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Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

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Reviews Views Date of last review
42 157612 Sep 19, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $234.36
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.21
9.48
9.1
05_02_1_

Specifications:
To maintain high optical performance from infinity to close-up 1:1 (life-size) macro photos without accessories, the new Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX incorporates a "floating" element focusing system.

Designed as a quick-focusing macro lens the AF speed of 50mm, f2.8 EX Macro is 1.4 times faster than previous 50mm f2.8 macros. It features a non-rotating front lens group which makes it easier to work with polarizing filters and has a focus limiter (eg. Full Range; - 9.8 in.; 9.1 in. - 7.4 in.). The Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX Macro lens also features the new deluxe EX external finish.

A handy screw type metal sunshade makes it easier to rotate
a polarizing filter.


 


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nickjohnson
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Registered: Sep 15, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 750
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: price / performance / build very good
Cons:
IQ lacks subtlety the look is a little heavy handed

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX
Comment
I got this to replace the 50 f1.8 mkII that I broke. I wanted a Cannon 50 macro but these where unobtainable for over 6 months in the UK so I got the Sigma instead. I use the lens as a light, fixed FL walk around. It has done that job very well.

The IQ is generally good to very good. However .. all my Canon lenses have a family look . a light delicacy of touch a subtle glow. In comparison this Sigma looks more immediately impressive high impact..... but unsubtle and ponderous or heavy handed.


Sep 19, 2009
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fairtex
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Registered: Jun 28, 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 65
Review Date: Jul 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharpness, IQ, 1:1
Cons:
slow and noisy AF, hood

I cannot add a lot to previews comments, just emphazise some points already mentioned:

This lens is very sharp indeed even at F 2.8. In fact, it's as sharp as some of Canon's L-zoom lenses. The 1:1 macro ability is very nice, although I find the focal length a bit awkward for insects or other small animals. But this lens is perfect for flowers, landscapes or even portraits - my favourite walk-around lens.

The only disadvantage is the autofocus, which - especially when close-focusing - is slow, loud and noisy and the hood-design (you can neither close the lens cap nor add a filter with the cap mounted due to an internal hood-threading.

Very sharp walk-around and macro lens for a very decent price.


Jul 5, 2009
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six66
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Registered: Mar 1, 2008
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: price & sharpness
Cons:
slow focusing in low light

i needed a macro lens and i found one in good shape and price. tested it for a while, paid my dues and went home a happy man.

this lens is all about sharpness .. only wish it had HSM as it tends to hunt in bad lighting.

for the price i paid its a steal.


Feb 3, 2009
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drongo92
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Registered: Aug 19, 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp, nice Bokeh, 1:1 Macro
Cons:
Some hunting in low light, lens hood / lens cap

I use this very nice lens on a 30D. Very sharp. I needed a macro lens, but I use this lens often for portrait and indoor shooting.

Feb 16, 2008
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LiquidKernel
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Registered: Jun 11, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 87
Review Date: Dec 29, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $250.00

Pros: Razor Sharp, Build Quality, Price, 1:1 Macro
Cons:
No HSM, Hunts In Low Light

One of the sharpest lenses I've worked with; razor sharp, even wide-open. Solid construction and a great finish. Sometimes hunts in low light, the limiter helps a bit, but I typically have it off. Optical quality is amazing, very good color saturation (makes it superb for macros) and also makes it good as a portrait lens.

Dec 29, 2007
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ShaneEngelking
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Registered: Dec 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2005
Review Date: Nov 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp at apertures, great colors, great macro capabilities, cheap. APS sensor means beyond 1:1 macro.
Cons:
AF slow in low light, searches. not as fast as i would like a prime to be. To achieve 1:1 you have to be REALLY close to your subject.

This lens is clinically sharp at f/4 and beyond and pretty good wide open too. I have gotten some really stunning pictures with this lens. It's images have a different feel than a Canon lens, but it is not a bad thing. They seem more scientific, for lack of a better word. All in all i really like the lens. If you don't have the special macro flash, i have found using an off shoe cord with an ettl and a diffuser to work pretty good. Worst part about the macro is that you have to be extremely close, like 2 inches away, to get full macro effect, but it is a great lens for doing ebay work and shooting insects in the garden and the occasional friendly butterfly, and a decent portrait lens on a crop sensor camera. I really wish it was a stop faster, i would use it a lot more then as a standard lens on a full frame. But over all, for what i paid for it, a heck of a good lens.

Nov 26, 2007
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martsmith42
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Registered: Feb 25, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 300
Review Date: Oct 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, very sharp, well built
Cons:
noisy af.

I bought this for a job to photograph food for a new restaurant and I have been amazed at the quality of the pictures. Sharp at f2.8 and even more so past f3.5. The 1:1 aspect is great, although a tripod is needed for best results once you get really close. Overall a great lens to get into macro photography.

Oct 7, 2007
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Peter K
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Registered: Sep 12, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent 1:1 macro capability with superior image quality. solidly built. inexpensive.
Cons:
some focus hunting. noisy compared to canon ultrasonics. lens cap & hood incompatiblity.

This was the first lens I bought and it is now my baseline for comparing other lenses. I've been highly spoiled by the image quality and now have a real hard time using non-primes.

People have done a great reviewing this lens, so I won't rehash other than a couple points. First, this one of the only 50mm macros around that do 1:1 macro -- Canon's does not unless the converter is attached (along with an additional cost). You can now get the EF-S 60mm but it will cost you $175 more. What you get for this lense far surpasses its $200 price tag.

If you are used to USM or HSM, you will find this lens noisy. I don't use autofocus for macros anyway, so it's not an issue.


Jul 26, 2007
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radiodenver
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Registered: Apr 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 490
Review Date: Jul 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $235.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, inexpensive
Cons:
none

For the money, you can't get a better 50mm prime lens. It is solid, great sharpness, focus speed is fast, and distortion is almost nothing. I've been using this lens on my 5D and 1DsMKII and I use it more than my L lenses. On the 1DsMKII, normal landscape shots come out with critical sharpness and I've been getting prints up to 44 inches that look incredible. Can't do that with a zoom lens! If you need a 50mm prime, this is one to consider.

Jul 21, 2007
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Ron Fischer
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Registered: Jul 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 2, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Very sharp, great bokeh, good build quality, awesome IQ
Cons:
Hunting in low light

THIS IS MY SECOND REVIEW OF THIS LENS. I have had it now for one and a half years. I have used it on the Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT) and for the past six months with the full frame Canon 5D. I continue to be impressed with the IQ of this lens. I haven't noticed any decrease in quality from the crop sensor digital (350D) to the full frame (5D). For the price, I think this is one of the best 1:1 macro lenses on the market, and serves very well as a walk around lens, especially on the full frame Canon 5D. For some examples of what this lens can do on the Canon 5D see the following:

1. Water drop: http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=3332758&catID=&style=&rowNumber=104&memberID=125176

2. Landscape: http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=3900847&catID=&style=&rowNumber=7&memberID=125176

3. Butterfly wing: http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=3949234&catID=&style=&rowNumber=1&memberID=125176


Jun 2, 2007
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Fred Lindsey
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Registered: May 25, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 852
Review Date: May 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Inexpensive, Well built compared to non-EX lenses, compact, 1:1 Macro
Cons:
Unable to attach lens hood with lens cap, AF could be faster

Ive had this lens for my sony alpha for a while now and to be honest the results I get from it are truly astounding for the price. The lens has a focus limiter as well which comes in handy when travelling to ensure that AF is quicker. I think this lens is the cheapest dedicated macro lens on the market. However price isn't everything and I would have been willing to spend a lot more for the performance this lens gives.

This lens can't be used with sigma teleconverters however although If someone put a kenko 3x Pro 300 Dg converter on it along with a set of extension tubes It would be unbelievable the macro ratio that would come out.
If anyone has this setup could you send me a sample image at MFD.

I would recommend this lens very highly


May 25, 2007
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Erez Katz
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Registered: Nov 9, 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb optics: Sharpness, Contrast, Color, Bokeh. Focus is very accurate (though slow). Price
Cons:
Slow AF - I find it perfect otherwise

I took down one point because it doesn't have HSM(and I actually feel guilty for doing so)

This is an incredible lens.
I also have the Sigma 150 for longer reach and other perks.
Optically this one is just as good if not a tiny bit sharper.

I use this lens as a workaround with macro option, portrait (too sharp actually for people faces) or when I want to get closer to the subject (the 150 has a 40cm minimal distance, and sometimes it is easier to get a better angle when you can get closer).

Here are a few pictures I took recently with this lens:
http://www.pbase.com/katzer/image/77263567
http://www.pbase.com/katzer/image/77263565
http://www.pbase.com/katzer/image/74290345
http://www.pbase.com/katzer/image/77263569

I cannot recommend this lens enough.

Erez Katz
http://www.pbase.com/katzer/




Apr 16, 2007
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W Billingham
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Registered: Apr 1, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, Built in Macro very handy, built like a tank
Cons:
no HSM makes AF noisey, can't use the lens cap with the hood on

Over all this is a great lens. On my 30D this works like an 85mm which was one of my favorite primes on 35mm film. It is built like a tank and works very well.

I really wish that Sigma made this with HSM but that is a minor issue. While you can hear the AF motor it is not all that loud.

The biggest con is that you can not use the regular lenscap if you have the hood on. I figured out a great workaround however. The front of the included metal hood is treaded, so I just got a screw on lens cap and it works great.


Apr 2, 2007
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nivenu
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Registered: Jul 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jan 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp! Excellent contrast and colors. Bokeh is super. Macro is the best I've used at this focal length
Cons:
Finish is not to my liking,

Can fully recommend this lens in all aspects. I am thrilled be the quality it produces at macro. A worthwhile addition to anybodies kit.



Jan 18, 2007
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njandl
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Registered: Aug 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 231
Review Date: Jan 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp, wonderful bokeh, well-constructed despite extending element. Metal lens hood. Cheap!
Cons:
Slow AF, distance to subject at 1:1 is very close. Makes most other lenses seem soft in comparison.

My first macro, and a great one. Beautiful results, especially at macro distances, but also for standard shots. My only real complaint is the AF, but honestly, in good light, it's fine. And like many photographers, I prefer MF in macro situations most of the time. Hard to find a better bargain than this.

Jan 12, 2007
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bobbybrown
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Registered: Dec 12, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Sep 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: f2.8. adequately sharp, very useful 1" focus, good build, useful close focusing lock to stop the lense hunting too much, light.
Cons:
despite a wider f-stop would be useful in very dark situations, extending lense, limited focusing steps outside macro range, hunts a bit in mildly dark environments. a tiny bit expensive when compared to Canon f1.8 and f1.4.

If you love macro photography this is one of 2 or 3 lense you need. Get another Tamron 180mm f2.8 and you're sorted. Its not so sharp when wide open so you may want to sharpen up in post.

Sep 25, 2006
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Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
42 157612 Sep 19, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $234.36
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.21
9.48
9.1
05_02_1_


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