The Right Lens for the Job – Rudi Hulshof
I have been privileged enough to be given a selection of lenses by Sigma South Africa to use and help promote the brand. Had they not allowed me the use of their lenses, I would still have promoted the brand, and used it, they are that good.
I have been lulled into the trap that I got comfortable with smaller focal length lens – the 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens. To assist with certain focal length “inadequacies” I started using this lens with a 1.4x converter giving me just that extra bit of length. Resulting in: 420mm, f4 Maximum focal length and Aperture.
For countless applications this would be the perfect sized lens to use with great focal length, but, currently the body I am shooting with has a mere 12mp sensor, which makes cropping after the fact not only a challenge, but also serves to decrease the size of the image, limiting me to what they can be enlarged for in the future.
When subjects are within close range, my combination provides the most incredible images, as can be seen by the first 4 images. These images have been taken with the 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens without the need for the converter.
We know as wildlife photographers though, that getting close to our subjects is not always possible, and animals being wild, do not always oblige with their positioning. The next time I found these cubs, their mother had moved their den site, and we had to view them at a further distance from the vehicle, necessitating the use of the same lens mentioned before, but with the addition of the 1.4X converter.
As can be seen, I am probably highly critical, and many would be happy with the results, but I just felt something was missing. There was just too much empty space, and the subjects did not feel well composed in the shot. The inclusion of distracting elements also became apparent. As mentioned earlier, the option exists to crop, that though comes with it’s own disadvantages as already discussed.
I quickly snapped off the 120-300mm lens and out came the Big Gun – the Incredible 150-600mm f6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens.
Suddenly, I had almost 200mm extra focal length to play with. I could zoom in closer to the subject/s and compose the shot with a lot more accuracy.
There was no loss of quality, in fact, the quality improved with greater colours, dynamic range, and pin sharp fast focus. At the greater distance, there was no substitute other than for the larger focal length lens to capture the images as I had hoped.
We are truly blessed at Royal Malewane at the moment with regular sightings of these three cubs, and look forward to documenting their growth and development.
Take a good look at your photographic needs and weigh up the option of buying the Sigma Global Vision 150-600mm f6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens.
You cannot go wrong with this phenomenally versatile lens. Just look at the rest of the images posted below and gauge what quality awaits you.