The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

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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05.13.2014
©Judy Host 2014 | Lens: 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Aperture: f. 6.3 | Shutter speed:  1/200sec |  ISO 160 | Focal length 62 manual mode

©Judy Host 2014 | Lens: 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Aperture: f. 6.3 | Shutter speed: 1/200sec | ISO 160 | Focal length 62 manual mode

As a natural light photographer there comes a time when even the best of us struggle with finding the right light. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, the direction of the light and the beauty of a location may not be cohesive, meaning in order to get good light on your subject, you must use a part of the location that’s not so pretty.  Sound familiar?  Learning how to make a location and the available light work for you, no matter where you are, is one of the greatest lessons you can learn as a photographer.  Even now, as I travel for a living, I find myself in locations for the first time and need to be able to find the light almost immediately.

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05.09.2014
Click the photo to enter the contest!

Click the photo to enter the contest!

Sigma is co-sponsoring this great contest with our friends at Datacolor and photo photographer David Cardinal to make photos of incredible Alaskan wildlife with a great prize package including the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 zoom lens, a Datacolor SpyderCapture Pro and more!

Click here to pop over to Datacolor’s site to enter before May 26th!

Official rules here in PDF Format.

Read an interview with David Cardinal about Safari Photography!

 

 

05.09.2014

Here at Sigma, we love seeing lens reviews from photographers and bloggers from all over the world who are rediscovering many of the incredible lenses in the Sigma lineup. For example, we just came across this fantastic hands-on account of a test-shoot of the new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A from Marc Lebryk, based in East Indianapolis, Indiana.

Photo © Marc Lebryk. Used with permission. (Canon 5D Mark II, 100ISO, Sigma 50mm F1.4 HSM Art Lens.  1/5000th@F1.4)

Photo © Marc Lebryk. Used with permission. (Canon 5D Mark II, 100ISO, Sigma 50mm F1.4 HSM Art Lens. 1/5000th@F1.4)

 

After testing the 50mm F1.4 he reports that:

“Everything I’ve touched or seen out of Sigma in the last 2 years has not only met but far surpassed my expectations from not just the Sigma name, but the Nikon or Canon name as well.  If you don’t own a 50mm lens (and I am a firm believer that everyone should have a 50mm prime of some kind in their bag)  then the Sigma is more than just an option; This time it’s the cream of the crop.”

Read the full review on his blog.

 

05.06.2014

As a photographer, I am definitely a problem solver. I must solve endless problems including lighting, posing, and flattering my subject. One way to become a better problem solver is to understand the tools available to us, most importantly, our cameras.

When photographing people and portraits, it is important to understand how your camera and lenses see. When looking through the lens, how does your camera interpret the environment and your subject different than what you perceive with the naked eye? Whether posing and shooting fashion, family portraits or head shots, understanding this makes a profound impact on the final results.

Let’s start by exploring one very important element of how your camera sees. Remember this saying and use it to better control your images.

“Whatever is closest to the camera appears larger. What is further from the camera appears smaller.”

Most of us know this to be true for more obvious examples, but then we forget this fact in the nuances of posing. Here is an example that we all understand and can relate to. If a subject places their hand next to their face, it appears proportional. Yet when they put their hand outward toward the camera, it appears much larger and disproportional at this point.

©2014 Lindsay Adler | Hand close to the face look proportional and correct size. | Sigma 24-70mm lens at 60mm, Canon 5D Mark III

©2014 Lindsay Adler | Hand close to the face look proportional and correct size. | Sigma 24-70mm lens at 60mm, Canon 5D Mark III

 

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04.30.2014

The Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | C is a fantastic everyday zoom lens for photographers looking for a compact, high-zoom ratio lens for their small DSLRs without sacrificing image quality or build quality. This 11.1x zoom is just slightly larger than the typically bundled 18-55mm kit lens paired with a Canon EOS Rebel or Nikon DSLR, but offers much greater versatility in terms of creative composition including macro capture; and a noticeably higher build quality feel than the usual starter camera lens.

The Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | C lens is a versatile, compact all-in-one zoom lens that covers wide angle to telephoto and macro close-up photography. It is available for the most popular DSLRs. Here, for example, is a purple rose as seen through this lens on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. 1/60 F6.3 ISO 400 at 200mm.

The Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | C lens is a versatile, compact all-in-one zoom lens that covers wide angle to telephoto and macro close-up photography. It is available for the most popular DSLRs. Here, for example, is a purple rose as seen through this lens on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. 1/60 F6.3 ISO 400 at 200mm.

For DSLR photographers looking for a very compact one-lens solution, the new Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 very well may be the answer. On APS-C DSLRs, such as the Canon EOS Rebel series and the Nikon D3200 or D5200, the Sigma 18-200mm equates to about a 28-300mm zoom lens, covering wide-angle to telephoto, with a close-focusing setting at 200mm offering 1:3 macro magnification. And yet it weighs less than a pound is is just 2.8 x 3.4 inches in size. Optical Stabilizer, which counteracts camera and lens movements at slower shutter speeds, adds to the on-the-go abilities of the lens, by helping to keep shots sharp at slower shutter speeds without a tripod. (Learn much more about OS here.)

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04.28.2014

When all the elements fall info place during a photo session you can find yourself a lot more than just a couple of high quality single images but instead can find that you have captured a series of images that illustrates some really interesting action. Combining multiple images into a single action sequence image can give you a creative eye opening image that can really surprise viewers.

©2014 Robert O'Toole | Lens: 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S | Focal Length:  250mm | Camera: Nikon  D4 | Exposure Mode:  manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/4000 sec | Aperture: f/4 | ISO 400 | handheld at water level.

©2014 Robert O’Toole | Lens: 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S | Focal Length: 250mm | Camera: Nikon D4 | Exposure Mode: manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/4000 sec | Aperture: f/4 | ISO 400 | handheld at water level.

If you would like to try one of these images on your own, here are some tips to get you started.

Action that takes place parallel or slightly angled to the camera sensor are easiest to combine. A sequence coming directly at the camera can be difficult to combine due to problems with depth of field banding.

Manual mode is best since the exposure is more even frame to frame results will be a lot easier to work with.

Always use the very best technique, the proper shutter speed and aperture are essential. For the image above I used the 120-300mm F2.8 D G OS HSM at 1/4000th of a second and one stop down from maximum. The image below is a 100% actual pixel crop of the sequence to give you an idea of the quality.

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