Sigma’s APO 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM; A Portrait Photographer’s Zoom Page 2

I adjusted my lights to give an exposure of f/3.2 (remember, shutter speed is not a factor here unless it's long enough to pick up room lighting) and fired away. The results were beautiful, although since depth of field is so shallow some close-ups show only one eye in focus. I've decided f/4 to be about optimum to achieve the look I'm going for. All images were beautifully sharp and contrasty. I can't tell you what this thing will do at f/16 since I never clicked past f/5.6, and I doubt many of its intended users would go down that far.

By using shallow depth of field, like this image taken at f/3.5, I can still keep backgrounds relatively out of focus even though my subject is within 3 ft. This is taken at 62mm and I applied Kubota's "Blue and Warm" Action for the effect.

How about sports? To find out I took it to a high school wrestling meet in a school gym with no flash. Shooting at ISO 800 I was able to capture images at will without the pasty look of a direct flash. Just set your camera focusing to "constant" and the HSM zips back and forth quickly and quietly. This would be a great lens for gymnastics, where flash photos are not allowed. Outdoor sports would, of course, be a piece of cake. The 70-200mm lenses have long been favorites of sports photographers, so whip this on your small chip camera and laugh at the guys with the big heavy lenses and monopods.

Any gripes? Not really. I did ask Sigma about Vibration Reduction. I was told while it may be a possibility in the future, the added weight and cost would be considerations. I personally would take the size and weight advantage over the bigger lens. Wait a couple of years--I hear we'll be shooting at ISO 1600 with ISO 100 quality anyway!

This lens is ideal for tight headshots without invading your subject's "space." This was taken using a focal length of 98mm. (Model: Meaghan Parker.)

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Steve Bedell holds Masters and Craftsman degrees from the Professional Photographers of America. Bedell recently released an educational DVD about shooting in the sun called "Sparkle Light." For more information on the DVD or to subscribe to EPhoto, his free online newsletter for professional and advanced amateur photographers, contact Bedell via e-mail at: