June 2019

I was taken with the size and weight of the box in the storeroom that contained the Sigma 40mm F;1.4 DG HSM lens. Was that weight real, or had someone put a brick in the box as well as the lens? Oh, it was real all right - 1200g real. This was a puzzle - 40mm focal length for Nikon, Canon, or Sony E-mount cameras. But look at the size and think of the weight involved: That's a big barrel, and  a lot of glass - okay, it's f:1.4, but really, there are smaller f:1.4 50mm and 55mm lenses out there. Why should SIgma take up all that room and material? What makes this necessary, or better. A dip into the Sigma website dedicated to it gave a hint. It is a lens that has come to the still world from the researches Sigma have made into cine lenses. Oh, don't panic - you still get recognisable F-stops and the barrel is AF and dedicated to still shooting - you won't be breaking your hand trying to get past gear cogs. But what you do...

Some decades ago an employee of mine got married and I was invited along to the wedding - a cheerful affair on a sunny day. Her uncle was a professional wedding shooter of some aquaintance and he did the wedding coverage as a gift. I was content to donate a toaster and not do any shooting. As I had been doing weddings myself on a part-time basis for years I was curious to see what the rig was going to be. It was full-on film days and I cannot remember whether it was an Olympus or a Nikon outfit that he carried, but I do recall that he had the biggest accessory cart I have ever seen. It would not have been out of place pulled up next to a Jumbo jet at the airport. Quite why he felt it necessary to tow an artillery limber to a wedding is beyond me, but he faithfully pulled it over all the doorsills in the place for hours. Maybe film was heavier than pixels...

If you are determined, we can't stop you. Indeed, the best thing that can be done is to reach into the Sigma cabinet and pull out the 14mm f:1.8 DG HSM Art lens and let you put it on your Nikon or Canon. Then you can head out for your architecture, landscape, or astro photography and we can feel that we've done our best for you. You will not go away lightly - you'll be adding 1120 g to your burden, and if this is out bush to get the landscape or the star view, that's a significant weight. No wonder- the barrel is fully professional and there are 16 elements - three of them aspherical - inside it. You 'll be operating the aperture electro-mechanically with either mount and you'll also have a option to add a rear filter if you're using the Canon version. Quite what you can do with a filter arrangement up the front is beyond me - this is a very wide view of the universe for a full-frame camera - and the adaptation you'll need for...

If you are strictly a stills photographer you can look at the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T 2.9 and laugh. If you are a video worker you can slap the still photographer and then look on the Fujinon lens with great covetous desire. The first people will see the inordinate length of the thing and compare it to the Fujinon 18-55mm f:2.8-4 lens that they might have gotten when they bought  their X-E2 or X-T10 camera. The same " kit " lens that everyone says is the best all-round working lens of the Fujifilm X mount series. They'll look at the manual focusing ring...

Well, once you start me going, it's difficult to pull me up. Best just stand aside, let me run myself into the ditch and then turn over. In this case it is searching the Camera Electronic shelves for lenses that bird photographers can make use of. I've been reading further into the schedule of the BirdLife Bird Photography Conference in Fremantle on the 21st and 22nd of September and it's actually pretty exciting. I count ten Australian presenters and one chap from Canada - the keynote speaker, I daresay. They are all award winners, published authors, or recognised experts in the field and they are all there for you to listen to and ask questions. And the wonderful thing about the digital era is that they can bring their images and results with them so readily - and show them with such brilliance. I remember that a travelling show by the CR Kennedy company back in the 1980's on the Hasselblad film camera system used the best slide projectors of the time - they were a licensed product that Hasselblad made -...

The upcoming Birdlife Photography conference in Fremantle - 21 and 22 September  - set a bell ringing in my budgie cage. I remembered a lens I had seen on the Panasonic shelf at our Murray Street Store and it seems as if it was made in Heaven - or Yamagata - for the dedicated bird photographer. Before we get onto that, go to the BirdLife site and look at the fun to come: https://www.birdlifephotoconference.org Remember that you get cheaper prices on your tickets if you book early. So, the lens. The Panasonic 200mm f:2.8 Lumix G lens...