Sigma Tag

Well, that's not bad at all - I captured four extreme professionals with two shots of my little reporter's camera at the recent PhotoLive 2021; Andrew, Kym, SanDisk, and Sigma. I agonised about which lens to take on the day. But in the end I settled for the Fujinon 18mm f:2 - the diagrams of the sales rooms and the corridors of the Edith Cowan venue suggested that it was going to be a bit squeezy. The 18 is quite tame if you remember to level it - and even if you get a few degrees of tilt and the consequent distortion you can iron it out in Photoshop. I know, I know...

As a photo enthusiast who turns every dial and pushes every button on a camera - often inadvertently - I am keenly aware of the harm that I can do to my images. This becomes evident when I use one of the lenses that the Fujifilm system makes on a standard camera. It's the 27mm f:2.8 pancake lens - the original one with no aperture ring. I keep examples of this on X-T10 and X-E2 camera bodies and use them all the time ( Love the convenient size for reportage or mini-studio shots. ) All is well in the aperture line as long as you control this from the thumb wheel. All the apertures plus ' A' setting right next to f:16...

" And we bet 59% of geniuses will get it wrong." I hate those Facebook memes, don't you? The ones that put out mathematical puzzles that are either impossible or improbable. I always suspect that if I click on them I'll get a  blackmail demand from a hacker. They'll threaten to tell everyone that I'm stupid. I've got the laugh on them because I've been advertising it for years. But here's the deal: 14mm focal length on the Panasonic Lumix cameras with the Micro 4/3 sensor is a decent little wide-angle - wide enough for interiors and parties but not down into the looming distortion pits. The mathematics of it equates to 28mm in the old 35mm film days. The lens is very small, very light, very precisely made. It weighs 55 grams. However, we are not in the old 35mm film days - we are in the new " full-frame " digital sensor days. It just so happens that the full-frame is full to the extent that it's the same size as the old 35mm film frame. At a considerably higher cost, I...

I attended a rather pleasant do last night put on by C.C.Kennedy and Camera Electronic at the Oxford Hotel. It was to introduce the Sigma FP camera to Western Australia. I had already been privileged to play with this camera in the Stirling Street shop some time ago - see our weblog column of the 21st of November, 2019 - and I thought it a very novel and exciting still camera. I was right and wrong at the same time. The real forte of this camera would appear to be video work - at least that was the impression gained from last night's show. Perhaps I should amend that to fortissimo - for that is the F part of the name. The P stands for pianissimo. The basic idea is the biggest performance from the smallest space, and in this I think Sigma have succeeded. Of course it is no surprise to find an innovative product coming from this firm - they make everything they sell in Japan and even go so far as to make their own magnesium metal for the...

Sigma may make lenses for other people's cameras, but they have always done a lot of their own thinking. This has been evident in some of their choices - their own mount, their own sensor, their own DSLR, and their own mirrorless cameras. A lot of other firms make a fuss out of the mirrorless idea but Sigma still keeps on doing their own thinking. Witness the Sigma sd Quattro H. I just encountered it this week at CE and got to heft it. Not play with it - the battery was flat - but stare at it and test it out for ergonomic feel. To be honest, the look is off-putting, but the feel is superb. It has the appearance of being a camera assembled from different designs - and this is probably a good way to look at the disparate elements. The basic body is about what you'd expect from a mirrorless rectangle...

Cue dramatic music. Roll footage of medieval armies preparing for battle. Introduce animated flags either side of the picture: " Tilting Screen " vs " Fixed Screen ". Now let the customers and camera club members sqaure off and have a go at each other...

Lenses. You need 'em and Sigma have 'em. And you could be forgiven for being overwhelmed sometimes when you stand in front of the Sigma cabinets in Murray Street or Stirling Street and start to imagine which one you need. Not surprising - Sigma has made their lenses to fit Nikon, Canon, Sony for years. They made their own mount - the SA mount for their own DSLR cameras, and you can get plenty of these still. And now they make lenses that could appear on Olympus and Panasonic cameras - the micro 4/3 mount. Not slowing down, they are supplying the new L mount as well, and this is where the camera taste buds started to throb - I spotted a new L mount lens in the cabinet. This 45mm f:2.8 lens - the left hand one in the picture - is dedicated to the new FP camera - as well as to other L mount cameras. It's marked as a " Contemporary " lens on the little silver side plate but that sounds like PR flak. Any lens you buy is...

Well, it seemed like that last Friday when I set up to review new gear and old ideas in Stirling Street. I had just resigned myself to the thought that there was nothing new under the sun when I turned around and saw the Sigma FP body sitting there...

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...