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The single-focal length lens: hassle or helpful?

Some say that single-focal length lenses are tricky to use, and too much hassle. Would you agree? There was a time when they were standard. But when high-performance zoom-lenses appeared on the scene, single-focal length lenses were nudged out of their mainstream position and relegated to the sidelines, where they have remained for many a year. No wonder most people think of them as a niche product.

Sure, when you have to shoot from just one spot, with no physical room to move, a high-magnification zoom lens, covering the range from wide-angle to telephoto, is the height of convenience. And conversely, when your single-focal length lens has the wrong field angle for the situation, you might not get the ideal shot.

Nevertheless, despite this “inconvenience”, many amateur photographers still love single-focal length lenses. They keep taking great pictures with them. Of course, in wide-aperture lenses of F2 and over, or telephoto/super-wide-angle lenses, or macro or fisheye lenses, the single-focus option gives the best overall balance. But that's not the only reason.

A lens that takes you back to basics.

Using a single-focus lens makes you pay attention to the basics of photography. Sigma believes that taking a photo should always be a fully conscious, personal act. Choosing the subject. Finding the best angle. Framing the shot in the best way possible. Considering the light and shadow falling on the subject. Taking the colors in account. These are all elements of photography. In our view, it's only by making these choices for yourself that you can relate to your subject and your photo in your own uniquely personal way.

These are the very shots that end up being your best-ever pictures. Your emotionally-charged masterpieces. The ones that resonate with everyone who sees them. Sure, you would go through the same basic process if you were using a zoom lens.

But with a zoom lens, you can get the perfect field angle with a single twist of the zoom ring. Creatively speaking, that makes it harder to get into the “zone”. We're not knocking zoom lenses. Once you understand how convenient they are, you can go all-out and take full advantage of the benefits they offer. But just remember, their very convenience can diminish some of the most fascinating and crucial aspects of photography.

Less is more.

With a single-focal length lenses, there's no convenient zoom function. You have to “zoom with your legs”, and frame the shot yourself. Remember our conviction that it should be you, not the camera, who takes the picture. We think this effort is all part of the art. Using a zoom lens is like painting by numbers. A single-focal length lenses. gets you physically moving, forces you to frame your own shot, opens your eyes to unexpected beauty. It makes taking pictures more fun. It engages your creativity more fully. Like the saying goes, less is more. Single-focal length lenses. can be a challenge, but it's no drawback.

Are you looking for a camera that brings out the artist in you? That would be the DP2.
What could you do with a Sigma DP2?

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