The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

08.04.2014

Whenever I spend time making photos with a Sigma camera, like the new dp2 Quattro, for example, it makes me slow down, think a little bit more about the overall composition, framing, and aesthetics of the image. In short, the nuances and quirks of the Sigma cameras helps me fine-tune my vision, and I strive to make each frame count. And the end result images are always a sight to behold, first on my monitor, and preferably, printed out in large format. It is a process that takes time; but the results are well worth it, thanks to the overall quality of the images.

I brought the Sigma dp2 Quattro along on a recent beach vacation to Cape May, NJ, a spot I've visited many times.  I made a series of photos of many of my favorite spots in town with this compact camera, which has simply incredible image quality. Here is one of the lifeboats along the beach in the morning. 1/250 F5.6 ISO 100.

I brought the Sigma dp2 Quattro along on a recent beach vacation to Cape May, NJ, a spot I’ve visited many times. I made a series of photos of many of my favorite spots in town with this compact camera, which has simply incredible image quality. Here is one of the lifeboats along the beach in the morning. 1/250 F5.6 ISO 100.

That same feeling of value, permanence, and overall material importance is likewise encapsulated in my personal images made with DSLRs and interchangeable lens compact cameras in general. I choose to capture almost all of my images of family adventures on dedicated cameras with bigger sensors because these are moments that matter to me. And for me, the long-term image quality matters significantly more than the instant-sharing capabilities of a smart-phone snap.

This landlocked Buoy sits on the beach entrance by Gurney Street in Cape May. There is such level of detail captured in this shot--you can read the tiniest of words imprinted on the top of the beacon. Sigma dp2 Quattro 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

This landlocked Buoy sits on the beach entrance by Gurney Street in Cape May. There is such level of detail captured in this shot–you can read the tiniest of words imprinted on the top of the beacon. Sigma dp2 Quattro 1/125 F5.6 ISO 100.

And of course, with such a great variety of lenses available for DSLRs, there’s always a fresh perspective to be captured, from ultrawide, to supertelephoto, wide open for gorgeous background separation and bokeh, or stopped down for telephoto compression, or any of the many other at-capture effects and stylings possible with sharp lenses on big camera sensors.

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07.01.2014

The very first advance shipment of the Sigma dp2 Quattro camera has just arrived, and as I write, our team is preparing a number of these compact, high-resolution cameras for the dp2 Quattro Test Shoot: Try Before You Buy program. Here’s our exclusive first look at the Sigma dp2 Quattro.

dp2Q  small

I’ve spent the weekend with the dp2 Quattro, and I can tell you straight-out that this is far and away the best dp camera I’ve had my hands on. And for those keeping score, I’ve been working with these cameras for a long time. In fact, I published one of the very first hands-on reports of the original DP1 back when I was Online Editor of PopPhoto.com.

The Red Mill in Clinton, NJ, as seen through the Sigma dp2 Quattro. 1/20 F8 ISO 100, Sigma 58mm Circular Polarizer. X3F Raw processed through Sigma Photo Pro 6. All photos in this article were captured as X3F Raw, Processed in Sigma Photo Pro, and tuned for final web output in Adobe Camera Raw 8.5.

The Red Mill in Clinton, NJ, as seen through the Sigma dp2 Quattro. 1/20 F8 ISO 100, Sigma 58mm Circular Polarizer. X3F Raw processed through Sigma Photo Pro 6. All photos in this article were captured as X3F Raw, Processed in Sigma Photo Pro, and tuned for final web output in Adobe Camera Raw 8.5.

I have always been a fan of the elegant simplicity of the dp cameras, the uncluttered interface, and the refreshing lack of frills and bloat in the menus and commands. The dp cameras have always been designed with an eye on image-making, and to that end, the functionality trumped any fashion issues for me.

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06.10.2014

As a portrait and wedding photographer, you have got a lot to think about and have a lot of responsibility. You must consider exposure, composition, lighting, lens choice, flattering the subject and posing. On an engagement session or wedding you are capturing one of the most important days of a person’s life. Now, add on top of that you may have a very limited time to capture these images! It is a lot to think about!

When I was first photographing couples, it seemed overwhelming to manage all of these things AND to remember a wide range of poses. I always wanted to capture a variety for use in the album, or in a guest book, or a wall cluster, or simply to give the couples a variety to choose from. When the time came for me to photograph the couple and I only had a few minutes to do so, I seemed to only be able to remember 2 or 3 different poses! I tried to remember 10 or 15 poses, and they never seemed to ‘stick’ especially when I was under pressure.

A lot of stress and many years later, I eventually developed a system to help me create endless posing that worked naturally while I was shooting. Most importantly, it helps me remember lots of poses in an extremely short time-frame. I’d like to take some time to share the method I have developed to be sure that I have a wide range of images to provide couples for their wedding albums or engagement announcements.

I call it “Making the Rounds” for couples’ posing, and it doesn’t require you to ‘memorize’ poses, but instead just make a few variations!

Put simply, I have the man stay relatively stationary while I move the woman around him. From there, I adjust hands, head position and eye contact to create ‘new poses’ and then vary my lens choice and camera angle to create entire new shots. Quite honestly, I can make dozens of drastically different images in just a couple minutes!

Let’s take a closer look.

The man will stay in a relatively stationary pose, more or less straight on toward camera. Now we will pose the woman around him (hence, “making the rounds”).

1.The woman begins with her back to his chest.

 

©2014 Lindsay Adler | Lens: Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM | Aperture: F2.2 | Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
©2014 Lindsay Adler | Lens: Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM | Aperture: F2.2 | Camera: Canon 5D Mark III

 

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05.31.2014

©Judy Host 2014 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 DG HSM I A | Aperture: F2.0 | Shutter speed: 1/125sec | ISO 400 | Manual Mode – Window Light | Make up and Hair by Jennie Carroll | Stylist – Judy Host
©Judy Host 2014 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 DG HSM I A | Aperture: F2.0 | Shutter speed: 1/125sec | ISO 400 | Manual Mode – Window Light | Make up and Hair by Jennie Carroll | Stylist – Judy Host

A few weeks ago while presenting a seminar in Southern California, I was lucky enough to get my hands on Sigma’s brand new art lens, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM| A and all I can say is WOW—what an amazing lens!  For someone like me who prefers to photograph in low light, this is the perfect camera lens.

As you can see from this image of Jennie, which was photographed inside my hotel room using only window light and hand held at f 2.0 s1/125 ISO 400 in manual mode, the image is beautifully sharp and the fabric, which is a hand painted silk, has been accurately recorded both in color and texture.  This kind of clarity is stunning especially shooting from this distance.  I chose to overexpose my image by one stop to soften the detail in Jennie’s skin tone to make it look almost painterly. Very little processing was necessary.

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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!