Category Archives: Sigma 28/1.8

2052 – Untold Stories II

By chance I found three Lightroom “HDR presets” on Matt Kloskowski’s site.

I just had to try them, and looking for an image I found these two, taken in mid-November. Actually I didn’t like the strong vignetting of the original presets at all, but they were a start, and with some experimenting I arrived at what you see.

The result looks pretty natural to me, pleasing and without the oversaturated look that you see so often. I can remember having tried to work on one of those images the day I took them, but then I came to no conclusion and instead took another image.

“Untold Stories” is from Sinead O’Connor’s 2005 album “Throw Down Your Arms”. Hear it on YouTube.

1860 – Further On (Up The Road)

Funny, I couldn’t remember what a lousy performer the Sigma 28/1.8 is when the sun is in your frame. It’s such a wonderful lens otherwise, and of course such an incredibly useful focal length on APS-C.

Here’s an HDR with the green reflexes edited out (mostly), and the result, while vastly different from what the sensor with any single exposure records, looks remarkably like what I believe to have seen. Same workflow as yesterday.

The Song of the Day is “Further On (Up The Road)“, and of course it’s the spectacular version from Springsteen’s “Live In Dublin” with the Sessions Band. Enjoy the video on YouTube.

1859 – Electric Ladyland XIII

I made a couple of images this afternoon, some are plagued by dust bunnies (LX5! How I miss ya!) and one of them, this one, is an HDR image. That’s one more trick a DSLR’s has in its sleeves. I gave it a mild treatment based on Photomatix Pro’s Dynamic Range Compression tone mapping method. This is particularly well suited to soft sky gradients. Due to the subject matter we are clearly again in Electric Ladyland.

As always the Song of the Day is “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” from Jimi Hendrix’ 1968 album “Electric Ladyland”. Hear it on YouTube.

1701 – A Fine Romance

For a change, this is again an image made with the Nikon D300. I lent my LX5 to a co-worker who can’t decide between the LX5 and the Olympus ZX-1.

I used an old favorite of mine, the Sigma 28/1.8, but I already miss the LX5. No need to worry though, I get it back tomorrow 🙂

The Song of the Day is “A Fine Romance” from “Boy Meets Girl: The Complete Sammy Davis Jr. and Carmen McRae on Decca”. Hear it on YouTube.

1406 – I’ve Had Enough

There is much brand snobism on the Net. Go to a Nikon forum and ask for people’s opinions about a certain Sigma lens for the Nikon D300. You are guaranteed to get some answers along the lines of “never put third-party glass on a Nikon camera”. Sigma is a company that many people seem to loath particularly, claiming enormous quality problems.

Well, I have eight Sigma lenses and only one of them has a problem. It’s my old and battered 10-20. The first thing is, that it never autofocused well on the D300. The other thing is, that it is not as sharp as it was and it is even a little decentered, which it definitely was not, when I bought the lens. Thus the Sigma 10-20 is in need of an overhaul and most likely a firmware update.

Other than that, I don’t have any problem with any of my Sigmas. My personal experience is absolutely contrary to much of the published opinion.

On the other hand, I understand how people develop such extreme views. Sometimes you make a very bad experience, and the experience costs you so much time and nerves, that it simply sticks, and from that moment on you have a hard time looking objectively at that particular brand.

I’ve just made such an experience with my Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC. Remember that I sent it in, because it frequently failed to close the aperture upon shutter release? Remember that the Tamron service company asked for the camera body to be sent in as well? Remember that I did that ten days ago, and that I use my old D200 since then?

Well, today I got camera and lens back, they haven’t found anything, they claim that everything’s OK, and when I tried for myself, I found that the autofocus does not work anymore. Not with the Tamron 17-50/2.8, not with any other lens.

Cool, huh? I sent them a lens to be fixed, they asked for the body as well, and instead of fixing the lens, they broke the body!!!

I’m so fed up, I can’t tell you, really. OK, lens and body went back, I’m in for at least another week of waiting.

Hmm … I had a bad, bad feeling about sending in the camera. I already thought of giving up and buying the Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS instead, and I should have just followed my instincts. But then, when the damage is done, you always know better.

As regards the Tammy, well, as long as it works, it is a fabulous lens, but after that experience, I won’t ever buy Tamron again. They have completely broken my trust.

The Song of the Day is “I’ve Had Enough” from the soundtrack of “Quadrophenia”. Hear it on YouTube.

1405 – A Long Time Ago

I can’t say that I’m very interested in modern, flawless, untainted architecture, but you can get me anytime with a little decay. Why? Inorganic things somehow get organic when they age. By falling apart, the lifeless begins to breath life. Funny, huh?

The Song of the Day is “A Long Time Ago” from David Byrne’s 1994 self-titled album. YouTube has a video for you.

1404 – Time Passes

OK, this is a strange format for a post, but it’s a strange format for an image as well 😉

Yesterday morning I took the tram for work. It was one of those old trains that I sometimes take images of, and while I was in there and wondered at which station to get out, I took some images from the same position. Some were not sharp, but some were, and they were easily aligned in Photoshop. At first I wanted to do some trick with masks, but when I tried simply arranging them vertically, I liked the result.

The other image is a night shot. I stayed at work until 8pm and, regardless of the temperatures, had this winter feeling while walking home 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Time Passes” from Paul Weller’s great 1995 album “Stanley Road”. Hear a live version on YouTube.

1403 – It’s A Fire

Oh dear, a sunrise! How could I?

But then, why not? Sure, it’s a cliché, with probably only sundowns being worse, but it has happened, it did impress me, and I have the feeling that the image is quite a good representation of what I saw.

If sunrises totally disgust you, I can offer you a look though one of the etched windows in our stairwell here in Vienna. It’s likely the better image, but, damn, that sunrise was really great 🙂

The Song of the Day is “It’s A Fire” from the 1994 Portishead album “Dummy”. Nice song. Head over to YouTube for it.

1391 – Some Other Time

You may ask yourself, now that SoFoBoMo is over, what about his book? And really, I have not done much lately, I believe I have processed only two images from Italy this week. It’s a tad dense at the moment, but I have definitely not given up. It will only take longer than expected. I guess that’s normal for a computer programmer like me 🙂

At least I can say that I have enough images. I have close to 100 candidates, and close to 40 images that most likely will end up in the book. Sure, it’s not SoFoBoMo any more, so I could ignore the “minimum of 35 images” rule, but I prefer to stick to the original plan. Thus, you’ll get it, it will only be some other time not too far in the future.

Some Other Time” from Jane Monheit’s 2002 album “In The Sun” is the Song of the Day. See a video on YouTube.