The Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 DG DN is fast becoming my favorite L mount lens for the Sigma fp. I’ve been taking it around Scotland to capture some wonderful scenes like his scene of Bow Fiddle Rock close. The wide field of view it provides along with its clean and sharp rendering makes it a joy to shoot landscapes with. Today I want to show you how I use this lens without cumbersome front filters using the Haida’s Rear Lens ND Filter Kit (B&H, Amazon).
The UV filter protects against ultraviolet light, and it is a screw-on system produced in silver or black connecting with the camera’s color theme.
As a landscape photographer, I find it both a convenience and an inconvenience to use filters. For example, using filters for balancing light in a scene, eliminates the need for bracketed shooting. This saves space on my memory card and on my hard drive. On the other hand, sometimes things happen so fast that mounting filters spoils the moment. There are also instances when using a filter to smooth the water in a waterfall will save me from blending exposures in Photoshop. On the negative side, adding filters to the backpack takes up space and adds weight.
If there is one thing I have grown to love about photography, it is the ability to capture, control, and manipulate time. Photography is giving us the option to see things in ways that are impossible to achieve with our naked eyes. This opens up a whole new world of creative options.
While cameras do offer us a fair amount of control using ISO, shutter, and aperture, we sometimes need to look at other options to get extremely long exposures. This is particularly true where there is a lot of light around. Add that to the wide shots you can get with a Sigma 14-24mm weird construction, and you soon realize the need for something like the Haida M15 filter holder system.
A while ago Sigma joined the L mount alliance along with Panasonic and Leica. Although it wasn’t really till recently that we started to see the true results of this collaboration when Sigma released their new fp camera. They also released several “designed for mirrorless” lenses like the 14-24 f2.8 Art DG DN. Those lenses are both smaller and lighter than their DSLR counterparts.
One of the new features of the 14-24f2.8 Art DG DN lens is the built-in rear filter holder. It allows you to lock in a gel filter, which you can cut using the template provided with the lens.
This is a relatively inexpensive way to reduce the amount of light coming into the camera. I used to cut ND gels to fit into my MC-11 adaptor and while they worked, the gels could easily scratch, bend and crease, while also reducing image quality a little. I don’t know, maybe it was the particular ND gel I used.
What if you wanted something that is more durable with better optical performance, but without needing a huge 150mm filter system to attach onto the front of the lens?
Lately I have had the opportunity to travel around Scotland, capturing some of the wonderful landscape around me. Like this shot at Cashmore beach where I enjoyed a lovely day with my friend and fellow Photographer, Lea Tippet.
Graduated ND filters will help you get perfect exposure in-camera when shooting landscapes and cityscapes. However, the area they cover sometimes just won’t cut it for the scene you’re trying to capture. Of course, you can sometimes fix it in post, but why not try getting it right in-camera?
In this video, Karl Taylor demonstrates a simple but effective technique of dodging and burning in-camera, relying on the old darkroom method. It will help you nail the exposure, preserve details in highlights, and it could save you some post-processing time.
Attaching the NiSi Vario filter to a lens basically means that we have added a fourth dimension to our camera. The exposure triangle; aperture, iso, shutter speed, has been expanded with a fourth variable with which we can play to achieve a desired effect or outcome. This of course opens up for new creative opportunities in our photography, and also adds a lot of flexibility to our shooting.
If you need ND filters, it may be a tough choice which ones to buy since there are so many of them in the market. And if solid ND filters are what you prefer, how do you know which ones you need? Let Griffin Hammond help you with that. In this video, he explains how solid ND filters differ and how you can calculate which one would be perfect for your current shooting situation.
Using a Graduated Neutral Density filter is fairly easy and doesn’t require any advanced techniques in post-production but the easiest option isn’t always the best choice; due to the filter’s transition being horizontal, anything above the distinction will be darkened and anything below will be left alone.
This is a good solution when there’s a flat horizon but what do we do when there are mountains projecting above it? What do we do when there are large trees in the image? Using a GND filter means that they’ll be darkened as well. That’s something we want to avoid.