Sigma Tag

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...

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...

I frequently pass by the Sigma racks in the storeroom but foolishly never stop to pluck something from the shelves. My fault, because I am missing some of the most intriguing lenses in the place. The shooters who use Canon or Nikon camera bodies get a better chance than I to test things out. And someone with a Nikon Full-frame DSLR will be the one to take an interest in today's lens. The dear old 105mm lens has been the mainstay of the portraitist for a long time - when mounted on a 24 x 36 camera it is perfect for head and shoulders and upper torso shots - such a good combination of focal length and depth of field that these lenses are frequently ground with a wide maximum aperture. f:2.8 is common and then it'll run up to f:1.4 in the premium ones. f:1.4 for this length is a sizeable chunk of melted sand and demands the best design for the resolution and freedom from distortion, It looks as though it also demands the best possible barrel mounting - this is...

I do not often get a chance to test Sigma lenses here in the column - I don't own a Canon, Nikon, or Sony body to which they might be attached. But this week I got the opportunity to grab a demo-body Canon from the shelves to exercise a Sigma macro lens - and I am delighted that I could.  I've had a good morning in the studio. The Canon body was the 75oD - a very capable small-frame body with a number of modern features - not the least of which is a modern and efficient processor. I cannot pretend to be a Canon expert, but the operation was simple enough to let me use it as I would my normal mirror-less. I did not figure out the live view in the small time I had it but I'm sure it was there somewhere. The body functioned flawlessly. The lens was the Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro. I know that means that it could also function on a full-frame body, but I am used to APS-C sensors for my tabletop work...

A recent post regarding the Fujifilm X-100F camera drew critical response from a reader - as much for my style of writing, I suspect, as for the content of the column. Well, to paraphrase President Lincoln, you can please some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time, but...

People who read this column regularly are getting pretty used to the flights of fancy that sometimes occur. And they are more critical than you might think. So I don't think I will have any luck telling them that the lens in the heading image is the Paul Hamlyn part-work Built-Your-Own-Lens in 204 parts and that we have been faithfully buying the magazines every week for over a year now...

I do love a good boxing match - and look at how well the boxes that house the new Fujifilm X-T2 and X-T20 match! They have been smart enough to put them in a similar outer pack ( with the contents clearly marked so that the sales staff can find them in the dim recesses of the store-room , thank goodness, are you taking notice, Wetzlar? ) for brand unity, but imaginative enough to box the more expensive one in the black and the less expensive one in the white. Both packs are pierced to show the X logo of the marque.   Both packs feature an internal tray for the body and a separate case for all the accessories. They are easy to unpack and easy to pack up again...