Sigma’s Fisheye Duo; The Sigma 4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM & 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM (Motor-In) Lenses Page 2

I can attest to that flare-reducing quality as I shot with the lens mostly at night in and around New York City's Times Square, a bizarre area that to me matches up perfectly with the fisheye experience. I worked in a range of ISO 400-800 and never had to worry about shake due to the fast f/2.8 max aperture.

The City At Night
A bizarre place often calls for an odd point of view, and this was amply supplied by the Sigma 4.5mm f/2.8 lens in this shot made in New York City's Times Square area. The lens encourages you to shoot at odd angles. Exposure at ISO 640 was f/4 at 1/30 sec. Note flare in non-image area caused by bright lights.

The 10mm f/2.8 fisheye (MSRP $1000, less in various outlets) saves you a bit of coin and while it delivers less distortion (and that's a very relative statement) it is certainly one that delivers an exciting fisheye experience. Keep in mind that these lenses are of the DC variety, so multiply by the appropriate magnification factor for your digital camera (1.5 for Nikon and 1.6 for Canon). By the way, if you want to use a filter for either lens the front element makes that impossible so you can insert a gelatin filter in the rear of the lens, if desired.

I shot with the 10mm in daylight, roaming around the canyons of New York City and having a ball bending lines and creating decidedly odd points of view. I am sure passersby thought I was slightly crazy (but then again, it's New York City so nothing unusual there) bending backward to get my point of view. The funny thing is they couldn't know they might have been included in the picture. In fact, if you shoot straight ahead with the 4.5mm lens, watch out for your shoes appearing in the bottom of the frame!

Surreal Scenes
There's no question that working with a fisheye can put you in an odd frame of mind. The low angle sun was hidden behind this triangular building; note the flare on the black, non-image field, caused by shooting in very bright light. This did not seem to have an effect on the image itself. Exposure with the 4.5mm lens was f/16 at 1/250 sec at ISO 200.

One thing you would notice if you shot with the lenses side by side is that the 10mm creates a slightly larger image circle on the sensor, which means you crop more to rid the black frame around the circle. This might be of concern to those with lower megapixel sensors, as cropping drops file size accordingly. But for those with a test for the fisheye look, these lightweight lenses certainly do the trick. While flare is certainly well controlled on the image itself you might see a halo effect in the non-image field when shooting around bright light sources. And while the Matrix meter in the D40X did a great job overall with exposure, the super-wide field of view is best read using spot metering to control highlights, or, simply shooting in bright light with a minus EV compensation--you should test under each lighting condition to see which method delivers the best results.

Technical Specifications
 
Lens
10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM
4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM
Construction
12 elements, seven groups
13 elements, nine groups
Angle Of View
154° (180°, Nikon; 167°, Canon)
180°
Max/Min Aperture
f/2.8, f/22
f/2.8, f/22
Size
3.0x3.3"
3.0x3.1"
Weight
16.8 oz
16.6 oz
Mounts
Canon, Nikon, Sigma
Canon, Nikon, Sigma
Price (MSRP)
$1000
$1400

For more information, contact Sigma Corporation of America, 15 Fleetwood Ct., Ronkonkoma, NY 11779; (800) 896-6858; www.sigma-photo.com.

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