I love wide-angle lenses especially the super wide angles like the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art. I had the older version of this lens so I was really excited about getting mine in time for my workshop to Iceland and fortunately it arrived a few days before I left. As usual, the build quality of the lens was equal to that of the entire Art lens lineup and the first thing I noticed was how little distortion it had. In the image of the waterfalls of Mt. Kirkjufell above, I used it at 12mm to show the entire perspective of the bank.
I then moved quickly down the bank to get very close to the falls and emphasize the stunning clouds above the mountain and falls. Just make sure you position your tripod correctly when shooting vertically because you will probably catch your tripod leg in the image if you are not careful! I was extremely impressed with how sharp the lens was edge to edge with no noticeable vignetting even when shooting at 12-13mm.
You have to remember to get close to your subject when using ultra wide-angle lenses because they tend to minimize the subject. The waterfall pictured above was a bit far in the distance but I wanted to emphasize the lava rocks and curves in the foreground.
Now it is no secret that I like the versatility of zoom lenses and with the focal range of 12-24mm it allows me to compose and recompose without physically having to move. I initially composed the boat image at 12mm to include a church that was on the right but felt that that composition minimized the old boat. I simply zoomed the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art out to 24mm and composed this more dramatic image of the boat.
You can see in the images above that the zoom versatility served me quite well as my camera and lens were practically on the ground for the church view with the parking lot cross and right on top of the wall for the black church. The edge-to-edge sharpness is exactly what I need and expect from the Art series with notably less chromatic aberration from the previous version of the lens.
The Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art provides me with the ultra wide angle view I like in my landscape images and provide me with the sharpness, quality build, and versatility I have come to expect for the Sigma lineup. After one workshop using it this lens has quickly become my new landscape favorite of the Art lineup.
Roman Kurywczak is a full time nature photographer and proud Sigma Pro team member who conducts lectures and workshops across the globe. His boutique tour company, Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours, caters to very small groups (only 4) to provide the ultimate learning experience for participants. His down to earth and easy to follow teaching style make him a highly sought after lecturer. The author of several instructional eBook’s on nature photography, Roman strives to share his passion for photography as others have shared with him. He is married for over 26 years with two sons and lives in NJ. You can learn more about Roman’s workshops, lectures, eBook’s, galleries, and more at: http://www.roaminwithroman.com