Congratulations to Tom Nanos of Lebanon, Connecticut, our October #SigmaSuperFan. This accomplished railroad photographer impressed us with his passion for capturing the spirit of railroading with his Sigma gear in his winning essay.
Tom Nanos of Lebanon, CT, is our October Sigma SuperFan. Photo by Nick Palazini
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been a life-long resident of eastern Connecticut, and have been interested in photography since the early to mid 1980s when my parents gave me a basic darkroom kit for Christmas. Using my father’s Minolta XE-5 (which I still have and use occasionally), I taught myself how to shoot, develop and print black & white photos. I made the move to autofocus cameras in about 2001 when I purchased my first Canon EOS body, shooting mostly slides, with the occasional roll of Tri-X for old time’s sake. Late 2004 I made the move to digital and have been there ever since – starting with a Canon EOS 20D. As for the non-photography end of myself, in my “day job” I’m a business technology manager at a major pharmaceutical company, and am married with two wonderful pre-teen daughters – who are also becoming quite interested in photography.
The Last Year, an alternative rock band out of Baltimore, MD, recently launched the Living Room Sessions on their YouTube channel in advance of their new self-released album, coming soon!
Niki Barr, lead singer, chose the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens to pair with her DSLRs for its incredibly sharp wide-open performance—great for the challenging low-light situations typical of indoor music venues.
The Last Year records their Living Room Sessions videos with the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens. R-L: From left to right: Scott Griffith, Niki Barr, BJ Kerwin, Scott Ensign.
“We’re a DIY band, and this lens just works perfectly for us, and paired with my full-frame 6D, it’s great for tight spaces. We’re going to be doing a lot of video work with this camera and lens combination this year as we create videos for our singles and live shows.”
The World of Outlaw Late Model Series came to Weedsport Speedway in Upstate New York on June 23rd. A few weeks earlier I photographed the wedding of one of the series’ top drivers, Tim McCreadie, so this was a perfect opportunity to spend an evening with him at the track to get some behind the scenes footage with some new Sigma lenses.
Editor’s Note: I have known Matt Mitchell for nearly four decades now. After seeing another video John Isberg of Swede Films did for the band, which includes Matt and wife, Elizabeth Majerus, along with Matt Cohn, we struck up a Facebook conversation about the Black Magic Cameras and Sigma Art lenses, which resulted in the video below, filmed with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art lens and the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art paired with a Black Magic Cinema Camera. We talked recently with John about his experiences working with these two lens for music video production paired with the BMCC. ~ Jack Howard/Sigma Corporation of America
John, so you work with Black Magic Cine cameras and a variety of lenses. How did the Sigma18-35mm and 50mm Art lenses measure up to other gear you’ve used before?
When I got started, the main lens I used was a 50 1.8 from Nikkor. Just an old lens but I loved how the 50 looked. The 50 is definitely my favorite lens for getting great bokeh and one of the things about the Sigma 50mm art lens I loved so much was the separation that I got, how sharp the image was and how closely I was able to focus on little details. I felt it was a giant step up in terms of definition and sharpness. I felt like it made the Blackmagic come alive in a way that my other lenses didn’t before. Definitely with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, there is a crop factor to take into account but I usually just move my camera until I get what I’m looking for.
The Sigma 18-300mm 3.5-6.3 DC HSM OS Macro │ Contemporary lens is by far and away the very best multi-purpose optic that I have ever used. I added “by far and away” to emphasize how exceptional this lens really is, namely because I have photographed with some not-so-impressive multi-purposes glass in the past. The Sigma 18-300mm, however, is just the opposite: it’s extraordinarily impressive.
Adrian DeGroot of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is our #SigmaSuperFan for September. Originally from the Netherlands, Adri is a big fan of Sigma cameras, and the total feel and image quality of Sigma’s Foveon Sensors. We spent a few minutes talking with the newest member of the SuperFan Winner’s Circle!
Adrian DeGroot, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is the Sigma SuperFan winner for September!
Tell us about yourself
I was born in the Netherlands in an art and music loving home environment, which inspired both my artistic vision as well as my musical development (I became a professional musician). The country itself is like a museum, and this further inspired me to take photographs. Currently, I live in the United States, very close to the beautiful city of Washington DC.
Sigma Art lenses are renowned for razor-sharp detail on the focal plane, even at widest apertures. It seems simple, enough, doesn’t it? If you are buying a very fast aperture lens, you will want to take advantage of the extra light-gathering power, not just for the through-the viewfinder experience, but also for the on-the-sensor feel of an F1.4, F1.8 or F2 aperture, whether in dim lighting situations to keep ISOs low, or simply for the aesthetic that a very shallow focal plane offers and how the foreground and background are rendered.
A raindrop hangs from a leaf as seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens wide open at F1.4. 1/200 F1.4 ISO 400 on a Canon EOS 6D. The focal point is sharp and crisp, while the depth of field is ridiculously shallow.
The laws of optical physics do insist that every lens will be a bit sharper overall when the aperture is stopped down slightly, and the same holds true for Sigma Art lenses. This is most noticeable on test targets, which, honestly, are one of the most boring photo subjects ever. In real world situations, Sigma Art lenses are growing more legendary each day for the total imaging performance this gear delivers, whether wide open, or stopped down a touch.
Razor thin focus on a hibiscus flower, which is mirrored in color by the red umbrellas blurred in the background. Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art wide open at F2 at 35mm on the 6D. 1/1000 at F2.0 ISO 100
I was about 13 years old when I saw the USAF Thunderbirds air demonstration team for the first time. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but alas, it was not meant to be. My eye sight wasn’t 20/20, which back in the 80’s meant that I was ineligible. Nevertheless, my passion for flight never dwindled and I make it a point to see every air show that I can. At this years Rochester International Air Show, I had the opportunity to photograph the Navy’s Blue Angels with Sigma’s 150-600mm Sport lens. Could this lens possibly be the best lens ever to photograph an air show?