I had a chance to take some photos with my shy and hesitant teen model, Dawson, a few weeks ago.... I had two goals....Get some cool photos of the cool cat for his yearbook, and test out the Sigma 35 1.4. I've used the Sigma a few times now and I have been extremely pleased with the results. I'm not a proponent or opponent of prime lenses; but I am a fan of the clarity and the speed of this lens. If my 24-70 2.8 was a 1.4, then that lens would probably never be taken off my camera.
We started past 5:30ish pm, so we were losing sunlight pretty quickly on this shoot, and by the time we were done with the brick wall shots, there wasn't much ambient light. I had to use a flashlight pointed at Dawson's face to get the lens to focus.
This is a shout out for the natural-light-only photographers out there, you can still get good shots after the sun goes down. Get a flash (GASP!) and drag your shutter a bit to get some light in there. Steady hands definitely help and it's a good way to find out what your limits on keeping a shot steady at different focal lengths. I probably wouldn't shoot 1/10sec @ 200mm, but you won't know till you've tried it.
ISO 160, 35mm @ f1.4, 1/80 sec.
ISO 640, 85mm f1.8 @ 1/15sec
ISO 800, 35mm f1.8 @ 1/30 sec.
The first and third images were taken with the sigma. Off camera lighting was with a flash minus any modifier attached...The reason I did this was for hard-edged shadows....it felt appropriate for the look i was after. The second shot was with an Canon 85 1.8 with the flash positioned behind Dawson. I tried some shots with some lens flare peeking at the side, but I didn't care much for it...felt too wannabe JJ Abrams...not for me :)
Gear used for this shoot: Canon 5D Mark III, Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM Art, Canon 85mm 1.8; a couple of Pocketwizards and Canon Speedlite 600EX. Whitebalance @ 5500 via Adobe Lightroom.
Special thanks to my cool, cooperative model :)