The Sigma 20mm 1.4 Art is Not a Niche Lens!

            When I decided to pull the trigger on the new wide and fast 20mm from Sigmas Art series I had only considered it as a night sky lens. I soon found out that it would become a staple throughout a variety of genres that I shoot. Being that I predominantly a landscape photographer I have found a special place in my heart for shooting wide. Over the years I have taken my tendency to shoot from a wide angle to other genres such as portrait and wedding photography as well as outdoor adventure type photography. Although I don't see myself self mounting this lens to my Canon 5dmrkIII during climbs, due to the vulnerable front element, I have already used it to shoot a wedding and the results were fantastic! This lens is not only wide and fast, but it is also tack sharp and focuses faster than any fast prime I have ever used from Canon. 

 For group shots the super sharp Sigma 20mm 1.4 Art lens is a dream.             1/1000 F1.4 ISO 100

For group shots the super sharp Sigma 20mm 1.4 Art lens is a dream.             1/1000 F1.4 ISO 100

It seems like a no brainer when it comes to using this lens to shoot groups when in a tight space but I also really love this focal length for pulling back and gathering some interesting leading lines into your portraits. In the next shot I really wanted to display the roof lines of this beautiful church, again I reached for the 20mm. 

 Getting the interesting rafter details of the church                                1/80 F1.4 ISO 1600

Getting the interesting rafter details of the church                                1/80 F1.4 ISO 1600

I find that because I don't do a lot of wedding work that I learn a ton every time I do shoot one. In this case the biggest lesson I learned was that 20mm can be a workhorse in a wedding situation. After looking at all my images in Lightroom I found that about 35% of the shots were taken with the 20mm. If you have established your style and are predominantly a wedding photographer it might be hard to sway you from what works for you, but have to say that I strongly encourage everyone shooting portraits to give this lens a shot. stepping outside the box and trying different focal lengths never hurts. In the age of digital you can always take a look at what you got in the back of the camera and if you don't like what you see you can switch back to what works. 

 

The last thing I love about this lens and its focal length is its ability to tell a story. I love shooting wide angle environmental portraits This style allows more compositional elements to be included within your image this can show your audience what is going on and take them deeper into the story of the photograph. One example of this is an image I took of my daughter when she just started to walk and become a little mover. By getting close and using the fast wide angle I was able to tell the story. 

 Focusing on her little hands moving quickly up the stairs                                    1/400 F1.4 ISO 100

Focusing on her little hands moving quickly up the stairs                                    1/400 F1.4 ISO 100

When all is said and done the point that I am trying get across is that this lens is good for so much more than just night sky and aurora photography. It is sharp fast and oh so wide, and I love that. I have absolutely fallen in love with this lens and have to say that Sigma is really doing some amazing things with their Art series glass. If you are in the market for a super sharp lens that is fast and wide you should really consider this bad boy. Not only is it amazing in a number of ways it is also super cheap when comparing it to Canon and Nikon equivalents.

I know that in the beginning I said that I bought this lens to shoot night sky stuff and trust me folks that is the plan! To finish things up here is the one and only chance I had to get out to photograph the milky so far with this gem of a lens. 

 The milky way. Loving the low ISO and the fact that I caught three shooting stars!      30 second exposure F1.4 ISO 500 

The milky way. Loving the low ISO and the fact that I caught three shooting stars!

   30 second exposure F1.4 ISO 500