suites also have renaming/keywording/tagging options on import or during selection. (When I’m using my Sigma Cameras, I use Sigma Photo Pro for RAW Processing  and export 16-bit TIFFs to the same source folder for final print/web toning and optimization in ACR, since the X3F RAW files are only compatible with Sigma Photo Pro.)

I always capture images in RAW, plus JPEG mode. RAW offers higher quality, more flexible image toning, while JPEG format is universal.

I always capture images in RAW, plus JPEG mode. RAW offers higher quality, more flexible image toning, while JPEG format is universal. As you can see, we’ve marked several images with Ratings and Labels.

After import, we review the images, and make a set marked with Five Stars and other labels in Bridge, which will then be toned and exported as highest-quality JPEGs to be uploaded to the photo lab’s site and printed at 4×6 to be included in the current photo album.

This folder of print-ready images is saved both to the Main Family Photos folder on my computer, and is also then sent to my wife’s computer (usually on a USB drive) for her own set of final versions of the images for crafting into special photo projects including books, calendars, personalized Christmas cards, and so on.

The batch of print-ready photos that have been sent to the photo lab are also then ported to my wife's computer, for her photo projects.

The batch of print-ready photos that have been sent to the photo lab are also then ported to my wife’s computer, for her photo projects.

And then, every few months, the most recent set of photo folders, both full takes, and the toned and print-ready select sets, are added to an archive drive that lives in the safety deposit box at our bank a few miles away from our house.

Now, you may think this is overkill, but I will tell you that despite having several external drive crashes as well as total computer failures over the past decade, I’ve lost very little in the way of personal photos and files along the way.

And even though the finished set of photos are stored on the Photo Lab’s server in an album, this isn’t a true online backup strategy, as there’s no clear way pull down the source files directly from the interface. So this is more of a service site, and a last-ditch recovery method, should all other backups collapse simultaneously.

In the past few years Cloud storage has seriously exploded in popularity. There’s a whole variety of service providers ranging from huge to niche:  iCloud, Amazon Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many more that are custom-tailored to photographers and photo storage. Many offer robust add-ons like photo projects, web galleries, virtual storefronting and print fulfillment, and such; but as a back-up plan, should you choose a Cloud-based provider, the single-most important detail is that you can easily pull down your original files when you need to.

You should also research what happens to your data should you miss a payment or have an account enter a long dormancy period—sometime life gets crazy, and when it does, it’s too easy to miss a reminder email that your credit card on file has expired and the auto-draft hasn’t been applied, or you haven’t signed on for thirteen months (because how did that year go by so quickly!) and then what happens? Is there a grace period? A recovery period? How long before they consider your account abandoned? What happens should your Cloud password be hacked and all your files are maliciously deleted before you recover control? What sort of back-up of your online back-up does your Cloud provider offer?

Cloud computing and storage is great in many ways. It makes it very easy to hop across devices to work on images. But, it requires connectivity. When there’s network downtime or you’re otherwise offline, you just don’t have access to your data.

When you can't connect to a Cloud Server for any reason, anything you've only got stored there is inaccessible.

When you can’t connect to a Cloud Server for any reason, anything you’ve only got stored there is inaccessible.

And while it’s easy enough to forget, while it is working perfectly, that Cloud really boils down to “your stuff stored on someone else’s servers, accessible only through a network connection”; when it doesn’t work, it can be frustrating, and even heartbreaking.

What to you may be several year’s worth of memories are just a series of blips and beeps to be wiped clean should your account payments not be kept up with your Cloud provider, or if you don’t log in for extended periods of time, or if someone else gains access to your Cloud password.

And even if you keep up with your end of things perfectly, be mindful of who you are entrusting with your data. Cloud Storage providers are a business, and businesses sometimes fail swiftly and without warning to customers. This last example really happened in terribly dramatic fashion to a company called Digital Railroad in 2008. Some photographers lost their entire archives in the process, as everyone was trying to salvage their data from the system at the same time!

In a nutshell, any backup plan is better than having no back-up plan; having a good mix of data redundancy and geographic separation ensures that should one plank of a backup path break, there will be others in place to neutralize or minimize the net data loss. If you’ve been talking about setting up a backup strategy but haven’t yet, find the time and get going with it!

Prints, Projects, Books, and Beyond

It is the greatest time ever for personal documentary work. Personalized photo books are easy to design and assemble based off templates or custom designed themes, and the printing and binding process of a carefully curated set of images with thoughtful words really elevates the presentation. The key to projects such as this is in the curation part—don’t try to cram every single image from the past two years into a photobook—think in terms of a narrative flow and choose images that hit the highlights.

Custom Photobooks are a great way to showcase photos and mark milestones.

Custom Photobooks are a great way to showcase photos and mark milestones.

And of course, Canvas and metallic prints offer alternatives to the traditional photo print, and look great hung on walls and displayed in large format.

A little Photoshop magic was used to make this shot of Three little bears sitting on chairs for my daughter's room. Since we only had two chairs, I needed to capture the right and left chairs in different frames and use blending and layer erasing techniques to bring this passage from Goodnight Moon to life as a 12x16 photo print on canvas.

A little Photoshop magic was used to make this shot of Three little bears sitting on chairs for my daughter’s room. Since we only had two chairs, I needed to capture the right and left chairs in different frames and use blending and layer erasing techniques to bring this passage from Goodnight Moon to life as a 12×16 photo print on canvas.

And for video capture, the quality of footage captured through an HDSLR is usually leaps and bounds beyond what you’ll catch on a smartphone. (And of course, the native capture aspect is wide, not tall, when using an interchangeable lens camera!) Personal videos incorporating stills and video footage are a fantastic surprise element to celebrate a special milestone. iMovie, Adobe Premiere Elements, and many other free or economical movie editing programs make video and slideshow production a breeze.

Again, curation is the key—it isn’t necessarily about looping several hours of raw video footage and every single image in a library—find the key moments of both stills and video that best tell a story.  An audio track can easily be assembled with Voice Memo clips from any iPhone or Android device to personalize the narration track. And the results when captured on a big sensor through sharp lenses will look fantastic on screens big and small.

There is so much creative power in our hands, thanks to incredible artistic tools for combining stills, video, and our imaginations. For example, each year I challenge myself to create a new video Christmas card for friends and family, and this one below, is still one of my favorite personal projects, combining time lapse and frame-within-the-frame effects. Having the flexibility to use a variety of lenses and focal lengths for this time lapse project really helped realize my vision.

 

The point I’m hammering home here is this: The better quality images you make, the more you can, and should, and will want to do with them. Today’s cameras, lenses, and editing tools make it the greatest time ever for making and sharing photographs that will last the test of time. Your moments matter. Make the most of them.

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.

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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

 

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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.

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05.30.2014

Whether you are staying close to home or hitting the road or for your big summer vacation, Sigma has a great advice for which lens, camera, and flash may be right for you!

Best bet lens for beaches and boardwalks

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0

17 70 smallerThis fast-aperture standard zoom is a great one-lens choice for a weekend down the shore that’s wide enough for sunrise and long enough to zoom in on rides at the boardwalk. On the beach, you don’t want to change lenses if you don’t have to, because, well, sand, sea spray and such, and on the boardwalk, you don’t want to be lugging a whole camera bag.  Faster apertures and Optical Stabilizer works to keep sharp shots at slower shutter speeds around sunrise and sunset, without a tripod on this Contemporary lens designed exclusively for DSLRs with APS-C size sensors.

Want an F2.8 constant-aperture zoom lens covering a similar range? The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM is a full-frame standard zoom, and the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM covers the same range for smaller DSLRs and offers Optical Stabilization.

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05.28.2014

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens is simply amazing. This standard field of view, fast-aperture, full-frame, prime lens combines outstanding sharpness and fast autofocus, in a lens that is built with a singular vision focused on performance.

Daffodils, captured wide open at F1.4 with the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens on a classic 5D. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Daffodils, captured wide open at F1.4 with the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens on a classic 5D. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Initial reviews and fan feedback about the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens has been off the charts. The worldwide demand for this lens in all supported mounts is, and will continue to be, very high for the foreseeable future. Thousands upon thousands of photographers have rediscovered Sigma, and are anxiously awaiting delivery of the most highly sought-after lens of the year.

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05.19.2014
© 2014 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal length: 12mm | Aperture: f/4.5 | ISO 100 | Exposure time: Over an hour

© 2014 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal length: 12mm | Aperture: f/4.5 | ISO 100 | Exposure time: Over an hour

I have been photographing nighttime landscapes for about 20 years now capturing images of star trails like the one pictured above with good success even in the film days.  The arrival of the digital camera and their high ISO capabilities has allowed me to push the boundaries of nighttime landscape photography and allow me to capture the milky way and stars just as we see them.  I released my e-book on that subject in February 2011 but wanted to revisit some of the images I had captured with the Sigma 12-24mm lens as I liked the wider view it afforded me and allowed me to implement some of the new lessons I have learned since then.  The above image is the newest version of my cover shot but this time the illumination you see is from just the moon.  A rock solid tripod and ballhead are a must for this genre of photography. A wide-angle lens is also a must so the Sigma 12-24mm lens is now my choice for my Canon 1D Mark 3 bodies although the Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF would also be a good choice.  For those of you with crop sensors, the 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM should be your go-to lens but keep in mind with any of your choices that 20mm on full frame is the max you should go with the settings I will be providing.

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05.16.2014

On a recent trip to Alaska I brought along a lens on loan from Sigma, the 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO HSM lens. Apparently this lens a very popular lens in the super zoom multi-purpose category but the question is, how would do on a wildlife shoot? When I was packing for my trip I remember thinking that I didn’t know how the lens would perform but at least the lens is so tiny it wouldn’t take up a lot of room in my bag.

Honestly it was my first time using this lens, or any type of super zoom lens, so I didn’t have a clue of what to expect but as the first series of images popped on the screen I was pleasantly surprised but when I zoomed in to see the sharpness at 100% the feeling changed to one of mild shock!

Lens: Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO HSM | Focal length: 155mm | Nikon  D800E in DX mode | Exposure mode: manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/1250th sec | Aperture:  f/8 | ISO 400 | handheld OS on.

Lens: Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO HSM | Focal length: 155mm | Nikon D800E in DX mode | Exposure mode: manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/1250th sec | Aperture: f/8 | ISO 400 | handheld OS on.

One of the most common questions I get about a new lens is autofocus. So how does the autofocus on this lens perform? It was not the fastest that I have ever used but it was perfectly usable for eagles in flight. Take a look at the images in this post. These are not huge crops, I only removed a small horizontal strip to crop to a 16:10 ratio or to level the image.

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