It’s a Crowded and Full Frame Cars & Coffee

by | Jun 18, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Right now in Douglas County, Colorado, we are in Level 2: “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors,” which may be why attendance for the first Vehicle Vault Cars & Coffee event since the health crises began was at record levels. Hundreds of people showed up for the show and the parking lot was packed with so many interesting cars that there was no more room. Instead cars circled the space in what eventually became a rolling show as new vehicles joined the parade and others dropped out. To capture some of these images, I brought along a Panasonic Lumix S1R and Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens.

How I made this shot: The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens will focus as close as 11-inches and I was in that neighborhood from the (optional) glass hood ornament that was sported by a Rolls Royce convertible. The lens was at 24mm and the S1R’s Program mode exposure was 1/2000 sec at f/10 and ISO 320. The image was cropped slightly in post production.

The variety of the cars in attendance was typical for the Vehicle Vault’s Cars & Coffee and that’s what made this a standout event. A four-door (suicide doors) Rolls Royce convertible with an illuminated glass Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament was cheek-by-jowl with a Hummer H1 that had the biggest, baddest bush buster that I’d ever seen.

How I made this shot: The Sigma 4-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens was shot at 24mm; are you sensing a theme here? The Program mode exposure was 1/400 sec at f/5 and ISO 320. The image was not cropped in post production but it seemed to demand to be rendered in black and white, so I used Silver Efex Pro to make it a monochrome photo, with just a hit of Coffee toning.

But the reason that you tuned in today was to see how well Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens performed under these circumstances. The short answer was that it was everything I expected based on my field test. The 14mm focal length and 11-inch close focusing capabilities seems ideal for shooting at crowded car shows like this one but in examining all of the images I made, it seems that 80% of them were made at focal lengths greater than 20mm, which goes to show that even more important than the widest focal length was the lens’s ability to zoom.

How I made this shot: The Sigma 4-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens and shot at 19mm. The Program mode exposure was 1/800 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 320. The image was not cropped in post production but I used Color Efex Pro’s Sunshine filter to enhance the colors and mood.

The above image puts one of the challenges of shooting cars at this event; you have to struggle to avoid getting your own shadow in the shot. Mine is on the bottom left-hand corner and was the best that I could could do to get this shot.

One thing to keep in mind that the physical geographic location of the Vehicle Vault’s parking lot and the time of day these events are held is not the best as far as lighting is concerned and that pretty much holds true whatever time of year these events are held. It’s similar to the First and Main events in Colorado Springs although because that event starts earlier in the day, the first hour has great light but it quickly becomes too contrasty, at least for my taste when photographing cars. So while the Sigma 4-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens provided itself to be a noble ally when shooting cars at the event, lighting will always be a challenge.

And just like that, we’re back to our Mirrorless Month theme…

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