Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Portraits

First published on: Monday, 28 July 2008

I own this particular Sigma lens, and like it quite a bit, so it’s a great feeling to see Ben shoot these amazing portraits of his daughter with this optic mounted on the Canon EOS 30D:
Portraits, by Ben with the Canon 30D + Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Macro lens

What’s even more amazing is that these shots were not postprocessed in any way, except for minor white balance adjustments to the RAW file in the Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software prior to being output as JPG files.

More information:

  1. Grab your coffee first, because it might take a while before the huge images finish loading. The second set of images are here.

  2. Summarizing Ben’s thoughts on the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 lens:

    • Pretty good for indoor portraiture

    • According to the MTF chart for the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8, f5.6 is the peak sharpness of this lens across the entire focal range, and it’s sufficient to keep her face in focus

    • Color and contrast is excellent with a slightly more yellow cast than Canon lenses

    • Autofocus speed is faster than the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and doesn’t hunt in low light. AF performance is generally good even without any focus assist from the 580EX flash.

    • It’s extremely cheap, currently going for about $400 in the US, especially when compared against the $1000 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens

    • The Sigma is not as sharp in the corners vs the Canon 17-55mm or the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lenses

    • The 18mm end of the Sigma is good enough for group shots during birthday parties and events

  3. Camera settings used:

    • Canon 30D in AV (aperture priority) mode

    • Center focus point selected

    • Spot metering enabled

    • Canon 580EX flash with difuser bounced to the ceiling

    • Flash exposure compensation set to +1 and locked to synchronize to 1/250 (that is, the shutter speed was set to 1/250 sec)

  4. Enjoy more excellent Canon 30D photography at Ben’s PBase gallery

In the end, Ben found that the Sigma didn’t fare too well with outdoor group and landscape photography, exhibiting corner softness and high levels of chromatic aberration, so he returned it for the Canon 17-55mm.

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