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Archive 2012 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review
  
 
texdr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


I was one of those few who decided to purchase this lens the day it was released. I quit using my Canon 100mm macro once it started developing fungus in the lens. Briefly, yes the lens is a little heavy (around 3lbs), it does seem to focus fairly quickly, and it is certainly hand-holdable for me. My main interests with my canon lens is shooting bugs and butterflies around my backyard.

With that said, I'm on the fence about keeping this lens. I'm so used to the big whites that I have an expectation that they will all be like that. Also, I "feel" that my canon macro was sharper, but in fairness I need to pull up some of the old images to compare. I'm also rusty when it comes to taking macro pictures so that might explain why I'm not seeing the great detail that I was expecting.

I'm going to spend a little more time with this lens and get comfortable before deciding whether to return it. If anyone has some good test scenarios I could do to test the quality of this lens compared to say my canon 100mm macro, I would sure love to hear it.

















Aug 06, 2012 at 03:39 AM
vsg28
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


Any of these 1:1?


Aug 06, 2012 at 04:04 AM
texdr
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


No. None 1:1 yet. That will be my next step. These were taken with the lens straight out of the box with no thoughts to anything else really. I didn't even read the manual until 2 days later. Just wanted to get a general feel for the lens


Aug 06, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


For the price and weight this lens needs to be stellar to keep my interest.

To test sharpness put it on a tripod for a start and work from there. This will take most variables out of the testing. Once you are happy with those results then start the hand-held tests. Macro can take a while to get consistently sharp results, but even so if you are doing hand-held work expect a lot of shots to be thrown away.



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:19 AM
vsg28
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


How is the OS quality?


Aug 06, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


All you need is a dollar bill and tripod for comparison-testing the two lenses.

I did not find my Canon 100mm macro to be one iota sharper than my Sigma 180 f3.5.





  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens    180mm    f/8.0    1/1250s    1600 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens    180mm    f/11.0    1/640s    1600 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens    180mm    f/11.0    1/250s    800 ISO    -0.3 EV  



Edited on Aug 06, 2012 at 10:50 PM · View previous versions



Aug 06, 2012 at 07:53 PM
jaybird555
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


I'm also considering purchasing this lens, so I would be curious to find out how it performs, mainly the AF and resolution.


Aug 06, 2012 at 09:31 PM
texdr
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


I have a couple more examples to share. Unfortunately I didn't get home until after sundown, and I could only locate 1 subject on short notice. These were taken about 18.5 inches away from the end of the lens.

I'm still not convinced I love this lens. It appears to focus quickly, I would say comparable to my Canon 100mm, but there's something about the sharpness. It could very well be my skills, or lack thereof, and my lack of practice in taking recent macro shots, and low light from this evening. I'll keep trying to take additional pictures throughout the week and hopefully in better light.

If I can answer any questions about this lens, please feel free to ask. I think Roger over at Lensrentals posted a brief comment about this lens http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/07/imatest-macro-results-with-apologies-to-the-nikon-105-vr-micro. I wonder if he might have some additional comments?
















Edited on Aug 07, 2012 at 01:50 AM · View previous versions



Aug 07, 2012 at 01:38 AM
vsg28
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


Not bad. Are these handheld?


Aug 07, 2012 at 01:44 AM
texdr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


Sadly no. Tripod mounted.


Aug 07, 2012 at 01:45 AM
 

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RCicala
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


Tex and Imagemaster, thank you for posting these. It's an interesting lens, although I've only shot with it a couple of times. I found the OS was excellent but the weight surprised me a bit. Looking at your images I'm wondering if we're going to see copy-to-copy variation in this one. We only got 4 copies so I don't have much of a sample size, but one of them had to go straight back for being decentered. Might just be one of those things too. Most Sigma primes are pretty well built.


Aug 07, 2012 at 02:16 AM
texdr
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


RCicala wrote:
Tex and Imagemaster, thank you for posting these. It's an interesting lens, although I've only shot with it a couple of times. I found the OS was excellent but the weight surprised me a bit. Looking at your images I'm wondering if we're going to see copy-to-copy variation in this one. We only got 4 copies so I don't have much of a sample size, but one of them had to go straight back for being decentered. Might just be one of those things too. Most Sigma primes are pretty well built.


I'm actually happy to read you say that Roger. Some of these pictures of the lizard look bizarre to me. It still could very well be I'm just not used to the 180mm compared to the 100mm, but it's a little comforting to read that it may not be totally my fault.

I'm going to keep shooting through this weekend before I give up. If it does need to be sent back, I'll likely just return the whole thing and wait for my new 500mm II to arrive (yea, I ordered one of those as well:-)



Aug 07, 2012 at 02:28 AM
texdr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


I'm including some pictures from today, heavily cropped so others can see the detail. Perhaps it's just my eyes but I'm not seeing the sharpness and level of detail I was expecting and what I have had with my canon lenses.

Unfortunately, at this point I'm 99.9% sure I will be returning the lens. If others purchase this lens I would love to see some examples for comparison.



















Aug 08, 2012 at 02:32 AM
jaybird555
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


texdr wrote:
I'm including some pictures from today, heavily cropped so others can see the detail. Perhaps it's just my eyes but I'm not seeing the sharpness and level of detail I was expecting and what I have had with my canon lenses.

Unfortunately, at this point I'm 99.9% sure I will be returning the lens. If others purchase this lens I would love to see some examples for comparison.


I agree, I was also considering this lens, looks to me like "it howls" Thanks for the feedback..



Aug 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


One thing I've found out the hard way: if you're shooting 5D III or 1Dx cameras, make sure you turn off Illumination Correction: apparently these cameras read this as a Canon lens that requires a lot of vignetting control and automatically applies it.

I'm guessing Sigma 'borrowed' a Canon lens ID number for the camera to read.









Aug 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM
fraga
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


Wow...

The vignetting is actually in the center...



Aug 09, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Lasse Eriksson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


That looks really strange ?


Aug 10, 2012 at 08:50 AM
RCicala
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


I probably should add the 150mm f/2.8 OS Sigma macro does the same thing. No other Sigma lenses seem to.


Aug 10, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Ralph Conway
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


they "borrowed" an ID number. Roger, you made my day ...


Aug 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Michael Gordon
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sigma 180mm f2.8 Macro Alpha Review


I wonder if AF accuracy is the problem. The Sigi 50/1.4's are well noted for
sample variation with that. The resolution numbers if not absolutely quite as stellar
as the sigi 150 macro look to be excellent. I wonder if Microadjust AFwould result in different opinion of the images? I really wanted this lens to be a winner. Canon has a patent on a new 180/2.8 macro but who knows how long if will be before it actually appears.
Thinking out loud,
Mike



Aug 22, 2012 at 08:26 PM
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