Sigma Gear for Summer Fun

Summer is a great time to hit the road and make amazing memories and fantastic photos! Wherever your trail leads, Sigma has a lens that is perfect for your vacation style!

To the beach, to the lakes, to the mountains! Sigma has a lens that’s perfect for your vacation style.

The best camera lenses for the beaches, bays, and lakes

All-in-one All-Star

This high zoom ratio lens covers a lot of focal distance without ever having to change lenses, perfect for sandy, mist-sprayed seasides. From wide angle to supertele with a flick of the wrist, it can take in the whole of the beach one instant, and then fill the frame with surfers on the waves, or birds on the rocks. Optical Stabilizer keeps shots sharp at slower shutter speeds, meaning you can skip the tripod in many situations. Adding to its versatility is its close-up abilities, offering 1:2 magnification with the close-up adapter lens, perfect for details of starfish, sandcrabs, and the most amazing shells. This is the best bargain one-lens solution around!

Travel with the 18-300mm | C lens!

Beaches, Boardwalks, and Fireworks: Day and Night specialist

The 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 DC OS Macro HSM | Contemporary is a serious upgrade to the standard kit lens. The fast-aperture design makes is perfect for seascapes, seaside portraiture, and boardwalk action shots both day and night, including fireworks. And 1:3 macro for closeups adds to the versatility.

See the 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 in action at the beach here!

Great Fireworks Tips and Tricks!

Best lenses for Birders on a budget

The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens is a full-frame supertelephoto zoom lens with Sigma’s incredible, exclusive feature set including lens customization for AF speed, focus limiters, and zoom lock at all marked focal lengths. This lens delivers outstanding long-reach imagery of shorebirds, windsurfers, sailboats and other seaside subjects. Want even more reach? Bundle it with the 1.4 teleconverter!

Terns on the beach, as seen through the 150-600mm Contemporary lens. 1/1250 F8 ISO 400 at 600mm on a 6D.

Learn why this lightweight supertele is a game-changer for all-day long-reach photography!

Another great lightweight option  is the 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens!  At just over two and a half pounds, this bantam zoom offer long reach, blazingly fast autofocus and Sigma’s exclusive lens customization with the USB Dock. 

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.

See the 100-400mm in a birding sneak peek posting! 

The Best Compact Supertelephoto Zoom lens for Photo Safaris

The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is the world’s only 10X high-zoom ratio standard to supertelephoto zoom lens with a long end of 600mm. As an added bonus, it captures 1:3 magnification macro close-ups at 200mm. And the Multi-material design keeps it a lightweight six and a half pounds. Weather-sealed and ready for adventure? You know it!  Pair it with an Art line wide angle and you’ve got wide to far and close up covered!

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Exploring the Rockies with the Sigma 18-300mm Contemporary Lens

The temperature has warmed, the passes are free of snow and the wildflowers are peaking. Summer in the Colorado Rockies is as stunning as it is brief. One of the best ways to experience the rustic beauty of the back country is to spend a few days backpacking through it with a camera and the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary Lens in hand.

© Liam Doran 2018 | Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C Lens | 18mm | 1/25 sec, f/13, ISO 200

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Taking a Trip to Namibia with Sigma Lenses

Our friend Dion Scoppettuolo recently returned from an epic Safari and adventure in Etosha National Park in Namibia, Okonjima Game Reserve in Namibia and the Namibian Desert. The Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM and 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lenses were along to document his travels. Were these lenses up to the challenges of capturing the magnificence of these remote locations? The photos speak for themselves! Be inspired by this great gallery of images!

© 2018 Dion Scoppettuolo | The Namib stretches over large areas of western Namibia. Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary
© 2018 Dion Scoppettuolo | Stalking a herd of impala. Okonjima game reserve, Namibia. Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary

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Tips for Photographing Children During The Halloween Season

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons. As a mother, I thoroughly enjoy the excitement around picking out costumes for trick-or-treating. Every year my children get their use out of their costumes by wearing them all month long. As a photographer, I love all the gorgeous colors the season brings along with the shorter days and early golden hour. There’s of course challenges too like working with low light more frequently because of the shorter days. I’ve provided some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of documenting the fall season.

Shorter Days and An Early Golden Hour

There’s a reason golden hour is a favorite among photographers. The light tends to be beautifully soft, warm and directional. Typically golden hour happens the last hour of daylight. However, it can happen even earlier depending on your environment and surroundings. For example, the sun sets much quicker behind mountains and treelines. You can track the best time for golden hour by you with widely available smartphone apps.

Golden hour at the pumpkin patch.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/320, F1.8, ISO 160 | © Meg Loeks 2017

In the summer, it’s challenging to photograph little ones during golden hour because it’s so late in the day. The wonderful thing about fall is that golden hour happens much earlier. To capture backlight, shoot into the light and consider placing the sun at the edge of your frame. This technique is one way of capturing flare and haze.

Archie picking out the biggest pumpkin he could find. This image was taken during golden hour and the sun was setting behind him and filtering through some trees. I placed the sun at the very edge of the frame to capture sun flare. Slight adjustments in my angle make all the difference.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/320, F1.8, ISO 125 | © Meg Loeks 2017

Trick-or-Treating and the Benefits of a Zoom Lens

One of my favorite things to document every fall is trick-or-treating. It’s a great way to mark children’s growth through the years. The environment changes often and I frequently find myself in tight spaces, trying to dodge strangers and crowds while photographing my children in the moment. For these situations I choose a SIGMA 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM | Contemporary lens paired with a Canon 70D. This lens is specifically designed for the most widely-used crop-sensor cameras including the Canon Rebel series, and Nikon’s DX format cameras. A zoom lens with this much flexibility in focal length gives me tons of versatility. I can zoom in tight and eliminate a lot of distractions within my frame. Or I can zoom out wide to capture more of the environment for better storytelling.

My son Archie dressed as a llama for Halloween looking across the lake in our backyard. I noticed the reflection from the sunset on the water so I decided to shoot wide at 18mm and stand above my son to better capture it.
SIGMA 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM | C on Canon EOS 70D. 1/125, F3.5, ISO 160 | © Meg Loeks 2017
My boys trick-or-treating around town in dappled light. I noticed the way the light was filtering through the trees behind me onto the building. The sun was at my back. I shot this image wide at 18mm to capture more of the building and for better sense of scale making my children look small.
SIGMA 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM | C on Canon EOS 70D. 1/2000, F3.5, ISO 100 | © Meg Loeks 2017

Working With Low Light and Prime Lenses

The days are shorter in the fall and I often find myself having to work in low light situations. For these scenarios, I pair my DSLR with a SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art lens, which is great for working in this type of light because of its wide aperture for speedy shutter speeds. Autofocus is fast and can quickly grab focus in tough situations. Not only that, it’s sharp even in low light when I have to bump up my ISO. Consider placing your subject as close as you can to your light source when working in this type of light. The more contrast the easier it will be for your camera to grab focus.

My son Woodrow at the pumpkin patch picking out the perfect pumpkin.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/250, F1.8, ISO 125 | © Meg Loeks 2017
My boys climbing over the pumpkins at a nearby pumpkin patch. My boys were excited and moving quickly. It was important that I maintain a fast shutter speed to ensure there was no motion blur. When my children are moving I typically have my shutter speed no slower than 1/320.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/320, F1.8, ISO 160 | © Meg Loeks 2017

The Benefits of Using a 30mm (or similar) Focal Length Lens:

One of the things I love about the SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art is that it’s a wonderful lens to use for detail shots, especially indoors when you are working with low light. I’m able to get in close and quickly capture those details that are so fleeting and important to document. It’s important to know that the 30mm on a crop sensor camera like the Canon EOS 70D operates more like a 50mm. The lens is small and easily portable… bonus as a mother on the go! I love to shoot wide open or close to it, but when capturing detail images I often close down my aperture more so that all those little details are in focus. Remember the closer you are to your subject the more narrow your focal plane will be.

Autumn collections found by my boys. When shooting indoors and in low light don’t be afraid to push your ISO up. I often have my ISO anywhere from 1250 to 1600 indoors. I was able to keep my ISO low here because I set our table right next to a window for stronger light.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/250, F2, ISO 400 | © Meg Loeks 2017
Archie treating himself to chocolate. One of the benefits of a lens like the 30mm is I don’t have to stand too far away from my subject like I would with a telephoto lens. I’m able to quickly capture moments because I don’t have to back up.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/800, F2, ISO 100 | © Meg Loeks 2017

Creating That Beautiful Bokeh

One of the beautiful things about bokeh (the out of focus area within an image) is that it’s not only visually appealing but it can help separate your subject from the background. With a wide aperture lens like the SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art I’m able to shoot with a large aperture along for pretty bokeh and compression.

Archie looking down a gated driveway in his Halloween costume. I chose to shoot close to wide open at 1.6 for better compression to help separate my son from the background.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art on Canon EOS 70D. 1/320, F1.6, ISO 320 | © Meg Loeks 2017

Small Airports Offer Photographic Inspiration with Sigma Lenses

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens has developed a strong following at air shows. And  for good reason- it’s sharp as a tack and has a great zoom range for photographing airplanes in action.

© Jim Koepnick 2016 | Air Show action- Sigma 150-600 f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport lens at 548mm; ISO 200; f9 at 1/320 second.

But what about the times when the creative bug bites you and there isn’t an air show happening in  your area? For me, the answer is to go hang out at some of the small, local airports. And to realize not all interesting aviation photos have to be taken at an air show.

And…it also doesn’t mean you need to leave your Sigma 150-600 lens at home. It’s a great lens for  capturing a different perspective on aviation. The narrow field of view and compression become artistic tools for your imagination. It’s also a great opportunity to give all of your Sigma lenses a workout…not to mention your imagination.

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Aviation Photography: Five Tips with the Sigma 18-300mm

We all live under budgets. But when it comes to photography, a budget should not limit our creativity. Even without a professional camera body and an assortment of lenses, you CAN get great photos at an aviation event. It’s all about sticking to some basic camera settings…leveraging the strong points of your equipment…and the right lens.

Enter the small and mighty Sigma 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 zoom as the “right” lens. Paired with a Canon 70D camera body, it’s small, light, and easy to carry around. I used this combination recently at two aviation events – Sun ’n Fun 2016 in Florida and a gathering of TBM Avengers in Illinois.  I knew the large zoom range would have me covered with everything I wanted to photograph. Just mount the lens to the body, turn on the Optical Stabilization and start shooting. But to make this combo perform in the various photo opportunities I would encounter, it was time to make a few camera adjustments. Here are a few tips I used to make it work:

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Less is More with the Sigma 18-300mm Contemporary 

Living in Oregon, my free time is spent wandering the incredible nature that encompasses the Pacific North West. Like many people who share this pastime, finding a balanced hiking setup is a real struggle. Over packing can really drain your energy and weigh you down, while under packing could leave you disappointed that you’re missing a great shot with the gear you left at home.

Recently I have been trying to cut down on many of the non-essential gear that comes with me. My goal is to get rid of the clutter and focus on technique and challenging myself to create imagery without a 50lb bag on my back… and out comes the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary. This little gem of a lens has been surprising me time and time again to the point where it’s pretty much attached to my 70D constantly. The 18-300 is in the Contemporary line, and a lot of folks aren’t quite sure what that means. To put it simply, the contemporary line is geared more towards consumers and defines the merging of compactness and great image quality. Don’t be thrown off because it doesn’t say Art, this little lens is stocked with Sigma’s premium glass (4 FLD) along with great macro capabilities and an optical stabilizer, plus the versatility is insane!

SIGMA 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary

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European Ski Adventures with the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Macro | C

For the last two weeks I have been shooting a ski travel story in Switzerland for a few different magazines and websites. Helping me capture the action and tell the story is Sigma’s new all-in-one lens, the 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DGC OS HSM Macro | Contemporary lens.

The autofocus is fast enough to capure sharp images of skiers in action. Sven Brunso finds powder in Disentis days after the last storm. ISO 200 at 20mm f/10 1/1600 sec.

This great little lens has proven to be incredibly versatile and I have used it to shoot a great variety of subjects. Its lightweight and small size make it a no-brainer to pack on an international trip when luggage space is tight.  And the image quality is what you would expect from Sigma’s Contemporary line…excellent!

1481- Having the option of using one lens to capture everything on your adventure is fantastic..especially if your adventure begins with 3,500 vertical feet of climbing to the top of your ski run. The wide angle here is nice as it give a great sense of place. ISO 200 at 18mm f/9 1/1250 sec.

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