And now, for a dedication to my current always-on lens, the Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX full-frame A-mount lens.
With Creative Styles set to Contrast -3, Saturation +3 and Sharpness +3, I can get a very flat but colored image… which is an effect I like. Ohai Waifon! 😉
It focuses close to 50 centimeters only, with good sharpness at F2.8 and amazing clarity and detail at 17mm F4. Out-of-focus is not too contrasty though minor artifacts show in the far background.
…because I sit and put my arms in a hexagonal nut position.
The infamous Sigma yellow is obvious but I like what it does for some pictures.
While I’d love a 16mm on APS-C, the 17mm is sufficient. I always felt 18mm to be not-wide… just accomodating for those people who’d step back to shoot crowds.
At 35mm F4, it has brilliant separation, with the background thrown into a subtly 2D look while I, the subject, looks 3D. A F2.8 or F2.0 lens will make the background too blurred out and make it unable to figure out what is in the out-of-focus area… while also making part of the subject soft and out of focus.
I also like the mottled, textured look of the greens.
The only problem with the lens is the Sigma yellow (though I don’t mind) and the brightline bokeh (out-of-focus points of lights appear to be discs of light with bright outlines… which can be easily Photoshopped. However, it has already made its effect on the railings which have faint borders.)
Some lenses make the backgrounds too contrasty and thus distracting. This Sigma, like (old) Minolta and Leica lenses, don’t, and concentrate on making pretty pictures. Understandably, Minolta worked a lot with Leica in the 80’s when the Minolta autofocus lenses came out, which is why the Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan and Minolta 28-135mm F4-4.5 are highly regarded for beautiful bokeh and sharpness.
Unfortunately, Sony Carl Zeiss lenses are geared in the opposite direction – insane sharpness at the expense of less-than-Minolta bokeh. In out-of-focus areas, some midtones get darkened while some highlights get a boost in brightness. While it is still smooth-looking it does not look as calm.
Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX on the Minolta Dynax 7