Thursday, 1 January 2009

Experimenting with my new Sigma 10-20mm lens

I got an unexpected gift of a new lens for my camera when I stayed with my brother and his family over Christmas. The lens was a Sigma AF MF Zoom 10-20mm f4-5.6 EX DC. For the uninitiated this means it has both auto and manual focus (AF MF) with a focal length of 10mm at one end of the zoom to 20mm at the other. The aperture varies from f5.6 at the long end of the zoom to f4 at the 10mm end.

The first shot was 10mm focal length, 1/15th second at f4, ISO 100. I added the vignette and applied a bit of dodging and burning to bring out the texture of the wood.
Oh, and in case you didn't recognise it, it's a lap-panel fence, looking down.

This second image was taken looking down another section of fence, angled using the lens to fill the frame. Technical shot details as above, but 1/50th of a second shutter speed. Again, the (heavy) vignette is mine with a final touch of d&b, contrast adjustment and a tweak on the levels. As an aside, don't you find the portrait version has much more impact? A good example of how a little thought in the framing and composition can add much more oomph to an image.

The third shot shows the rear of the house. I've chosen something with familiar geometric shapes so you can see the distortion. You can make out a little bowing on the leftmost arch but other than the normal wide-angle distortion, the lens does a good job. Once again this is the 10mm end of the zoom, at f4 and 1/160th second.

Finally, shot on Boxing Day in a low evening sun. Again this shot was taken at the wide angle end of the zoom (f4, 1/640).

Overall conclusion as judged by this short outing? It's a solidly performing, ultra wide angle lens that I'm happy to have in my camera bag. It won't see as much use as my Canon EFS 17-85mm IS USM but gives me that added flexibility (beware, it's really 27mm-136mm on the same scale as the Sigma - Canon don't apply the crop factor in their lens designations).

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