The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

08.28.2018

As a pro adventure sports photographer, it might come as a surprise to many, but I don’t shoot organized sports events and competitions very often. In fact, one of the only events that I do shoot is a six-day mountain bike stage race called the Breck Epic. Why do I choose to shoot this race? The easy answer is because it’s in my home town and I like showing off our fantastic trail system. But it goes deeper than that. I really enjoy shooting the Breck Epic because it’s a great challenge and digging deep in the tips and tricks tool bag.

In this shot I used the 100-400 C lens to capture a rider just as he crests a huge climb…at 12,508 ft.

© 2018 Liam Doran | Wheeler Pass | Sigma 100-400 C lens on Canon 7DMKII. 1/1250 sec. f/8 ISO 800

With 600 racers riding around on some of Colorado’s best trails you would think it’s a cinch to capture great images. And it is…kind of. The height of the action typically takes place in the middle of the day and often times in deep forest making for intense contrast that can be hard to deal with photographically.

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08.27.2018

This has been a summer of fun and exploration. Going to different places, and seeing things with new eyes makes me feel alive. I was lucky enough to have a Sigma 24-35mm F2 Art lens along for the ride. This lens is so versatile, I was able to shoot beautiful landscapes at the beach and close-ups of flowers.

© Danielle Rischawy 2018 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 Art Lens | 29mm | 3 photos combined into 1 using Photoshop | Tripod | Lake Ronkonkoma, NY

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08.15.2018

As Sigma’s dedicated Cine Tech Rep, one of the most common questions I get is why should I use a Cine lens instead of the Still Art lens when the Cine version cost so much more?
To me, it comes down to a basic principal, what is the best tool to get the job done right.
Could you build a house with a roofing hammer? Yes. But would it be a lot easier to use a nail gun instead ? Yes!
Does a nail gun cost more and involve more equipment? Yes, but at the end of the day, time is money—using the more expensive equipment to get the job done right and quickly can save you in the long run.

 

Let’s get into the details of why a Cine lenses can save you time and money on your next big project.

Gearing: Every Sigma Cine lens is properly geared to work with standard Cine accessories, whether it is a manual follow focus or a wireless system. Having the gearing in the same position and standardized makes it easy to attach accessories and allows you to quickly change lenses.
Unified front diameters at 95mm: This allows you to easily setup your matte box and provide ease of use when changing lenses.
180 Degree focus throw: The most important in my opinion, this greater degree of focus control makes it much easier to manually focus. While cameras have come a long way in terms of autofocus for video, they have not been able to replace the fine tuned control an experienced focus puller can achieve. Less missed shots, less retakes, less time spent paying people and moving onto the next project.
Build quality: While the Sigma Art lenses are well made for still photography and light video work, they are not built like the Cine lenses. The Sigma Cine lineup features fully weather sealed metal bodies. They are meant to take the rigors of set life. Again, you need know that your lens is just going to work, to ensure this, nothing has been sacrificed in terms of the build quality.
140 Degree zoom throw: The Sigma Zoom provides a 140 degree zoom throw to allow you to gradually zoom in and out on your shots.
PL mount availability: Once you move onto a dedicated Cine camera having the rock-solid PL mount available is a big help. It’s been the industry standard for years for a reason.
Color rendition: Uniformity of color and tone across all lenses is part of the Cine line’s mission.
Value: Sigma Cine lenses are very competitively priced.

 

Why Choose Sigma Art lenses over Sigma Cine lenses

After all this is said and done, there are reasons to use still lenses:

  • You’re a small production that has to rely on autofocus.
  • You’re just getting started and don’t have the budget for Cine lenses.
  • You want to “run and gun” with the highest quality glass in the smallest possible package.
  • You are mixing stills and video in your productions and assignments

Our Sigma Art still lenses provide excellent optics that can provide a cinematic look for your production, it just might require more time and work on your end to achieve that look. The best thing is if you use the Sigma Art lenses you can mix and cut them in seamlessly once you start your Sigma Cine collection.

Sigma Cine lenses and Sigma Art lenses share the same optical formula for each focal length; so the visual characteristics are identical. And both the Sigma Cine and Art lenses offer Sigma’s exclusive Mount Conversion Service, where your optics can be swapped between released mounts.

If uniform gearing, front filter size and matte box compatiblity, longer throws for focus and zoom, and glow in the dark distance scales are critical, go for the Cine lenses.

If autofocus, budget, and compactness are the critical success factors for your microbudget project, go for the Art line.

08.13.2018

Grandmother’s Gold, a movie by Brian Jordan Alvarez, who you might recognize from the season finale of the first  new season of Will & Grace, recently made waves on the internet and in the film making world. The full-length comedy feature was released for free on YouTube, racking up over 100,000 views in under a week. Though the film covers over 25 different locations and 190 setups, the director of photography Jordan McKittrick used only two lenses: the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art and the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art lenses.

© 2018 Brian Jordan Alvarez | Still from feature film Grandmother’s Gold | Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art Lens | Arri Alexa Mini

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08.13.2018

If you’re a director of photography hoping to shoot a micro-budget movie as efficiently as possible, there are ways to plan ahead and achieve every bit of production value you can. I learned most of these tricks while filming my most recent feature, the surrealist comedy Grandmother’s Gold (written and directed by Brian Jordan Alvarez), which you can watch for free HERE.

© 2018 Jordan McKittrick | Still from feature film Grandmother’s Gold | Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art Lens | Arri Alexa Mini

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08.01.2018

The temperature has warmed, the passes are free of snow and the wildflowers are peaking. Summer in the Colorado Rockies is as stunning as it is brief. One of the best ways to experience the rustic beauty of the back country is to spend a few days backpacking through it with a camera and the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary Lens in hand.

© Liam Doran 2018 | Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C Lens | 18mm | 1/25 sec, f/13, ISO 200

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08.01.2018

Solving workflow issues on set can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the right tools. The camera department from Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete” sat down with the S.O.C. to talk about some of the challenges the show faced and how they solved them by focusing on their gear.

Come take a deep dive with D.P. Will Rexer and team, and check out the role the Sigma Cine Primes played in their production process in this special online feature from S.O.C.

As you’ll see in the video, the team had to make some swift decisions to best serve the show. One of the first, and most apparent, being to update their gear. With the lens package the show had been shooting on, a prevailing challenge had been color balance across the sets. After adopting the Red 8K Helium and Sigma Cine lenses, the crew was able to create clean and consistent pictures; which allowed them to focus on the creative process rather than workflow issues.

Jeff Muhlstock (S.O.C.), was tasked with pulling off some pretty ambitious shots. His recommendation to build a light and agile package, allowed the crew to work nimbly and efficiently, critical requirements for the demanding schedule of a high-profile series. Creative thinking and custom solutions allowed him to pull off a 360-degree Steadicam movement by rigging lights to a DMX control board which were triggered at key points, allowing the lighting to change as he moved the Steadicam throughout the scene.

Click on any of the links in this piece to jump over to the article and video on the S.O.C. site.

And check out our full line of Cine lenses here!

07.26.2018

“Blur” was created for the launch of the Sigma Cine line. The fifteen minute production was filmed with just two lenses, the 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 High-speed Zoom lenses. This film is a wonderful exploration of the power of photography.

 

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07.25.2018

Cinematographer Chuck France explains how the Sigma 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 High-Speed Zoom lenses helped create the distinctive look and feel of Dogwood Pass: The Series on an incredibly tight budget and timeline.

February 4th this year I awoke to snow hitting the ground about two hours East of Cincinnati, Ohio, it was an early call time. I stepped outside to see my director, Lana Read, coming down a hill all bundled up, “Good morning” I said. She smiled and said, “Good morning” I said, “No, good morning and it’s 15 degrees outside!” This was the first day of shooting a pilot episode for the Western drama, Dogwood Pass: The Series. Directed by Lana Read, written by Brian Dobbins, Dogwood Pass is an independent ambitious period piece. It stars the incomparable Michael Pare, from Eddie and The Cruisers, Streets of Fire, The Lincoln Lawyer, Gone, The Virgin Suicides and a host of other movie and television credits.

Dogwood Pass TV Series Promo starring Michael Pare´ from Chuck France on Vimeo.

I had spoken with Lana early on and had formulated a plan to get the project shot in a fast and efficient manner. We had five days to deliver an hour long pilot episode of sixty four pages. A Western with period costumes, horses, lots of extras, the first day almost all exteriors, means there were lots of moving parts. You must plan for all those things if you want a successful shoot, it certainly was a lot to bite off in short period of time. With a large amount of pages in 5 days, it was essential that all the actors were prepared, which they were, and also required a crew and cast working long hours. We had long days on this set. My team consisted of myself as cinematographer, one camera operator, a first AC, a DIT, a gaffer, a best boy and two grips. We had to shoot single camera coverage, almost all handheld verite style with little fussing about with lens swaps and infinite lens choices. We would have to go zooms on the Red Scarlet-W. I choose the Sigma Cine series zooms to accomplish our, what seemed impossible, task.

The Sigma 50-100mm T2 lens on set.

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07.12.2018

What is SteamPunk portraiture? According to Wikipedia “SteamPunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.” It also refers to any of the artistic styles, clothing fashions or Victorian-era fiction and films from the mid-20th century. That, being said, there are apparently no boundaries as far as how to portray a SteamPunk person or fashion: it is a wildly creative form of CosPlay that lends itself perfectly to photo portraiture!

©Judy Host 2018 Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art | F/1.4, 1/800 sec, ISO 160 | Manual mode. Natural light. Hand held.

Photographically speaking, how fun to have that kind of freedom—and with that in mind, I have pretty much gone crazy with my styling of SteamPunk design imagery!

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