Hitting The Coast with the SEL24 and Sigma 19 & 30

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Jefenator, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    For a quick overnight run to the coast, I decided to bring 19mm, 24mm and 30mm. Not a very wide range of focal lengths, either, but each lens definitely served a purpose.

    They all work great with flare and super high contrast. Especially the Sigma 30mm.

    [​IMG]

    This was my first time out with the new (discontinued old model) Sigma 19mm.

    [​IMG]

    The Sigmas definitely have their merits but the SEL24 remains my go-to for roaming - it's the one I'll take when I take only one.

    [​IMG]

    But of course when you want wider angle, it certainly is nice to have that handy.

    [​IMG]

    If not as razor sharp at the pixel level as the 24 or the 30, the Sigma 19mm is generally very well-behaved and does nice corners, stopped down. (I wish I lived in the rainforest - this makes a much better outdoor lens test than my yard!)

    [​IMG]

    And in many ways the performance isn't too far from the SEL24. Here's the Sigma 19:

    [​IMG]

    And here's the SEL24:

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, I just noticed that the lenses I chose for this trip just happened to be my 3 e-mounts (instead of my numerous old legacy lenses). Well, like I said, they each serve their purpose quite well when I'm roaming for landscapes. I suppose it doesn't hurt that they're light and small with no adapters to mess around with.

    Anyway, thanks for looking! :)
     
  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Nice work!!! I particulary like shot #3 :thumbup:
     
  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Very pleasant!
     
  4. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    585
    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    Thanks for posting this. Great pics btw. I'm looking for a wide angle lens as we are going on an extended camping trip to Yukon and Alaska this summer. For now my widest is sigma 30mm. The pics you compare the 19 and the 24, on a computer screen there is little difference to my amateur eyes, especially considering the price difference. However if you would print these say 11 by 19" I wonder if the difference would be more apparent. I'm also waiting to see the 20mm pancake for it's focal length and size. It is very portable as a walk around lens.
     
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    Great series, Jeff. Lovely work with all of those lenses!
     
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Great shots, Jeff! They make me want to get back out there.
     
  7. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Very nice series Jeff. :)

    Your comment re: e-mount lenses reinforces what I've decided will be my modus operandi: If I'm out and about in places where I can't use a tripod I'll use e-mount AF glass (though I'm going to use zooms) because it's one less thing to worry about (focus) while trying to get the shot.

    On the other hand, if I can use a tripod the MF lenses will come along to play. Actually, the bag contents are small enough now that I can bring all my lenses and grab the ones I need in a smaller bag and go.

    Now I just need to get that SEL1018… ;)
     
  8. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Thanks for all the feedback, guys!

    A few quick points (well, maybe not so quick...)

    Whilst roaming for landscape shots, I often set the camera for manual focus - even when the lens is capable of doing AF (as was the case here). I do this because I dislike it when the camera refocuses each and every time I press the shutter button. Then I have to make sure I'm aiming or positioning the AF spot appropriately, and I'm relying on the system, which doesn't have a perfect batting average. In MF, I can set focus, then quit worrying about it as I concentrate on nuances of exposure and composition for a given scene.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a perfect batting average for focusing, either. What's more, with e-mount in MF you're focusing stopped down, which is OK for close-ups but it can be pretty vague for more distant subjects at f/8. (I may surrender manual exposure and revert to aperture priority - in the studio I find that goes much more smoothly when I want to open up a couple stops to focus.)

    As far as the Sigma 19mm goes, for the $99 I paid, you really can't go wrong. My gut feeling may be that it is not quite as razor sharp as the SEL24, but I don't as of yet have the 100% crops to prove it. In this comparison, the Sigma 19mm actually looks cleaner:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a comparison where the Sigma doesn't fare so well:

    [​IMG]

    But I'm pretty sure this is due to focus.

    This is actually the main thing I've learned thus far from pixel peeping: until one can nail critical focus - and I mean really nail it consistently, all the obsession over the finest nuances of lens performance can be a waste. IME a halfway scientific comparison is actually a very painstaking process which is quite different from the way I operate in the field. (I think I'm getting ready to change that - if I want to get really serious with the landscapes, I think it's time to bite the bullet and start using the tripod.)
     
  9. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Interesting comparison, Jeff. But I don't know how much of the difference between these two lenses can be attributed to your missing focus. In the case of the Sigma 19mm, at f/8 the hyperfocal distance would be 7.8 ft., and everything between 3.9 ft. and infinity should be in focus. Maybe you really do get what you pay for with the SEL24.
     
  10. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    David, you're very kind, but I'm pretty sure I did botch focus in the one shot. Here's another crop from that same shot (Sigma 19mm, focus in question) compared against a different shot, with the same lens, where I didn't screw up nearly so bad. :eek:

    [​IMG]

    One thing to keep in mind with hyperfocal distance is the "acceptable sharpness" parameter or the CoC (circle of confusion) diameter limit. On the NEX-7, 24 million pixels on an APS-C sensor, that diameter is crazy small. (Smaller even than Nikon's full-frame 36MP camera, which is noted for revealing the limitations of all but the very sharpest of lenses. Definitely a whole lot smaller than the 35mm film all my legacy lenses were designed for...)

    In my experience with the NEX-7, 100% crops can look pretty darn good, but when you magnify the sensor projection by 58x (roughly what happens when viewed 100% on my 102 dpi computer screen) if you're looking for truly optimal results there's not much room for error.

    Next sunny free day, when not comparing lenses, I should probably go out and run some tests and hone my landscape focusing technique. I know from certain other shots that it is possible to get a nice frame full of acceptable detail - foreground to horizon - even on my NEX-7 sensor! ;)
     
  11. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I see dofmaster.com calculator has a parameter for CoC so one could fine-tune the results. :)

    Alas, their Android app isn't up and running yet. :(

    (Oh, well - there are others...)