The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

02.10.2014

Ok. I admit to being somewhat of a snob when it comes to the speed of the lenses I use. The list of my f/2.8’s includes the 120-300mm, 70-200mm, 24-70mm, 150mm Macro & 105mm Macro and a 15mm fisheye. For f/1.4 the list is all primes with the  85mm, the 50mm and the new 35mm Art lens. All of these speed demons are from Sigma of course.

So along comes the latest member of their new Global Vision lenses; the 24-105mm at what I thought was a not-so-speedy f/4.0…

I really need to have a talk with myself about it. Here’s a transcript of that conversation:

Speedball Me: “Hey, hey! Look at this! A 24 to 105 Art lens from Sigma, sweet! Wait a minute… It’s only an f/4.0? Really?!? What’s up with that?”

Photo Me: “Ah, come on Speedball, it’s only one stop slower. That’s no big deal to get the extra reach. I’ll take 105mm at f/4.0 over 70mm and f/2.8 any day. Really!”

Speedball Me: “Well…”

Photo Me: “Speed. Schmeed. Double the ISO and you’ve covered the one stop difference.”

Speedball Me: “Hmmm…”

Photo Me: “By the way, optically stabilized too. Shoot it. Look at the results then decide.”

Speedball Me: “What? It’s a longer telephoto with stabilization too?”

Photo Me: “Yes sir!”

So of course the photographic part of me shot the lens a lot and…Wow. Yep. Wow.

The proof is in the photos. One of the first shoots was with model Amy Patterson as part of my Red Dress series where different ladies rock the same gown.

The proof is in the photos. One of the first shoots was with model Amy Patterson as part of my Red Dress series where different ladies rock the same gown.

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02.07.2014

In 2011 I released my first children’s picture book, CURIOUS CRITTERS, which featured close-up photographs of twenty-one animals. All the shots were taken with Sigma gear. The book really took off with children and families across North America. Within four months we sold out. To-date, we’ve sold over 100,000 copies.

More amazing animals—from cute cottontails to a babbling bunting—posed for portraits. Good thing photographer and writer David FitzSimmons recorded what each of the Curious Critters had to say!

More amazing animals—from cute cottontails to a babbling bunting—posed for portraits. Good thing photographer and writer David FitzSimmons recorded what each of the Curious Critters had to say! American alligator photographed at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida. Nikon D800E, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM @ 24mm. f/22, 1/250 sec., ISO 100. Lastolite Cubelight light tent. Two Dynalite strobes. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw, Photomatix Pro 4.2, and Photoshop CS5, Nik Viveza and Sharpener Pro plug-ins applied.

Today CURIOUS CRITTERS Volume Two launches. The second book in the series features twenty animals, ranging from an indigo bunting to a bluegill, from a striped skunk to a sidewinder. Again, all the images are taken with Sigma equipment.

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02.05.2014
© 2013 Lindsay Adler

© 2013 Lindsay Adler

Choosing the Right Light Modifier & Quality of Light

When your job is to flatter your portrait subjects, you need as many tools in your photographic toolbox as possible so you are prepared for any features, and any ‘flaws’.

I think it is important to mention that I am not judging people’s appearance. As a fashion photographer, I often get to photograph what society considers “ideal” forms of beauty. What I notice time and time again, however, is that certain models’ “flaws” are what make them unique and memorable. In fact, there are several supermodels with so-called flaws like gapped-teeth, unusual noses, and more.

What matters is not what society says is ‘perfect’ but instead how your subjects perceives themselves. You want them to feel confident, attractive and proud of the images you provide them. You want to help them reduce anything they are self-conscious about and help their expression glow in their images.

In Part 1 of this blog series I discussed how lens choice can help flatter more pronounced features of a person’s face including a more pronounced nose, chin or forehead.

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02.03.2014

What is WPPI?

Photographers, can you feel that excitement in the air? Do you see all the posts about it on social media? That’s right… WPPI is around the corner!!!

So what IS WPPI you ask? Here’s how it is described on their website:

About the Show

WPPI Conference+Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and filmmakers specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding and portrait photography and filmmaking. Each year, nearly 13,000 professional and aspiring photographers and filmmakers attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to grow their business, experience new products and solutions from major manufacturers to improve their productivity, and enjoy the many attractions in Las Vegas. WPPI is a week-long event combining educational seminars with a major industry trade show and networking events, all designed around learning the latest techniques, building new relationships and growing a business in a friendly, fun environment – all at one time, in one place.

  •  Learn superior technical skills and new shooting styles
  •  Build new relationships to grow your business
  •  Experience new products and solutions from major manufacturers
  •  Discover competitive and affordable ways to grow your business
  •  Meet some of the world’s finest photographic instructors
  •  Make an investment in yourself and your future

The WPPI 2014 Conference + Expo, will take place on February 27- March 6, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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02.03.2014
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Tried and true comes to mind when thinking about the Sigma 150-500mm APO F5-6.3 DG HSM OS. A staple in Sigma’s lineup, it’s ideal for all sorts of photography but truly excelling in nature photography, wildlife photography and sports photography.

With fantastic reach, fast auto-focus, optically stabilized and great image quality, this lens has been a hot seller since its release. To honor this lens we are doing a few special things, first, until the end of February we have a special instant rebate of $170 on the lens bringing it down to $899 and second, we also have an incredible Photo submission contest  where we are giving away a 150-500mm 5-6.3 DG HSM OS. We want to see a photo of when you needed more reach and tell us why! The contest runs until February 28th 5pm EST and submission will be judged by Sigma and in partnership with the great folks over at The Phoblographer. Make sure to follow us on our social channels here: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and if you have any photos taken with Sigma gear you can submit them to our Photoshare Gallery, we love to see what you create with Sigma gear!

Want some more info on the 150-500mm lens? We have some more articles already on Sigma’s blog listed below with sample images and more in depth details on the 150-500mm.
- Birding with the 150-500mm 5-6.3 DG HSM OS
- The 50-500mm vs. 150-500mm Shootout

02.03.2014

Our technical product information has been expanded to now include both Geometric and Diffraction MTF charts for new Sigma lenses. You can take a look at the technical information about the new Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary lens on the Sigma Global Vision website to see these graphs plotted as part of the total package of information we share to help photographers understand the performance of our lenses.

The Diffraction and Geometric MTF Charts for the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary lens at both 18mm and 200mm.

The Diffraction and Geometric MTF Charts for the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary lens at both 18mm and 200mm.

Previously, only the Diffraction MTF charts have been published, and we will be adding in the Geometric MTF charts in the near future to our full line of lenses. Why, you may ask, are we doing this? Simply, because it helps provide a clearer picture of both theoretical and practical lens performance. And this information allows photographers to more fully understand and comprehend the real-world impact on their imagery of the MTF data.

As you can see, these two charts for the 18-200mm are similar, but not identical. This is due to the consideration of the diffraction of light as it passed through the elements of a lens in the Diffraction calculations. The Geometric chart is a simplified approach that does not include the effects of diffraction on the results.

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01.15.2014
© 2013 Lindsay Adler

© 2013 Lindsay Adler

Compression to Flatter Pronounced Features

As photographers, our job is to be problem solvers. We need to come up with visual solutions to a wide range of ‘problems’. Advertising photographers help their clients to express their brand and allure the target audience with their images. Food photographers must light and style the food to make any viewer’s mouth water. Portrait photographers must use the tools available to them to flatter their subjects.

While I consider myself a fashion photographer, a great number of my biggest clients are actually portrait clients including athletes, musicians, and celebrities. Together with my creative team we are helping them to express their personal brand through the images we make. These people are often NOT models or model-esqe. They have ‘flaws’ just like the rest of us, and my job is to help emphasize their assets and reduce attention to ‘flaws’.

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01.08.2014
 ©2013 Judy Host | Lens: Sigma 18-250mm | Focal length: 250mm | Aperture: f/9.0 Shutter speed: 2000 ISO 640 Manual mode Processed in Photoshop.

©2013 Judy Host | Lens: Sigma 18-250mm | Focal length: 250mm | Aperture: f/9.0 Shutter speed: 2000 ISO 640 Manual mode Processed in Photoshop.

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned in creating imagery with an impact is to anticipate what could happen next.  I do this when I’m photographing children, although I never really know what’s going to happen, I do know that something will happen.

Early December I found myself in Oahu, Hawaii on the north shore of the Island photographing the Pipeline Master’s Competition.  This is an International surfing competition that is by far one of the most exciting events I’ve had an opportunity to photograph.

Using Sigma’s 18-250mm lens, I choose a very fast shutter speed at 1/2000 sec, F9.0 aperture and then compensated for additional light with an ISO of 640. These settings were all geared to make sure that my images were tact sharp and that I could stop the action while still getting an almost perfect exposure.  Sigma’s 18-250 lens responded perfectly to the fast speed I was using and even from that distance, the images were crystal clear.  During the early morning hours, just as the sun was coming up, my settings varied from ISO 160-640.  My aperture and shutter speed also changed from F 7.1 at the lowest to my shutter speed set at a minimum of 640.

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01.07.2014

UPDATE, 1/7/2014: Congratulations to our #SigmaWishList swagbag contest winners: Jackie Rozett, Raymond Vestal III, Mike Thiesen, Emese Gaale, Philip Martini, Andre Ruiz, Jonathan Bongolan, Nick Benson, Ali Samieivafa and Ian Lyn. We wanted to thank each and every one of you who participated in the contest! Rest assured that we will continue to not only make premium photography gear but also hold contests for fans to win some great Sigma gear in 2014!

In case you were ever wondering how many of our smallest lens equal one of our biggest lenses, and how our lenses size up to a cardinal or a 16 oz cup of coffee, we present the Holiday Season 2013 Sigma Lens Comparison Chart! Here’s our entire lens lineup, to scale.

Which of these lenses are on your #SigmaWishlist?

Which of these lenses are on your #SigmaWishlist?

 

We’ll be posting this image to our Facebook Page, our Google Plus Page, Instagram and Twitter. Feel free to reshare it, and be sure to tell us what’s on your #SigmaWishlist between now and to 12pm EST December 26th.  (Contest is now closed.) We’ll be picking ten winners to receive a cool Sigma Swagbag across all social channels from postings using the #SigmaWishlist hashtag.

(You can even share it socially right from here with our sharing buttons! Be sure to include the #SigmaWishlist hashtag!)

What’s on your #SigmaWishlist?

 

UPDATE, 1/7/2014: Congratulations to our #SigmaWishList swagbag contest winners: Jackie Rozett, Raymond Vestal III, Mike Thiesen, Emese Gaale, Philip Martini, Andre Ruiz, Jonathan Bongolan, Nick Benson, Ali Samieivafa and Ian Lyn. We wanted to thank each and every one of you who participated in the contest! Rest assured that we will continue to not only make premium photography gear but also hold contests for fans to win some great Sigma gear in 2014!
 

01.03.2014

Prime lenses are designed for exceptional imaging at a single focal length. Unlike zoom lenses that easily span a given focal range and variable field of view with a twist of the zoom ring, the field of view and focal length remains constant. If you want to take in less of the surroundings with a given prime lens, you’ve got to physically move closer, and to take in more of the scene, you’ve got to back up. But of course, as you move, the angle of view remains the same all the while.

22Primes

It is true that switching to a prime for the first time may take a serious degree of adjustment for many photographers who’ve only worked with zooms, and the flick-of-the-wrist compositional versatility they offer. And it is true the the overall quality of zoom lenses has increased significantly over the past three decades. But there is still something, a certain charm, or a certain shift in the photographer’s eye, when the optic of choice is a single focal length length lens.

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