Sigma Tag

Well, that's an interesting combination - Sigma and Zeiss.Both top quality lens manufacturers that deal in different operational concepts - one looking to make a number of value-packed zoom lenses and one seeking the prime market. The good thing for users of Nikon and Canon camera bodies is that many of their products can be found with mounts for these brands.But consider - you might find Sigma or Zeiss lenses on a lot of camera bodies. We can think of Zeiss lenses on Fujifilm X-series, Sigma on Olympus and Panasonic, Zeiss on Leica M bodies, and a number of Zeiss's devices associated with Sony.Come to think of it there are adapters that allow these products onto a lot of micro 4/3 or other mirror-less bodies. A bit of a juggle sometimes but surprisingly do-able nonetheless if one is prepared to focus and set apertures manually. A lot of studio closeups for this column are taken with an adapted lens that started on a DSLR and now fronts a mirror-less camera. It's not speed-demon work but yields a fine focus.Anyway, there...

Well it is strange, isn't it. For a hundred and fifty-odd years  photographers have been trying to get more sensitivity out of their recording surface - sensitising plates, using speed-increasing developers. pre-flashing plates, etc. Developing flash power, flash bulbs, and eventually electronic flash to a very sophisticated level. Making lenses with wider and wider apertures...

Some of you that read our Facebook page and are on the mailing list may know this news already but there are others who only read the blog - turning to it faithfully each morning with their cornflakes.Well pour the milk, chew fast, and get your credit card out of the bottom of the sugar caddy. Tomorrow  is the day to spend some money.Friday, 13th of November is tomorrow - on Friday the 13th. Just as well, all the calendars have been marked with the date...

Those of our readers who are puzzled by the heading are referred to any standard Australian folk song book. They will enjoy the Dog On the Tucker Box and Click Go the Shears and other such cultural achievements but would do well to keep in mind that folk songs are best sung out loud by earnest women in shawls and drunken men with beards. Anyone else risks being laughed at.The flashes we are more familiar with are the on-camera pop-up variety and the speed lights that we slot into the top of the hot shoes. Studio flashes are referred to as ' strobes ' to make them sound more technical.The humble speed light or portable flash is frequently used to  light portraits and events by separating it from the camera...

For the last 7 1/2 years I have been coping with the business of multiplication factors for the focal lengths of lenses in the digital world. Right from the start, we have had equivalents to various things - occasioned by the size of the electronic sensors that were possible in the cameras at the time. Initially quite small, they progressed in size as the silicon chip makers learned to grow ever-larger surfaces.There were a number of stages that received what are now difficult names - difficult in that every one of them needs some sort of explanation and qualification when a customer enquires about it. We can liken the quandary to an alphabet - we all pretty well agree what a "B" looks like and unless you are Russian and spell it backwards or something, we don't have to refer to it as a full-frame B or an APS-C B or a 3/4" B.Every manufacturer would have their product better than the rest, if only in the advertising pamphlets. Thus was born the diagonal measurement of sensor size - based...

There's this movie in production about boxing. Not two Irishmen pummelling each other - boxing. Packaging  cameras. I can hardly wait for the release.Now, this is going to be different from all the Yo' Tube videos of sad people taking their new camera out of the packaging while the rest of the world burns around them. This is going to be the inside story of the intrigues and murders in the Japanese packaging industry. If you don't believe they have them, consider these facts:1. Japan has a culture of wrapping and packaging. There is a Japanese cultural channel on Foxtel that has video reports from Japan and broadcasts whole shows on wrapping -foreigners watch Japanese retail sellers package different products for sale and ten comment on how it is done in their own country. The Japanese always do it better, and with more style.2. Japanese companies are quite competitive. Just like the feudal families used to be, They may not go round each other's head offices and shower the opposing office workers with arrows at lunchtime but the temptation is...

Well, with a shop full of things, that's a good question. Which one for what would be a better question and as soon as we start that line of enquiry the thing becomes clearer.Let us postulate a client with an APS-C sensor camera who wants one lens. Only one lens. Has the body, wants to take pictures, hopes to take good ones.Lots of the manufacturers of the digital bodies supply short-zoom lenses to start people out - and most times it works well. People get a chance to see the world from a moderate wide angle to a mild telephoto, and can shoot in moderate light levels. The results contain the distortions that zoom lenses are prone to but as these are far less that ever they were, and probably far less that the new user is used to...