The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

06.08.2016

What is it about snow monkeys that brings people from all over the world back year after year? After all the famous snow monkey park in Nagano, Japan is pretty small and can get crowded but being able to see the snow monkeys close up and interacting and with one another, and sometimes with people, is really an experience you wont forget. But above all else I think that the young monkeys and their non stop energy are really the biggest attractions at the park.

© 2016 Robert OToole | Sigma 150-600 sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/500s, f/8, ISO 800, Manual mode, Auto-ISO, handheld.

© 2016 Robert OToole | Sigma 150-600 sports lens and Nikon D810, 1/500s, f/8, ISO 800, Manual mode, Auto-ISO, handheld.

The young cute Japanese macaques sometimes look more like teddy bears than monkeys.

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06.01.2016

We all live under budgets. But when it comes to photography, a budget should not limit our creativity. Even without a professional camera body and an assortment of lenses, you CAN get great photos at an aviation event. It’s all about sticking to some basic camera settings…leveraging the strong points of your equipment…and the right lens.

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Enter the small and mighty Sigma 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 zoom as the “right” lens. Paired with a Canon 70D camera body, it’s small, light, and easy to carry around. I used this combination recently at two aviation events – Sun ’n Fun 2016 in Florida and a gathering of TBM Avengers in Illinois.  I knew the large zoom range would have me covered with everything I wanted to photograph. Just mount the lens to the body, turn on the Optical Stabilization and start shooting. But to make this combo perform in the various photo opportunities I would encounter, it was time to make a few camera adjustments. Here are a few tips I used to make it work:

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05.31.2016

Living in Oregon, my free time is spent wandering the incredible nature that encompasses the Pacific North West. Like many people who share this pastime, finding a balanced hiking setup is a real struggle. Over packing can really drain your energy and weigh you down, while under packing could leave you disappointed that you’re missing a great shot with the gear you left at home.

Recently I have been trying to cut down on many of the non-essential gear that comes with me. My goal is to get rid of the clutter and focus on technique and challenging myself to create imagery without a 50lb bag on my back… and out comes the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary. This little gem of a lens has been surprising me time and time again to the point where it’s pretty much attached to my 70D constantly. The 18-300 is in the Contemporary line, and a lot of folks aren’t quite sure what that means. To put it simply, the contemporary line is geared more towards consumers and defines the merging of compactness and great image quality. Don’t be thrown off because it doesn’t say Art, this little lens is stocked with Sigma’s premium glass (4 FLD) along with great macro capabilities and an optical stabilizer, plus the versatility is insane!

SIGMA 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary

SIGMA 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary

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05.31.2016

The Sigma 50-100mm 1.8 DC HSM | Art is the latest addition to the art line. This designated crop sensor lens is the second lens to incorporate a constant 1.8 aperture through its entire focal range, with the 18-35mm 1.8 | Art being the first. My first impression with this lens (and this seems to be a common one for the Art line) is how solid it feels in the hand. The Global Vision lenses tend to have a more robust feel and weight to them than previous Sigma lenses, something I like in a lens. I am not the most gentle with my gear so it’s nice to have gear I know will stand up to the wear and tear I put them through.

I took the 50-100mm 1.8 DC HSM Art out for a few days to gather some images and showcase its strong points. This lens is for crop sensor cameras and I did my testing on a 70D. First thing I do when I get a new lens is plug it into my laptop with the Sigma USB DOCK, just to make sure its firmware is current. It’s a free software, Sigma Optimization Pro, and it takes 2 minutes to check this. If you are not familiar with the USB Dock, it allows you to connect any Global Vision lens to your laptop to update its firmware and do focus calibration. You can also do customization on lens performance for a few other lenses but for more info visit this page. Sigma was the first to pioneer this technology and give photographers more control over their gear.

© Patrick Santucci

© Patrick Santucci

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05.24.2016
© Judy Host 2016 Sigma’s 50mm F1.4DG HSM Art | F11. s 1/125 ISO 160 Manual mode. | Photographed in Atlanta with two dancers from the Atlanta Ballet Company, Alexis Arria and Keith Justin Reeves

© Judy Host 2016 Sigma’s 50mm F1.4DG HSM Art | F11. s 1/125 ISO 160 Manual mode. | Photographed in Atlanta with two dancers from the Atlanta Ballet Company, Alexis Arria and Keith Justin Reeves

My passion for dancers started many years ago when I first started my photography business.  I found their passion for dancing matched my passion for photography and I found their desire for perfection contagious. Whether I’m creating a scene that is traditional for ballet or simply performance driven, the art, the work, the passion all shines through.

When setting up a session like this, the first decision for me is, what lens will I use? My choice was the Sigma 50mm F1.4DG HSM | Art lens. For me, the lens provides a real perspective as to what the eye actually sees.  The next choice was to use a studio that was large enough for the dancers to move and fly through the air and the 50mm 1.4 with it’s fast shutter allowed me to capture that defining moment with ease. This is an extremely sharp lens that captured not only the muscle tone in their legs and arms, but also the expression of the dancers as they fly through the air.  When you work this hard with such precision and perfection it should be rewarded with beautiful imagery.

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© Judy Host 2016 Sigma’s 50mm F1.4DG HSM Art | Aperture: F11 | Shutter speed: 1/125 | ISO 160 | Manual mode

© Judy Host 2016 Sigma’s 50mm F1.4DG HSM Art | Aperture: F11 | Shutter speed: 1/125 | ISO 160 | Manual mode

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05.19.2016
©2016 Steve Chesler

©2016 Steve Chesler

At the end of every hockey season, I get to play with strobes on the ice at my local ice rink in Western New York. This year I had the opportunity to play with the new Sigma 24-35mm f2 DG HSM along with the Sigma 10mm F2.8 DC Diagonal Fisheye. Shooting with wide angle lenses for sports action allows for a unique look compared to the typical telephoto compression on most sports images.

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05.17.2016

We just recently returned from an awesome 30+ day tour of Japan and the people, food, opportunities, and sights were all amazing, it seemed like there was always a surprise or something new around every corner.

During my winter wildlife tour we visit a few different areas of Japan but before that tour officially begins we had the chance to spend a few days in and around the greater Tokyo area doing street shooting and visiting some of the most photogenic tourist hotspots. This post features some of my favorite images from around Tokyo.

The 24-105mm F4 DG OS Art is my standard short travel lens, the focal length range and compact size makes the perfect compliment to my 120-300mm F2.8 DG Sports and 150-600mm DG OS Sports lenses, giving me coverage from 24-600mm. I never leave home without it!

© 2016 Robert OToole | All Sigma 24-105 art lens and Nikon D810.

© 2016 Robert OToole | All Sigma 24-105 art lens and Nikon D810.

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05.11.2016
 © 2016 Roman Kurywczak | Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary handheld on boat at ISO 800 f/7.1 for 1/3200 sec. @388mm


© 2016 Roman Kurywczak | Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary handheld on boat at ISO 800 f/7.1 for 1/3200 sec. @388mm

I run multiple bird photography workshops to Florida every year and this year I decided to use only one lens; the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary.  Don’t worry, I had the Sigma 150-600mm Sport as backup but I wanted to show you all just how revolutionary I find the Contemporary to be.  Its light weight of 4.3 lbs. make this a great hand-holdable lens and the perfect choice for photographing birds in flight especially when combined with the fast frame per second shooting rate of my Canon 1DX.  I take off the removable collar of the lens reducing the weight another 4.5 ounces, which isn’t much, but every bit helps to achieve smooth tracking of the birds.

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05.05.2016

Fly-ins and air shows are exciting. And fun to photograph. But they can wear you out from walking around as you take photos of all the airplanes on the ground and in the air. And it’s not just the walking that wears you out. It’s walking around with every lens and camera you own because you think you might need each one for that certain shot.

The first wheel turning in my head when I pencil in an air show on my calendar is what am I going to take for equipment. How much is too much? My goal is that while my car trunk might be full of gear, I only want to take two camera bodies and two lenses with me as I walk around. I don’t want to carry around too much weight in gear. And I don’t want to change lenses in whatmight be a windy and dusty environment that allows dust to contaminate my camera sensors.

While pretty standard to take a 24-70mm F2.8 and a 70-200mm F2.8 lens, I prefer to shoot more at the extremes if I’m feeling creative. I want to be different from every other photographer at the event. So as I started to think about equipment I would take to a small fly-in at Brodhead, Wisconsin, I decided on the Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG and the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS Sport lenses. And since there was the chance to shoot an air to air mission with another aircraft, I also brought along the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. The 70-200mm focal range is pretty much the gold standard for an air to air lens.

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05.02.2016

Wow! We’ve just topped 100,000 fans on Facebook! Thanks to everyone who’s followed along as Sigma has grown over the past few years!

We’ve got great things in store for 2016 and beyond, so be sure to Like us on FB, Tweet with us, and Instagram along, too!

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