Saturday, July 31, 2010

PESO 2010 #34 - It is full of squares

I chanced to have a half-day off-work to spend with two friends who also take pictures for fun. Naturally, we went to Azrieli towers to have lunch on top of Tel Aviv and then take pictures.

Sigma EX 24-60/2.8 DG - mini review and samples

Kinda introduction

Tamron 28-75/2.8 (and some more letters) is an excellent optic. Unfortunately it is not wide enough being used on my K-7 with its 1.5x crop factor. It seems to me that 24mm on the wide end would do the trick for the specific kind of shooting I am doing with zoom lenses. Recently an opportunity presented itself and I shelled out for Sigma 24-60/2.8 (and some more letters).

Handling and build

It is ever so slightly heavier than Tamron but built in a more solid way. No zoom creep whatsoever. Very solid feeling. It feels reliable.

The filter size is 77 mm which is big in my opinion, but it does not feel that big, probably because fully extended at 60 mm, it is not very long.

It rotates the other way than Pentax zooms and Tamron. That's inconvenient.

All in all, it fully deserves the EX markings that Sigma gives to its high end products.

Integration with the camera

It consistently underexposes on my K-7. However I am using both highlights and shadows dynamic range enhancement as a matter of course, so, no big deal here.

I had to dial some AF correction as per indication of its previous owner. Nothing serious, nothing dramatic. It focuses reasonably well.

Interestingly however, it does not report full lens name to the camera. My LightRoom 3.0 says it is "Sigma lens" which is in principle correct, but I much rather it were just a little bit more specific.

Image quality

I was slightly apprehensive about potential "Sigma" color. Some say that Sigma color rendering is slightly washed out and slightly yellowish in tone. I did not find anything of the kind yet. In fact, I am happy about its color rendering qualities.

Out of focus rendering seems to be a bit more pleasant than that of Tamron. But I did not shoot enough with this lens to come to any sensible conclusion. So "seems" is really a keyword here.

Sharpness is a mixed bag really. I very rarely apply any sharpening beside the default of the raw converter. In fact, I found by experience that applying of global sharpening is not a good thing for delicate out of focus regions, so I am being extremely careful here. It seems at this moment that the images of this lens are not really soft or low contrast, but they kind of ask for a bit of sharpening. I usually do it by "clarity" control of LightRoom.

Fully open the images are fully usable but there is slight soft focus effect. Not much so as to proclaim that fully open the lens shouldn't be used. But enough for my camera to be willing to close the aperture even at the price of increasing the ISO, which is a bit unusual. Closed down even the tiniest bit (even to f/3.2) it tightens up very nicely and becomes properly sharp.

Below are a number of shots I made with it as a matter of casual testing. They are slightly processed in a way I would normally process my shots, nothing out of the ordinary. And being test shots I included the focal length and exposure information as well.

In the LightRoom

LightRoom 3.0 came with the set of correction profiles for great many lenses, including those of Sigma. But this one despite being well known, popular and unfortunately discontinued hasn't found its way to the LightRoom data bases. A pity really.


I would surely keep shooting with this lens in order to better match to it. I will probably return and review this brief write up later when I gain more experience with this lens.

Sample images

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Holga D Concept

Read about it here.

What strikes me the most is that sans all this Holgishness, there are some very sound and very wise (smarter than logical) concepts in there. I would sure like to buy a digital camera with so simple interface, no LCD screen and full frame 12 MP sensor, but with proper mount and good electronics. It could be less expensive to build but no less fun to work with. Think of Pentax K1000 learner's camera, but in terms of modern digital world...

Monday, July 19, 2010

PESO 2010 #32 - Sabra Sport

Recently we paid a visit to Tel Aviv museum of Art. For some reason, which I still cannot fully comprehend they had a rather fascinating collection of cars on display. As it turned out, in the past Israel produced its own sports car. It wasn't too successful, or better yet, it wasn't successful at all, but it is very fascinating nonetheless.

I chanced to have SMCP FA 20/2.8 mounted on my camera and so I went for a funny perspective...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

PESO 2010 #31 - Dialog with the artist

This is probably the final PESO from the Mime's Festival series.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

PESO 2010 #30 - Workers at rest

More shots from the Mime's Festival in our town...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

PESO 2010 #29 - Motion Phases

We had a festival of Mime Artists in our town. So a few following PESOs will be dedicated to this fascinating art.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

PESO 2010 #28 - Etude

Yet another wide open shot from my SMCP A 50/1.2.

PESO 2010 #27 - Not staged

PESO 2010 #26 - Shabazi 67

Last weekend I set out to do some wide open shooting with my SMCP A 50/1.2 lens...

PESO 2010 #25 - Mondial

Generally I am not into football and world cup thereof. But last Friday we chanced to be walking around Neve Tzedek neighborhood in Tel Aviv just when Holland prevailed over Brazil. Exactly five minutes thereafter this guy was passing by...