With the year coming to a quick close, it was time to squeeze in one last road trip. Adventure was calling and so was the open road. With the car loaded we headed to the south coast to explore an area I’ve wanted to look at for a long time but not yet had the chance. Although we checked the forecast and the weather was going to be against us, we decided to take a gamble and see what would happen. The weather threw everything it could at us; wind, rain, fog and light that was either too dark or too bright but the potential rewards were worth the challenge.
The main goal of the weekend was to shoot long exposure coastal images. For this task I had chosen to travel with just two new lenses; the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art. I wanted to see what these two lenses could do and what images I could capture using these two pieces of glass for my entire weekend. I know going on a long trip with just two lenses might seem a bit restrictive and could be considered limiting but I wanted to give myself a bit of a creative challenge and see what the possibilities were. Whatever doubts or concerns I had on whether I had made the right choice where soon forgotten when we landed at our first location.
The new range of the F2.8 lenses that SIGMA are producing are outstanding. The first thing that impressed me was the build quality. These lenses are beautifully manufactured from high grade materials and are extremely robust. Even in the awful weather I encountered, these lenses performed solidly and without complaint. When you’re hopping in and out of cars, throwing kit bags around and trekking some distances over rough Terrain the last thing you want to worry about is the durability of your gear. It would appear the SIGMA Art series lenses adapt very well to the adventure of the road. Built for adventure and exploration as well as capturing stunning images.
The SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art was the first lens I started with and I’ll admit once I put it on my camera body, I didn’t want to take it off! This lens blew me away. Fast, sharp and extremely versatile that in fact I probably used it for 85 percent of my shooting over the weekend. From shooting wide landscapes one moment to quickly capturing the local wildlife the next, the range of this lens in fantastic. If there is one lens that every photographer should own and experience, this is it. It is perfect for people wanting a universal lens to go travelling with as it can be used for everything from portraits to landscapes. Plus with an aperture of F2.8 the depth of field and quality of low light images are outstanding. I had anticipated the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art to be my big landscape lens for the weekend but the versatility and range of the SIGMA 24-70mm | Art really came through. The 82mm thread on this lens also complimented my full range of filters for shooting long exposures which was also an added benefit. A beautiful, fast and precise lens, it was fantastic to operate and never missed a beat.
My experience with the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens was just as rewarding. An amazing landscape lens with the quality and sharpness you would expect from the SIGMA Art series. It does not disappoint and explains why this lens is fast becoming a must have for most landscape photographers kit bags. All for good reasons too. However I decided I wanted to try and do something a little different than just shoot landscape with this wide angle beast. So I decided to test it with capturing my other love in photographic subjects; dark moody derelict abandoned buildings. The fast low light capabilities and wide angle field of vision is a dream for building interiors. Top to bottom details and producing sharp vibrant images the SIGMA 14-24mm | Art was a pleasure to use. At the 14mm end of this lens in low light I found It almost produces images that look like they are straight out of a movie. I think going forward this could very well be the only lens I will be using while exploring derelict buildings and shooting anything architecture related.
Taking just two lenses on a trip might sound like a risk but the rewards afterwards do speak for themselves. I was not limited in any way and in fact I think they helped to expand my creative possibilities. The range of style, genre and the amount of images I got in just a few short days with such minimum kit was an eye opener. In actuality these two lenses in one camera bag can offer a photographer a fantastic range of capabilities with very minimum kit. Any explorer, traveler or photographer will tell you that any opportunity to lose a few pounds off the weight of a kit bag is always a good thing. I believe the SIGMA F2.8 range of lenses can help reduce the amount of equipment you need to carry without restricting your creative capabilities. Plus you’ll have everything you need with the addition of the soon to be released SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports lens. Three lenses cover from 14mm to 200mm all with an aperture of F2.8. A trio of lenses that offer a huge range of creative possibilities and give you everything you need without having to carry around masses amount of kit in order to achieve great results. There are endless creative possibilities with the SIGMA F2.8 trio in hand.