Sigma 16mm f/1.4 and A7r2 in Zion & Vincity, Utah

Hin Man

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Jan 18, 2013
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My family just visited Zion National Park and its vicinity. I thought about carrying my traveling camera with A6000 and Sigma 16. By some random improvisation, I took my A7r2 and shot most in aps-c as a 24mm lens with lesser resolution


Parting Thoughts in Zion 2018 trip
by Hin Man, on Flickr

Observation Point in Zion
by Hin Man, on Flickr



20180406-DSC08549

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180401-DSC07435

by Hin Man, on Flickr




Observation Point trail in Zion

by Hin Man, on Flickr


The lens is bit big and heavy for long hike and there was a certain moment that I wish that I bring a lighter wide angle and a more compact camera such as my A6000. But the I feel that the Sigma 16 is like a matching pair with the A7 series and it is well balanced in the hand and I use it with confidence. I tried variations of shots using FF mode but that require cropping and I will share more when time allows. In FF mode, I can use it as a 21mm.

Cheers,
Hin
 
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WNG

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The images look superb, Hin Man! The quality didn't seem diminished by going APS-C mode, or being relegated to one focal length.
But that last shot reveals just how large the fast Sigma is. I thought it was smaller, boy was I off! ;)
I must say, you have a lot of self-control. I don't think I could have resisted taking more lenses and becoming a pack mule, on visits to such locations. :D
 

Hin Man

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Messages
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I actually brought in few other lenses with FE 35mm f/2.8, FE 55mm f/1.8 and the aps-c lens with 55-200mm.

All lenses that I bring along with single camera with A7r2
  • Sigma 16mm f/1.4 (likely over 90 % usage)
    • mostly in aps-c
    • occasional use in FF mode such as the horseshoe bend picture, indoor shot with dark environment where vignette doesn't bother the overall picture
  • FE 35mm f/2.8 -- use on portrait and candid
  • FE 55mm f/1.8 -- rarely use and I wish I didn't bring this lens. I used it on a portrait session with my relative with 2 dogs
  • E 55-200mm f/3.5-5.6 -- use once on top of mountain for compression and portrait shooting in aps-c
But 80% of my hike, I go with single lens with the Sigma 16. Originally I want to bring in the 16-50 power zoom or my FE 28-70mm zoom but I end up leaving them at home. I would say the Sigma 16 in aps-c mode cover most of my need in the trip while the 35mm has better color and I did use it sparingly for people shots and I find results with better color in the Zeiss 35mm or the 55mm. The least use lens is my 55mm which I managed to use it on visiting relatives in Las Vegas. I did use the 55-200 when I reach the top of a 4 mile, 2K feet elevation, shots on portraits and landscape compression shots in a distance.



20180403-DSC07781

by Hin Man, on Flickr
with FE 35mm f/2.8 in Zion after sunset

In hindsight, I may have done it with just the single lens with Sigma. There are certain moments that I wish to take off my gear and throw it over the cliff. My knees are still recovering from ACL surgery and the extra lens in my backpack was not making it any easier. I chose single lens for my health reason but it was quite satisfying not to need to change lens while hiking with others and not fall behind because of lens change.

Cheers,
Hin
 
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Hin Man

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Messages
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Here are some portraits and compressed landscape shots that I took with E 55-210mm in aps-c mode with A7r2. If I re-plan my gear to bring, I will choose 2 lenses with the Sigma 16 and the lightweight zoom for similar trip. I will save some weight in not bringing the FE 55 and FE 35. It is hard to look back as I do get some decent shots from both Zeiss primes. There is no right or wrong decision and it varies with interest and my need to carry less in hiking with a single lens with Sigma 16mm.



Why is Canon girls always the cute ones?

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Angel Landing Top

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Peak of Observation Point trail in Zion

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Peak Of Observation Point at 6,508 feet

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Cute Couple

by Hin Man, on Flickr




Peak of Observation Point trail in Zion

by Hin Man, on Flickr


Shooting the wide with Sigma 16 and the E 55-210mm zoom offers a wide range like the zoom lens with FE 24-240 and I probably gets lighter weight when I shoot mainly landscape in most of my shots in Zion and Bryce national parks



Bryce National Park Hoodoos

by Hin Man, on Flickr
gets explored on flickr

Cheers,
Hin
 

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Hin Man

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Messages
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A stacked shot in Lightroom with 5 bracketed shots in 0.3 Ev increment



Wide Pass in Page, Arizona

by Hin Man, on Flickr

I am novice on stacking bracketed shots into a single shot. Do we use stacking to get more dynamic range? How do you usually use bracketed shots. I was not seeing the benefit in overcoming the overexposed area in the middle. It does lighten up the two sides better than a single shot. Please share your approach so that we can learn from each other.

I tried stacked shots and use HDR in Aurora 2017 and I was very disappointed with the result that I get. Maybe I use the wrong preset that renders the image too overworked.

And here is another one that I use 5 bracketed shots and stacked the group of 5 into 1 and edit in Silver Efex 'Fine Art Processing' with Kodak 100 TMax Pro


Observation Point in Zion

by Hin Man, on Flickr

And I may have unintentionally over-sharpened the shot in the final editing. What would you suggest to try different editing to get a softer tone.

reminder: with exception on the Horseshoe Bend, all wide angle shots were made in aps-c crop mode with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 and A7r2. I was quite surprised with the 18 (or maybe 16) Mb cropped result knowing that I am not making the best use of the sensor.

Cheers,
Hin
 
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addieleman

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A stacked shot in Lightroom with 5 bracketed shots in 0.3 Ev increment


View attachment 89736
Wide Pass in Page, Arizona
by Hin Man, on Flickr

I am novice on stacking bracketed shots into a single shot. Do we use stacking to get more dynamic range? How do you usually use bracketed shots. I was not seeing the benefit in overcoming the overexposed area in the middle. It does lighten up the two sides better than a single shot. Please share your approach so that we can learn from each other.

I tried stacked shots and use HDR in Aurora 2017 and I was very disappointed with the result that I get. Maybe I use the wrong preset that renders the image too overworked.

And here is another one that I use 5 bracketed shots and stacked the group of 5 into 1 and edit in Silver Efex 'Fine Art Processing' with Kodak 100 TMax Pro


View attachment 89737Observation Point in Zion
by Hin Man, on Flickr

And I may have unintentionally over-sharpened the shot in the final editing. What would you suggest to try different editing to get a softer tone.

reminder: with exception on the Horseshoe Bend, all wide angle shots were made in aps-c crop mode with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 and A7r2. I was quite surprised with the 18 (or maybe 16) Mb cropped result knowing that I am not making the best use of the sensor.

Cheers,
Hin
I think the problem lies in the bracketing: 0.3 EV increments are way too small for HDR. I always bracket with a difference of 2 stops, and often I set the exposure compensation at -1. So effectively that is +3/+1/-1/-3/-5 stops w.r.t. nominal exposure. When I photograph into the sun, I may even do a few more, adding a -7 stops and -9 stops exposure. You'll want the darkest shot have all the highlights unclipped and the lightest shot show shadow detail (almost) everywhere. I use Lightroom for HDR processing, works fine for me; I tinkered with other programs but didn't see the added value and that's probably because I didn't spend enough time to learn the advanced HDR processing they offer.

One other thing: I use single-shot bracketing because in continuous mode the camera falls back to 12-bits pixel value depth instead of 14-bits for single-shot-bracketing. I also set the camera to uncompressed raw to get those 14 bits, compressed raws only give you 13 bits. HDR is done because you struggle with dynamic range, so you'd better get the maximum dynamic range for each exposure in such situations. And in critical situations you'll want full-frame instead of APS-C sized raws: combination of raws into one HDR file can give you artefacts on a pixel-level and with more pixels they simply are smaller.

In many cases I made bracketed shots to end up using only one of them because dynamic range was sufficient in the suitably exposed frame somewhere in the middle. The A7R2 is one of the best cameras when it comes to dynamic range and HDR often brings its own sets of problems, with foliage moving in the wind or people passing by.
 

fractal

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A stacked shot in Lightroom with 5 bracketed shots in 0.3 Ev increment


View attachment 89736
Wide Pass in Page, Arizona
by Hin Man, on Flickr

I am novice on stacking bracketed shots into a single shot. Do we use stacking to get more dynamic range? How do you usually use bracketed shots. I was not seeing the benefit in overcoming the overexposed area in the middle. It does lighten up the two sides better than a single shot. Please share your approach so that we can learn from each other.

I tried stacked shots and use HDR in Aurora 2017 and I was very disappointed with the result that I get. Maybe I use the wrong preset that renders the image too overworked.

And here is another one that I use 5 bracketed shots and stacked the group of 5 into 1 and edit in Silver Efex 'Fine Art Processing' with Kodak 100 TMax Pro


View attachment 89737Observation Point in Zion
by Hin Man, on Flickr

And I may have unintentionally over-sharpened the shot in the final editing. What would you suggest to try different editing to get a softer tone.

reminder: with exception on the Horseshoe Bend, all wide angle shots were made in aps-c crop mode with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 and A7r2. I was quite surprised with the 18 (or maybe 16) Mb cropped result knowing that I am not making the best use of the sensor.

Cheers,
Hin
Hin, as far as oversharpening, my approach lately with the A7r2 is to keep the sharpening slider below 30, and judiciously use the clarity slider (between -5 and +5) unless I'm going for a certain "look". Thanks for the photos and commentary!
 

Hin Man

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Joined
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Messages
422
Thanks for all the valuable inputs, I would be trying out on wider gap in bracketing and the clarity vs sharpening take. And I have not thought of the 12 vs 14 bit and the uncompressed raw. I am a casual shooter and most that I do is viewing on a 34" monitor and no printing is involved and hence I can't discern the benefits. Here are the stacked vs single shot using copying the changes



Horseshoe Bend -- bracketed

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

by Hin Man, on Flickr
single shot

Both were shot in Full Frame mode with 4x5 cropping to trim the vignette. You can see more vignette in the single shot on 2nd picture as I have not done a good job in the trimming. In a brief glance on my monitor I can't discern the benefits easily and objectively.

Cheers and Thanks for inputs,
Hin
 

davect01

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Here are some portraits and compressed landscape shots that I took with E 55-210mm in aps-c mode with A7r2. If I re-plan my gear to bring, I will choose 2 lenses with the Sigma 16 and the lightweight zoom for similar trip. I will save some weight in not bringing the FE 55 and FE 35. It is hard to look back as I do get some decent shots from both Zeiss primes. There is no right or wrong decision and it varies with interest and my need to carry less in hiking with a single lens with Sigma 16mm.


View attachment 89711
Why is Canon girls always the cute ones?
by Hin Man, on Flickr


View attachment 89706
Angel Landing Top
by Hin Man, on Flickr


View attachment 89707
Peak of Observation Point trail in Zion
by Hin Man, on Flickr


View attachment 89708
Peak Of Observation Point at 6,508 feet
by Hin Man, on Flickr


View attachment 89709
Cute Couple
by Hin Man, on Flickr



View attachment 89713
Peak of Observation Point trail in Zion
by Hin Man, on Flickr


Shooting the wide with Sigma 16 and the E 55-210mm zoom offers a wide range like the zoom lens with FE 24-240 and I probably gets lighter weight when I shoot mainly landscape in most of my shots in Zion and Bryce national parks


View attachment 89712
Bryce National Park Hoodoos
by Hin Man, on Flickr
gets explored on flickr

Cheers,
Hin
A stacked shot in Lightroom with 5 bracketed shots in 0.3 Ev increment


View attachment 89736
Wide Pass in Page, Arizona
by Hin Man, on Flickr

I am novice on stacking bracketed shots into a single shot. Do we use stacking to get more dynamic range? How do you usually use bracketed shots. I was not seeing the benefit in overcoming the overexposed area in the middle. It does lighten up the two sides better than a single shot. Please share your approach so that we can learn from each other.

I tried stacked shots and use HDR in Aurora 2017 and I was very disappointed with the result that I get. Maybe I use the wrong preset that renders the image too overworked.

And here is another one that I use 5 bracketed shots and stacked the group of 5 into 1 and edit in Silver Efex 'Fine Art Processing' with Kodak 100 TMax Pro


View attachment 89737Observation Point in Zion
by Hin Man, on Flickr

And I may have unintentionally over-sharpened the shot in the final editing. What would you suggest to try different editing to get a softer tone.

reminder: with exception on the Horseshoe Bend, all wide angle shots were made in aps-c crop mode with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 and A7r2. I was quite surprised with the 18 (or maybe 16) Mb cropped result knowing that I am not making the best use of the sensor.

Cheers,
Hin

Great additions to the series
 

addieleman

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Thanks for all the valuable inputs, I would be trying out on wider gap in bracketing and the clarity vs sharpening take. And I have not thought of the 12 vs 14 bit and the uncompressed raw. I am a casual shooter and most that I do is viewing on a 34" monitor and no printing is involved and hence I can't discern the benefits. Here are the stacked vs single shot using copying the changes


View attachment 89746
Horseshoe Bend -- bracketed
by Hin Man, on Flickr


View attachment 89747
Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona
by Hin Man, on Flickr
single shot

Both were shot in Full Frame mode with 4x5 cropping to trim the vignette. You can see more vignette in the single shot on 2nd picture as I have not done a good job in the trimming. In a brief glance on my monitor I can't discern the benefits easily and objectively.

Cheers and Thanks for inputs,
Hin
This scene is fairly flatly lit so you won't run into much trouble with a single exposure, I guess that's why you don't see a real advantage from HDR here. Just for educational purposes you can bring up the shadows as much as you can and then you may see less noise in the shadows of the HDR picture.
 

Hin Man

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Joined
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Messages
422
I am pretty satisfied with the Sigma 16. There are times that I wish it a bit lighter and smaller but that is the price you pay for fast speed. It is actually very well balanced when used on the A7 series. It does well in landscape shots as well as indoor and quite good for close up. And the lens does have pretty good color and contrast. I would say very unique to be wide and fast



20180405-DSC08203-Edit

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180402-DSC07485

by Hin Man, on Flickr



20180406-DSC08394

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180406-DSC08396

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180406-DSC08474

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180406-DSC08441

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180406-DSC08428

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180406-DSC08446
by Hin Man, on Flickr

Cheers,
Hin
 
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Hin Man

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Messages
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About Bokeh & Image Quality

I do think that this lens is quite good in the bokeh department. Of course, this is a subjective topic and owner of a lens is always biased in the quality of bokeh. Few of my friends in Flickr and Facebook like this picture



20180406-DSC08483

by Hin Man, on Flickr

The picture was taken in Pipe Spring National Monument. We discovered it on our way driving from Page, Arizona to Las Vegas. We had a great time in that museum and the guided tour with history of the Mormon church and Navajo. Lots to learn in that place. My good Flickr friend mention a couple of my shots with great rendering with a 3D pop. When I look over few of my shots, it indeed has great 3D feeling. When I took the shot, I was not thinking of any 3D rendering, the only thing that I tried to capture was the shadow and that may have helped with the 3D like rending and the pop of the main subject.


20180406-DSC08478

by Hin Man, on Flickr

In other occasions, I use f/1.4 for that great bokeh but sometime at the expense of losing the subject focus point. The rendering is quite good but I do wish I learn not to use too-wide as I lose the subject in a thin slice of depth. I would attempt to re-shoot in f/2.0 and see if I can get both a bigger slice of depth -- the cracks on the dirt path while having the layered rock with different colors on the background



20180406-DSC08395

by Hin Man, on Flickr


And the lens is good indoor with fast speed and with good color and bokeh in the dark



20180406-DSC08423
by Hin Man, on Flickr



20180406-DSC08429

by Hin Man, on Flickr



20180406-DSC08456

by Hin Man, on Flickr

It is quite unusual for a wide lens to be in f/1.4. It is my first wide lens with AF in E-mount that has great speed. I also have a Voiglander 21mm f/1.8. I hate comparing it with the Sigma 16mm as that Voiglander is my expensive wide as in double the cost of the Sigma. I wish I had known about the Sigma 16 earlier and that it works quite alright in full frame. Knowing that I don't have full resolution in aps-c crop mode, I am baffled with the results that I get in the trip. In my first day of ownership, I did find it with poor corners when used on A7r2. Now I just don't peep and pretend that it was a flute in my casual and unscientific testing.


20180404-DSC07939

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4



Renaissance in Las Vegas

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4



Renaissance in Las Vegas

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4



20180406-DSC08394

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/2.0



20180406-DSC08397

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4

Cheers,
Hin
 

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Hin Man

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Circular rings in bokeh

Not exactly circular when the bokeh rings are off from center but I will say close enough. I can see some oval and cat eyes in some but most are quite circular and pleasing. Will find a chance to find bokeh rings more to the center and I will bet the circular blades in the Sigma will help with circular rings -- need to confirm.



Las Vegas Gangnam

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4


20180406-DSC08541
by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4



20180406-DSC08550

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4



Las Vegas Gangnam

by Hin Man, on Flickr
f/1.4

Cheers,
Hin
 
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Hin Man

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Messages
422
These three pictures are my personal favorites.


Wide Pass in Page, Arizon

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Wide Pass in Page, Arizona

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Boy in Wide Pass, Page in Arizona

by Hin Man, on Flickr

These were taken in Wide Pass in Page of Arizona. We did not visit Antelope Canyon which have better views and the spectacular light shinning through opening from the top of the narrow. Wave is another place in Page of Arizona that has magical layer of rocks that is like a sea of waves but the place requires special permits that are limited to 20 per day and the BLM center, Bureau Land Management, was closed upon our arrival. We will savor our visits with future follow up plan to cover the missing places in Antelope Canyon and Wave in Page of Arizona -- less than 2 hours from Zion and about 2.5 hours from Grand Canyon.



Untitled

by Hin Man, on Flickr



Untitled

by Hin Man, on Flickr

My wife and I struggled in going down in the incline of last picture. We ended up sitting our butts on our way down. Going up was way more easier. We saw a gentleman walking on self-made crutches with one hiking stick and a dry tree trunk and he was accompanied by a group of hikers no less than a dozen. We felt for his misery as his face was filled with agony of pain and we later saw and witnessed the arrival of a helicopter likely called for his assistance. The gentleman might have fell during his long and adventurous hike in Buckskin trail that shares the initial path with Wide Pass and Wave. According to my friend who is an excellent hiker who have been to the trail in Buckskin Slot Canyon for overnight backpacking for 2+ days, that particular trail was the longest slot canyon in US with 13 miles of slot canyon filled with narrow path and dangerous with flash flooding and difficult drop off and incline that need scrambling to go through.

Cheers,
Hin
 
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Hin Man

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Messages
422
We are back to California and I have stopped temporarily in processing any further on the 1,600+ images out of the 7 days trip in Zion and vincinity. However, I continue to pick the Sigma 16 for hiking. I brought multiple lenses as in 2 to 3 to the location such as FE 35mm f/2.8, Sigma 16mm f/1.4, Sigma 19mm f/2.8, and 1 zoom with E 55-210mm. In the end I pick the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 for a 8.4 mile hike on Alamere Falls of Point Reyes National Seashore on yesterday. It is an easier hike and did finish within 5 hours with lots of breaks and pauses for pictures.

With 1 lens to carry, the Sigma is a good choice that offer good sharpness, color, decent landscape and it surprises me every time when I go for bokeh shot and closeup



20180421-DSC09294

by Hin Man, on Flickr



20180421-DSC09327

by Hin Man, on Flickr



20180421-DSC09205

by Hin Man, on Flickr
close in to do portraits




20180421-DSC09310

by Hin Man, on Flickr
Built in panoramic mode, need to learn how to do use vertical and some support in panning the shots. If you know some trips, please share. I always get into trouble in panning in a straight line




20180421-DSC09284

by Hin Man, on Flickr




20180421-DSC09215

by Hin Man, on Flickr
Alamere Falls




20180421-DSC09335

by Hin Man, on Flickr
The coast line to the fall, we are on way returning to parking




20180421-DSC09250

by Hin Man, on Flickr
bokeh shot in f/1.4, not-so-good on focus comes from me

Cheers,
Hin
 

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