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Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM Sports Examples: Mt Whitney and Alabama Hills, Pre-Dawn to Early Sun

See my Sigma SLR lenses wishlist at B&H Photo.

My life is challenging, but I feel so lucky today—I’m doing all this work in my nice warm Sprinter van while it rains in the desert with dark clouds over Mt Whitney. Everyone has left and the Alabama Hills has a quiet stillness like I’ve never seen it as gentle raindrops patter on the roof. Music is on (Wild Wild Life by Talking Heads seems appropriate right now), drinks and eats are good, what more can you want on a Tuesday night? (well I can think of a thing or two, but it’s good to appreciate the here and now)

This is the finest set of images I have ever made in the Alabama Hills, at least in one shoot alone. Who the hell needs the clunkiness of medium format? Alas, the work doesn’t change when a lens is the best vs pretty good, so the work is not quite as good as it could have been optically.

See other images I’ve made in the Alabama Hills and Mt Whitney areas, including those with the Fujifilm GFX-50S.

Not having shot it in a while, the Nikon D850 reminds of just why it makes such a great outdoors camera—ergonomics and haptics/buttons and overall operation—it rocks. I wish Nikon would issue a D850 with an EVF, as its size and working config is just better than the Nikon Z7. But boy is that Z7 EVF nice.

I sure wish I had a 72MP or 100MP full-frame 35mm DSLR (or mirrorless)—no technical reason is stopping that—just a matter of time. I refuse to waste my time with a 16/20/24/36 megapixel camera for this kind of photography—the effort is the same so it’s foolish to shoot images that won’t even fill an 8K display.

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM Sports Examples: Mt Whitney and Alabama Hills, Pre-Dawn to Early Sun

Includes images up to full camera resolution including a few panoramas, one up to 247 megapixels which (to me at least) is a visual feast—Ansel Adams couldn’t capture a fraction of the detail.

Shot mostly at the long end but includes 70mm, 92mm, 135mm, 180mm also.

Below, this 10-frame panorama is presented at 247 megapixels (33000 pixels wide!)s. The detail is a visual treat. I can’t find any climbers on Mt Whitney or its spires.

Mountain range south and east of Mt Whitney, Mt Whitney at right
f4.5 @ 1.0 sec, ISO 64; 2019-03-04 05:58:02
[location “Alabama Hills”, altitude 5100 ft / 1554 m, 48°F / 8°C, panorama 10 frames, LACA corrected, "Mt Whitney range about 15 minutes before sunrise", USM{8,50,0}]
NIKON D850 + Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports @ 200mm

[low-res image for bot]
Gentle alpenglow on Mt Whitney
f8 @ 0.4 sec, ISO 64; 2019-03-04 06:12:28
[location “Alabama Hills”, altitude 5100 ft / 1554 m, 45°F / 7°C, LACA corrected, "Mt Whitney alpenglow"]
NIKON D850 + Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports @ 200mm

[low-res image for bot]
Staggered peaks south and east of Mt Whitney, Mt Whitney at right
f8 @ 1/30 sec, ISO 64; 2019-03-04 06:32:32
[location “Alabama Hills”, altitude 5100 ft / 1554 m, 48°F / 8°C, LACA corrected, "closest peak to Mt Whitney at right"]
NIKON D850 + Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports @ 92mm

[low-res image for bot]
Alabama Hills camping area
f11 @ 1/5 sec, ISO 64; 2019-03-04 06:29:37
[location “Alabama Hills”, altitude 5100 ft / 1554 m, 48°F / 8°C, USM{8,50,0}, LACA corrected]
NIKON D850 + Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports @ 200mm

[low-res image for bot]
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