Oh Yes! Tried the 40 mm ART by SIGMA.
Here are my first impressions in a few days of use.
Just arrived from MTrading (SIGMA FOTO ITALIA) - www.m-trading.it - , brought it with my trusty SDQH in the wetlands of Comacchio, that is how the village welcomed me:
and, of course, the horizontal valleys of salted water - not sea nor lake, just an unique place - :
ART lenses are big! Yes, and this one fits perfectly on the SDQ H. The focus control is, manually, smooth and very accurate.
Isn t that cute… It is!
On the next, days, I had rough weather, sometimes windy and most of the time foggy. It is the winter, in this strange kingdom of water creatures and surfacing old shapes.
I enjoyed the original and somehow strange focal lenght, seems to me more or less an all-around lens, and despite I am a pure lanscapist, never had the feeling it was limiting my views. The "arty" mood is so high with this lens, that everything else comes to second place.
That my "boatman in blue", pretty sharp at f1.4 despite the moving subject !
I dont use to lose my head on technique, I use it, just to try to capture the image I have in my eyes and soul. Technique is simply a means to reach something else You know.
So that is NOT a tech-review, it is more a tale by images of my adventures with this lens.
The way I approached my landscapes with the 40 mm ART was more intimate, more close to the essence. It is not just a question of focal lenght, it is the atmosphere You breath with this lens.
Also a freezy and windy early morning can become interesting, when on Your tiny path there is a reversed boat… something like an image from above isnt that… (f.11, 2 seconds on iso 100)
"boat of the morning ghost"
At the same time, when You really get closer wide open, the bokeh is spectacular and, on the small focus area, at f1.4 it cuts!
Most of the fun, for me, was in trying the highest aperture in combination with long exposures. Images become even more unwordly.
That was the possibility I loved the most.
that is "prayer"
(13 seconds at f1.4, iso 100 - with ND grad 10 stops and a 0.6 ndgrad)
Or anyway a high aperture (here f3.) with 30 seconds of exposure.
That is the "sea fence"
And the more depth You get using f1.4 and focusing NOT on the main subject! That is the ART serie right...
Here the focus is on the close branches, it lets the sea spider appear in the distance amongst the dawn mist, in a more delicate way (f1.4):
Then, in an old italian village like Comacchio, I coul not avoid to try the effect on f.14-f.16 with the lights, that how it was:
On the next day, pointing straight in face of a pale sun…
Or in a more classical way, here at f7.1, iso 100
f.9, seconds at iso 100, sharp sharp sharp:
on the next evening, trying some "street" that is NOT my business… but the high aperture allowed me to take something nice home, without too much iso… that is at f1.4 iso 320:
And with the night coming, I found the bokeh to be very "cinematographic", how can I say, good to tell stories:
f1.4 in Comacchio village:
In a few days I found a dream of a lens, indeed. This one lets You play with apertures, it has that ARTY feeling, it lets You squeeze out the soul of things. Even common objects show their soul.
An apple left on a tree, an old door, a fountain (all f1.4, handhold)
And, oh … let me come back for a moment in that weird and fascinating shells beach in the wetlands of Comacchio.
Playing with different fields, it all dipends on Your point of view.
That are the ART lenses, they encourage the creative side. This 40 mm is something great in doin this job.
Finally, came home, more by the mountain.
I took this baby to see how the river was looking in the first lights of a cold morning, more night than day.
Once again, the essence of what I wanted to take, came out easily with this gem of a lens.
The flowing water sang its song (at f1.4 for 20 seconds, enough to free the river spirit, with appropriate nd grades), leaving the focus right on the ice patterns that framed it.
then, continuing the path, came across a bare blue wood. These kind of scenes, with lots of intricate branches, are very confusing.
It helped, once again, this lens used wide open. The image gained a spiritual aura:
"by a woodland in winter"
That was the SIGMA 40 mm art.
for this lens: