I loved photographing in the Kleberg Theater. It's a smaller space and during rehearsals I could walk right up to the edge of the stage to photograph. It made the images feel so much more intimate than making images in a larger auditorium, with a very separated space between the audience and the stage. Things get better = bigger, nicer space for an audience. Things get worse= in a bigger venue you lose the intimacy. That's just the way compromise works...
A few notes about the D2X. I was frightened to ever use the camera above ISO 800 and felt, at the time, that even 640 was a stretch. Now I don't care about noise in an image as much, as long as it's some monochromatic luminance noise and not the sparkly color sprinkles of chromatic noise.
The camera body itself was very luxe, with a nice, clean finder image, lots of well thought out physical controls and absolutely great battery life. At some point in 2017 I got nostalgic for that camera and bought one again for less than $400. When I bought the first one brand new it was a bit over $5000. From the point of view of an investor in actual machinery I'd say it was a disastrous investment. As a maker of images for licensing and sale I would say that it was a shrewd investment that returned many, many times its purchase price over the course of two or three years. Two very different ways to look at buying and using cameras....
I read, with amusement, nearly a dozen breathless reviews yesterday.....of a single focal length lens. Mercy, the bloggers and v-loggers have run out of stuff to talk about.
There were four "articles" and one long video review of the "new" Sigma 35mm Art lens on DP Review alone. An unexciting new version of a classic. Can't imagine they couldn't have compressed all the sloppy information into one cogent article but I guess they need the "gray space" to fill the void. Gerald Undone, usually a favorite tech-leaning, video reviewer with great info spent about 12 minutes of YouTube "airtime" picking microscopic nits off the lens with analytical tweezers, and then the usual slow-witted crew on the rest of YouTube did their usual five minutes of b-roll video; fast cuts picking up their laundry, complaining about their lives, and gushing about how cool it is to be "an online edjukator" all set to the unguent melodies of over-used, quasi rock, stock music, before finally getting around to their own distinctly unscientific and highly subjective ramblings about the lens. All of this presented in a "Might this be the lens to change the WORLD???" gush-fest delivered in mostly center-framed, lifeless, video narrative.
It's almost as if Sigma had courier services all around the camera buying world ready to deliver hundreds and hundreds of copies of the new lens to "influencers", all those "creators" who seemed to be in a content production lull until this particular product arrived. None of them, as far as I can see, have had more than a day or two to work with the lens, or much chance to take in-depth test photographs before rushing to their keyboards and selfie-cams in order to post mostly drivel. And stuff regurgitated from the sites they aspire to compete with.
At least Gerald did his research, found something to dislike about the lens and then polished up his dissonance into many minutes of grousing that the lens wasn't quite razor sharp when used at f1.4 combined with the closest focusing distance. The legions of lesser V-loggers rushed to adapt his reference and research about this shortcoming into full-on spasms of dismay. But as far as I can tell few or none of the "reviewers" actually used the lens to make photographs in their own inimitable styles. Such a tragedy. So much lost potential.
From the vomitting rush of "reviews", all arriving simultaneously on the first day after the embargo lifted, like ever-falling dominos, one would conjecture that the world at large has been waiting breathlessly for someone, anyone! to deliver a usable 35mm lens. Almost as if we've been wandering in a lensless desert for too long and this was our first oasis of wide angle joy to come along in quite a while. It's....embarrassing.
I can forgive Gerald Undone. At least he provided samples, tests and comparisons. The rest provided... self indulgent video footage. And affiliate links galore. Gerald's usual fare is great. But the rest? Ah well.
Not to be left out of the scrum I'll add my mini-review.
I've never used the lens. It's slightly smaller than the last version. It has two more controls, which I will probably never use, on the barrel. It's slightly though not appreciably lighter that the last version. It's cheaper than the same kind of lens with the same specs from other manufacturers of note. It comes in a white box which has type on it. For now it's only available in L mount and E mount. It's $895.
My take: If you have a 35mm lens you like (and who doesn't?) then you probably won't get any additional utility out of the this one. If you want this style of lens you might be able to find the optically better, older version for a bit more than half the price out on the used market (more arriving quickly!). You will find both to be too big and too heavy for many uses. Neither are optimal "travel" lenses.
You probably have this focal length well covered with various zoom lenses you own and likely won't see a shred of difference at f5.6. You will shoot once or twice at f1.4 before realizing that it's an odd focal length to shoot at f1.4 and that getting interesting images with that f-stop and focal length is....always challenging and only sometimes vaguely rewarding.
"Okay. I think we're done here....."
added note: Do you think it will eventually dawn on reviewers and product manufacturers that they are putting all their marketing eggs in a "one day" or "one week" basket and that spreading out access to test products might help spread out the media coverage over time? And that might give their products a longer shelf life? A longer tail? And do reviewers understand how transparent their reliance on advertiser links becomes when everyone rushes to review the same product in the same way at the same time? Maybe that the group onslaught, the mosh pit of reviews, degrades their credibility? Ah well. Maybe there's site for marketing that everyone overlooked.