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Sigma 180mm f3.5 EX APO Macro IF HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
29 97593 Sep 14, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
86% of reviewers $631.81
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
9.63
8.9
180_3_5EX_mdl_1_

Specifications:
Sigma Corporation is pleased to introduce a new member of our EX series of lenses, the 180mm f3.5 EX APO Macro. This new high performance telemacro lens can focus from infinity to full 1:1 Life-size reproduction without accessories. At 1:1 reproduction the distance from subject to film plane is 18.1 inches, making this lens convenient for photographing subjects which are not easily approached, such as small animals or insects, etc. The apochromatic design and two SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, plus floating inner focus system effectively control Chromatic and Spherical Aberrations as well as Astigmatism, providing superb performance throughout the focusing range. The models for Sigma, Canon and Nikon AF cameras employ Sigma's HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) for quiet, responsive AF function plus "full time" manual focus. A Focus Limiter switch aids in faster AF for closer or more distant subject situations, by restiricting the movement of the focusing mechanism. The HSM model lenses can be used with Sigma's 1.4X EX teleconverter as a 252mm f/4.9 lens, with SIgma, Canon and Nikon AF cameras, providing AF function from infinity to about 47 inches. At closer distances, the lens automatically switches to manual focus. (The models for Minolta and Pentax cameras will be manual focus with the 1.4X EX teleconverter.) This lens can also be used with Sigma's 2X EX teleconverter as a 360mm f/7 lens, for manual focus in all cases.


 


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TimNYC24
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Registered: Jul 16, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 101
Review Date: Nov 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have owned this lens for just more than one year. All of my lenses are Canon L's with the exception of this Sigma lens. There is NO justifiable price/performance comparison you could make with this (or the Tamron 180) vs. the Canon 180mm Macro. Darn good build and performance. Highly recommend.

Nov 18, 2004
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hvr_oosterzele
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Registered: Sep 9, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 565
Review Date: Jun 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, manual focus ring
Cons:
slow and hunting AF

Much cheaper than the Canon equivalent and very sharp. I even combined this lens with an old Tamron 2x converter and got excellent results, even wide open : http://www.vanrafelghem.com/fotos/vliegers/040524_173226_0.htm and the next 4 following.
Many pictures on my macro links were done with the 180mm lens.
Those are the most recent pictures : http://www.pbase.com/hvr_oosterzele/macro.
This is my best known picture : http://www.pbase.com/hvr_oosterzele/image/33168309


Jun 11, 2004
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JCDoss
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Review Date: Jun 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $510.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, very sharp, inexpensive
Cons:
Focus limiter is generally useless, large AF range can cause hunting and slow AF

This is a fantastic lens and a wonderful bargain compared to the Canon version. I'm still on the left of the learning curve, so I won't comment too much on image quality because I'm still learning macro technique. Build quality is excellent; the lens is metal and the extremely wide and long focus ring is rubberized and turns smoothly. This lens is a dream to manually focus. AF hunts a bit, largely because of the extremely large focus range. There is a range limiter, but the cutoff distance is way too short to make it useful. The lens works well with a Sigma 1.4x converter.

I have some examples at www.dhvp.net/jcdoss/index.htm, the best being in the Garvan Gardens gallery. My technique isn't exactly ideal yet... keep that in mind while viewing.


Jun 10, 2004
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Location: United States
Review Date: Jun 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent optics, focus distance
Cons:
slow focus, a little bit heavy,

Very very good value for the money you paid......
sharpness of this lens is equal to canon lens

HSM is not fast that I expect....Just a little bit heavy






Jun 4, 2004
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Hokum
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Registered: Apr 19, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 48
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Colour, contrast, sharpness, focus distance.
Cons:
slow AF, tripod mount could be 1cm deeper, to stop BG-ED3 interfering

Exceedingly sharp, and increadable colour, this is possibly the best macro lens. The 180 also makes a good standby telephoto and AF's happily with the 1.4x TC attached giving an f4.5 252mm with full AF and macro.

The HSM is slow if it has to hunt the whole range, but a quick manual focus assist and the AF locks quickly.

the optics are so good i'd recommend mine even if it was MF!


Jun 2, 2004
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Location: United Kingdom
Review Date: May 7, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons:
Focusing errors

Optically excellent, mecanically suprisingly bad! Yes it's metall but focusing mechanics is not as good as required for tele macro lens. As a result - focus hunting and focusing errors. I guess people reporting that its soft wide open actually saw focusing errors. The HSM drive is too fast for precision focusing and has slackness. The non-HSM Sigma 105 macro I own performs much better in that respect.

Buy this lense only if you don't need autofocus!


May 7, 2004
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bstrle
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Registered: Oct 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 600
Review Date: May 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent optics, quick focusing a great value!
Cons:
A tad bit heavy, and occasional hunting.

I have had this lens for about 8 months and love it. It works exceptionally well on my D1X, F5 and D100. I have found that removing the UV filter fixes the hunting problem. Great lens, I highly recommend it.

May 4, 2004
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Mar 18, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, smooth focusing.
Cons:
Optics are not as good as the Tamron and Canon offerings.

I am surprised to see such superlative comments about this lens. I use a 100mm macro and needed a longer lens for some types of work and considered the Sigma and Tamron lenses since they are half the price of the Canon L lens.

Two samples of this lens from my local dealer were tested on my EOS-3 and Velvia. We also tested the Tamron 180 macro. Wide open, the Tamron was significantly sharper than both the Sigma samples (I tried the second one because I thought there was some problem with the first sample). The Sigma improved significantly by around f/8 but the resolution seemed to worsen beyond f/16. So it looked like the sweet spot for the Sigma is around f/8-f/16. The second sample of the Sigma performed identically, so I assumed that either they were all like this or the dealer got a slightly sub-standard batch.

Anyway this made me decide in favour of the Tamron which I will probably get in a month or so. At this price point, the HSM is the only thing in favour of the Sigma.


Mar 18, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Dec 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons:
Absolutely none

This is one of those lenses you will never part with. Stunning photo's at any distance. Great bargain for the money.

Dec 3, 2003
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littleacorn
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Registered: Aug 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Oct 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $544.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good subject to lens distance for Macro. Fast. Solid. Crisp Images. Price
Cons:
......maybe a 1.8? grant miracles? Is a bit heavy.

Lens stays on my camera for the majority of my macro shoots. Eliminates the need for Kenko tubes in most situations. Have shot some nice close up's of snakes without worrying about getting bit. Solid, fast AF for a macro, slow AF for a normal prime, as expected. All around super Macro lens.

Oct 14, 2003
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Mike Eckstein
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Registered: Mar 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: Aug 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $538.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Stunningly sharp!! Quick auto focus Well built Tremendous bargin price
Cons:
Not particulalry happy with 3 stage focus range switch..but can live with it.

The only other glass I have owned that is as sharp as this had the name Leica on the lens. This lens blows my Canon 100mm macro out of the water. The color rendition and the "bokeh'" are exceptional. I would rcommend this lens to anyone interested in macro work. At less than 1/2 the price of the Canon 180 macro lens this is possibly the best lens bargin available. Your "L" glass wil be jealous.

Aug 22, 2003
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Lars Johnsson
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Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Location: Thailand
Posts: 33649
Review Date: Jul 24, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $690.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great optics, very sharp, low price
Cons:
None

Good working distance for a macro, that's why I like the 180mm. The Canon 180 L macro cost 3x as much in my country (Sweden) as this lens. But this lens is as good as the Canon in everything. It has a fantastic sharpness. Good buit with HSM (FTM). You get a hood and a case included.

Jul 24, 2003
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traveler
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3437
Review Date: May 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $538.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Top Flight Optics and sharpness, Fast quiet focus motor system, nice heavy but balanced weight, 2 way switch for close in or far away focus limits, Hood well designed and does the job of thwarting flare
Cons:
None

Well, I went and did it, I sold my Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro for this one. Why you ask, well the primary reason was that I required the additional working distance and this was the perfect answer. After having a chance to compare side by side, the Canon L version of the 180mm 3.5 Macro (about 2 1/2 times the price of this Sigma I might add) it was clear that the Sigma was truly the equal in ALL departments. It's focus motor is absolutely silent (like the Canon's USM is) and the focus speed is also immediate when using autofocus. The precision of the manual focus barrel is admirable, and clearly this Sigma lens is aimed at a more professional user. The optics are simply superb and without any fault. The color and crisp image this lens renders will please the most particular photographer there is (and I consider myself at the upper end of that list of fussy). I rely on my macro lens as my "money maker" for product shooting. I can already see the horizons of possibilites this lens will have opened up for me. The price simply is irresistable to begin with, and the quality of it from optics to construction are guaranteed to please. One word describes the build......."BEEFY".........One word describes the optics........."SWEET"........

May 28, 2003
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Sigma 180mm f3.5 EX APO Macro IF HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
29 97593 Sep 14, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
86% of reviewers $631.81
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
9.63
8.9
180_3_5EX_mdl_1_


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