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sigma 35mm 1.4 IS vs non IS?

Rising Star

So I took this shot, shown below, with my 17-55 2.8 and later on, I tried doing it with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 and none of the shots came out to be this focused. Does anyone know if it's because there's no IS on the 35mm or is it because I just got unlucky with all of my photos? Is it possible to get this clean shot with the 35mm 1.4 or do I have to be on a smooth road to do this? I was trying it on 280N from Pacifica up to South SF trying to shoot a random drift car and all of them were too shaky. Thanks!Subaru STi Rolling Shot


OK lets try to clear a few things up. The desired motion blur comes from the low shutter speed & a perfect pan. With both vehicles in motion the pan becomes more or less like shooting a still BUT as such the camera & photographer can't be in motion as in having road vibrations transfer to the photographer because he / she is leaning onto the side door or window.. Also lets be clear in that the Canon lenses with IS that go really wide DO NOT have a panning mode & for this kind of use IS may CREATE fuzzyness, but that's just a guess based on my own experiences with my 24-105 when shooting race cars with the IS on. IF you really want to do this kind of photography well you need to spend BIG money on a camera stabilizersuch as sold by Kenyon.


These are used by pros to shoot air to air & car to car etc. NOW re the AF idea that multiple points is a better choice that is not correct. The camera can ONLY focus to one distance at the moment the photo is taken, not 2 or 3 different distances which seems to be what you are thinking. DOF gives you that extra area in focus, not multiple focus points. You need to decide on what you need in DOF & use an F stop small enough to get that much DOF from your shooting distance. There are DOF calculators on line or you can get an Ap for it to use when needed.

Correct settings and technique are the difference between getting a photo of a car that looks to be parked or one at speed. Both cars in these photos are going VERY fast but one looks to be stopped because the shutter speed was too high (intentionally).


IMG_0872 copy.jpg


INGR2831 copy(1).jpg

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

View solution in original post


Zone may work better for you but the idea is to use a single point, hold it as steadily as you can on something like a door handle or emblem & when you can do that reasonably well press the shutter button. That's how you get the car in sharp focus while the low shutter speed blurs the other things. VZ1Q6601.JPG 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

For that link just do a search on Kenyon Gyros or Kenyon Camera stabilizers. They are not cheap but get the job done from what I've seen & read. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

One final thought before I head to my bed; if it was easy EVERYONE could do it & likely NO ONE would find correct technique worth a look. This is one of those situations where better equipment & a skilled operator out weigh luck. Most fields of photography depend on the photographer & how they capture what they see but ACTION photography also depends on the equipment used because things are in motion, the camera needs to be set correctly & the AF needs to be up to the task, & that goes for both the AF in the body & the lens. They work as a team, and I have no idea just how fast / accurate your Sigma 35 mm lens is nor my Canon 35 F 1.4 L is because I've never used it in this way. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Both examples are from PS courses I have taken in the past.  Both were sharp in the original.

Again I must remind you great photography is 1/2 camera/lens (gears), 1/2 post and 1/2 you.


In this case I think the latter needs more experience or education with DSLR's.  A through understanding of the first half of the equation is critical.  If you keep at it, you will get it but it may take a while unless you follow good teachers or advice.

A lot of folks will try something like single point and see the photo was bad.  Than they try multi-point and get a better shot.  So the conclusion is multi-point is better.  However, the truth was, the single point was used incorrectly and actually is, indeed, the best way to go.  I just used that as one example because wrong conclusion's are assumed in all parts of life.  A result is given to the wrong reason.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Yeah, I'm still playing around with it. I've tried the 35 1.4 many times, got a few close ones but ended up going with the 17-55 because it was one of those rare moments. I only just recently moved over to using multi point AF because my friend who does portrait photography, also does action shots like these and he told me to switch over to multi AF, as that's what he does on his 5d mark ii. He actually got more in focus shots than I did and I was spamminng the crap out of my shutter button (had it on high speed continuous).

Well you are certainly free to pay attention to whom you want to.  But remember drawing the wrong conclusion will only make it harder for you.  In photography there are many ways to and end.


Example, I don't know how the pyramids were built so that proves aliens exist, kinda thing.  In reality all not knowing how the pyramids were built only proves you don't know how they were built.

Just because I got, or he got, a shot using multi-point is no indication that is the best way.


BTW, multi-point for portraits is absolutely the WRONG way.  At least  I would never use it but I very rarely use multi-point.


My 2 cents and worth every penny!

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

For portraits I always use single point on the eyes. But I'll definitely have to play around some more with rolling shots, I know there's more than one way of taking a rolling shot.

You have Mr. cicopo's and my advise, which is the same, so you have a decision to whom you listen.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Also, to get a very shallow depth of field, do you need a prime or a telescopic with a very wide aperture? I was playing around with the 18-135mm at my work earlier and I had to stand at least 10-15 feet away at close to maximum zoom to get a noticeable blur behind my object. And that's with nobody around me. If there were a lot of people around the object that I was trying to shoot, would it be better for me to work off a prime with a wide aperture or get a wide angle lens with wide aperture? I currently have the 10-22 but might consider getting the 17-40.

You can use this web site for that. Enter your info & it will give you the answer. IF you can't find the correct camera body (I don't know how quickly they update for new bodies) just remember Canon ONLY DSLR's are either full frame (use the 5D) 1.3 crop (use the 1D2n thru 1D4) or 1.6 crop (Rebels 7D 7D2 etc).

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

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