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Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • DIYP reviews the MIOPS Splash water drop photography kit

    In the world of photography, water droplets are something of a rite of passage. It’s the perfect rainy day photography project and one that many of us try at some point or another – to varying degrees of success. You can increase the chances of that success with a bit of DIY tinkering. Some kind of […]

    The post DIYP reviews the MIOPS Splash water drop photography kit appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • This Photography Training is Guaranteed to Improve Your Photography [48 Hours Only]

    Are you looking to give your photography a boost?

    If so – for the next 48 hours we’ve got a bundle of training resources that you’ll want to snap up.

    It’s the Ultimate Photography Bundle and it’s back for 2 days only.

    The Short Story:

    Here’s what you need to know about this bundle of photography training:

    • It contains 26 eBooks, 21 courses, 1 membership and 10 amazing tools
    • It is valued at just over $5000 USD
    • It is currently 98% off and yours for $97 USD
    • This offer disappears forever in less than 48 hours
    • There’s no risk – buy it today and if you’re not 100% satisfied Ultimate Bundles will refund the purchase

    There’s so much covered in this bundle. There’s training on travel photography, landscape photography, black and white, portraits, post production, making money from photography and so much more.

    Check out what’s included here but don’t delay because it’ll be gone in a snap.

    Here’s how long is left:

    There's not much time left! Enable images to see just how much time is left on the clock!

    The Longer Story:

    Earlier this year our friends at Ultimate Bundles released this Ultimate Photography Bundle and when we saw it we were quite amazed by what they’d included.

    For example one of our writers – Gina Milicia – has her best selling ‘How to Direct and Pose Like a Pro‘ Course in the bundle. This is definitely one of the highlights of this bundle and one we’re very excited about because Gina is an accomplished photographer and brilliant teacher.

    Gina’s course is normally priced at $297 – 3 times what you’ll pay for the full bundle which also gets you over 50 other resources including:

    • Light & Airy Lightroom Presets by Cole’s Classroom ($67)
    • The Essentials of Street Photography and Street Photography Conversations eBooks by James Maher ($19.95)
    • Colour Portrait Tools by Gavin Gough ($59)
    • Photoshop for Portrait Photographers by David Molnar ($197)
    • Easy Way Photography Photoshop Essentials Workflow by Adam Williams ($200)
    • Food Photography Behind the Scenes: Bright Food, Dark Shadows by Nicole Branan ($20)
    • Lighting 101: Foundation & Light Shaping by Pye Jirsa ($99)
    • Intentional Documentary: The Session Workflow for Documentary Family Photographers by Marie Masse ($149)
    • The Winning Creative’s Way by Christina Scalera ($997)
    • Our own dPS Essential Guide to Black and White Photography eBook ($19)

    Everything I’ve mentioned already normally cost $2104 and we’re just scratching the surface of what’s included – see the full list of what you get here.

    Don’t Miss It This Time

    Many dPS readers picked up this bundle when it was first offered in February but we heard from quite a few of you that you missed out.

    Thankfully Ultimate Bundles have brought it back one last time for a quick 48 hour flash sale.

    This is the last time it’ll be offered so don’t miss out.

    30 Day Happiness Guarantee

    As I mention above – this bundle is covered by a 30 day happiness guarantee – so you can snap it up today before it’s gone and rest easy that if you don’t find it quite fits your need that the team at Ultimate Bundles is happy to refund your purchase price any time within 30 days of purchase.

    dPS is proud to be involved in this Ultimate Photography Bundle as an affiliate and partner because we know it will help you to improve your photography.

    Secure this bundle of great training here now before time runs out.

    There's not much time left! Enable images to see just how much time is left on the clock!

    The post This Photography Training is Guaranteed to Improve Your Photography [48 Hours Only] appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • 21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas

    Panoramas are a great way to approach photographing landscapes. By allowing you to capture a larger amount of the scene in front of you, it is easier to portray what you actually saw with your eyes in your photographs. Software has made it stupidly easy to stitch your photos into panoramas; however, there are still some considerations you can take to get the most out of your landscapes and make better panoramas.

    panorama of mountains and a lake - 21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas

    This article presumes you already know how the basics of capturing a sequence of images and to how to stitch them together as panoramas in Lightroom or another dedicated software package.

    Part 1 – Gear

    Such a specialized technique may seem like it requires a lot of specialist gear to get right, but that’s not the case. Of the three items listed below, only two are absolutely necessary and as someone interested in landscapes, you probably already have the most important one.

    1) Tripod

    21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas - camera on a tripod

    A tripod is an absolute necessity if you want to create better panoramas.

    This first one is probably obvious, but it’s the most important when it comes to creating better panoramas. All of the images in your sequence need to line up perfectly and the only way to ensure that is with a good, sturdy tripod. The tiniest of movements between your photographs can cause Lightroom to fail when stitching your photos together.

    failed panorama - 21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas

    You never know when an image might not get through the stitching software. Do your best to get it absolutely right in camera to avoid situations like this one (notice the disconnected railing).

    Disheartened may be the feeling you get when you see the words “Unable to merge the photos. Please cancel and review the selection.” So, please, for your own sanity, use a tripod when shooting panoramas.

    2) Panoramic tripod head

    21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas - tripod head detail

    If you have a tripod head that can turn in measured increments like this one, attach your lens to the tripod if you can (using a tripod collar), rather than your camera body.

    This is an optional piece of kit, but I promise you, if you plan on doing panoramas often, make sure you have a panoramic head on your tripod. These heads rotate on the center axis of your camera and help minimize distortion in your final image.

    Panoramic heads are also marked with numbers from 0 to 360 degrees so you can make your camera movements with absolute accuracy. There are a lot of good panoramic tripod heads available and you will be able to find one in the same price range as other styles of heads.

    Now, to be absolutely clear, I’m talking about the cheap kind that you can find in a normal price range. There are panoramic heads with motorized components made for the explicit purpose of stitching together photos. I’m not talking about those. If you can afford one, by all means, go for it, but unless you specialize in panoramas, it’s unlikely that you would ever need to even consider one.

    3) Spirit level

    spirit level - 21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas

    Spirit levels will help you guarantee that all of your shots line up in the stitching software.

    While you can still achieve good results without one, using a spirit level will help you make sure that your panoramic sequence stitches together with a minimal amount of distortion. This is important when you have compositional elements at the edges of your frame. If those elements get distorted too much, they will wind up (either partially or fully) outside of your crop.

    You may already have one or more built into your tripod, but if not, you can buy one that fits your cameras hotshoe for a reasonable price.

    Part 2 – Capture

    Camera craft is easily the most important aspect of capturing better panoramic images. From getting a correctly aligned sequence of images, to focus and exposure, there are a lot of elements that you need to get right in camera to ensure that your images come out well.

    4) Practice your movements

    To be fast, you should be able to operate your camera and your tripod without thinking about them. In fact, these movements should be ingrained as muscle memory. How do you do this? Practice, lots of practice.

    21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas - panorama of a scene outside

    Practice your camera and tripod movements when it doesn’t count. For example, I had an hour of down time in a hotel, so I took a few sequences through the window.

    One of the best ways to go about getting that practice is to make some time to set up in a low-value environment. So when your practice images are (inevitably) bad, you won’t have missed any images that were worth taking. It can be as simple as going into your backyard and setting up there for an hour.

    Once you’re set up, go through the motions of taking a panorama in slow, deliberate steps. Make sure that every action from focussing through to the actual camera movements is perfectly executed. Go through the motions a few times and when you are sure that you have it down, speed up a little. Again, repeat this until you’re satisfied that you have it down. Then speed up again.

    Keep practicing like this until you’re performing all the actions without even thinking about them. Doing this for just an hour will reduce your chances of a mistake when you are standing at the edge of a lake in that once in a lifetime perfect light.

    If you really want to hammer it down, don’t just practice like this once. If you have some downtime, try using that time to reinforce these skills instead of, say, scrolling through your phone.

    5) Take notes

    21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas - notes on paper

    Notes don’t have to be complicated, they just need to be clear enough that you understand them without much effort.

    Taking notes will ensure that you are an organizational genius. It doesn’t matter how you take your notes, whether it be on a notepad, your phone, or in voice recording app such as Evernote. As long as you can annotate the file numbers where each of your panoramas starts and stops, you’re on to a winner.

    Editor’s tip: You can also take a shot of your hand in front of the lens before and after your pano shots so you can mark the beginning and end of the series that way as well. 

    6) Longer lenses

    Instead of using your wide-angle lenses, use longer focal lengths when making panoramas. 35mm, 50mm and 85mm are all good choices depending on the scene in front of you. The longer focal lengths allow a different perspective by bringing everything forward in the frame, unlike wide-angle lenses that push everything back.

    Because you are both shooting in portrait orientation and stitching together multiple images, you will still get a wide view of your scene with the sky and foreground intact.

    Create Better Panoramas - using a longer focal length

    Long lenses are great for panormas. The images for this panorama were shot at 200mm. However, 50mm, 85mm and any focal length above that, will help to bring your subject forward in the frame.

    7) Manual exposure

    For the best results, set your camera to Manual mode for the duration of your sequence. If your exposures don’t match from frame to frame, then the software may not be able to merge your panorama.

    If your scene is simple and has relatively few elements in it, you may get away with Aperture Priority mode. However, if one half of your image has a mountain or a building and the other half a clear sky, the difference in exposures will result in unusable images for the panorama merge.

    8) Small aperture to help with stitching

    Another way to make sure the stitching software performs well is to use a small aperture to keep everything in the frame as sharp as possible. Using apertures like f/11 and f/16 will go a long way in helping you to get sharp panoramas.

    You can use larger apertures if you’d prefer, but just be aware that it might result in the software being unable to merge your panorama.

    9) Focus somewhere inside your frame

    Create Better Panoramas - wide shot of a path in the forest

    In this image, I focused two-thirds of the way down the path, set the lens to manual focus, and then reframed the camera to start at the left.

    When focusing, it seems easy enough to set your focus somewhere in the first frame of your sequence. If you’re focusing to infinity, that’s fine, but if you’re focusing on a point closer to you, your focal point may not wind up in your final crop.

    It takes longer and requires you to be careful not to jar the camera, but consider setting the focus on your main focal point of the image. Then switch to manual focus and recompose the camera to your starting position.

    This does create an extra chance for things to go wrong. However, you have to ask yourself whether it’s better to have an out of focus image because of a mistake or an out of focus image because you didn’t bother to take the necessary steps in the first place?

    10) Portrait orientation

    camera on a tripod shooting vertically - Create Better Panoramas

    When shooting panoramas, you have access to all the information in the horizontal aspects of a scene. Maximize your information in the verticals by shooting in portrait orientation.

    Because you will be creating one big image out of many smaller images, it’s a good idea to maximize the amount of real estate you have to create the final photo. Instead of keeping your camera in landscape (horizontal) orientation, put it into portrait (vertical) orientation so that you get as much information as possible on the vertical axis of your scene.

    As far as the horizontal, you can always take more photos at either end of the sequence to make sure you get the most information, but this isn’t the case with the vertical.

    11) Excessive overlap

    example of image overlap - Create Better Panoramas

    In this sequence of three images, you can see just how much overlap there is. With the left and right images lined up, the middle image is barely visible. Overkill? Maybe, but it’s worth it for peace of mind.

    When you are taking the images that you will stitch together, be overly generous with the amount you leave as overlap from one image to the next. Yes, this will result in you needing more frames for a complete sequence and it will require more processing power as well. But it also gives you more leeway in the stitching process and it will result in better final images.

    12) Overshoot

    Create Better Panoramas - panoramic scene

    Taking more images than you need for your final panoramas will provide you with a wealth of options for composition once you’re back at the computer.

    When creating panoramas, there’s only one hard and fast rule (apart from the tripod) that I adhere to. That is to take more images in a sequence than I think I need. For example, if you’re trying to create an image of a church and you get all the images you think you need in five frames, shoot five more.

    If you allow yourself excess on either edge frame, you will have far more compositional choices later. On top of that, you will also negate any potential distortion that may cause your focal point to be cropped during merging. Trust me, the wiggle room this provides is well worth the tiny bit of extra time and space on your memory card.

    13) Be fast

    Because you are taking multiple images for each panorama, there is a chance that elements in your scene may be moving. Water and clouds can prove to be a huge headache in the stitching process. You can alleviate this to a degree by being fast. Once your first shot is created, your hands should be already moving to change the camera to its next position.

    14) Bracket for HDR

    HDR pano shot - Create Better Panoramas

    Merging to HDR and stitching panoramas in Lightroom works really well. Merge each individual frame to HDR first, then stitch them together as a panorama.

    Should you find yourself in a high contrast scenario, feel free to bracket your exposures for HDR blending. I have had good results in Lightroom with blending each frame (from a bracketed set of exposures) into HDR individually and then merging them all together as a panorama.

    If you try this, make sure you don’t use the Auto Tone function in Lightroom’s Merge to HDR dialogue box. It will treat each image as an individual and will make it next to impossible to stitch your images together as a panorama. Instead, wait until your panorama is merged and then make your adjustments manually.

    15) Use your GND filters

    Create Better Panoramas - pano of a mountain scene

    When creating panoramas, use your GND filters to your heart’s content.

    Likewise, you can use graduated neutral density filters to your heart’s content. If you have a tricky horizon line, such as a mountain range, just move your filter into the appropriate place between taking the images. As long as you are careful to not move your camera, this will work just fine.

    Part three – Post processing

    Because you are stitching together your images in software, the post-production stage of creating panoramas cannot be ignored.

    16) Create a system to differentiate sequences in Lightroom

    After a heavy session of shooting images for panoramas, you may find yourself inside Lightroom utterly confused. Triple that confusion if you were shooting HDRs and panoramas together. With so many similar images, it can difficult to figure out what starts and stops where.

    An easy way to deal with this at the time of shooting is to devise a way for you to know when a sequence starts and when it ends.

    All I do is wave my hand in front of the lens for the first image, then I take the first frame again having removed my hand. At the end, if I’m starting another panoramic sequence, I do it again. Inside Lightroom, all you have to do is look for the images that fall between the shots of your hands.

    thumbnails of pano shots in Lightroom - Create Better Panoramas

    It doesn’t matter how you differentiate your sequences, but you definitely need to do something. It will save you hours of frustration and confusion.

    I also use the color label system in Lightroom. After identifying a panoramic sequence, I select them all and right click and select “Set Color Label > Blue” from the menu.

    Other options include taking a photo with the lens cap on or holding a piece of paper in front of the lens. You could do anything for this as long as it helps you figure out where things begin and end.

    If you combine this with taking notes, then you should never find yourself in a state of confusion.

    17) Do Lens Corrections and Chromatic Aberration removal first

    Create Better Panoramas - lens correction panel in LR

    An important step to take before you start the stitching process is to apply any Lens Corrections and removal of Chromatic Aberrations before you stitch the images together. Any vignetting or distortion caused by your lens can have drastic effects on your panoramas and it’s best to deal with them before they have a chance to become a problem.

    18) Use boundary warp

    merge to panorama in LR - Create Better Panoramas

    Using boundary warp in LR Merge to Panorama can help ensure that you get everything you intended in your frame.

    The Auto Crop function often works well to get rid of the white space around a stitched panorama, but sometimes elements in your scene (foreground elements most of the time) can wind up cropped out of the composition. You can use the boundary warp slider in the Merge to Panorama dialogue box to adjust how your image is cropped.

    It doesn’t always work, but if you are unhappy with how things appear, remember to try the boundary slider as it may fix your problem.

    19) Crop

    If you’re at all like me, then cropping is a bit of a dirty word. You know, get it right in camera and don’t sacrifice the resolution and all that jazz. In terms of panoramas, throw that out of the window. Not only should you crop to your heart’s content, but you should revel in it.

    If you have overshot a scene, you probably have a really wide image. The thing is, those really wide panoramas often aren’t very pleasing. Go in with the crop tool, and find a strong composition inside of your stitched frame.

    Try to think about it like this – your image, straight out of the stitching software is what you saw at the scene. Instead of composing your image while behind your camera, you’re now composing it with the crop tool. Because you (hopefully) took more images than you needed and you have far too much information to best present your subject. Just get rid of the excess and leave only what needs to be there.

    20) Consider standard crop ratios

    Create Better Panoramas - ultra wide panorama shot

    Here is the original panorama straight out of the stitching software. While cool, the format is a bit wide for most uses.

    As mentioned, ultra-wide panoramas are a hard sell. They are cool from a technical standpoint, but in terms of composition, they tend to fall short. Instead, consider using crop ratios already associated with panoramic images. These include 16:9, 16:10, 1:3, 6:17, 1:2.

    The first two of these are already crop presets in Lightroom. The last three are all aspect ratios native to dedicated panoramic cameras. In order, they are the Hasselblad Xpan, the Fuji GX617, and the Lomography BelAir.

    16:9 Ratio

    16:10 Ratio

    1:3 Ratio

    6:17 Ratio

    1:2 Ratio

    As you can see, there are plenty of options for established crop ratios.

    Bonus round

    21) Shoot panoramas of normal scenes for bigger files

    Not every scene needs to be shot as a panorama. In fact, there is more than enough for you to accomplish as a photographer if you never so much as touch the technique.

    However, panoramic stitching offers you another tool that may not be as obvious.

    Create Better Panoramas

    Shot normally, the resulting PSD file is about 35mb.

    If you approach a normal scene (let’s say in a 2:3 ratio) and shoot it in a panoramic sequence, the extra information you capture in the vertical means that your final image size will be quite a bit larger than just a straight shot from your camera.

    If, for example, you suspect that you will want to make a huge print of a particular image, this technique will give you some extra resolution to work with.

    Cropping in from the panoramic sequence gave me a PSD file of 55mb, nearly twice the size of the original.

    Conclusion

    That’s a long list, but it’s not exhaustive. If you’ve stuck with me this long, you’re probably pretty serious about getting the most out of your panoramas.

    If you’re just starting out with this technique, remember not to be too hard on yourself if you forget to use every one of these tips. Take it slow and before you know it, you’ll find that all of this becomes second nature with only a little bit of effort and practice.

    The post 21 Tips to Help You Create Better Panoramas appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • This is what happens when you are too drunk and they change the lens cap

    A friend who shall remain anonymous (for his own protection) shared this discussion he had with me. His friend, Jake Redacted, just bought a new camera. I suspect he’s never seen one of those new lens cap designs, where you “Pinch” the lens rather than push on its sides. Obviously, pushing the sides of the lens […]

    The post This is what happens when you are too drunk and they change the lens cap appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    Every photographer’s kit needs to include both a wide and ultra-wide lens. These lenses provide the flexibility to shoot a variety of subjects such as portraits, landscapes, astrophotography, and food. Wide lenses provide a unique and fresh way to portray subjects and are a great way to shoot contextual scenes that emphasize foreground elements. New to the market in 2018 is the Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 DG Art Series Lens.

    It provides a constant fast f/2.8 aperture and a zoom that transforms your field of view from wide (84.1 degrees) to ultra-wide (114.2 degrees).  I took this lens for a test-drive to give you a glimpse of its performance.

    I will save my very positive overall numerical rating for the end. So let’s get into some of the nitty-gritty findings of this functional and flexible piece of glass.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG Art lens on a Nikon D800.

    First Impressions

    There’s always a thrill the first time you unroll a lens from its packaging and lift it from the box. I immediately noticed the weight of the lens (officially ~40oz; 1,150g) giving it a quality feel. The metal construction of this lens is on display and the only plastic parts are the lens cover and lens hood.

    I was struck by the large size of the lens – it is much larger than my Sigma 24mm f/1.4. However, this makes sense as the extra size is necessary to accommodate the zoom from 14-24 mm. Overall my first impressions on the look and feel of this lens were excellent.

    Sigma 14-24, Nikon D800 - Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    I tested the Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 on a Nikon D800 and Nikon 810 body. It fit that body well and has a good feel on the full frame body.

    Build Quality

    Sigma did not cut any corners when constructing this lens. The all-metal build gives it a sturdy feel and results in the weight I eluded to in my first impressions.

    The metal construction includes the rear mount to give the lens longevity and life. The zoom ring and focus ring are textured for a solid grip and operate very smoothly. I was happy to note that the construction of this lens is dust and splash resistant which are valuable traits to me as a landscape and nature photographer.

    The lens cap has a snug fit and amply covers the aspherical lens.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    The outer element of the Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 lens has a aspherical, dome-shaped glass.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    The lens is large (5.3 inches long) and well built. Texturing on the focus and zoom rings provide a good grip.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - rear element

    Metal mounts will provide longevity for this lens. A large rear element helps with light collection .

    Image Quality

    In the Lab

    To conduct sharpness tests, I took the lens into a variety of conditions both indoors and outdoors.

    Let’s first take a look at the results of a traditional test using the pages of a book to determine sharpness and chromatic aberration. For that test, I adjusted the camera to Aperture priority mode and adjusted the aperture throughout its range (f/2.8 – f/22). All images were shot with a tripod with the exact same lighting in a lightbox.

    Individual results for each setting are available below showing a 1:1 ratio crop of the same numbers at the edge of the lens. I found the lens too soft when wide open at f/2.8. That is an expected result, but the softness was very noticeable. It was very sharp all the way to the edge of the image at f/8 and f/16. Sharpness declined at f/22. Image sharpness was maintained to the edge of the lens – impressive for an ultra-wide lens.

    I found there to be a limited chromatic aberration that is easily correctable in Lightroom. Particularly in the corners of the image there was distortion at 14mm, but that is a common result in ultra-wide lenses.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    Here is a test of the lens for sharpness at f/2.8 at the edge of the image. You can see blurring along the edges of the numbers which is expected at the edge of an ultra-wide lens when shot wide open.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    The lens became much sharper at f/8. You can see clear, crisp lines out to the edge of the image.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    At f/16 I found this lens to be even sharper than f/8. Very crisp lines out to the edge of the image.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    At f/22 the lens lost some of its sharpness. This is not unexpected with a lens fully stopped down.

    In the Field

    Similar to the lab test results above, I cropped images at 1:1 taken in natural lighting conditions to look at the sharpness of this lens. The results showcase sharp images even when taking hand-held photographs.

    In particular, you can see the lens is extremely sharp in the middle and how the stars become distorted at the edge of a crop after a long exposure.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    Stars shot with the Sigma 14-24mm. This is a crop at the edge of the lens and you can see due to the long exposure that some star trails are seen. This is due to the distortion that occurs to the image’s edge at 14mm

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - sharpness test

    This 1:1 crop is at the center of the lens and shows off how sharp this lens is in the middle.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - zoom showing image sharpness

    This 1:1 crop of an eagle passing overhead shows good sharpness in the wing edges – even at the edge of the image.

    Focus, Accuracy and Speed

    As is my experience with other Sigma Art Series lenses, the autofocus is fast, accurate, and does not produce much (if any) noise. This lens integrates a hyper sonic motor (HSM) to pull off the noiseless focus.

    A huge benefit of the lens is the small minimum focusing distance of 10 inches. That gives you, the photographer, unlimited options on what foreground element to leave in focus. In low-contrast situations such as a cloudy day the autofocus did not hunt for the subject, and focusing from 10 inches to infinity was very fast.

    Shots from the Field

    The images below are meant to show off the flexibility of this lens ranging from 14-24mm, the shallow depth of field you can achieve with an open aperture, and its usefulness for different subjects. I’ve featured some landscapes, people, and food that I was able to photograph.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - sun burst between wooden pier

    I was really happy to have the maximum f/22 aperture to create brilliant starbursts. This is a nice creative technique for landscapes, and the ability to stop down to f/22 gives flexibility for shooting flowing water as well.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - sunset through a metal ring

    The ultra-wide angle and close minimum focusing distance allow you to put foreground elements in perspective.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - b/w photo of a tree

    This tree is nearly 50 feet (15m) tall and I needed a wide angle to capture the whole thing. The ultra-wide lens tilted the tree creating a slight distortion which is characteristic of ultra-wide lenses.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - logs near the water

    Using the wide-angle to capture a whole scene along the beach. I took this image at 14mm and stopped down to give sharpness to the logs and distant mountains.

    sunset over a hill and wooden walkway view - Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    A ship, sunset, eagle, and beach house captured in a single frame thanks to the wide-angle lens.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - low light photo at a dance

    The wide aperture helped me shoot this shot in low light during a local dance.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - food photo

    The minimum focusing distance is helpful for food photography and the shallow depth of field can draw your eye to foreground elements.

    food shot with beer - Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

    Increasing the f-stop can capture the depth of an entire scene. I found this useful in this food scene to emphasize the food and show off some Alaskan Brewery products, too.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - blue hour

    This image was captured at 14mm. The next image was captured at 24mm with the camera mounted in the same position. These images give you insight into the field of view at a wide and ultra-wide focal length.

    Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens - blue hour 24mm

    This image was captured at 24mm to compare to the 14mm image above.

    Pros and Cons of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Lens

    Pros:

    1. Close minimum focal distance – I found the 10″ focus distance to be very helpful in creating interesting landscapes and in scenes where a foreground element needed to be emphasized and placed in context with its surroundings.
    2. Fast and accurate autofocus – A solid autofocus system can be a photographer’s best friend!
    3. Flexibility – The 14-24mm zoom range gives you the flexibility to transition between a wide and ultra-wide lens. Effectively replacing two lenses is a huge benefit.

    Cons:

    1. Large size – I was pretty surprised at how big the lens is, and it’s worth noting that it will take up quite a bit of space in your kit as well. Fortunately, it can replace an ultrawide and wide lens perhaps saving you space in the longrun.
    2. Lack of sharpness at wide open apertures – The weakest part of this lens is the softness at open apertures. Fortunately, it is a very sharp lens when stopped down.
    3. Aspherical glass – As a landscape photographer I like to use neutral density filters and polarizers to make the most of a scene. The aspherical dome of glass requires carrying a separate filter set.

    Final Rating and Product Value

    Sigma 14-24m, Review

    Overall Rating : 9 out of 10 – this lens provides some excellent features, great build, and overall quality. Sharpness in the center of the image is excellent and the edges maintain sharpness as well.

    My main reason for pulling this lens down to a 9 is the size of it. Those looking for a concise and smaller kit may benefit from a prime ultra-wide to decrease the lens bulk in their kit.

    The value of this lens on Sigma’s website is $1,199 USD (check here for pricing on Amazon). Although that figure seems a bit high, the build quality warrants the price. You also have peace of mind knowing that the lens is effectively replacing the value of two other lenses in your kit.

    The post Review of the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

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