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Tag: Robert O’Toole
04.10.2015

Made In Japan Part II with the Sigma 150-600mm Sports

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.

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04.09.2015

Made In Japan, Part I with the Sigma 150-600mm Sports

Winter is my favorite time of the year to visit Japan and it’s unique wildlife surrounded by unreal snow-covered landscapes. During my annual Japan wildlife tour we always spend a couple of days with the world famous snow monkeys at the volcanic hot springs in the Nagano area.

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03.26.2015

Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports in the Field

In Dec I was able to get my hands on a Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports in Nikon mount for short tour at one of the most famous bird photography spots in the US, Bosque del Apache. The first thing I noticed about this lens is the compact size, for a 600mm lens, its about the same size as one of my favorites, the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S lens. The lens weighs just over 6 pounds so it is a lot lighter, by about 2.5 lbs than my 500mm f/4 prime lens, or about 5 pounds less than a 600mm f/4 lens so its definitely easy to handle, even for handholding. The lens is compact and light enough to make hand-holding possible for most people after some time with the lens.

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10.14.2014

Giant Hurricane Surf Hits California

In late August a Hurricane off Mexico sent giant waves to California. The surf spots that are open to the […]

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09.30.2014

Sigma’s 300-800mm F5.6: Brown Bear Paradise in Alaska Part 1

© 2014 Robert O'Toole | Brown bear feeding frenzy, Hallo Bay, Katmai NP Alaska. Lens: Sigma 50-500mm F5.6 EX lens | Focal Length: 380mmm | Nikon D4 | Shutter speed: 1/2000 sec | Aperture: f/8 | ISO 1000 | EV + 1 | Manual mode, handheld.

My annual trip to Alaska in late July to early August usually means big skies and great light, schools of salmon in the rivers and creeks and coastal brown bears, lots of cubs, and almost unlimited photo opportunities. This year we were treated to two full weeks of sun and clouds without a single rain shower. These are some of my favorite moments of the trip with some technical notes and stories behind the images.

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05.16.2014

On Location in Alaska with the Sigma 18-250mm OS

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!

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04.28.2014

How to Create an Action Sequence Image with Sigma’s 120-300mm F2.8

©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.

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.

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04.03.2014

Surf Photography with the Sigma 50-500mm F4-6.3 DG Lens

Derek Peters barrel image at 100% actual pixel crop.

Over the last weekend a huge swell focused giant waves on California triggering a high surf advisory and I had my Sigma 50-500mm to document some of the action. By the end of the weekend the awe inspiring power of this swell took its toll with lots of snapped surfboard leashes, broken surfboards and injured surfers (one had to be taken away by ambulance), my friend Jim broke his foot on Sunday dropping into a huge wave!

At my local beach in south Los Angeles the waves break close to shore so my Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM works very very well to document the action in the water here. Prime lenses are much harder to shoot with at beach breaks especially when the surf is large.

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02.25.2014

Winter Waves with the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S

120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S, 1.4X Teleconverter EX APO, Nikon  D4, manual mode, 1/1250th s at f/5.6, ISO 160, Auto-ISO, -0.3 EV, handheld.

Over the last few months I have been testing the newest version of the Sigma’s 120-300 f/2.8. I have nothing but good experiences with the older version of this lens so I have been looking forward to working with this lens over the winter and spring at home in Southern California. So far my experiences have changed my view of this lens, the newest version of the 120-300 f/2.8. The previous version was good. I found that this latest version has quick and accurate autofocus; the image quality is superb and the focal range excellent for nature photography.

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02.20.2014

Sigma’s 105mm F2.8 Macro OS

© 2014 Robert O'Toole | Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro, Nikon D800E, manual mode, 1/200th s at f/8, ISO 640, Single SB-R200 wireless flash at 1:8 power manual mode, handheld.

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.

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