My good pal Craig Morran and I run Grumpy Cock Studios, where we shoot mainly for the drinks industry. Our go-to lens has always been the Canon 70-200mm from back in the days where we helped set up and run the Tesco in house food studio. Within the studio, we would be shooting everything from see-through Tupperware to lifestyle room sets, to babies, cats, fashion and finally, our favourite, food. At this time we just made the shift from photographing with a cumbersome medium format camera to the much more versatile Canon 5D MK2 camera. Each photographer was assigned their kit of a camera and a selection of lenses to accompany it.
The 70-200mm focal length was the favourite lens to use for food photography and we took this set-up with us when the Tesco in house studio closed its doors and thankfully forced Craig and me to start our own little studio. We had a passion for the food genre and we were confident that we could produce outstanding, mouth-watering imagery for smaller clients. Therefore we happily set up our own little place in Northamptonshire.
Through my Instagram “Have you seen Eric” adventures, I was lucky enough to become a #SIGMAUK camera ambassador as I loved the brilliant SIGMA Quattro cameras to use for Eric’s travel adventures. So when the long-awaited SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports lens was released, I was quick to make enquiries and give it a try. Craig has always been an avid Canon fan and was hesitant to make the switch to the SIGMA. I assured him it was for review purposes only and we would shortly switch back to the Canon once we have proven its worth. Let’s just say, it’s been over 3 months now, and the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports lens is still attached to the camera.
Now, those who know me know that I am not much of a fan of technical mumblings. I simply like what I like for the reasons it gives me to like it. I love the new SIGMA | Art range of lenses and this new SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports lens falls into the same admiration. The build quality is superb, the weight is good and it has a whole bunch of buttons on the side which make it feel like sitting in a new fancy car, ogling the shiny blinking dashboard and figuring out what does what…. but ultimately, like the car, it’s the drive that sells it. It’s the performance and image quality that make this our new go-to lens.
In terms of comparability to the Canon, it has not let Craig down, and both of us have been singing its praises shot after shot. We quickly got over the constant comparisons however and now simply rely on it to deliver every time.
In the beginning, we set up a shot for Fentimans Botanical drinks starting with their new range of 150ml cans. Still using the Canon at that stage, I switched over to the SIGMA, without changing any settings or light at all and the results astounded us.
Firstly, the overall image was brighter. We had to double check that absolutely no settings were changed. On closer inspection, we noticed that the SIGMA shot had a little less distortion, as well as less vignetting too!
The true test, however, would be upon zooming in on the image. With the kind of work we do, the importance is in the tiny details, the fizz, and the droplets on the drink. Craig was convinced that the image from the Canon would be sharper but much to his astonishment, they were quite on par. Both of us favourited the image from the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports lens as it was just a touch crisper. That was the ‘test’ and as I say, it has remained on our camera ever since.
In the upcoming summer months (or the few days that occur here in England at least) we plan to take the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports lens out of the studio and use it to photograph some background imagery for our pictures. These images will be printed into backdrops to create scenes for use in the studio. I’m really looking forward to using it in natural lighting and to see how it performs outdoors but given that it is a Sports lens, we are quite confident it is going to be able to handle whatever we throw at it.
This lens paired with our other SIGMA | Art lenses; the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art and the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art, make us feel empowered to take on any photographic challenges. They are the holy trinity of lenses that have secured a place in the Grumpy Cock studio for a long time to come!
You can see more images created by Grumpy Cock Studios on one of the following links:
And you can follow Darryll and his “Have you seen Eric” adventures on Instagram: