This month I was invited by Sigma to test out their brand new Sigma 24-105mm F4 lens and to shoot a series of bridal images to demonstrate the versatility of the lens. I decided to put together a fashion-influenced bridal shoot in a stunning location and with the help of my incredible talented creative team. Once I had put together striking visual elements, I would then test all features of the lens that would be important to me as a working photographer.
For several years I photographed weddings, and all the challenges that come with them. I realized very quickly that the last thing I wanted to worry about was my gear. I had to focus on the posing, the lighting, keeping everyone happy, my extremely long shot-list, and much more. I needed to know my gear was reliable and would help me get those must-have moments. When I started I didn’t have a second shooter or assistant; I was the one-woman band expected to make every shot count.
One challenge I frequently came up against was having the right focal length for any given moment. For example, when shooting a reception, at one moment I would want a close up of the couple dancing but then in the next instance I wanted a wide shot of the scene. These close then wide combinations were exactly what I needed to give me dynamic album design and to also capture the entire essence of the moment. What this meant for me, typically, is that I would have two cameras tangled around my neck. One one camera I would have the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 lens and Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens. I would switch between them rapidly to ensure I got the shots.
Often I get the question, “What do I buy if I can only afford 1 lens and 1 camera for shooting weddings?” After testing out the Sigma 24-105mm F4, I feel confident to recommend it as an EXCELLENT one-lens solution. I had heard about the 24-105mm f4, but would f/4.0 give me the look I wanted and would this be enough range to capture all of the shots? During this shoot I tried to push the limits of the lens, always shooting wide-open at 4.0, testing all focal length, and also experimenting with minimum focus distance (how close can I focus).
First, I went through and shot some of my MUST have images to see what the lens could and couldn’t do on my essential check list. For example, one of my favorite shots that I always get at a wedding is a close up of the bride’s ring (in focus) with the bride and groom out of focus in the background. I usually shoot this with a Sigma 85mm f1.4, so would a 4.0 cut it?
Here you can see the image I was able to create. At f4.0 I LOVE it. The ring is tack sharp, and the bokeh in the background is perfect.
© 2014 Lindsay Adler | Lens: Sigma 24-105mm 4.0 at 105mm | Camera: Canon 5D Mark III | Aperture: f/4.0 | Shutter speed: 1/200sec | ISO 400
Also, for detail shots of the flowers and shoes, I typically use my Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 at 200mm, so how would this lens fare at 105mm?
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