Simplifying Travel with a 35mm Lens – Part 2: Vancouver, BC

When getting ready for a work trip to Vancouver last week I must have re-packed my camera bag at least 5 times before settling on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Vancouver is a city with big views and as much as I wanted to simplify the travel kit I knew that there would be many occasion where a wide field of view would be needed. In the end I stuck with the 35 for its simplicity and beautiful optics and thankfully I had no regrets.

In the woods I shot at f/1.4 and ISO 1600. For epic landscapes I shot panoramas at tiny apertures. Again the focal length was perfect for capturing scenes just as I saw them.

All below are D700 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Some here are of my co-worker, Connor, trying to capture the perfect selfie. Others are of Clevelend Dam, English Bay and downtown Vancouver, Lynn Canyon, TRIUMF, and Granville Island.

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Simplifying Travel with a 35mm Lens – Part 1: Toulouse, France

I recently travelled to Toulouse for work and naturally had a tough time deciding what lenses to bring for my time off. Wide + tele came to mind and is something I’ve done in the past with the AF-S 18-35/3.5-4.5 and AF-S 85/1.8. Or just the wide, or maybe a 50/1.4. In the end I chose the Sigma 35/1.4 as the sole lens for 6 days.

35mm has a nice, natural field of view for travel and often captures a scene similarly to how we remember it. It’s not so wide that the framing becomes difficult and not so tight that information is left out. In the cases where a wider field of view is needed it’s not a big deal to snap off a quick panorama and stitch later at home. The Sigma version has excellent sharpness and contrast, even at f/1.4, and has snappy and accurate autofocus – something equally as important as image quality i situations where you need to capture fleeting moments.

Here are a few shots from the trip with the D700. The weather was absolutely outstanding and the city had just decorated for Christmas.

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New Batch of Developed Film – Part 4

In this fourth and final post from the recent batch of developed film I’ll show some scans from a roll of 35mm Kodak Portra 160. I shot these with the Nikon N80, an autofocus film body that can handle the most modern Nikon lenses with AF-S and VR. That means that the lenses I use on my digital bodies are compatible with the N80. Even more exciting is that, since I normally shoot with a DX (cropped) digital sensor, this is my only opportunity to use my FX prime lenses as they were intended. Photos from three lenses are shown in this post. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8G are both fantastic lenses on both DX and FX digital sensors and here on 35mm film. I also used the AF-S 35mm f/1.8G here and while it is a DX lens the image circle is about big enough to work on 35mm although the corners often vignette depending on aperture and focus distance.

The roll of Portra (as well as the others in the previous posts) was developed at Dwayne’s in the USA. I had them make prints of this roll and it is interesting to compare how my scans and digital editing compare to a standard print. Often they are quite similar in that we both agree on colour balance and brightness. I tend to prefer a bit more saturation and contrast than Portra provides so I enhanced both on many of the images using Photoshop.

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