This past August I had a break-in at my house, and the savvy thief stole most of my camera equipment. Gone were the D300s, D700 and D750. 18-35 f/3.5-4.5, 60 f/2.8 macro, 135 f/2 DC and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX. With insurance to the rescue, I set about replacing what I’d lost. The D750, 18-35, 60 and 135 were straightforward to replace directly. The Sigma 50, on the other hand, was tricky.
I’d picked up the 50 EX at BH Photo in Manhattan a few years ago and it was a bit of a mixed bag. Often, but not always, sharp but with incredibly inconsistent metering and AF. It was a beautiful lens on the D700 when it was on its best behaviour but with the higher resolution D750 (and when playing around with the D800 and D810) it just wasn’t that sharp at wide apertures. Now, the EX is no longer produced and couldn’t be found at any stores. The natural substitute was the newer, bigger and heavier ART version. Much bigger and heavier. Like huge for a 50.
The resolution from this lens is outstanding across the frame at every aperture. Focusing on just the eye gives a great effect for portraits and shooting wide open with a razor-sharp focal plane and creamy bokeh is no problem.
D750 f/1.4 ISO 720
AF accuracy has been a bit inconsistent but really not bad. Better than the EX but not as rock solid as Sigma’s 35mm f/1.4 ART. Unlike the old EX, exposure accuracy is no worse than the rest of my lenses (not counting the AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G, which tends to overexpose).
I tested the lens against my AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G and found it to be considerably sharper at open apertures. Out-of-focus highlights show less of a cat-eye effect but the overall bokeh isn’t much different. I shot the two lenses back to back using christmas lights as point source highlights. In the second image you can see that the ART is sharper at f/1.4 than the Nikon is at f/1.8.
Left: ART at f/1.4; Centre: ART at f/1.8; Right: AF-S G at f/1.8
Here are a few more shots:
Today I hit 500,000 views on my flickr page.
I’m currently walking alone the shore in Vancouver. The weather is beautiful. The light is beautiful. Expect lots of pics in the near future (this was with my phone).
I’m all ready to shoot my first wedding of the year tomorrow. Complete with photo booth props.
I’ve been writing this blog for a few months now and have reached around 40 posts. As my first blog it has been a learning experience and I’ve had to put serious thought into choice of content, writing style and self-editing. Usually when I’ve talked about photography it’s been more of a rambling, through conversation or online chat. The blog format requires me to be much more structured and clear. While I have writing experience through academics (Physics Undergrad and Masters) and my work (Teledyne DALSA), most of it has been dry technical stuff. I want my personality to show through in this blog. I hope that I’ve been writing with the right balance between technical and personal… keeping my posts interesting and relevant.
Now, I have a big list of posts that I would like to make. Some weeks, especially in the winter months, are photographically dry. When don’t have any current work or experiences to show I draw form the list (cool techniques that I use, gear reviews). My Oldie-but-Goodie Thursdays posts are a fun way to look back at some of the images that I’m proud of or find interesting. Still though, I wonder if there are any improvements to the content that I can make. So I ask:
What would you like to see at owencherry.com?
Are there types of posts that you would like to see me make? or make more of? I could include more detailed technical information in the posts. Or more simplified information. Or rants/opinions.
How about the writing style? Is it informative enough? For beginner photographers, do I gloss over any details that would otherwise make the posts more useful? For more experienced photographers, do I need to go more in-depth?
Should I include more personal content? Photos of my cat?
Please feel free to comment. I would love for this blog to keep improving in quality of content and grow in readership.