Had a wonderful time with Alison and her Australian Shepherd Jack. He was in his glory running through the leaves and was such a good boy. He did find the water at one point so his grooming went out the window, but I think we captured his spirit in the images!
Today I was given the opportunity to try out the new Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 Sport lens. On first opening the bag that is included with purchase, first impression is WOW. This lens is put together incredibly well. Focus and zoom rings are very smooth and easy to access. This lens is HEAVY. Very heavy. After 2 hours of hand holding I was definitely feeling it. Most people will want a monopod or tripod with this lens.
I shoot a lot of dog agility so very fast moving small objects. I currently use the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS ii and I find I am usually putting an extender on to get that extra reach. The trouble is losing that stop of light can result in a lot of soft images due to the speed of the subjects. I wanted to put this lens through its paces as I can not afford both lenses in my kit, so I would be deciding between the two lenses. Going “offbrand” does make me a little nervous, but Sigma’s new quality control and manufacturing processes are well documented all over the internet.
Overall I was fairly impressed. My “hit ratio” was a little lower than normal, but I think that was due to me having to get used to the extra weight and reach. By the second hour I think I was back up to my normal success rate. I shoot mostly in AI Servo mode with single focus point so I need the lens to focus quickly and accurately. This lens was provided by my local Sigma rep to try so I have no idea if any of the settings were changed or not. With my own copy of this lens I would do a calibration test. This is a series of images fired off – the first shot is a little soft, but then the lens targeted right in and the rest of the sequence is very sharp. Shot at 300mm from about 100 feet away.
The optional USB dock from Sigma is very affordable and allows several customizable features in the lens. This would be invaluable for what I shoot. Being able to customize things like focal ranges and focus “styles” are wonderful inventions from Sigma. Well played folks!!!
Here are more shots from today, please scroll through to the bottom for a special surprise!
After I left the dog park and said goodbye to my friends, I was driving along the highway and to my great surprise a small family of deer!!! I pulled over and grabbed the Sigma!! They were about 500 feet away so this shot was at 300mm, cropped to 100% to show the image sharpness – pretty impressive!!!
These next shots I threw on a Canon 2x extender so this is shot at a WHOPPING 600mm and again cropped to 100%
Overall I am leaning towards selling my beloved 70-200 for this monster performer. I am very impressed. Now to go to the gym so I can lift this thing!!
I went out to the 2013 Regional Agility Trials to shoot for some of my loyal clients and had an amazing time. The dedication and athleticism of the dogs and their handlers is truly awesome to see in person! Here are some random images from the event:
German Pinscher Photo Session at Jackie Parker Dog Park
Gwyn and her German Pinscher Mason answered my casting call for a volunteer client to meet me at the dog park to do a dog portrait session. The goal was to have my friend Dave Wilson from Second Sight Studios video the session for a submission to be considered for a huge opportunity to attend a 2 day pet photography seminar in Seattle. I will also be using the video for a behind the scenes commercial for my pet photography services! I could not be more thrilled with the images we got:
Sign up to follow my blog to get updates and to see the final video when it is finished! Here is a few behind the scenes images shot by my good friend Shauna Jackson!