Nikon D800E - Sigma 12-24mm

The Sigma 12-24mm zoom for 35mm sized sensors is one of the more outrageous optics you can buy. That it exists at all is a source of amazement to me, and thats before you see the pictures it takes.

As I wrote in a previous post, I got this for an upcoming property shoot. I've used these lenses before for the same thing and though the images need a LOT of post-processing, they are very useful, particularly for tight corners and small rooms. The trick is to shoot wider than you need and then skew, distort and warp the pictures into something ressembling normal perspective.

This is pretty much a lens that sees round corners, and the consequence is that the corners of the images it produces are somewhat soft and distorted. I won't pretend that a lot of images shot with this thing at 12mm, don't need a fair amount of work, they do, but it is unique and quite a special optic.

On the D800E it produces decent images. The Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 is twice the price, twice the weight and certainly somewhat better optically. But the Sigma has a killer advantage, those extra 2mm!! As is well known when you get into these super wides every extra mm, makes a huge difference and 12mm on 35mm is as wide as you can get without fisheye distortion. When this lens came out it won all sorts of awards because of its optical pioneering and to date no one has dared to match it. 

It is also great fun, though you have to be careful using it. If you walk around with your eye glued to the viewfinder it gives a false impression of the real world. There looks to be so much room. A friend of mine was shooting on a railway platform and thought he had loads of space, however he didn't and promptly fell onto the rails. I've been very close to falling head first into rivers a couple of times as when you move your eye from the viewfinder the shock of normal perspective means your balance can disappear. So if you are interested in one be warned!!

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.  

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