The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

02.20.2014

The Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro EX DG OS HSM  lens has become one of my favorite lenses for macro photography in the field. So what makes me reach for this lens when Sigma offers five macro lenses when I own all of them? The answer is balance- the 105mm lens is really good at everything and one of the best in terms image quality. This lens can give you the sharpest results possible with an excellent balance of size, weight, working distance at a very high value per dollar price.

© 2014 Robert O'Toole | Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro, Nikon D800E, manual mode, 1/200th s at f/16, ISO 400, Single SB-R200 wireless flash at 1:4 power manual mode, handheld.

© 2014 Robert O’Toole | Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro, Nikon D800E, manual mode, 1/200th s at f/16, ISO 400, Single SB-R200 wireless flash at 1:4 power manual mode, handheld.

© 2014 Robert O'Toole |

© 2014 Robert O’Toole |

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02.18.2014
© 2014 Roman Kurywczak | Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX DG HSM APO macro lens, f/32 for 1/100 sec. and ISO 800 hand held with Canon MT 24EX twin flash at -3 and large flashlight to backlight Gerbera Daisy.

© 2014 Roman Kurywczak | Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX DG HSM APO macro lens, f/32 for 1/100 sec. and ISO 800 hand held with Canon MT 24EX twin flash at -3 and large flashlight to backlight Gerbera Daisy.

When photographing flowers, people often make the common mistake of trying to capture the entire flower even when there are distracting or unwanted elements in the frame.  In many cases an arboretum or flower show do not allow tripods either…so what is the solution?  The simple answer is to get closer!  You don’t need to see the entire bloom and foliage to get your point across and macro lenses are especially well suited for this task.  The image above of the Gerber Daisy is a great example of this philosophy.

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02.14.2014

The love of photography is something that is oftentimes shared and passed down through the generations of a family. Ask a photographer where they first caught the photo bug, and there’s a good chance that  a father, uncle, aunt or mother originally sparked that interest.

Bailey Bryant, age nine, makes a photo with one of the two Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 lenses his family owns near their home in Florida.

Bailey Bryant, age nine, makes a photo with one of the two Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 lenses his family owns near their home in Florida. Photo © Cindy Bryant.

For nine year old Bailey Bryant of Orlando, Florida, he can look to both his parents, Matt and Cindy, as his source of inspiration. In fact, Matt and Cindy Bryant are, to date, the only husband and wife pair to both be featured as Sigma’s Fan of the Week. And even cooler, both made their winning shots with their pair of Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM lenses. And these days, they are having to share their favorite supertelephoto zoom lens with their son more and more!

Central Florida, where the Bryant family lives, is a great base for bird photography, and the reach and range of the 150-500mm F5-6.3 helps Matt, Cindy, and their two sons capture great photos. All photos © Matt and Cindy Bryant

Central Florida, where the Bryant family lives, is a great base for bird photography, and the reach and range of the 150-500mm F5-6.3 helps Matt, Cindy, and their two sons capture great photos. All photos © Matt and Cindy Bryant

Cindy bought her first DSLR camera nearly three years ago.  Her goal was to take wonderful photos of the Bryant family adventures and her two boys growing up.

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02.13.2014

A bottle of red. No it’s not a Billy Joel song. This is the real thing… not Coke; wine. Red, red wine.

© 2013 Kevin Ames | Photographing a red wine bottle presents a few lighting challenges. The first is to define the shape of the bottle itself. It is really a very shiny almost black mirror. Lighting dark, reflective objects is simply adding the highlights that will define its shape.

© 2013 Kevin Ames | Photographing a red wine bottle presents a few lighting challenges. The first is to define the shape of the bottle itself. It is really a very shiny almost black mirror. Lighting dark, reflective objects is simply adding the highlights that will define its shape.

 

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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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