Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Going Wide

Still thinking a lot about lenses, since I will be buying one once I have a couple more weddings under my belt. A portrait lens is still on the cards (see last post), but I now have a new frontrunner, which is not a portrait lens in the true sense of the word.

My new 'fave' at the moment is the Sigma 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 EX HSM wide angle - which shocks and alarms even me on so many levels. First, it's a Sigma - and not a Nikkor, so I'm on shaky ground already. I make it a habit of only buying the manufacturers lenses for any body that I own (by and large), so what's with the Sigma? Well, for starters it has some pretty solid reviews (I've even reviewed it myself for DPhoto in the deep dark past), goes out to about as wide as it gets for a 'DX' (digitally designed) lens, and is about one third of the price of the equivalent Nikkor. And yes, now we see the 'real' reason for the change of heart ladies and gentleman - beggars really can't be choosers.

But seriously, I wouldn't be considering it if it didn't have some solid reviews behind it. Yes, I know the corners are a bit soft wide open, but most of the time I'll be shooting it at the 'optimal' f8(ish) range anyway - and besides, soft corners for any wedding/portrait work isn't necessarily a bad thing. And who shoots landscapes wide open? Not me (or you hopefully).

What got me thinking about going 'wide' for my next lens was a series of instructional videos I've been watching at Kelby Training (kelbytraining.com) by wedding pro David Visser. I've been watching him and Joe McNally, for their off-camera flash expertise (more on that soon), but you also get to see lenses used and resulting images taken. And a lot of David's wide angle wedding shots were really cool - using a 10-20mm (Canon) lens.

This thought was rather spookily reiterated on the last wedding I shot (this weekend just gone), where, due to bad weather, I could really have used an ultra-wide angle like the 10-20mm. I had a reasonably large bridal party (of 8), shot in the small confines of a verandah/porch to stay out of the rain! All the family formals had to be shot there too, and I only 'just' made it with the 18mm wide end of my 18-70mm zoom. Going out to 10mm would have been fantastic - but I didn't have that option.

Ultra-wides also give you a pretty cool 'look' to some of your images (don't overdo it though) that the other wedding guests or part-time snappers probably won't have. If you keep the subject placed centrally, then you can make them look fairly natural, but have these very distorted edges. Lots of fun - but again - not to be overdone.

So I may end up with a Sigma 10-20mm as my next wedding lens? And then again... I might not. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Wayne,

    You may want to consider the Tokina 11-16 F2.8 lens. It's a lot faster and I've had better luck with Tokina than Sigma. YMMV



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