The new Sigma 24-70 f 2.8 ART lens has incredible versatility for a professional photographer. It combines outstanding optical performance with a 24 to 70mm range that is the “ sweet spot “ for a commercial photographer. It also features optical stabilization as well to help you get steadier hand held images, and explore your creative possibilities as well.
As a portrait photographer, I find it fast, sharp and lightweight and it’s F. 2.8 through out the zoom. For me, that’s a big plus. The optical stabilizer functionality seals the deal, a new workhorse.
I recently used this lens on a session with my favorite dancer, Alexis. At 7:30am on a Saturday morning, we searched out an area in Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta where the water fountains would hopefully cooperate with us for timing. We were very fortunate there were no other kids playing in the water besides us. Setting up my camera on a tripod, and using only one speed light aimed to her side, I turned my settings to F. 16 s 1/8 and ISO 100, with optical stabilization turned on. The purpose of the slow shutter speed was to capture the movement of the water, while at the same time using the speed light to keep my moving subject in focus. As you can see, I was able to accomplish all that and the image is sharp from corner to corner.
On my next assignment, I decided to use the 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM A once again outside, this time I used only available light. Versatility in a lens is extremely important to me in the field. I might need to go wide and then seconds later come in close. Flexibility is key when creating an ad for my client. Stopping to change lenses isn’t always an option. Once we get started, I need to be able to continually change my perspective. The 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM A allows me to go wide, medium and close up with a very smooth transition.
This image of Keith was taken in the middle of a very hot day. We used the umbrella as both a scrim and a way to keep Keith from getting sunstroke. Our theme, “Fresh Prince of Buckhead” was perfectly executed with the 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM A. I choose to get close to my subject and then zoom out to a focal length of 24mm. This allowed me to not only capture my subject, but also the background, the awesome old car and some sky to complete the look. Once again, sharp from corner to corner and with a beautiful fall off of sharpness in the background, this lens shines.
Going inside for a completely different look and using Profoto lights, I changed my settings to F.11.0 s 1/125 and ISO 160. Then, Sara, my subject, helped me demonstrate yet another wonderful way to use this lens. At 70mm, she is glorious. Beautiful and sharp as you can see, the eyes sparkle and you can see the highlights in them. At close range you can actually count her eyelashes. In the next few seconds I was on the ground shooting up at 38mm. I was so impressed with its range and smooth focusing; I photographed pretty much the entire session with only the one lens.
For the final shot of the day, we changed Sara’s look completely. As the sun was in it’s last stages, about 10 minutes before the sun set completely, we ran outside and I placed her with the light behind her to create a rim light or back lighting using only the beautiful setting sun. Down on the ground and in the dirt, anything to capture the perfect image, I zoomed in to 70mm and changed my aperture F. 2.8 to soften the background while my subject was in perfect focus. I love this look. It has an ethereal feel to it.
Over the years of photographing with a digital camera and lenses designed for them, I have learned that our imagery is much sharper than it use to be with film. I compensate for that with my settings. I love the open aperture look in my images when using the Sigma’s lenses. They have somehow managed to get that combination perfectly. The right settings to create the desired effect.