Inspiration

The lens you’ll ever really need

The lens you’ll ever really need

- Chris Martin Scholl

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 100, F4, 1/160s
 

Being in the photography business for over a decade, I was able to gain a lot of experience when it comes to specific lenses and their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve used a variety of prime as well as zoom lenses throughout the whole range. And while I loved prime lenses for their highly praised advantages, like ultimate sharpness and low light capabilities, I always found them to be very limited in their usage due to the fixed focal length. To stay flexible as a photographer you would need to own several prime lenses of different focal lengths. Doing so not only results in a lot of weight as well as the hassle of switching out lenses on a regular basis but also is a huge cost factor to consider. On the other hand, zoom lenses for many years have been a compromise between size and rendering quality. Because of this I always tried to bring a mix of primes and zooms with me when going for a trip or working on a client project. All of this changed with mirrorless camera systems being on the rise, as manufactures have been able to take advantage of the short flange back distance between the sensor and the mount and so could push the boundaries when it comes to new designs, which is especially true for zoom lenses. Modern zooms can be very light-weight and compact, while offering ultimate flexibility and sharpness. Pair this with the performance of today’s camera sensors and there’s nothing to miss from a professional standpoint.

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 100, F4, 1/160

When it comes to my work as a photographer, a lot of it is related to travel and lifestyle photography, with an emphasis on street and architecture. My usual playgrounds are big cities and urban environments around the globe, where conditions and sceneries in front of me can change at a fast pace. Already at a young age, I felt the urge to travel to foreign countries and immerse myself in different cultures. Personally, I always felt big cities to be the perfect melting pot for a culture’s specific characteristics, giving you access to all levels of their society. Furthermore, we live in a fast-changing world, and I’m especially interested in the co-existence of historical and modern lifestyles. Not only do I find this in the everyday life of citizens but also in the architecture of each metropolis, as futuristic structures merge with what’s been already existing for hundreds, if not thousands of years. More and more of this is changing and of course not only in a good way, as there are always two sides to every story. As a photographer though, I see it as my duty to document everything along the way and so I keep coming back to these places for many years. By doing so, I was able to take things much further than just capturing a quick snapshot of a nice-looking building. I rather developed a very own and specific style, with a strong focus on highlighting the coldness and strangeness that can come with these futuristic structures, which in fact are man-made yet can look so alien.

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 6400, F2.8, 1/320s

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 800, F2.8, 1/100s

Things like overall versatility and compactness are some of the key factors when it comes to choosing the right equipment. There is often no time to switch lenses for the right focal length and furthermore the overall weight of my equipment plays a big role, because I might be walking all day long, hopping on and off public transport or catching the next flight to a new destination. Therefore, I need my camera and lenses to be as light-weight as possible without compromising on flexibility and performance. Right away, I’m happy to say that the SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary ticks all these boxes. Not only is it designed to be very small and light, it also offers an appealing focal length, all the way from a super-wide 16mm up to 28mm. On top of this it comes with a fast aperture of F2.8. This makes it perfect for architecture as you can have clean and sharp images for interiors, especially in dim light environments. So does it for street photography because nimble movement is highly required for capturing the irreversible moments .In fact it might be the only lens you’ll ever really need.

* The images without photograph data have been created with other lenses other than SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary.

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 320, F2.8, 1/160s

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary,
SIGMA fp L, ISO 6400, F2.8, 1/125s

To give the SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary a proper test run, I decided to visit some of my favorite locations in Berlin, Germany. I chose this city because it offers exactly what I love to photograph: The diverse culture of a big metropolis as well as a very apparent concurrence of history and future when it comes to its architecture. The idea was to shoot in a variety of complex urban environments, both in good and poor light conditions. This way I could really find out how the lens performs in demanding scenarios, especially on its widest focal length.

I started my test by visiting some wide backyards in the inner-city of Berlin. These locations are perfect for testing out the widest focal length of the lens, right at 16mm. The images came out stunning with no visible distortion or soft edges. The fact that the SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary delivers such a quality on its widest setting makes it perfect for shooting in these demanding, architectural environments.

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 320, F2.8, 1/125s

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 100, F4, 1/200s

Next, I headed to the government district of the city, which has a very modern concrete look and offers a wide variety for taking nice architecture and street shots. It was raining that day and getting late, with the sun already setting. These are very demanding conditions for such a lens but perfect to find out what the SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary is capable of. Focusing of the lens was very fast and accurate and I was able to incorporate fast moving people with no issues at all. I really enjoyed being able to shoot street and architecture, without the hassle of switching out lenses. The wide aperture of F2.8 was a very welcome feature for shooting in the blue hour and resulted in crisp and clean images as it allowed for using a much lower ISO setting.

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 640, F2.8, 1/125s

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary,
SIGMA fp L, ISO 4000, F2.8, 1/125s

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary,
SIGMA fp L, ISO 2000, F2.8, 1/125s

The next day I wanted to test out more of the capabilities at the widest setting, right at 16mm. Being a photographer focusing a lot on modern, futuristic architecture, I really need a lens to perform flawlessly, when it comes to capturing very wide structures containing lots of straight lines. Usually, this is where you see how good the performance of a wide-angle lens really is, as badly corrected designs often result in distorted, bent lines. This is something I don’t want to deal with in post-production as it can cost a lot of time and nerves to correct. I went to a couple of my favorite locations, including subway stations, pedestrian bridges as well as some modern art museums located in Berlin’s Museum Island district. All these locations have one thing in common and you probably guessed it already: They contain a lot of straight lines and other complex formations. As you can see in the results the SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary had absolutely no problem with distortion of any kind when it comes to rendering these structures. Truly impressive for such a compact lens if you ask me.

SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, SIGMA fp L, ISO 1250, F2.8, 1/400s
 

I have to say I’m impressed by how good the distortion is handled internally, especially given the compact and lightweight design. The lens is tack sharp right from F2.8 and the bokeh looks buttery smooth and pleasing. The SIGMA 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary really delivers what one would expect from a professional SIGMA branded lens.

Behind the Scenes

Chris Martin Scholl
Travel & Lifestyle Photographer/Videographer


Chris is a Berlin-based photographer & videographer working worldwide.

Throughout the past decade, he has travelled around the globe, capturing outstanding

moments of some of the world’s most impressive places.
 

Specializing in urban environments, including architecture and lifestyle photography, he is constantly following his vision for a perfectly framed moment.


chrismartinscholl.com
chrismartinscholl.com

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