The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

05.02.2015

We are pleased to announce Richard Bagdonas, of Jacksonville, Florida as our May #SigmaSuperFan.  Here is an excerpt from his entry that we really liked!

“Coming recently back into the photography field after a long hiatus, I started myself off with a camera class to introduce me back and also learn more about DSLRs. Working with my kit lenses, I immediately knew that I was quickly going to outgrow them, so I started researching.

One of my instructors lent me her lens during one outing and I quickly found my first Sigma lens, my 18-250mm. This lens proved to be a great addition to my camera bag, and stayed on the camera almost always. As I practiced more, shot more, and started focusing to the type of photography that I primarily enjoy (landscapes, cityscapes, and nature) I went back to the researching and happily chose the next member of the family to join us, my 17-70 2.8-4. I cannot begin to express just how much I love this lens. I have shot from sunrise to deep sky with it and have yet to find a time I wasn’t happy with the shots it took. It is my primary walking lens now.

Now that my son has joined in and adopted the 18-250, I know that I will have to start looking for another lens to pair with my 17-70! I have been very happy with Sigma and they will always be a contender for my lens choices. I enjoy finding a company that I can trust in their quality, service and product & stay a life long advocate of them. Thank you Sigma for bringing me into the family!”

Richard Bagdonas of Jacksonville, Florida, is our May Sigma SuperFan! This photo was made by his son, Daniel.

Richard Bagdonas of Jacksonville, Florida, is our May Sigma SuperFan! This photo was made by his son, Daniel.

 

Richard is a passionate hobbyist, who first got into photography with a 35mm film camera many years ago. After a long break, he got back into digital photography about three years ago when his son, Daniel, purchased him a DSLR kit as a father’s day gift. He’s got the 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Macro and 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM | Contemporary lenses in his bag, while his son has just picked up the 150-500mm F5-6.3 as well! We had a great conversation with Richard about his photography.

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05.01.2015

When it comes to all around versatility, there’s no other type of lens that packs as much creative and compositional flexibility into a compact package as the high-zoom ratio multi-purpose zoom lens. If you want to travel seriously light, but pack a lens that can go from wide angle to telephoto with just a twist of the zoom ring, an all-in-one lens is the way to go. Sigma currently offers three all in ones, the 18-200mm, the 18-250mm, and the 18-300mm.

All in one zoom lenses maximize the possibilities of variable aperture zoom lens design to cover a great focal range in as compact a package as possible. While the size, weight and total zoom ratio varies slightly between each of these camera lenses, each lens offers fantastic performance across a wide zoom range, effortlessly switching from a sweeping field of view to the long-reach pinpointing of a distant detail.

All in one lenses cover a very wide range of focal lengths, from wide angle to telephoto. The top image is at 18mm and the bottom image at 250mm. These lenses are designed with an eye towards maximizing versatility in a very compact design.

All in one lenses cover a very wide range of focal lengths, from wide angle to telephoto. The top image is at 18mm and the bottom image at 250mm. These lenses are designed with an eye towards maximizing versatility in a very compact design.

High zoom ratio lens design has evolved significantly in the past couple of decades, and the total image quality throughout the focal range has benefitted greatly. In fact, in 2012, respected photography site DPReview said they thought the Sigma 18-250mm was the “best-rounded general-purpose SLR lens currently on the market.”

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05.01.2015

I had the chance to explore the desert with the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art Series lens.  About 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada lies a town that is not on any maps.  Nelson, Nevada is a former gold mining town in Eldorado Canyon.  Filled with old cars, trucks, gas pumps, and barns, this was the perfect place to give the new 35mm lens a workout.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

Making a commitment to a prime (fixed focal length) lens, requires dedication to the art of seeing and creating with what is in front of you at one focal length.  The slightly wider than normal 35mm F1.4 lens is a great length to capture the personality of an area while still having the ability to walk in to get details.

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04.28.2015

Earlier this year I was lucky to be able escape the winter time temps at home and make a quick getaway to Asia. My stopover is located close to the equator and only has one season, hot and humid, with temps averaging 87 degrees year round with lots of rain. This might sound unpleasant but for insects and plants its just about perfect. The macro photography opportunities in equatorial Asia are almost mind boggling sometimes!

© 2015 Robert O'Toole | Bi-color-damselfly.  Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG APO HSM Macro, Nikon  D810, manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/200 sec | Aperture: f/11 | ISO 200, single SBR200 flash, flash diffuser, Acratech GP ball head on Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod. 5 image stack.

© 2015 Robert O’Toole | Bi-color-damselfly. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG APO HSM Macro, Nikon D810, manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/200 sec | Aperture: f/11 | ISO 200, single SBR200 flash, flash diffuser, Acratech GP ball head on Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod. 5 image stack.

© 2015 Robert O'Toole | 100% crop view of the image above.

© 2015 Robert O’Toole | 100% crop view of the image above.

Breezes made these images pretty difficult but the use of flash really helped stop movement and bring out all the sharpness the Sigma 150mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Macro was able to deliver.

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04.27.2015

Sigma Pro Judy Host offers great tips for photographing children, from Maternity through teen years in this new video series.

This episode covers babies and toddlers, including sleeping babies, smiling toddlers and more!

Check back each month for a new episode!

Judy babies

Watch the series

Introduction

Episode 1: Maternity Sessions

Episode 2: Babies and Toddlers (this video)

04.24.2015

Inspiration is everything in photography.  Most photographers didn’t get into photography because we loved sitting behind a computer or because we loved sitting in a darkroom.  We got into photography because we saw something that inspired us.  Whether that was a National Geographic Magazine article that took us first-hand into some remote part of the world or because we grew up next to a father or grandfather that taught us about the craft, there was something that inspired us.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

As a portrait photographer I find it particularly important to find something that balances work with pleasure.   After day-in-day-out photographing for clients, it is important to re-ignite our inner passion for photography.  I remember as a child looking at the National Geographic Magazine and wondering what it would be like to travel the world and interact with these different cultures that they document.   This was the inner fire that drove me to become a photographer.

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04.17.2015

In the last few weeks I have had the chance to travel with Sigma’s 18-35mm F1.8 lens to New Jersey, Las Vegas and Chicago.  The lens was put through the tests on a Canon 7D, 50D, and 60D.  I was so intrigued by the lens that as a full-frame shooter, I went and found a cropped sensor camera just to use it.  It was well worth it.

While in Las Vegas, I made a point to only use this lens on the Canon 50D.  The results were amazing!  Here you can see two black and white images made with the combination.  The first is a portrait of Danny, a shop worker in Nevada.  This image was photographed at 18mm at 1/200sec at f/1.8 and ISO 800.  This image shows incredibly crisp detail and textures at the lenses widest aperture.  The next image is of an old desk in a barn in Nevada.  This image was photographed at 23mm 1/30sec at f/1.8 and ISO100.  This image shows details so crisp that the fine texts in various parts of the image are readable.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

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04.15.2015

The Sigma team was in Pasadena, California for the annual Professional Photographers of California for their Pro Photo Expo.  The weather was great and the temperature was hot both outside and on the tradeshow floor in the 30-foot Sigma booth.  The wonderful model Jennie was on-site for the 3-day show for photographers to try out any of the Sigma lenses or the Sigma dp Quattro cameras.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

As a Sigma Technical Representative, I was able to get my hands on the brand-new Sigma dp3 Quattro camera and photograph in the booth with it.  If you have followed my first Sigma blog over the Quattro series, you will know that the topic was on aspect ratios and in-camera black and white.  Just like the dp3’s siblings, the body is the same, just a different lens.  This camera includes a 50mm lens to photograph to it’s APS-C size Foveon sensor.  This means that what you have here is really the perfect portrait lens with its 35mm equivalent being 75mm.

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04.14.2015

I just received a Sigma’s new prime lens, the 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art lens, so I thought I’d take it for a spin. What better way to test a fast prime than on a fast dog?

To capture a fast dog, pull out a fast prime. For Rowan’s spring swim I used Sigma’s new super-fast 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A. Nikon D800E, Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens at f/8, 1/2000 sec., ISO 1600. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

To capture a fast dog, pull out a fast prime. For Rowan’s spring swim I used Sigma’s new super-fast 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A. Nikon D800E, Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens at f/8, 1/2000 sec., ISO 1600. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

We  loaded Rowan in the Suby and headed down to Pleasant Hill Lake, which was swelling higher and higher with spring rain. A lakeside campground had become partially inundated with water—a great place to let our pooch swim.

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04.10.2015

Japanese Red-crowned Cranes: Sigma 150-600mm Sports Lens

© 2015 Robert O'Toole | Japanese red-crowned crane pair in a snow storm. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810 | Shutter speed: 1/30sec | Aperture: f/11 | Focal length:  150mm | ISO 64, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

© 2015 Robert O’Toole | Japanese red-crowned crane pair in a snow storm. Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810 | Shutter speed: 1/30sec | Aperture: f/11 | Focal length:  150mm | ISO 64, EV + 1.3, Manual mode with Auto-ISO, UniqBall UBH 45 head and Jobu Algonquin Carbon Tripod.

The highlight of any winter time trip to Japan has to be the Japanese red-crowned crane which has the distinction of being not only the rarest crane in the world but also the largest and heaviest on average.

Japanese red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido. © 2015 Robert O'Toole |  All Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810 handheld.

Japanese red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido. © 2015 Robert O’Toole |  All Sigma 150-600 Sports lens and Nikon D810 handheld.

The red-crowned cranes display to help reinforce the pair bond as well as territorial advertisement and agonistic signaling. It always seems to be infectious, once one pair in a group starts, it usually encourages another group to start up than another and another.

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