Christmas Light Portraits (Sigma 135 1.8 test)

Destin

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Wanted to put my new Sigma 135 1.8 ART to the test at the job I bought it for; portraiture. I recruited a friend of mine to play with Christmas lights and pose for me and got the following photos.

All photos shot with D810 and 135 1.8 ART. All photos were shot wide open with shutter speeds from 1/100th to 160th and iso from 1600-5600. I continue to be extremely impressed with the sharpness and rendering of this lens. I think it's really going to help my work stand out from the crowd around me and it's going to pay for itself many times over. This is hands down my favorite lens I've ever owned.

There is some minor retouching and color correction done to these photos, but ZERO sharpening or skin smoothing has been performed whatsoever.

@Derrel I mentioned I'd show you this post, so here you go! Curious to hear what you think. If you want a RAW file or two to play with I'd be glad to email you some over so you can get a look at them more closely.

1.)
BBartz-2-X3.jpg


2.)
BBartz-3-X3.jpg


3.)
BBartz-4-X3.jpg


4.)
BBartz-5-XL.jpg


5.)
BBartz-6-X3.jpg


6.)
BBartz-7-X3.jpg
 

jaomul

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Very nice and your friend is very natural in front of the camera
 
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Destin

Destin

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Very nice and your friend is very natural in front of the camera

Thanks! And yeah she really is; im definitely going to have to rope her into shooting with me again soon!
 

Granddad

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I like them, as Jaomul said above, your friend looks like she has great model potential. Be nice to her!
#1 is the best IMHO, her eyes, the glow on her face and the background lights are great.
 
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Destin

Destin

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I like them, as Jaomul said above, your friend looks like she has great model potential. Be nice to her!
#1 is the best IMHO, her eyes, the glow on her face and the background lights are great.

Agreed. But number 5 is a close second for me just for the raw simplicity of it.

And thank you; I’m definitely gonna try to get her back in front of the camera.
 

Derrel

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Hey, cool, thanks for posting this tonight. I thought it'd be tomorrow, Sunday, before you got anything downloaded and worked up. I'd love a raw file or two to play around with. My favorite shots are #1 and #4. I like the large bokeh balls in shot #1...lovely!

I've owned multiple 135mm f/2 lenses, going back to the 80's...and several 135/2.8 models and one f/3.5 model, but Sigma's newest f/1.8 pushes the envelope with that f/1.8 maximum aperture and no detectable chromatic aberration. I sold my Ai-S and AF Defocus Control 135's last year, and am now missing having a lens as good as the Canon 132/2-L, which was the thing I liked the very,very most about my Canon system...and the new Sigma looks to me to be as good or better than the Canon lens...
 

vintagesnaps

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In the first one with the glow around her and the size of the out of focus in the background the proportion seems off, but I don't know what size the lights actually are.

I'd think about where you're placing her in relation to the lights and how you're using space. I particularly like the third one. In the last one the lights almost seem tangled in her hair; even if that was the intended effect I'd think about how the hair is arranged and where the lights would look best around her shoulders (notice that one light sticking up into her chin, that might have been better arranged differently).
 
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Destin

Destin

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In the first one with the glow around her and the size of the out of focus in the background the proportion seems off, but I don't know what size the lights actually are.

I'd think about where you're placing her in relation to the lights and how you're using space. I particularly like the third one. In the last one the lights almost seem tangled in her hair; even if that was the intended effect I'd think about how the hair is arranged and where the lights would look best around her shoulders (notice that one light sticking up into her chin, that might have been better arranged differently).

In the first one the bokeh balls are larger because she’s 20-30 feet farther away from the lights.

And you’re absolutely right about the last one, but it was 28 degrees and we’d been outside for an hour.. neither of us were thinking super clearly at that point lol
 

smoke665

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Number 4 & 5 are my favorites, mainly because of how sharp and clear the eyes are. Fantastic!!! Only negative comment, it seems that they might benefit from a tad adjustment to WB. I'm detecting just a slight green tint, but that might be from the surrounding background also.
 

Gary A.

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I like these, especially #1, #2 and #4.

The white balance seems a tad off in these. Not bad, but enough where there is room for improvement, IMO. In #1, I'd center her (crop a bit off the left), and whiten up her eyes and teeth. #2 and #4, I think maybe a bit of overall darkening would help a bit. I am torn between #1 and #2 as my fave.
 

Donde

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I do prefer the ones with the eyes open. By her dress these must have been outdoors. Looks like a nice lens.
 

DanOstergren

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It's quite sharp for shooting wide open. I'd love to see how it could be improved with a little bit of post sharpening though.

135mm is a fun portrait focal length, but I never liked the working distance it required, and much prefer the versatility of an 85mm or 100mm in comparison, both of which offer a very similar look, with the Canon 85mm f/1.8 being available at a much lower price. The difference between 85mm and 135mm in aesthetic has never been enough to make me miss working with a 135mm lens.
 

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