Planning a landscape photography trip to Iceland meant carefully planning the gear I needed to take and while I usually shoot my landscapes with a wide or standard zoom lens, I wanted to have a greater focal range to capture more of this amazing place, so just a week before we left I decided to invest in the new SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports Lens. I had been reading about this lens ever since it had been announced and I was really excited that it became available in time for this trip.
For me, one of the best parts of going on a trip to a location like Iceland is not exactly knowing what you’re going to shoot because you never know what exactly you’ll experience. You can plan a trip to a certain extent and make a shot list, but you will always have to make changes and you’re probably going to find little surprises along the way. Having the right gear for the job will always make life easier and for me, having the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports lens by my side along with my SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art and the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lenses meant that I had all focal lengths covered.
On my last trip to Iceland I failed to get a decent image of any Icelandic horses, so this time I was determined to capture some and I got my best shots of them early into the trip while we were in the North. These magnificent creatures are extremely hardy and despite the harsh conditions stand strong in the driving snow. They are very friendly and almost seem to enjoy posing for photos. The SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports was fantastic to use in getting these images and the detail on the close-ups came out brilliantly. The focusing was fast and precise even when shooting through the snow and the intelligent OS helped with making the images nice and sharp.
Some of the more surprising images I shot were of abandoned vehicles on farms in the North. I’m not sure if any of them were still in use, but they definitely weren’t going anywhere in that snow. Due to these vehicles being on private land, I wasn’t going to get close up to them, so once again the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports came in handy. Being able to shoot the subjects from a distance also meant that I got to capture some of the landscape in the background to give a bit of scale to the image. Shooting handheld with a lens of this size and weight seemed a bit crazy before I went out there, but it was actually very comfortable to shoot with and I managed to get sharp images even shooting in the wind.
Doing the full circular route around Iceland was amazing and very fulfilling, but doing it this way makes you limited on the time spent at each location because there was so much distance to cover. Therefore some of the images had to be shot from a distance but thankfully the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports was brilliant again for shooting landscape images at the drop of a hat. It was great to be able to stop the car quickly when I spotted a composition from the car window. I could jump out and capture that special mage of a distant subject within a matter of minutes without having to waste time to prepare. Plus there is the confidence you gain knowing you have faith in the gear you’re using. You know you don’t have to worry about shooting and then re-shooting over and over to make sure you have the image you want.
Having the ability to shoot your subject from a distance is great if you can’t get close enough to it, but also if getting close has its challenges. When I shot Skógafoss from close up, I had to work around the many other visitors that were there on that day. While I did get a shot that I was happy with, I couldn’t help but feel I could do better from further away. That’s when I moved to the other side of the river near the main road and I shot the waterfall reflecting in the river without any people in the shot or any other distractions. I believe this is the best shot I have of Skógafoss which the SIGMA 70-200mm | Sports helped me to achieve.
The SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is an amazing tool and I’m so glad I invested in it. The build quality of this lens is what you would expect from the current line of Sigma Global Vision lenses and the image quality is fantastic. Having an F2.8 maximum aperture and large front element, this lens is a true heavyweight, but with very little effort, it found a place in my already packed camera bag ready to help me capture those images that otherwise may have been a little out of reach. The hypersonic motor delivers fast and responsive focusing and the sharpness throughout the focal range is excellent. I really like the attached tripod bracket as it has 90° click stops that are great when switching from vertical to horizontal shooting positions and it fits directly on to my Arca Swiss style clamp on my tripod.
If you’re looking to shoot more telephoto images, I would highly recommend the SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports lens as it is fantastic for shooting landscapes, some wildlife and I’m looking forward to shooting some portraits with it very soon.
You can see more images created by Lee on one of the following links: