Who doesn’t know him? Pippi Longstocking’s Mr. Nilsson. Mr. Nilsson was played by a squirrel monkey, a tender little primate you can normally find in large groups in the warm regions of Central and South America. Well – my present financial situation doesn’t allow me to travel to a Latin American summer but it was good enough to visit the zoo in town.
Not only my desire for some fresh air, some wonderful company and my wish not to feel the cold despite a stroll through the gray winter motivated me for this little trip but also the new addition to my collection of lenses – the SIGMA 50-100 f/1.8 DC HSM. This top lens comes from the Art series and has been developed for APS-C cameras. It covers a medium Tele range and convinces me with its open aperture of 1.8 for the complete focal length area. As you can imagine it is perfect for photo tours like a visit in the zoo. Thanks to its long focal length you can even zoom wild cats like cheetahs very close.
Besides all this, in a zoo like the one I visited you will experience all kinds of different conditions: some animals will just hang around the outdoor enclosures, others dive underwater while the penguins and the monkeys, spoilt by the warm climate, can be found in their houses behind glass walls in temperatures they like most.
Even here the lights vary a lot. Ranging from heat lamps to natural daylight shining through big windows and cold lamps above the floes of the penguins you will encounter many different light conditions. In the Tropical House, on the other hand, it was rather dark so the big aperture helped me a lot and I didn’t have to counterbalance with a high ISO value, which increased the quality of the pictures enormously in comparison to less intense optical devices.
However, as you may imagine, this lens is very big and heavy, which often made it a little bit hard to act very quickly in order to capture the perfect moment immediately. Despite this little disadvantage carrying the lens paid off a hundred times as now I’m very happy with the photos of the animals in the zoo. Taking photos in this quality wouldn’t have worked out with my previous lenses.
By the way, you’ll soon get to read some more technical information on this lens including a review and sample photos.