Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A in the field

By Stan Trzoniec
As an outdoor writer / photographer working for close to a dozen monthly publications and books, I’m always looking for new equipment to do my job better.  One of the newer items to cross my path is this incredible Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM “Art” lens for my full frame Nikon D3 series to D4s pro cameras.  With New England my beat, I recently used it in the beginning and during this extra colorful fall season.  A week in Vermont proved the lens is exceptional with reference to clarity, sharpness and color rivaling that of the high priced optics.

1.    On a placid lake in New Hampshire the fog from the neighboring mountain helped bring this photo to life.  1/50th of a second, f/ 3.5 ISO 100 @ 35mm.
1.    On a placid lake in New Hampshire the fog from the neighboring mountain helped bring this photo to life.  1/50th of a second, f/ 3.5 ISO 100 @ 35mm.

Why an f/2 24-35mm lens you might ask?  For focusing, you can’t beat a wide aperture especially when photographing fast moving trains (my specialty) or working around the outer edge of the day.  For example, at dusk in the village of Grafton, Vermont, I could walk around without any disturbing shadows in this quaint town for a book project.  For a shallow depth of field, it throws the background completely—yet beautifully—out of focus.  At night, dimly lit street scenes are a thing of the past all without the need to raise the ISO to unfavorable limits.

Moving along the highway, I came across this running river complete with a beautiful gorge and crystal clear water.  Sharpness is stunning from front to back. 1.6 seconds, f/16 at ISO 100 @ 35mm.
At dusk, in Grafton, Vermont I could still walk around the town shooting wide open with no problems.  Even at f/2, sharpness of the overall photo is second to none.  1/40th of a second, f/2 ISO 200 @ 32mm.
A back county scene like this begs for lots of depth of field and sharpness and the Sigma lens came through.  1/4th of a second, f/16 at ISO 100 @ 35mm.
American railroad books are my specialty so when I had a chance to stop this Amtrak train in its tracks, the Sigma lens caught it without fail.  Take note of the sharpness.  1000th of a second, f/5.6 ISO 100 @ 26mm.
Here at the beach in Rhode Island, I photographed my wife looking out over the ocean.  The focus was on her glasses, wide open at f/2 hardly made it to her nose!  Shutter speed was 1/8000th of a second!
Looking out over the bay at the Newport bridge, I took this photo at 1/60th of a second, wide open at f/2 at night braced on the balcony at ISO 800 at 35mm.  Take note of the sharpness on the bridge and the lights.
With a tour boat in the harbor in Newport, this Sigma 24-35mm lens registered all the detail from the flowers in the foreground to the graphics on the boat.  Exposure was 160th of a second at f/16 ISO 200 at 35mm.  Beautiful day for sure and I did use a polarizer for that sky.

This lens is exceptionally sharp from one end to the other and the only caveat is that it takes a 82mm filter, so if you’re used to the old 77mm standard, you’ll have to upgrade to fit the larger diameter.

 A new railroad book by Stan Trzoniec will be available this fall in all major book stores.  Titled “Vintage and Modern Diesel Locomotives” it is being published by Voyageur Press and covers the diesel locomotive from its early beginnings to present day prime movers.  It will be available autographed from the author upon release.

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