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Thread: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

  1. #1

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    New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    The Sigma 180 mm macro lens has been hard to find recently; and this might be the reason why http://www.photographyblog.com/news/..._ex_dg_os_hsm/

    A new 2.8 version just launched.

    Although no indication of price yet.

    Certainly something to consider for the really keen macro shooter.

    My F3.5 version has served me well, so hopefully, I won't be purchasing this new model too soon.

    One of the big drawbacks with the previous version was a rather slow and erratic auto focus, although many macro photographers prefer to focus manually.

    The new entrant is supposed to be much faster and more positive in focus.

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Ooooh - it has OS. If I'm not mistaken, that's the first macro lens longer than 100 or 105mm to come with any kind of stabilization. I'd expect a price tag of around $1500-$1800 for that puppy.

    - Bill

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    No, the new 105 and 150 also have OS.

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    I'm looking forward to seeing this one. The equivalent Canon requires some surgery on one or two of my limbs.

    And if it performs like the 150 OS version, I'll be quite pleased:

    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...8oseos?start=1

    AND - the Canon Extenders work with it too.

    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...8oseos?start=2

    Great find Geoff - I'll be watching for it.

    Glenn

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Although I've posted my first e-mail as a new member elsewhere, I'm interested in hearing views on the Sigma 150-500mm zoom telephoto lens.

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    I'm intrigued by the OS. As I understand it, most OS systems adjust for angular motion and are therefore next to useless at macro distances. Canon's hybrid IS, which I think they have only in the 100L, also adjusts for motion parallel to the sensor, which is a big deal in macro work. I have one of those, and I find it gives me about 1.5 or maybe 2 stops at minimum focusing distance, vs. perhaps 4 stops at distance.

    However, photozone's review of the Sigma 150 says:

    As already mentioned there's one differentiator over the old model - OS (Optical Image Stabilization). Sigma claims an efficiency of up to 4 f-stops. This seems about right for non-macro scenes. However, it seemed more like a 2 f-stops improvement for macro work.
    Do they mean macro work that is not at minimum focusing distance, or is the sigma OS comparable to the Canon hybrid IS?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    I don't do a lot of macro work, although I am playing with a borrowed macro lens right now (105mm Nikkor).

    Image stabilization (IS) and macro somehow don't seem to go together. I've been shooting with a tripod and cable release, so if a lens has IS, I would turn it of. The same thing with autofocus, I find I have to manually focus because the camera just keeps getting it wrong. I find I need the tripod for composition and focusing accuracy.

    I'm guessing IS must be there for non-macro shots?

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    I'm guessing IS must be there for non-macro shots?
    That would be my guess.

    Hybrid IS is some use, e.g, when doing handheld bug shots in bright light (hence no flash to freeze motion).

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Hmmmm, tempting, but probably going to be (too far) beyond my limit of 1k per lens

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Acorn - any first name?

    You mention the Sigma 150 - 500 lens. I have this lens, as well as the old 180 mm macro lens.

    I find the 150 - 500 to be an excellent piece of equipment for the price; but subject to a few limitations.

    For me, it is a 'good light lens' and works best in the F8 to F11 range, although fully open can still produce good results.

    The autofocus is usually positive if there is a bit of contrast in the target but it is a bit on the slow side to focus. Although this occurs in other larger 'budget priced' zooms.

    The OS stabilisation works well and I have often been surprised by the quality of hand held shots, providing the shutter speed is reasonably high, say 1/400 or faster. However, it is always best on a tripod, as you would expect for a lens of this size.

    Some of the earlier lenses had production quality problems but this appears to have been sorted now.

    Choosing between this lens and other options is a bit difficult. You don't say which brand of camera.

    The Sigma 50-500 is also well liked and there is a newer version which has OS, but at a price. I was also tempted by the Canon 100-400 and their 400 prime lens. But these need a 1.4x converter if you want to get to 500 mm so I decided to go for a lens which had this capability already built in.

    The 400 lens plus converter is popular with bird photographers but I was put off by the rather long minimum focusing length, which I think is around 11 ft. And, of course, the lack of zoom for general purpose use.

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Thanks, Geoff, for your response. My name's actually Barry, but I always use the pen name of Acorn. I'm presently using a bridge camera, but having always previously used Nikons as a former film photographer, I'm heading in the direction of the Nikon D7000. One of my interests is wildlife photography, principally birds. My budget does not run to ultra-expensive lenses and so the Sigma 150-500 appeals. Most of the verbal reports I've received would seem to support the view that the Sigma will achieve decent images although I've not seen many images at 500mm focal length. What I have seen suggests that it would be a good choice.

  12. #12

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I'm guessing IS must be there for non-macro shots?
    IS does not work too well on macro lenses at close to 1:1 reproduction, just as neither does AF. There is in fact another solution to closeup work that often works better, and that is a telezoom with a closeup lens. Canon makes two of those closeup lenses that are achromatic, and they both work very well with their 55-250 zoom lens. At 250 mm focal length with the 250 mm (+4 diopters) achromatic closeup lens, it gets to 1:1 reproduction with IS fully operational as well as AF for fine tuning focus. Image quality is comparable to macro lenses, as long as you take nature objects that are neither flat, nor need rectilinear reproduction. The optical errors with an achromatic closeup lens are mainly coma and curvature of field, both reasonably small.

    The clue is that the telezoom lens with the closeup lens attached works at a distance setting close to infinity, which is what the IS is primarily made for. With the narrow angle of a telezoom, only the central part of what's in front of the lens is used, so the sharpness falloff at corners is very small. It is however unsuitable for reproduction of flat objects as stamps, that need rectilinear reproduction and flat field of focus. But for flowers and bugs it works splendidly.

  13. #13

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    Apparently, the new 180 mm macro will be available in the USA in about a week with a UK launch date sometime later.

    UK prices are expected to start around 1,500 but hopefully that will soon drop to somewhere around 1,200 if you shop around.

    Information on the lens here http://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/lens...ro/180mmOS.htm

  14. #14

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    Re: New Sigma 180 mm Macro Lens

    I read somewhere that it will be USD1699.

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