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Lens of a Lifetime Winner • Betsy Botsford

Monument Valley, USA • Nikon D3400, Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX, f/6.3, 1/125sec, ISO 100
I began shooting when I was at college, on film, and made the transition to digital in 2014 after I finished my degree. I love how light changes a landscape and enjoy bringing home images to share with friends
Betsy Botsford

Which lens has changed your life and why?
The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX. The fixed aperture made all the difference in my control of depth of field and the focus is clean and easy to get sharp.

How long have you been shooting with it?
I purchased the lens in December 2016. Up to that point I had just used the Nikon kit lens and felt frustrated every time I went shooting. I came home from the camera store with the Sigma, photographed a bunch of my Christmas ornaments and had a great time with depth of field. I felt like a photographer again. I was in control and using my skills.

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What drew you to that lens initially?
At the time, I had just finished my doctorate degree and was drowning in student debt. What drew me to the lens was the fixed aperture at a reasonable price. It was recommended by my local camera store and suited my budget.

Has this lens lived up to or exceeded your expectations?
This lens exceeded all my expectations, especially for the price, and is still the lens I use first, despite now having more money and more expensive lenses in my kit. Photography feels easy with this lens. I don't struggle with focus, or with sharpness. It just works so well.

What advice would you give to other photographers considering this lens?
I would say buy it. If you shoot with a cropped sensor camera and are looking for a lens that can go wide, can zoom and is easy and beautiful to use, this is the one. I use it almost every time. And I am pleased every time.

What is your future lens purchase?
I've got my eye on the Sigma 70-200mm and the Sigma 24-105mm. I would also like to try the Sigma macro lenses but haven't decided on one yet to buy. They all look like fun.

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