Published November 25th 2014

What I learned in week 47

My Sigma 20mm is not sharp

I have been pretty happy with my Sigma 20mm f/1.8. It's bright, it's wide and it's sharp... or is it? I've had it for a few years, and been very pleased with its performance, but after I have started using it on the full frame D700, I have realized that it's quite fuzzy in the corners even stopped down. In most cases I haven't noticed, but recently I started thinking that my usually very steady hands couldn't hold the camera still anymore, because most of my images from a certain period came out blurred.

I looked through my images in Lightroom and had to admit that most of the 20mm images were quite blurred in the corners and some with very discrete dark on bright details where definitely unsharp.

Just today I shot using a Magic Arm on a rail and took a short series with the 20mm followed by some similar shots with my Sigma 50mm f/1.4. The 50mm was orders of a magnitude sharper! I suspect the 20mm might be misaligned, because the problem seems to be worse in the upper right hand corner, but it's not tack sharp anywhere but in the center.

I'll be more careful using the 20 in the future and have already started looking at the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8, which is probably way sharper. I love the bright 20mm on full frame. A wideangle just after my heart.

I shoot very little these days

We're going through one of the darkest Novembers I can remember. And I'm not imagining this. According to the Danish Meteorological Institute the sun has been shining a modest 29 hours this November, which makes it the darkest in a long time. Usually we get up towards 60 hours of sun in November. Still not much even with the short days. A rough calculation tells me that 30 days with each 7 hours or so of light could potentially yield 210 hours of sunshine. I have no reason to think that the sun would shine every day in November, but close to a tenth of the potential sun? That seems unfair!

The result has been dark and rainy days, and I haven't been out much. And when I've been out, I have left the camera at home. So I have shot 70 shots until now – the 26th. I shot 900 shots in August and 600 in September and a little less in October. But November has been very dull.


As the Danish poet Henrik Nordbrandt writes:
The year has 16 months: November
December, January, February, March, April
May, June, July, August, September
October, November, November, November, November.