Sigma Lens Buying Guide
Posted 1/12/2014 at 3:11 PM
Sigma Lens Buying Guide: Selecting the Perfect Lens for the Appropriate Occasion
If you’re shopping around for new lenses for your camera, remember the Sigma motto, "a photo is only as good as the lens." Just about every seasoned photographer is more than likely familiarized with this age old philosophy in the world of photographic expression. And it is because of this age old philosophy that Sigma has designed lenses for cameras such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and Sony worldwide that exceed the standard of excellence for the past 50 years.
As any photographer knows, there is a lens for every intricately special moment, situation, and occasion. Each unique photographic moment in life requires the precise lens to capture the perfect and pure essence of the moment for all eternity. Before you embark on your photographic journey with the infamous stellar Sigma lens, you’ll want to learn more information regarding each type of lens available for you to choose from.
Distinguishing between the Various Types of Sigma Lenses
Learn the differences of each Sigma lens type below before investing in new lenses to ensure the lenses that you invest in meet all of your needs:
DG = Designed for DSLR Cameras with Full Frame image Sensors
DC = Designed for DSLR Cameras with APS-C Size Image Sensors
DN = Designed for Interchangeable Lens Mirrorless / CSC Cameras
HSM = Indicates lenses with built in Hyper Sonic Motor. These lenses offer speedy auto-focusing and quiet operation.
OS = An Optical Stabilizer built into the lens helps assure a sharp image while giving you the freedom of movement.
EX = Sigma’s professional grade prime lenses and wide aperture zoom lenses that maintain their maximum F-number regardless of zoom position.
Wide Angle Lenses: The wide angle lens features a smaller focal length when compared to a typical lens’ focal length. This type of lens is ideal for photographing anything scenic or architecturally due to the fact that the photographer is able to capture more of the scenery into the photo. A photographer can capture an entire landscape without the need to capture the area from far away. The wide angle lens is also perfect for those moments when a photographer would like to capture various differences within a photograph such as differences in the background or with the size of objects.
Making some objects appear larger and closer compared to other objects in the image. It is absolutely perfect for travel photos, wedding photography and other special occasion events, and landscape photography. Popular wide angle lenses include the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM which is very popular for real estate photography and the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II wide angle lens.
The Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM is an affordable option for photographers shopping around on a budget and it offers high-performance. The 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II is one of Sigma’s top performing wide angles and includes ultra wide angle zoom for "superb optical performance." This model is an update of Sigma’s model 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM, a favourite of photographers worldwide since its debut back in 2002.
Standard Lenses: The standard zoom lens enables photographers to zoom in on objects or scenery. Because a zoomed in image is at risk of distortions, you’ll want to invest in a quality standard zoom if you’d like to reduce the chances of distorted imagery.
Every photographer should have at least one standard lens in their artillery of lenses and we recommend the 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A, the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM and the 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C. The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM ART series features a maximum constant aperture of f1.8 throughout the focal length, full-time manual focus, and more. The Sigma 24-105mm F/4 DG OS HSM features a Hyper Sonic Motor for fast & quiet auto focusing and the ability to counteract any issues with shaky hands thanks to its built in Optical Stabiliser. And for the perfect travel companion look no further than the new contemporary Sigma 18-300mm lens, apart from its versatile focal length it has built in Optical Stabilizer as well as a Macro feature making it ideal for photographing subject’s close-up, or in a distance.
Some of the other standard lenses mirror the human eye perfectly and is as "natural" as it gets for any photographer. Generally, this type of lens is available in Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM ART and Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART Lens focal lengths. The focal length that you choose will depend on the purpose of the imagery that you intend to capture. For close-ups, you may wish to go with a 35mm or a 50mm and for portraits you may wish to go with a 85mm focal length lens.
Telephoto Zoom: The telephoto zoom is perfect for professionally zooming in on objects that are impossible to get closer to such as birds in the sky over the ocean, for example. With a telephoto zoom lens, you can capture that bird as if you were right in front of it, because it’s as if you are wearing a pair of binoculars with your telephoto lens. Additionally, it’s important to know that a telephoto zoom lens has the ability to cause a "flattened space" in imagery. What does that mean?
Example: Two objects nowhere near each other are captured as if they’re right next to one another. This is partly avoidable when you select a telephoto zoom lens with "optical stabilization." Two of the best telephoto zoom lenses include the new Sigma 150-600MM F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport series lens and the 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM. Both lens types are able to greatly reduce vibration, they produce amazingly sharp imagery and they’re on the lightweight side.
Macro Lens: The macro lens is ideal for extremely microscopic close-up imagery. Typically the subjects of this type of lens are tiny creatures or objects. The images appear larger than they do life size. A macro lens has the capability of producing a "reproduction ratio" greater than 1:1. The reproduction ratio is the comparison of the object’s real life size to its size in the imagery.
Popular choices when it comes to the macro lens include the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens and the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens. The Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro offers superb optical quality and Sigma 105mm f2.8 OS macro delivers imagery that is distortion-free and of optical excellence. Thanks to its non-rotating front lens group, this lens makes it easy for photographers working with polarizing filters.
Fisheye Lenses: If you’re wondering what an image would look like through a fisheye lens, just capture an image in your mind of peering through a door’s peephole. Fisheye lens images are distorted and create what is known as the "fisheye effect." These images are great for creating artistically different images and for up close and personal images. They’re generally a lot of fun to work with.
A couple of top fisheye lenses on the market include the Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye Lens and the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye Lens. The latter lens offers photographers with the ability to view a 35mm negative at a 180 degree diagonal field view, making it an extremely unique lens. The Sigma 10mm f2.8 fisheye lens has a built-in autofocus motor and excellent optical quality.
Tele-Converters: A Tele converter enables a photographer to increase the focal length of a lens cost-effectively. This simple solution makes it easy to create the telephoto effect without a telephoto lens. The Tele converter is simply like a magnifier that is placed between the camera’s lens and the camera’s body. Examples of teleconverters include the It’s important to know that results of a teleconverter may not be as sharp as a telephoto lens, but they are highly-useful and cost-effective.
A couple of popular Tele-Converters include the Sigma 2x EX DG APO and the Sigma APO TELE CONVERTER 1.4x EX DG. The 1.4x essentially turns a 70-200mm f2.8 lens into a 98-280mm f/4 lens and the 2x turns it into a 140-400mm lens f/5.6. Check the following link for full list of compatible lenses.
Now that you know the uses of each Sigma lens type, you can make an informative decision on which type of lens would best suit your professional or personal photography needs.
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