SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens in SE mount at British Grand Prix with photographer Dan Bathie

SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens in SE mount at British Grand Prix with photographer  Dan Bathie

Britain was in the middle of a heatwave, England were still in the World Cup and the Formula One circus was in town. The British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone is always one to look forward to and photographer Dan Bathie was especially excited as he had the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM |Art lens in SE-Mount lens packed in his bag ready to test!

Having recently purchased a couple of Sony mirrorless cameras (a A7RII and most recently a A9) for my automotive and motorsport work I hadn’t yet got the lens collection I have with my Nikon cameras. I use the Sigma 50mm and 35mm 1.4 Art lenses a lot for my Nikons, so when I heard Sigma were releasing native E-Mount Art lenses for the Sony system I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.

I arrived at the track on Thursday morning and set about going to capture details in the pitlane. Formula One cars have such intricate wings and bodywork that often they are more like art sculptures than cars! The SIGMA 50mm Art was perfect for this – shooting at F1.4 you can really isolate the details and get a clean image.

Image captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

Next up was a Sky Sports show held on the pit straight on Thursday evening. In keeping with the ongoing World Cup, the drivers were taking bullseye penalties. It was the perfect test for the SIGMA coupled with the Sony A9 for testing the focusing speed and tracking. I was immediately impressed – the lens tracked all the way through each shot, even when at F1.4 and with Sony’s high frame, each frame was sharp.

Images captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

The drivers stayed around and entertained the crowd with things like T-Shirt  guns. It was a great opportunity to get candid portraits, something I’ve always loved using the SIGMA 50mm Art for on my Nikon. The performance was what I’ve come to expect of SIGMA Art lenses, beautiful depth of field and tones that pop straight out of camera. One new thing, however, is making use of the Sony A9’s 93% focus point coverage, as unlike most DSLRs you really can set your focus points to the edge of the frame, which can help create new ways of framing subjects. The SIGMA 50mm Art had no problems with focusing on the edges or with sharpness, even wide open. The Sony’s Eye AF also performed remarkably with the 50mm.

Images captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

Friday brought the start of the track action. The Pitlane is where the 50mm really shines. It’s a high intensity place to be, with the F1 pit crews changing all 4 wheels in as little as 1.9 seconds! The focus is quick and accurate though, so I had no problems capturing the quickest cars and mechanics in the business.

Images captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

For Qualifying on Saturday I wanted to try and use the harsh midday sun to my advantage and capture the colours and shapes of the cars. I chose a vantage point which allowed me to be above the cars, which is not an angle you usually get to see. The SIGMA 50mm Art was the go to lens for a shot like this, as I wanted a very shallow depth of field and I knew the SIGMA colours would really bring the images to life.

Images captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

Race day, and yet another beautiful day at Silverstone (something that is not often said!).

Image captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

Most people think sports and especially motorsport photography requires long lenses, and while it is true that a long telephoto is very useful for action, there’s so much more to capture at events that doesn’t need telephotos, and to me it’s just as important to capture the atmosphere and tell the story of the whole event.

Images captured with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art SE mount by Dan Bathie

As always the race went by in no time at all and it was soon time to try and join the scrum of photographers jostling to get the best position for the celebration shot. No matter how much you want to try and plan this shot, you never know whats going to happen! I decided to really test the camera and lens combination and shoot everything at F1.4. It’s risky, as any misfocusing and you could have lost the shot that everyone wants. I needn’t have worried though – the lens and camera tracked amazingly, I could fire off many shots and 95% of them were tack sharp. At F1.4 that is impressive and I was extremely happy with the results.

To see more images from Dan Bathie visit one of the following links:

www.danbathie.com

https://www.instagram.com/danbathie/

Featured product: SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art now available in SE mount

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