Award-winning nature writer and photographer Andrew Fusek Peters shares his experience with the new SIGMA 14mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens and the success he has achieved as a result of this exciting new lens.
SHOOTING WITH THE NEW SIGMA 14MM F1.8 DG HSM | ART LENS
I had the new SIGMA lens on pre-order with Park Cameras, taking the risk that what they said about the all important ‘coma’ which us astro photographers rightly worry about would not affect this lens too badly. It’s a big investment but if we can shoot at F1.8 then it is a game changer for bringing both ISO and noise down while keeping detail sharp. My previous star lens, the Samyang 14mm F2.8 has got me great results with my 5d4 but this needed to be a game changer.
In August 2017, the weather reports predicted the first clear night to go out and play with this hefty beast. I got one of the first copies in the UK and wanted to see if it was worth the crazy money I paid. I love Manstone Rock on the Stiperstones – the 480 Million year old rock formations are perfect to foreground the night sky. Even at sunset, the the lens was already proving its worth, shooting fantastically well for wide sunset on diamond rock at F6.3 to F8 – the wide field of view providing a unique angle and showing how sharp the lens can be edge to edge.
But the real test came at Midnight as astronomical twilight passed and the milky way rose up. I was able to shoot at very low ISO – 1600 to 2000 and get clean shots with a ton of detail even at F1.8. What wonders in our skies. Is the lens worth this money – for me yes – the difference in the quality of shots between the Samyang and the SIGMA is huge. The SIGMA is sharper, cleaner, faster – and heavier – be prepared for a slog if you are trekking a long way into dark sky sites. But I would be happy to keep shooting at F1.8 till the cows come home. The lens is not perfect, and there is some coma wide open but it feels controlled and manageable and on my future shoots, I will experiment with slightly higher ISO and shorter shutter speeds as I get to know this lens better.
Andrew Fusek Peters July 2017
author of Upland and Wilderland
Visit the following link to see more examples images and to see published examples of Andrew’s images with the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens.;