Guest Blogger John Lincourt gives the Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens a field test shooting yacht racing off Newport, Rhode Island
I consider myself very lucky to live near Newport, Rhode Island which has a rich sailing history and continues to have a very active sailing community that attracts world class events. This year I’ve been able to shoot two regattas with some very majestic yachts. The 1st regatta was the Candy Store Cup Maxi Yacht Regatta which assembled a variety of yachts from 76 ft all the way to 170 ft. In length. The second regatta was the J Class World Championships. 6 of these 140+ ft yachts were in Newport for the event. These magnificent yachts raced for the America’s Cup back in the 1930’s, and the resurgence of the class has given rise to some epic racing events in the Med, Bermuda and here in Newport.
My lens of choice to shoot both events was Sigma’s new 100-400 f/5-6.3 DG HSM OS Contemporary lens. Because I shoot from a chase boat, I don’t have the luxury of using a tripod or even a monopod to stabilize my lens. Even the 150-600 C which at four and half pounds and just slightly larger in size can be tough to handle as the wind picks up and my chase boat starts bobbing around like a toy boat in a bath tub, so the light weight and compactness of the new lens is definitely an advantage.
Since my shooting platform is far from stable even in the best of conditions and the boats I’m shooting are moving in all directions, ideally, I need something that’s light and compact. The ability to quickly point the camera at a new subject that is in the exact opposite direction than you were just shooting, adjust the zoom & refocus can easily be the difference between getting the shot of a lifetime and totally missing out!
I shoot with a Nikon D7100 which is Crop Sensor camera, (DX camera). The 100-400mm on my DX camera translates to a full frame equivalent of 150-600mm using the 1.5x crop factor of my Nikon cameras (160-640 for Canon 1.6 crop factor).
Although I like to take advantage of the reach of my 150-600mm lens to get details on the boats, and to get closeups of crew grinding winches, climbing the mast or even just hanging off the side of the boat, most shots I take during sailing events land squarely in the 100 and 400 mm range of this lens.
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