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That this lens design is optimized for mirrorless cameras may be a factor that contributes to its relatively small size. When I put it on a smallish camera body, just for that moment, the lens feels rather large; as soon as I start using it, however, that won't bother me any longer.
Just recently, I had a string of assignments where I would use this range of focal lengths a lot for about half a year. I would often take the 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art with me to these location shoots, but if I was to go to one of those now, I would definitely take the 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art instead. First off, zoom lenses typically have some flaws, and I can find hardly any with this new lens. You can get very sharp, clear images at any focal length.
As the camera sensor performance becomes increasingly high and 40+ megapixel sensors are not special anymore, wide lenses will become a more powerful, attractive choice than ever. So far, we did not have anything to complain about with standard to medium telephoto lenses, i.e. where you want your subject large in the frame. When “wide-angle pictures” are as high resolution as ones taken with one of those good old large format film cameras, however, you would want to use a wide or ultra-wide lens.
And that is not just when shooting a grand landscape, but also to shoot a portrait at an uncommon angle of view or capture an everyday life scene from an unusual point of view—it will broaden the ways we create our images. The 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN | Art is good at capturing objects both close-up and in distance, so you can go and try a different style of shooting, such as a composition where you have dynamic layers in the foreground and in the background, for instance.
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This particular angle of view that is 45mm - not 35, not 50 - is very versatile, and you can use it for anything from everyday snaps to portraits. A large, heavy lens is fine for studio shoots, while you would want a small one to carry with you for casual snaps. The lens you want to use varies depending on the shooting situation, but what matters is that you have a choice. In the past, the performance of small, inexpensive lenses used to be clearly poor, but no longer. Given the level of freedom we have with today's digital cameras in post-processing for sharpness and color balance, it is not always a bad idea to choose a lens that may do a little poorly in numbers but are better in portability.
When I first had the 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary in my hand, what came to mind was: “this is a lens I will use every day.” A perfect angle of view; small in size; a metal hood and attention to detail with its looks and textures. A smooth impression at wide apertures expertly takes the edge off the mechanical sharpness of digital photography—it seems to make a picture “look like a picture,” if it makes any sense.
It may be the characteristic bokeh that comes hand in hand with the sharp areas in focus that gives this old-fashioned feel of film photography. As you stop down the aperture, the images come to have a more contemporary, clean feel to them. You will find you have fine edge detail even one step before the aperture you would have thought you would need to go to. I found the 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary to be a lens that does very well for portraits, landscapes, and casual snaps.
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Some manufacturers have too many large aperture lenses that give fringes even at F1.4 or so, making it impractical to use the maximum aperture per their catalog specifications. SIGMA's large-aperture lenses, on the other hand, all seem to create very fine images when you shoot wide open. Take the 35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art; this is another SIGMA lens that creates gorgeous bokeh. Perhaps because I had not used an F1.2 lens for a while, but my test shooting surprised me. You will see in the monitor images that are completely different from what you see with your own eyes. The way the bokeh gives extra depth to the image and the way the excessively shallow depth of field creates a warped sense of scale that is similar to one created by the reverse tilt-shift technique, are both very fascinating. When you first start using it, you may find yourself obsessed with the magic-like images the lens creates for some time.
Once you get used to it, you can start checking how different your images can be depending on the aperture and distance from a subject. A common still object would look with dramatic contrast; shot in studio, your object would come out crystal clear with extra-crisp details.
I find it fortunate that I have the 35mm F1.2 DG DN | Art in my collection of 35mm lenses, which I use the most often. I happen to believe that you can shoot almost anything with a 35mm, and this one will find use in many a shoot, especially for the kind of objects I shot with a 50mm in the past.
It may also be interesting to use it on an APS-C or movie camera with a 1.5x crop factor.
Born in Yokohama in 1964. After working for advertising agency LIGHT PUBLICITY, he founded NINJAFILMS.
In parallel with the art director in 2006, started a photograph.
Acting mainly in magazines, advertisements, fashion catalogs, photograph exhibitions both in Japan and abroad.