Feature Photograph

Sanctuary of Truth

This week's feature photograph was captured at the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya.  This photograph is significant for several reasons.  First, construction on the SOT is never ending and on the far right of this photograph you can see the small newest addition.  Second, the light and time of day for this capture were just about perfect, allowing the details of the SOT to contrast nicely with the blue sky and warm sand.  Third, the lens used for this capture is one of the cheapest ultra-wide angle primes, the Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG which can be shopped for around $250.00 USD if you’re patient.

What, a 20mm F1.8 lens for $250!!!  How can that be?  How good can it be?  I love wide angle lenses and I’ve got a bunch of them, from the most expensive to the most obscure.  This is my cheapest and truth be told lowest regarded lens of them all, and I haven’t had the chance to give it a really good test until now.  During a workshop last week I mounted this lens on my Canon 1ds Mark II and gave it a workout.

Sanctuary of Truth

I’m pleased to report that this is perhaps the sharpest most contrasty 20mm focal length I have out of all my wide angle lenses!  It’s also the fastest with it’s F1.8 aperture.  Looking at the images I took that day I can’t believe the sharpness and contrast present in the images.  More, even the interior shots at F1.8 - F2 allowed me to shoot at ISO 100 handheld and returned some really sharp images even wide open!  I’m impressed.  Its small size and weight will allow this lens to become a regular part of my travel bag, a perfect lens for wide angle shots inside temples where it’s dark and it more than holds its own against the competition stopped down for outdoor photography.  Every now and then you come across an unexpected diamond in the rough.

Sanctuary of Truth

Above you can see a reduced size crop from the second image.  It was reduced in size 100% from the original crop but still exhibits great sharpness and contrast.

Look for more images captured with this lens in next week's Outing section.  I have some really fun interior shots of the SOT to share.