Under the stars with the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens by photographer Mark McNeill

Under the stars with the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens by photographer Mark McNeill

Mark McNeill is a landscape and astro photographer from the North West of England who decides to go ultra-wide beneath the stars with the SIGMA 14mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens.

My first thought when the lens arrived honestly was “wow this is a quality well-built lens” and that is exactly what you need for astro photography. Most of the times you’re photographing in pitch black and because things can be tricky in the dark you need a high quality, heavy-duty lens that you can rely on. I noticed immediately that the focusing ring and the infinity point is spot on with the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens. I normally try to find this during the day using a lamp post half way down our road as a subject then I know later when I look down with my head torch just where the sharp spot is ( it works ).

I normally use the SIGMA 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens which I’ve had for a long time. It is the lens that I used to capture the image which received the  Highly Commended award in the Royal Museums Greenich 2018 People and Space category  photography competition and I love the visual experience from this wide angle lens.

Image captured with the SIGMA 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens by Mark McNeill Photography

But using the 14mm gave me a totally different experience and I saw a new dimension to what a ultra-wide angle lens can provide. It was amazing to point the lens at a rock in the foreground and still get a quality amount of sky in the frame.

I had an image in my mind of what I wanted to capture which was the star trails over a pylon such as the image below. I was stood right next to a 100 meter pylon and got the whole of it in quite easily. The image quality of this super wide angle lens is wonderful. There’s no distortion and the stars of the Andromeda galaxy look pin point sharp.

The second sets of images are from a clear sky night. The plan was to capture a night scene of Haweswater and the water tower in all its glory. The Milky Way and the tower both look wonderfully sharp plus the colour renditions are really clean too. The tower and the stars above look just how they should and the images have only been slightly adjusted in light room. However one of these pictures is a RAW image but can you guess which one?

This lens is well worth it and has made it to my wish lit. I will definitely be purchasing it in the near future as it truly is the lens which defines what astro photography is all about

Featured product: SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art 

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