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I am Rod Wynne-Powell, and this is my way to pass on snippets either of a technical nature, or related to what I am currently doing or hope to be doing in the near future.

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Professional photographer, Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow trainer, Consultant, digital image retoucher, author, and tech-editor for Martin Evening's many 'Photoshop for Photographers' books.

For over twenty years, Rod has had a client list of large and small companies, which reads like the ‘who’s who’ of the imaging, advertising and software industries. He has a background in Commercial/Industrial Photography, was Sales Manager for a leading London-based colour laboratory and has trained many digital photographers on a one-to-one basis, in the UK and Europe.
Still a pre-release tester for Adobe in the US, for Photoshop, he is also very much involved in the taking of a wide range of photographs, as can be seen in the galleries.

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Sigma 60-600mm Lens Test II – Harold-Odell Country Park

  Having lost the Good Weather and the lens due back to Sigma, I paid a visit to the Harrold-Odell Country Park a bit north of me in Bedfordshire. What sunshine there was was on the milky side, and although Gulls and Ducks were the most prolific of the birds on the lake close to the restaurant, I started shooting from there but my first subject was a raven strutting its stuff and occasionally sounding off as if it was annoyed.
There were numerous gulls just moving lazily on the water, and occasionally diving, presumably for small fish, every so often taking to the air briefly before landing back again nearby. In the distance but on the bank on my side of the lake a heron was on the foreshore, so whilst moving past some of the grazing cattle, I gingerly made my way closer to it, and taking a shot or two before moving again – all the while it had its beady eye on me, obviously fairly cognisant of the focal length of my lens, because just before I came into a decent distance from it, off it flew to the far shore, but I had been going for quality so was using a low ISO, so once in flight it was not possible for me to continue shooting, bearing in mind it was increasing that distance with each flap of its efficient wings! – I was already at 600mm and also because it was the 7D MkII, was cropped too!
The cattle also seemed to be moving towards me all the time, and they had weight and numbers to their advantage, and discretion, a long lens that was not mine and the heavy tripod meant the decision was taken from my hands and was replaced by my gear! Also the clouds began to look more threatening and was definitely suggesting that I should continue in the direction I was now heading which was leading me back to my car, but nevertheless I still took a few more shots at the shorter focal lengths of the lens of the distant church and swans in the foreground – these two swans were also very much keener to preen than pose elegantly for me, so valuable time was lost by my waiting for the heads to be above water and hopefully displaying their elegant necks.
In both these recent Lens Test galleries I have therefore ensured that I use the full range of this lens in fairly real world scenarios, and though I had been warned that at the wider end there might be some slight Chromatic Aberrations, what I encountered was subtly different, and was not directly correctible – a shot of some branchless trees at a distance against the brighter side of light from the occluded sun exhibited a red edging either side of the silhouetted branch, hence being uncorrectable using the edge-shifting of the individual channels within Adobe Camera Raw. I do not think this is actually Chromatic Aberration, I think it more likely that the sensor is swamped and is overloading nearby Red photosites. However, it would be very wrong of me to highlight this issue as overall, I did not find any other major issues at the 60mm end throughout all the shooting I did with this impressive lens. Also, this is not attributable to the Sigma lens but the camera.
I would have no insurmountable problems at all in the envisaged situations where I might encounter the need to be able to frame my windsurfing shots when the sailors approached closer, or racing cars and powerboats similarly forced me to widen my framing of the subjects.
By way of describing a typical situation I have on numerous occasions faced, has been that a Windsurfer has gybed coming towards me, the beginning and end of the manoeuvre are uncropped in relation to the full sail, but at their closest point midway through, the crop is severe both on the hull and the sail, because the subject is way too close at a focal length of 150mm, however with is extended range dropping to 60mm we are almost the equivalent of a Normal, Standard focal length lens.
Currently there is not a specific Lens Profile for this lens, but as a start point, I chose the Sigma Sports 150-600 profile without a major issue ensuing, except in the single somewhat ‘centre-jour’ situation mentioned in this narrative
Once Sigma Stock levels return to being available, I shall be making a purchase!
This is a full-width section of the 7D MkII file at 1024px wide. Note the red fringing of the two major  skeletal trees, it does not appear in the gallery, just here as a postscript to show the only issue I encountered, and one that is down to the camera's sensor, not the Sigma lens.

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