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The Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Art Macro is the first prime macro lens to sport Sigma’s “ART” badge. Can Sigma's new lens live up to the "Art" name? Read on to find out!
When Tamron announced the new FE 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, it sent a wave of excitement throughout the Sony user base. When Tamron announced that the lens would only be $799, most of those Sony users were shocked. Can Tamron’s $799 lens compete against the $1,198 (Currently $898 after rebate) Sony/Zeiss 24-70mm f/4? Can it hold its own against the $2,198 FE 24-70 f/2.8 GM? How would Tamron’s first FE lens work on Sony bodies? The Pixel Connection was lucky enough to get an early copy for a few days to try out – read on to see what we thought.
Can Sigma set the new benchmark for fast, ultrawide zooms with its new 14-24mm f/2.8 Art?
For Canon and Nikon shooters looking to get a fast ultrawide, the choices in the past have been the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 VC. Sigma has now joined the mix with its own 14-24mm f/2.8, and we got a chance to use it for a few days to see how it performed.
Fujifilm has finally filled the 1:1 macro void in their lens lineup, but how well does it stack up? We were lucky enough to get a pre-release version of the new lens to test out for a few days - just enough to get some real world use out of it.
Does Sigma have another hit on its hands with their all new "light bazooka"?
Is Sigma's 135mm f/1.8 Art the ultimate medium telephoto fast prime?
Can Tamron's $1,300 lens keep up with the offerings from Nikon and Canon?
First off let’s say curiosity got my interest with mirrorless bodies. How could such a small body deliver a big punch? I’m a Canon shooter and people ask me why do I shoot Canon. My reply is because when I bought my first DSLR Canon it was the one that was on sale between them and Nikon. If Nikon would have had the best sale price that day, I’d probably be a Nikon shooter. That being said, I do enjoy my Canon and love what I have been able to produce with it.
I’m a person that likes change and trying different things. Sony first peaked my interest at the Cleveland air show this summer where The Pixel Connection of Avon had a booth set up. Both Sigma and Sony reps were on site for the air show. I was amazed when they could put a Sony mirrorless body on a Sigma 150-600 lens, and I could not believe how light it was in my hand. I didn’t shoot it that day but the interest was put in the back of my head. I ran across a pro Sony shooter on Youtube and watched what he was able to produce on these small body cameras. I decided to do a weekend of test shooting to put the Sony a6500 through different types of shots that interest me.
My biggest passion of photography is sports photography. I get so excited capturing a great action shot at a sporting event. In portrait photography, you can reproduce the same shot over and over but you only get one chance to get that great shot in the end zone. I decided to put the Sony a6500 to the test at a boy’s basketball game using my Sigma 70-200 with the MC-11 Sigma mount adaptor. That is also the biggest thing that peaked my interest is because Sony allows me to use all my glass with their camera using a mount adaptor. Whenever you use an adaptor or converter of any sort your always scared that you will lose quality and precision. It seemed at first it took a little time for the converter to speak to the camera to recognize my Sigma lens. Once it acknowledged the lens it started tracking nicely. I made sure to shoot in RAW to see how it buffered with its 11fps. It was very comparable to my Canon 7DMII if not better. I pushed the ISO to 10000 at 1/1000 to see how it handled the noise, and again, very similar to my Canon 7DMII. The live view was cool when the action was close to me under the basket to track the movement of the ball. Being a crop sensor APS-C making my 70-200 more like a 105-300 made it very tight in the eye piece. It allowed me to put the camera on the floor and shoot looking through the live view to try and capture a different perspective without laying on the floor. Just something fun to try and be creative. As photographers, I think we all try to be a little different as to make shots our own. Next I took my Sigma 150-600 out to do some bird photography and shoot the lighthouse in Lorain, OH. Putting the MC-11 Sigma convertor to the test would be with bird photography. When birds are flying overhead without much contrast in the sky it gets hard sometimes to track them in your camera. Again, with the convertor it did very well tracking the Broad-winged Hawk I was shooting. Did it miss at times? Yes, it did, but so does my DSLR with the same lens. I was able to capture the lighthouse and being along the lines of landscape photography it was flawless in tracking and allowed my lens to be tack sharp. I put the Sigma 85mm on which is my favorite lens and again it worked flawless which was very exciting to finalize my decision to add this camera to my bag. For my sports photography, this gives me a nice small body camera as a second body that gives me big body production. Mind you I have my Canon 1DX which I will never part with for my sports photography but again excited to add something else to learn with and expand my knowledge in photography. I think change is good - it doesn’t allow you to be complacent but to give you another understanding how things work from a different perspective.
Review and images courtesy of Joe Colón. To see more of Joe's work, head on over to his website Eyes of Joe Photography!
Sigma’s new 500mm f/4 Sport is getting a lot of attention. It might be because it’s the first telephoto prime in its new ART/SPORT series of lenses, or it might be because of the price tag - $5,999. That’s $3,000 less than the Canon and almost $4,300 less than the Nikon, while only being $1,000 more than the older Sigma 500mm f/4.5.
This lens is big, bulky, and at just under 7.5lbs best suited for use on a tripod or monopod. For much of my shooting, I had it mounted on Induro’s GHB2 gimbal head, and an Induro carbon fiber monopod. The feel of the lens is typical of Sigma’s new lenses. The build quality is great, the buttons/switches feel solid, and the focus ring has a smooth feel to it with a nice throw. For those that have used a Sigma 150-600mm Sport, the hood tightening knob is a new design that doesn’t feel like it will strip or break. There are many adjustments that can be made using the switches, and it still has the “Custom” functions that can be made using Sigma’s dock and software.
Sigma was nice enough to send a demo unit for me to shoot with for a day, and while it wasn’t a thorough test/review, I did manage to get some use out of it. After unpacking the lens, the first thing I noticed was the build quality and design of the lens. It’s a great looking piece of glass, with Sigma’s black finish and the carbon fiber hood. Hand holding this lens isn’t ideal due to its weight, but the image stabilization works well, and the weight is surprisingly balanced on a larger DSLR body. Most sample images were taken with a 5D Mark III, and a few with the 7D Mark II – no AF micro adjustments were done, and no lens profile corrections were available in Lightroom at the time of shooting.
Photos below were taken at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rocky River Reservation using gimbal head and monopod unless noted.
Lens/Camera were handheld for the following images:
After using the lens all day, I was quite impressed at the performance. Even with the 5D Mark III, the lens locked onto subjects quickly, and wasn’t thrown off easily by background/foreground distractions. With the weather sealing of the Sport line, there was no worrying when it started snowing and changing into rain/sleet. The OS worked quite well at slower shutter speeds – I managed to get sharp images at speeds well below 1/500th. The only downfall of this lens is carrying it around all day. Due to the size, it wouldn’t fit in my MindShift Backlight 26L backpack, so I was usually resting it on my shoulder while walking, or occasionally carrying it by the tripod collar.A larger bag, like the Think Tank Glass Limo or Glass Taxi makes carrying it from one spot to another much easier.
But in the end, having 500mm of prime lens quality is worth a sore arm and shoulder. Especially at a price that’s “budget friendly” compared to the Canon and Nikon branded 500’s.
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