Sigma Tag

In the theatre and in the dark - that's where I see this new lens from Sigma. And believe me, here in Perth we have dark theatres. The operating theatres in the hospitals are all pretty well lit, but after that it all gets pretty dim...

We've all seen those books in the stands - the yellow and black ones refer to us as dummies and the orange and blue ones are aimed at idiots. In some cases they say they are for complete idiots - a degree of excellence that seems a little disturbing to aim for.I must take a second to say that these books are adopting such a disdainful attitude with the view of correcting our faults. They may sneer at us but they try to teach us - by the end of the book we are probably going to be familiar with the basics of hydraulic engineering or Sanskrit or whatever was printed on the cover. We can even get dummy and idiot books that deal with photography...

I see there is a new rack of pre-recorded DVD's in the shop. The DVD's have some useful home training courses that may well assist newer digital users - as well as confirm the suspicions of more experienced shooters.There's quite a bundle of them - I'm not sure if they are all going to be applicable to everyone but there should be something there for most tastes. You'll find them behind the counter near the Cokin filter wall. Check out these:1. Learn How Yo Use Your Compact Camera - simple step by step videos.2. Learn How To Use Your SLR Camera - settings and exposure explained.3. Learn Photoshop Elements Quickly and Easily - my favourite program. You're soaking in it now.4. The Ultimate Compact Camera Course - 2-disc set - concentrates on people, travel, and landscape.5. Photoshop Techniques For SLR Photographers -3-disc set - things you really need to know about the king of editing programs.6. The Ultimate Real Estate Photography Course - 3-disc set - things you really need to know about real estate photography. Meet the emotional needs...

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...