New firmware updates for lenses

A few days ago SIGMA published new firmware updates for lenses. The four new editions are models with Canon EF and Sigma SA mounts. The updates are said to have led to improvements concerning the auto-focus as well as to a reduction of the operating noise of the shutter lamellae. Sigma has published firmware updates for four of its lenses with Canon EF and three models with Sigma SA mounts.

There are updates for the following lenses, whereas the first three have been improved for SA and EF bayonet mounts and the 24-105mm lens can be downloaded for Canon EF bayonet mounts only.

17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM 
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM
18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM
24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM 

SIGMA promises an improved AF performance in particular in connection with the lens adapter MC-11, which I’ve already tested for you recently . In connection with Sigma’s sd Quattro cameras the speed of the auto-focus, in particular, is said to have been enhanced.

Another improvement will make all the video enthusiasts among you very happy! With Canon EF mounts, AF exactitude in the LiveView and video modes are said to have been upgraded. Besides that, the operating noise of the shutter lamellae in the video mode was reduced, which has improved the sound while recording videos.

There’s also an update available for the Adapter MC-11. It enables the use of the upgraded lenses.

You can easily find all new firmware versions on the SIGMA website under Support:

SIGMA and Awards

As this title already suggests, SIGMA’s series of awards is increasing – with the renowned TIPA Award , which was awarded this March.

In this case, the SIGMA 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM lens from the Art series, which has been awarded many times by now, received the prize as best wide-angle zoom lens. Besides that, the classic SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM , also from the Art series, received an award as best fixed focal length.

Other than the Red Dort Award for example, which reaches far beyond the entire field of design, the TIPA Award focuses on the photo and imaging industry itself. TIPA, by the way, is the abbreviation for Technical Image Press Association. As you may already have figured out, this abbreviation indicates the cooperation between 27 different magazines edited worldwide in areas like Australia, India, Europe, South Arica, the US, Canada and Brazil. The award was created because the TIPA Magazines with their complex expertise aimed to award a renowned prize to the best products. For this reason every year the winners are selected by an expert jury consisting of the editors in a general meeting. They particularly focus on the innovation, the use of cutting-edge technologies, design, ergonomics, the practical use and the price-performance ratio of the products.

The following criteria are essential to qualify for the desired award: the TIPA membership magazines need to be informed about the announcement of new products and the product must have been introduced to large areas of the global market between 01 April of the previous year and 31 March of the current year of the award ceremony. Furthermore, product sales should have started before 30 June of the current year of the award ceremony. All those companies fulfilling these criteria are automatically nominated for the TIPA Award. Then, the products are professionally and independently tested for reviews in the magazines by the editors themselves. All it takes is a sample of the product that needs to be handed in by the corresponding company.

The location of this year’s award ceremony was Havana. It took place on 31 March 2017. We congratulate SIGMA for its achievements and this fantastic award for lenses that certainly deserve the prizes!

Hasselblad Award 2017

The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography is a renowned photography prize that is awarded every year for extraordinary performances. The award, which is considered to be the most significant in photography worldwide, is organized by the Hasselblad Foundation and worth about 100,000 €.

The list of award winners includes big names such as Henri Cartier-Bresson (1982), Irving Penn (1985) and Cindy Sherman (1999). This year the famous award was given to Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra.


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The infamous winning photo of the World Press Photo Award 2017


Burhan Ozbilici /AP /World Press Photo

Every year the Press Photo of the Year receives the World Press Photo Award. It’s not unusual that this particular award has stirred up some controversy.

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100 most influential photos of all times


Photos are important historical documents and their significance is permanently increasing. We are living in a visual world where sometimes things are only considered to be true when there’s a photo, or even better, a video as a piece of evidence.
Thanks to smartphones and their integrated cameras millions of photos are taken every day and in almost every single corner of the world. The importance of photography for this generation probably cannot be fully understood yet, but one thing’s for sure: There hasn’t been a period in history when it was possible to gain such deep insights into people’s lives and into almost every social class.

However, photos have certainly been enormously important before the rise of the smartphone industry. All of us probably know the photo taken by Kim Phúc, also known as the “Napalm Girl”. She was nine years old when Nick Ùt, a Vietnamese photographer, took a photo of her screaming in pain, escaping burnt and fully naked. It was that image that revealed the real horrors and the actual dimensions of the Vietnam War to the public.

With the “100 Photos” project “THE TIMES” aims to present a list of the 100 most influential photographs of all times and then to find and tell the stories behind these pictures. It’s pretty obvious to everyone that this isn’t an easy task at all.
How to make a selection of 100 photos among all the pictures taken over a period of 200 years?  You can read on the project website how difficult it was to create such a selection. The team had to conduct thousands of expert interviews with photographers, historians, curators and editors all over the world. Whenever it was possible friends and family members of the people portrayed in the pictures had to be contacted. You can see the final list of the 100 photos and their stories on the project website.


Red Bull Illume Image Quest

One could argue that Red Bull has its finger in every pie.  And that is somewhat true, no denying that! 😉 Even when it comes to photography, especially sports photography, Red Bull knows exactly what they are doing. With the Red Bull Illume Image Quest, they created the greatest international photography contest in the world. The focus thereby lies on action and adventure sports.

There are 11 categories to which one can submit photos. The newest category is “Mobile”, the rule for this category is, that only pictures can be submitted, that were taken with a mobile phone or tablet. The contest, which took place for the 4th time this year, saw 34.624 images taken by 5.645 photographers from 120 countries.


Photo-Credit: Lorenz Holder

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Young Professionals

Hey guys, as I already reported in one of my last articles, Beatrice and I are attending this year’s photo festival “Horizonte Zingst”. This is a renowned event where you can participate at exhibitions, workshops among other great offers. The highlight of every day is the picture projection show “Bilderflut“, but more about this another time.

Today’s topic is “Young Professionals”.

In the course of the festival ,three photography schools are selected every year, to give photographers a chance to exhibit their work. The three participating schools this year are die Graphische in Vienna (Austria), the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in Pilsen (Czech Republic) and the Lette Verein in Berlin (Germany).

Each school selects five ambitious photographers to take pictures on three different subjects. The overall motto of the exhibition was “The new colorfulness of seeing things”, on which the students could realize their ideas in the course of a workshop in March, which also took place in Zingst with the assistance and help of some professors.

Besides the theme related realizations the young artists also got the chance to present their independent works.
Speaking for myself ,I liked the exhibition a lot, as the different approaches to the topics show the great diversity in photography.


News: A reason to be happy – News about Sigma at the CP+

In one of my previous blog articles I wrote about the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show in Japan. Some particularly positive news that was presented and comes from SIGMA is its MC-11 Mount Converter which allows SIGMA “SA” and SIGMA “Canon EF” mounts on interchangeable lenses to be used on a Sony device with an E-mount. Today I’d like to write a few words about this piece of news.

The converter is of great advantage for all photographers whose equipment includes a Sony E-mount camera system, as they get provided with a greater range of good interchangeable camera lenses by SIGMA that, depending on the mount, can then also be used on other camera systems (SIGMA or Canon) without an adapter. Or in addition – now all those using second cameras with compatible interchangeable camera lenses will be able to use them on their Sony camera as well!


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News: Attention action fans! GoPro presents Omni, a 360-degree-camera.

Odyssey’s little brother, GoPro’s 360° camera that was announced in autumn 2015, was presented to the world a couple of hours ago. While Odyssey is something for professional users with a bulging wallet, you can already buy Omni for an impressive 5,000 US Dollars.

Omni is equipped with six cameras of the type Hero4 Black (4k videos with 30 images per second) which are assembled in cubic shapes, which creates a 360° view. The delivery package also contains an additional waterproof transport container, a USB hub, six microSD cards and six card readers each, a remote control as well as a tripod.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect setting for your 360° video, you put the camera on the tripod where it can record a VR image or a VR video. Finally you’ll only have to transfer the records of the six cameras on your computer and merge them with special software.

With a VR headset it seems as if you were actually at the location. This promises to be great fun! 🙂


The whole package! 


The new Omni


Every two years the perhaps most exciting event for technology lovers of photography takes place. Now in 2016 it’s happening again and Photokina in Cologne is about to start. There the digital progress of various different manufacturers is presented and the newest trends are announced.
The Sigma Art series has already brought about widely popular lenses, specifically the 35mm and 50mm versions, and the highly demanded 85mm/1.4 lens will most probably join the club. Likewise, the 2,8/24-70mm as an Art lens and the 2,8/70-20mm lens with sport optics are wished for. Both amateurs and professional photographers are attracted by the high value for money and the expansion of the product range will further enable the creation of superb low light shots. It is, however, not yet clear if there will also be a 28mm/2.8 lens, as it’s being discussed in some of the forums. With the 19/2.9, 30/2.9 and 60/2.8 similar lenses already exist rendering a 28mm lens somewhat unnecessary. But we will see. As a lover of Sigma I’m already very curious and I’m looking forward to the new brilliant lenses with a thrill of excitement. The creative liberties in dynamic lighting of the image are what makes the Art series so special and therefore it will certainly keep on inspiring photographers keen on trying out new things.

Posted by Beatrice