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10.22.2018

The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is the newest high-zoom ratio standard-to-supertelephoto zoom lens in the Sigma Global Vision lineup. Replacing the venerable 50-500mm EX lens, which was nicknamed by fans the “Bigma”, this new superzoom lens is completely redesigned while maintaining the mind-blowing 10x zoom ratio of its lineage. As a Sports lens, the weather-sealing is first-rate, ready and raring for the roughest conditions; while the Multi-Material Construction shaves weight, pairing Magnesium and Thermally Stable Composite along with Carbon Fiber reinforced plastic to make it durable while staying portable. Packing 25 elements into 19 groups, and weighing under six pounds, this lens packs a lot of punch! From standard to supertele with either a push-pull on the barrel or the wide grippy zoom ring, it also manages to close focus to under a foot from the front elements at 200mm with 1:3.3 magnification.

The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens offers an amazing 10X zoom ratio; making in the perfect walking-around lens for hikes and nature exploration. Here we are at 600mm, paired with a 6D. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 500.

Actual pixel crop of the center of the last frame. This lens is super-sharp at 600mm, even wide open!

The three-zone focus limiter switch and Autofocus, Manual Focus, and Manual Override switch have been added, along with a slew of Sigma’s exclusive Global Vision features and functionalities have also been added: Custom Functions Switch to deploy Lens Customization settings via the USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro, Zoom lock at all marked focal lengths—a feature introduced to the photography world with the pair of Sigma 150-600mm lenses—and 100% testing for optical performance at our Aizu, Japan factory.

A sailboat heads into the ocean at the meeting of the bays near the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ. This is at 60mm, and takes in the beach, the sea, and the sun rising behind the clouds. 1/1600 F4.5 ISO 1600.

 

And here we are moments later zoomed all the way to 600mm. This lens is sharp and versatile! 1/1600 F6.3 ISO 1600

 

I had a few days to get familiar with the lens in the leadup to PhotoPlus 2018, and I am very, very impressed. Wide open at 600mm it is super-sharp on the focal plane, and the near-to-far zoom comparisons to show total reach and range are simply stunning! Straight out of the box, autofocus speed is super-fast, and faster still when focus limiters are employed. AF was quick as…well…let’s just say tracking birds in the sky, even in dusky predawn light, was no problem at all.

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06.13.2018

There’s an unshakeable feeling that rises at certain times—that it’s been just a little bit too long since your last photo outing. It could be a week, or month—or horribly, even longer—but  once that feeling gains a foothold, there’s only one thing that you can do: check your calendar, block out some time and head out to a favorite photo spot to spend a few hours outside with eyes through the viewfinder.

It is birds—shorebirds in particular—that call to me. I grew up on a thumb of land between two tidal ponds that fed into the Manasquan River along the Jersey Shore. Gulls, ducks, pipers and all of the stilt-legged pointy-beaked things are lifelong friends. Any chance I can get to spend a few minutes to a couple of hours alone among these winged sea-loving birds is always time well spent for me.  Salt water course through my veins. When the call rises, I usually head for Sandy Hook, a spit of land jutting into the Raritan Bay, across from New York City, the northernmost point of the Jersey Shore, the nearest shore bird hotspot to my home base.

There’s nothing like a walk along the shoreline, is there? I love to hear the whistling calls of the American Oyster Catchers while they fly in tight groups. Sigma 150-600mm C lens paired with a 6D. 1/2500 F6.3 ISO 400 at 600mm.

Walking gingerly into the saltmarsh, feeling with each step for where the raft of cattail straws strewn along the intertidal zone goes from sandy to boggy to a surprise tidepool while the laughing gulls cackle, terns trill, oyster catchers give a shrill whistle while on wing, a hint of sedge and dune grass on the salted breeze, the muffled roar of distant ocean waves and the more delicate and precise lap of bayside wavelets, the cool air and goosebumps of a foggy patch giving way to a warm kiss as the midmorning sun finally claims victory over the morning fog, the declarations and protestations of Red Wing Black birds perched atop poison ivy branches, the squeaking wings of a mourning dove alighting, and the impenetrable silence of a snowy egret on the hunt fill my senses.

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05.31.2018

The Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro | Art is the first 1:1 magnification prime lens in the Art line. And it is the successor to the world-renowned 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro lens. Just hearing the combination of this focal length, “macro” and “Art” all put together should get close-up photographers excited, and rightfully so! Cutting right to the point, this lens has huge expectations as both the first Art lens to be introduced in the Macro category, and as the follow-up to one of the sharpest macros ever produced—and it totally delivers!

The Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro | Art lens is amazingly sharp, even wide open. Nine rounded aperture blades give amazing bokeh. The detail and sharpness of this lens is outstanding! This ring is captured at 1:1 magnification, 1/180 @F2.8 ISO 100 with off-camera strobe. The depth of field is razor-thin, allowing for creative focal plane detail shots.

Stopping down to F11 gives a bit more depth of field at maximum magnification.

 

Backing up a bit, and stopping down to F/11, there’s a bit more depth of field.

In the hands, the lens is compact. The barrel extends to achieve greater magnification; but even fully racked to true life-sized 1:1 magnification, the barrel stays protected inside the lens hood. There’s a new optical design with 13 elements in 10 groups, a new motor that’s much more quiet than the previous version. While not totally silent, it is unobtrusive in all but the most sterile sound environments.

A brussel sprout and water spray droplets at 1:1 magnification with hard directional strobe via off-shoe cord. 1/20 F14 ISO 100.

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04.26.2018

By Avery Howard

This is a special guest blog post written and photographed by Avery Howard, 2nd grade daughter of Sigma’s chief blogger/tech editor, Jack Howard, for “National Take Your Child to Work Day”

Yellow and White Daffodils. Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art lens on Olympus OMD-E5 Photo © Avery Howard

The first concept we got to explore for Take Your Child to Work Day was to take photos of flowers and especially red tulips, yellow daffodils, dandelions, yellow tulips, and bicolored daffodils.

We experimented with different in-camera Art Filters to see how effects change the feel of a picture. This is Soft-focus.  Photo © Avery Howard

This is a black and white film grain effect! Photo © Avery Howard

And here is the non-filtered version. Photo © Avery Howard

The second concept was to take other nature photos, including a leaning tree, riverbank, three pine cones &  two big sticks. My dad and I identified great photos and the angles to shoot with the two lenses. I also learned how to take photos of landscapes and great shots of people today! (And by “people” I really mean Pato the duck!).

Looking at trees through a hole in fence post. We also tried the 16mm F1.4 DC DN | C lens as well for this picture. Photo © Avery Howard

A portrait of my duck, Pato, taking field notes under the daffodils.

After we got back to my dad’s home office we picked out our favorite photos and prepared them for the website using Photoshop. Some of the photos were better than others and these were the ones we picked. We looked at the framing, if it was blurry or sharp, and the colors, to decide which we liked best.

A picture of me taking a picture of my dad! Photo © Avery Howard

A picture I took of my dad taking a picture of me! Photo © Avery Howard

I also learned a close-up photo is called a “macro”. This little flower is smaller than a quarter. It was helpful to use a tripod to frame this picture! (We used a Sigma 18-300mm C on a Reb T3i) Photo © Avery Howard

Then we wrote the blog in Google Docs (and I showed my dad how to use Google Voice typing, too!) and uploaded it into a program called WordPress and then we published it. You are reading it now. I hope you enjoyed it!

02.23.2018

THe Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens is $1,299 through Authorized US retailers.

The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens is an outstanding fast-aperture, constant aperture ultra wide to wide angle full-frame zoom lens. Designed for today’s super-high resolution megapixel DSLRs, this new 1.7x zoom ratio Art lens is designed for edge to edge sharpness for 8K monitors, and large-format prints.

A horse in a paddock as seen through the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens at 24mm. 1/500 F8.0 ISO 100 on the Canon EOS 6D.

This is simply a fantastic lens. It is razor-sharp on the focal plane at all focal lengths, and from edge to edge. And the rectilinear correction is simply outstanding—straight lines stay straight—from 14mm to 24mm, from sweeping fields of view covering 114.2º to 84.1º, the lens exemplifies pro-caliber wide angle imaging.

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11.30.2017

The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens is the second in the series of fast-aperture prime lenses designed specifically for Micro Four Thirds and Sony e-Mount mirrorless cameras. This bright F1.4 prime equates to a 24mm F1.4 lens on the Sony e-Mount system thanks to the 1.5x APS-C crop factor, and is the first wide angle lens for this system to offer this focal length and aperture.  On Micro Four Thirds cameras with a 2X crop factor, it equates to a 32mm F1.4 lens. And it is just a flat-out great optic for these systems!

The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN | C is a great lightweight, fast-aperture wide prime for mirrorless cameras. Ideal for travel and documentary photography, this economical optic is a winner. For the photos in this article, it is paired with the Olympus OMD-E5, for a 32mm F1.4 equivalence. This pony was captured at 1/2000 F2.2 ISO 200.

I’ve had the Micro Four Thirds sample for a few days now, and offer up this first look, hands-on mini-review with a variety of image samples of the lens paired with an Olympus OMD-E5. In a nutshell: this is a great, economical, fast-aperture prime wide angle lens for mirrorless cameras. The lens is super-sharp, the stepping motor provides swift, quiet autofocus, and it feels great in the hands and is right-sized for the systems it pairs with.

I stopped down to F71. to get unlimited depth of field along the water’s edge on the Brooklyn side of the Verranzano Narrow Bridge. 1/500 F7.1 ISO 200.

I’m impressed with this lens wide open at F1.4 for subject isolation shallow depth of field, and stopped down, it is edge-to-edge sharp from here to infinity. The focus ring offers great grip to balance the lens and is very responsive when switching over the manual focus.

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10.06.2017

The world’s first full-frame 14mm F1.8 lens, exclusively from Sigma. Click the lens for tech specs, pricing, and availability info!

Earlier this year, we announced the world’s first full-frame 14mm F1.8 prime wide angle lens. Featuring the industry’s largest aspherical glass element, this ultra-fast, ultra sharp ultra wide lens is a game changer. Yes, it seems we find ourselves saying things like that a lot these days; but it is true. The Art lenses truly have redefined the lens landscape over the past half-decade, and the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens delivers edge to edge performance, exceptional aberration correction, and swift autofocus while taking in a sweeping 114.2º angle of view on super-resolution full-frame DSLR cameras.

 

Goldenrod, dune grass, and Officer’s Row at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook as seen through the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens paired with a 6D at 1/200 F/8 ISO 100. Lightly tuned in ACR for web optimization.

 

This lens has been making huge waves in the astrophotography, landscape, and architectural arenas since it began shipping mid-summer. You can check out some of the amazing work Astrophotographer Jack Fusco has made so far with this lens and gather some night photo tips in this piece, and in this incredible video (check back Tuesday for the link!). Here, we are going to focus on the in-the-hands, and on-the-ground experience with this awesome new lens.

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07.05.2017




Sigma fans have been clamoring for an Art line update of the 24-70m F2.8 pretty much since the launch of the Sigma Global Vision lines a few years back, and the completely redesigned full-frame, fast constant Aperture standard zoom with Optical Stabilizer is now here and is already shipping to the first batch of lucky photographers all across the world.

A footbridge is softened in the background as water loving flowers sit along the pond edge as seen at 24mm at F2.8 ISO 100 through the new Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art lens paired with a 6D. All images lightly toned in Adobe Camera Raw.

A footbridge is now more softened in the background as water loving flowers sit along the pond edge as seen at 50mm at F2.8 ISO 100 through the new Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art lens paired with a 6D. All images lightly toned in Adobe Camera Raw.

At 70mm, the composition is much tighter and the background is rendered more abstract. 1/500 F2.8 ISO 100.

The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art is a serious overhaul of the the last generation 24-70mm F2.8 EX lens, which was itself a very highly regarded optic. We’ve set the standards very high for ourselves with the three new lens lines, and this newest zoom in the Art series delivers on those expectations without compromise. Wedding Pros, Photojournalists and any photographer who demand exceptional image sharpness and pleasing wide-aperture bokeh in the convenience of a relatively compact zoom package should be beyond pleased with this rock-solid new optic. And  like all Sigma lenses, it is made in Japan at our Aizu factory—and each and every unit is individually tested on the A1 MTF device for sharpness and optical performance.

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06.17.2017

The Sigma 100-400mm C is the newest super telephoto zoom lens in the Sigma lineup. With a 4X zoom ratio, this lens is designed for full-frame cameras and offers a lot of reach in a very compact and lightweight package thanks to the variable aperture design. In total specs, features, build,  and focal range, it is most closely related to the slightly larger 150-600mm Contemporary lens, and it ships at a slightly lower cost. We are going to do a run through of the shared features and points of differentiation between these two great supertelephoto zoom lenses.

An American Oyster Catcher strolls along water’s edge at the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ as seen at 400mm through the the Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C lens at 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 400 paired with a Canon 6D. The images in this blog have been lightly toned in Adobe Camera raw for color and exposure. No “lens profiles” or Lens correction settings have been applied.

A piping plover runs along water’s edge at the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ as seen through the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C lens at 600mm on a 6D. 1/800 F6.3 ISO 800.

What are the main differences between the 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C and the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C lenses?

Before we jump into the differentiation points, let’s take a look at how these two full-frame lenses are similar. The 100-400mm and 150-600mm C lenses both share a significant amount of Sigma-exclusive DNA:

The most advanced lens customization options via the Sigma USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro including custom focus limiters, focus speed adjustments, and 16 zone microfocus tuning.

A pair of sanderlings at water’s edge as seen through the 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C lens. The small size and light weight of this lens makes it easy for me to lie in the “sniper position” on the sand to capture images at ground level. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 400.

 

And here’s a sanderling as seen through the 150-600mm C lens at 600mm. 1/800 F6.3 ISO 800. Both of these lenses are super-sharp at full zoom, even wide open!

At just under 41 ounces (2.56 pounds) and 3.4” x 7.2” (diameter x length) the Sigma 100-400mm is noticeably lighter and smaller in the hands compared to the 150-600mm C which weighs in at 68 ounces (4.25 pounds) and is 4.1” x 10.2” in the camera bag. And at $799 street for the 100-400mm, it is a few hundred dollars less than the $1089 tag for the 150-600mm.

(And as far as size comparisons go, the 100-400mm is most similar in size and weight to the 70-200mm F2.8 class of lenses.)

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05.02.2017

The Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens is the newest full-frame super telephoto zoom lens in the Sigma Global Vision lineup, an update on the super-sharp 120-400mm F5-6.3 zoom lens. This is a very lightweight long-reach lens, weighing in at just two and a half pounds, and at 7.2 inches long in the bag, is lighter and more compact than the 70-200mm F2.8 EX zoom lens with twice the reach.


This is a first impressions, sneak peek, quick review of this hot new lens after my initial two hours of working with it. As soon as the lens showed up at my house, I was on the road to my favorite nearby birding hotspot, Sandy Hook, NJ—a seven mile long sliver of sand, wetlands, bays and beaches. I unboxed the lens in the parking lot and threw it on my 6D, and set about to grabbing some bird shots. We will follow up with a more in-depth breakdown of all the features, USB Dock customization, and suchlike in the near future, but here’s my raw take after two hours birding in flat light with this incredible new optic.

A snowy egret takes flight from a tidal pond as seen through the Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens paired with a Canon 6D. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 500 at 400mm. The autofocus speed of this new lens is really impressive straight out of the box. I was usually in the 6m-∞ focus limiter zone to speed AF performance even more.

This lens is lightweight, easy to handle, and crazy sharp at 400mm, which is where I had it pegged pretty much constantly. The three zone focus limiter helps speed Autofocus response, and in the 6m-∞ zone where I was mostly focusing, the AF response was seriously zippy and able to keep up with all sorts of flying, flitting, and skittering shorebirds in very flat lighting conditions. The entire take was captured in AI Servo (Continuous autofocus), center focus point, and back-button focusing in either Manual or Aperture Priority mode.

The 100-400mm was able to track this great egret in flight over the water, through foreground dune grass thanks to the speedy AF and focus limiter settings. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 500 at 400mm on the 6D.

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