Friday, April 17, 2015

Downy Woodpecker

While on a quiet walk in the woods, in Greater Vancouver,  you could hear what sounds like a micro jackhammer going off, but it might just be a little woodpecker like this Downy that I spotted this past week. Early spring conditions make these little birds much easier to spot than later in the season, the larger Pileated Woodpecker also found in the area is easier to spot, but less common.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Review


Over the past three years Sigma has been working towards removing the stigma that has hung over their professional grade lenses in terms of optics, build and quality control. While all doubt of such shortcomings will always plague third party manufactures, Sigma has come along way to achieving their goal, first and foremost in terms of optical and build quality. The Art and Sports line of Sigma lenses exude a quality that was somewhat present in the older EX line of lenses, but that was never achieved in terms of perception.

Not to be confused with the older Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, the newer Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens carries with it a leap forward in optics for auto focus 50mm F1.4 lenses. In fact there are no 50mm auto focus lenses for Nikon or Canon in the 35mm format (FX/full frame) that can match it in terms of sharpness, contrast and build quality.*1&2 This is not to say that the 50mm F1.4 Art (as it will be called from now on) is without faults, but that will be covered later. So the question is, how does this Sigma lens from the Art series handle on a modern high resolution camera? After three months of use, and testing, I think I can give some realistic comments on the subject.

*1 As Of Spring 2015
*2 Between F1.4 and F4