Photographer Graham Borthwick traveled to Kenya for his first photographic safari and shared his experience of using the new SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens as his wide angle solution. In this second #SIGMAUK lounge contribution, Graham shares how special planning was involved to ensure his loved SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3DG OS HSM | Sport accompanied him on the trip as well and the new things he learned about his two year old lens.
The SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3DG OS HSM | Sport has always been the cornerstone of my kit, and in planning my safari trip sacrifices were made with other equipment to ensure that this lens was packed. I have owned a SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3DG OS HSM | Sport lens for about 2 years now and have used it in a number of genres of photography, including air shows, equestrian, motor racing and even landscapes. However, for this safari, the lens was an obvious choice and I knew from the outset that it would not let me down.
However, after reading reviews on the new SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art, I knew that it would not fail me and I can assure you it didn’t.
As mentioned previously, some visitors to the Kenyan parks were shooting with their phones and tablets and you have to wonder what kind of images they were getting. The rules of the park meant that the Rangers had to stay on the dirt tracks and not stray off road. This meant lens reach was an absolute must as the animals led, ate and slept wherever they wanted and sometimes even a 600 focal length was a struggle. But no matter, I also took my 2x extender with me so only then had to worry about the focus instead. The other element that should be highlighted was this lens had its firmware updated by the SIGMA USB Dock. I will honestly admit; I thought the ability to customize the lens capabilities and update the firmware would not yield any tangible results….but how wrong was I! I wished I had done this ages ago and I may have not missed some airshow images in the past. A simple update meant the focus lock was noticeable quicker and that was before I customized it to be even quicker! This meant the lens was prime for the safari, quick and sharp for any eventuality.
I have to admit there were some looks when I jumped out the top of my jeep to shoot and people saw the size and length of the lens (these elements are not important to the standard of the photography but do make people wonder). I have some experience with this lens as mentioned but even on a 10-hour road trip I had to use the simplest of tools to assist me at times, including the simple bean bag. With a stable platform and coupled to my Canon 5DSR, I managed to shoot images that I thought I would never achieve. So much so, that I am considering making these images into a book and using them in upcoming photography competitions.
Saying that, I cannot say how proud I am of these images and stunned by the level of detail and textures produced, which is mostly down to the Sigma lens quality; remember the critical link of any photographic system is the lens. You can have the most ‘hyped’ sensor system in the world but if the light getting to it is flawed, you will have a flawed photo.
Admittedly, the animals do not generally care about the casual observer or tourist and get a lot closer than you would give credit for, but that made the photography even better. With the range of the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3DG OS HSM | Sport I could take a variety of shots with ease and still achieve good depth of field and maintain image sharpness throughout. Being able to see (photograph) and bring out the individual hairs, the glint in the eyes and sometimes those powerful sharp teeth of the animals was a delight and wholly down to the quality of this lens.
You can see more of Graham’s image on any of the following links: