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Thread: Blown Highlights on Ultra-Wide Lenses

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Blown Highlights on Ultra-Wide Lenses

    I bought a Sigma 10-22mm and received it a little over 24 hours ago. The increased perspective and the DOF are just fantastic and I can't wait to give it a run in the real world. However, my first test shots have resulted in blown out highlights. Even with shots indoors, an open door or window or overhead light will blink to say that it is blown out.

    My question is, is this typical of ultra-wide lenses because of the lens writing cheques that the sensor can't cash, or am I doing something wrong? I understand how to take and process HDR shots (although I only just thought about using the in-camera HDR function - doh!). Maybe I just need to wait for the Golden Hour when the contrast is lessened. Graduated filters seem so old school but if that is what it takes, I am happy to have a crack.

    I just would love to take some landscape photos with this lens like some of the brilliant landscape shots that I see on this site. So, do I need to bracket shots with this lens or can I do single shots without filters.

    Any and all advice welcomed. Cheers.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    OK, Sigma 10-20 (not 22). What are your camera settings for reading the exposure?
    For the blinking light (?in the camera), check your camera settings. You may be able to switch it off.
    Else, post up a pic with blown hilights and EXIF intact so we can check it out. It's NOT a lens issue as such,
    unless there's some vague setting in the lens set to "Scare Hawthy = ON". (I have never come across any such lens setting.)

    I guess it's your camera responding to the odd stray bright light in the wider (than you may have been used to) field of view.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Thanks AM. I know it is an end-user issue rather than a hardware issue. I guess that I just wanted to draw on others' experiences with wide angle lenses and how they handle the contrast issues. HDR versus Filters, etc.

    Members here take sensational images using this type of lens and I want to see if I simply need to get up earlier or if a lazy bloke like me can employ some work around.

    I think that I already know the answer, but this forum never ceases to surprise me.
    Andrew




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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I've got the 8-16 in this brand, and I it very much for its general clarity.
    It does have a bit of barrel distortion (not excessive, but noticeable) at the 8mm end.
    What's worse is the (what I call) linear distortion there, where objects nearer the edges of the image
    appear stretched.

    OPS (Oh, PS): 4-got to add. This is what you get with "rectilinear" projection lenses, which yours also is.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 30-10-2014 at 9:46pm.

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Being the owner of a couple of wide angle lenses, I have to say I use different approaches at different times. I generally find that blown highlights are harder to recover than dark shadows, so often when shooting landscapes, I will underexpose slightly just to make sure I can pull back the highlights in PP. Other times I will bracket and blend exposures (either in HDR software or luminosity masks).

    I don't own any graduated filters, although I've definitely been in many situations where they would have come in handy. I do have plain old ND filters and CPL filters though. IMO it's a fair bit of extra effort to stuff around with filters, so you've got to be pretty keen on the idea - but the results can be great for sure.
    My name is John.
    www.jrfraser.com



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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Thames guys. So, blending exposures seems the way to go. Cheers.

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    Post images with full exif info if you want real answers. Compare with other lenses at the same scene.

    Blown-out highlights are not typical for the lens, but highlights will typically occupy a smaller part of the scene than you're used to (usually resulting in lower EV-measurements and thus increased exposure values).
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    If you use an ultra wide angle lens then you are much more likely to include bright areas. You have a choice - either try to get that perfect light where nothing is overexposed, or try to fix it with HDR, or fiddling with photoshop, or both. The very best results will come from the perfect light, but sometimes we want to fix the imperfect.
    Last edited by Steve Axford; 31-10-2014 at 9:32pm.

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