Anyways, I was able to go airside again, this time with my new lens I just bought to begin astro/landscape photography. I figured it would give me more flexibility than the 45 prime.
N311GT DHL Boeing 737-4K5(SF) MSN 26316 LN 2711 KBDL-KCVG via KROC
Shot on D7500 + Sigma 18-35 mm f/1.8 HSM Art
I’m really awful at panning but here’s an attempt at 1/10. The key word is attempt [f/1.8 1/10 ISO2500 @ 35 mm].
Sitting pretty with all of the unloading equipment attached [f/13 20’ ISO250 @ 35 mm].
I brought ten liters of water with me to dump on the ground to create a reflection shot, but conveniently there was this puddle sitting there already, so I didn’t even needed to use it [f/13 20’ ISO250 @ 22 mm].
Here she is up close [f/13 20’ ISO200 @ 18 mm].
No winglets on the 737-400 [f/10 30’ ISO200 @ 18 mm]
Right under the nose - only possible with the help of 18 mm [f/8 30’ ISO200 @ 18 mm]
Saving the best for last - I’m so impressed with the starbursts this lens produces [f/11 15’ ISO250 @ 35 mm].
And if you’re wondering why there weren’t more obstruction free shots, the cargo door stays open from the second the beacon turns off to the second it turns back on. They turn this thing around like no tomorrow.
Next objective: somehow grab the Polar Air Cargo 767-300(ER)(F) which likes to visit randomly at 3 am.
18-35 mm First Impressions
Prefacing this by saying that around an hour of shooting only long exposures with a lens is not enough to make a fully educated review.
I love this lens. First thing I noticed was the build quality. I feel like I could throw it at a wall and it’d be perfectly fine. It’s weighty and feels ergonomically sound. The zoom ring is nicely weighted and you can turn it with your fingers which is a refreshing break from my 100-400 mm which requires arm gymnastics to zoom. As a Nikon shooter, the zoom ring turns the “wrong” way, but I don’t mind it because the zoom ring is so light.
Obviously, having f/1.8 across the whole zoom range is super helpful and definitely a key selling point of this lens. It’s hard to tell in my pan, but in other images I took at f/1.8 it seemed pretty sharp which is always a great sign and was something I often had issues with on my 45 mm f/1.8.
Stopped down, I think the 45 mm f/1.8 is sharper but zooms will always tend to be less sharp than primes, and I haven’t calibrated this new one yet. Sharpness is quite good through the range regardless.
The starburst capability of this lens is unreal. Stopped down, it delivers some very, very defined starbursts in a way that the 45 mm f/1.8 couldn’t.
It seems to be mostly fringing free, which was definitely a weakness of the 45 mm f/1.8, that lens fringed like no tomorrow.
Some image stabilization could’ve been useful but I’m probably going to use this lens on a tripod most of the time so it doesn’t really matter to me.
Overall, super happy with my purchase. I would totally pay its MSRP of $799 and probably still say it’s worth it. However, I didn’t pay $799, I paid $580, which makes this an absolute steal in my opinion. That’s just $80 more than the other lens I was considering, the Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 and it offers a better build and a wider aperture.