In this next Sigma Lens review, we change tack from the archetypical telephoto lenses, that are widely used on Safari, to something a little more, well, little. In the wilderness, it’s not all about the tight close-ups of eyes, or the head-shots of beautiful big cats. Sometimes we need to take the whole landscape into consideration, or focus on the little things that cross our path. Variety is the spice of life, and today we are spicing things up with a review of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art prime lens.
We sent Nick Kleer, a Londolozi Ranger who is passionate about his photography, out into the field to see what his thoughts were on the lens.
Amanda Ritchie: Being used to using the larger telephoto lenses for shooting wildlife photography, what was your first impression of the Sigma 35mm? Did you do anything differently as a result?
Nick Kleer: I paired the Sigma 35mm for Canon with my Canon 7D Mark II . It has been interesting using a short lens as I have never shot with one before. It has forced me to use my imagination a little more and has resulted in a few shots that I would normally not take.
AR: Being a smaller lens, how did it feel out in the testing conditions of the bush?
NK: I was happy with the feel of the lens as it is light enough to shoot free hand and felt sturdy enough to take a couple of knocks out in the field too.
AR: With an aperture of F/1.4, we would expect great things from this lens in low light. How did it perform?
NK: This lens performed really well in low light, letting in lots of light through the wide aperture. Similarly, it is also very effective at isolating subjects from the background due to shallow depth of field, beautifully rendering background highlights, also known as “Bokeh”.
AR: It seems that the Sigma 35mm lives up to expectations when it comes to DOF and definitely lets in lots of light. Not everyone wants to post-process their photos, so capturing the colour accurately is important. What was your experience?
NK: I found that the lens captured colour beautifully. It seems to capture colour extremely accurately and for that reason you really wouldn’t have to do much processing at all, if any for that matter.
AR: Were there any other interesting things that struck you about this lens, or about the different ways you used it out in the field to capture scenes differently?
NK: I am a huge fan of close up shots and have always enjoyed zoom lenses, so having the opportunity to use a lens that has a much wider angle was both challenging and a lot of fun. It was nice to be able to capture the environment around the animals I was shooting rather than just close ups. The lens I found was fantastic at it and forced me to take shots that I would not normally take.
AR: Final verdict?
NK: Overall I found the lens a pleasure to use and would highly recommend it in any camera kit. It takes clear, sharp and rich pictures and is very fast focusing as well. The shallow depth of field is also fantastic and provides an incredible effect and never allows the background to distract from the focal point of the picture. It was an absolute pleasure working with this lens!
Written by Amanda Ritchie, Photography Studio Manager and Nick Kleer, Londolozi Ranger.
Photographed by Nick Kleer
Lens Provided by