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10-18-2007, 02:27 AM   #1
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Opinions on Sigma EX DG 180 F3.5 Macro?

Does anyone have experience with this lens they can share? IQ, resistance to CA/flare, etc? I am thinking about a longer macro than the DFA100 and would appreciate any info anyone can share on this particular lens. Thanks!

Whoops! Just saw an identical request from Asad_Masede a few threads down. Sorry for the repeat!


Last edited by mikeatnite; 10-18-2007 at 02:31 AM. Reason: didn't see identical thread by another poster
10-18-2007, 02:35 AM   #2
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hi, there is a review on photozone for canon mount, discusses ca etc (but not flare)

Sigma AF 180mm f/3.5 EX HSM APO macro - Photozone Test Report / Review

I have never had one, but I cant really remember hearing anyone complain about it either (which is probably saying something, because you cant make everyone happy, and I cant even remember much if any discussion about sigmas bad qc with this one)
10-18-2007, 03:27 AM   #3
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When I bought my Tamron 90 macro this summer, I did a lot of reading. The general feeling was that the Tamron 180 was slightly better then the Sigma 180. With that said, the Sigma 150 appeared to be better then both products in IQ. I do not own any of these lenses, but that was my general feeling after reading everything I could on macro lenses. I still ended up buying the 90 simply because I could hand hold it if I needed to, but I was strongly tempted to go with the 150 if I needed any more reach.

Have you tried placing a 2x teleconverter on your lens? I have a Tamron BBAR 2x teleconverter for my Canon system that works very well with my 90 Macro. This is cheaper, and you just might be surprised at the quality you will get. All macros have superb IQ. You can't really go wrong with any of them honestly.
10-18-2007, 03:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chako Quote
When I bought my Tamron 90 macro this summer, I did a lot of reading. The general feeling was that the Tamron 180 was slightly better then the Sigma 180. With that said, the Sigma 150 appeared to be better then both products in IQ. I do not own any of these lenses, but that was my general feeling after reading everything I could on macro lenses. I still ended up buying the 90 simply because I could hand hold it if I needed to, but I was strongly tempted to go with the 150 if I needed any more reach.
Luckily for us, Tamron and Sigma have kindly saved us from having to make this choice - you can't get the Tamron 180 or Sigma 150 for Pentax

10-18-2007, 06:40 AM   #5
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Well, Asad got the same response you got, so far: "try something else", "look at somebodies work-not mine" and "what kind of bee is that?" In short bupkiss!

I've got the lens you inquire about. I've actually used it for both macro work and telephoto efforts. It works just fine; in all likelihood it's capabilities far exceed my needs.

If you had asked about build quality, I'd say excellent. Want to know about weight? Heavy. Need info about usability? Limited, it's heavy, specialized and big. I take it when I know I'll need it-otherwise it sits on a shelf.

Ahhh, but you asked about the highly specialized stuff: CA, Flare and (I assume) similar technical stuff. Soooo, this next part is going to come across as condescending, maybe a bit belittling---I don't mean it to be, but I don't know your qualifications to actually digest info about CA or flare or etc. and, well, the answers you think you are seeking don't really have much real meaning for the typical photographer.

Here's why:

To determine CA or flare specialized technique and equipment is required-outside the realm of the average photographers budget or interest. But a single condition is common to all such 'testing': the camera is going to be subject to conditions where it should fail. And not just a little hiccup failure; a full blown meltdown or eruption is sought! And then the experimenter/engineer/scientist (not the photographer on a budget) will compare how well one camera/lens failed with respect to another camera/lens' failure.

Well that's certainly information every photographer needs!

But hold the phone! Do you know how to cause CA or flare? I do; and that info could be had for the price of a good book or some friendly conversation--see, I'm not all bad. And If you knew how to cause such calamities, could you possibly avoid them? I can. And if they cannot be avoided, could the be corrected; could they be fixed in post processing? Mostly!

So, it's big, it's heavy, it has the potential of making great images (YMMV). I don't care about the Tamron because I bought the Sigma (it fits well in the bag with all my other Sigmas macro line of lenses) and that broke the budget anyway. Probably, it will do the same to and for you.

And by the way, what kind of bee is that anyway?

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeatnite Quote
Does anyone have experience with this lens they can share? IQ, resistance to CA/flare, etc? I am thinking about a longer macro than the DFA100 and would appreciate any info anyone can share on this particular lens. Thanks!

Whoops! Just saw an identical request from Asad_Masede a few threads down. Sorry for the repeat!
10-18-2007, 08:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Well, Asad got the same response you got, so far: "try something else", "look at somebodies work-not mine" and "what kind of bee is that?" In short bupkiss!

I've got the lens you inquire about. I've actually used it for both macro work and telephoto efforts. It works just fine; in all likelihood it's capabilities far exceed my needs.

If you had asked about build quality, I'd say excellent. Want to know about weight? Heavy. Need info about usability? Limited, it's heavy, specialized and big. I take it when I know I'll need it-otherwise it sits on a shelf.

Ahhh, but you asked about the highly specialized stuff: CA, Flare and (I assume) similar technical stuff. Soooo, this next part is going to come across as condescending, maybe a bit belittling---I don't mean it to be, but I don't know your qualifications to actually digest info about CA or flare or etc. and, well, the answers you think you are seeking don't really have much real meaning for the typical photographer.

Here's why:

To determine CA or flare specialized technique and equipment is required-outside the realm of the average photographers budget or interest. But a single condition is common to all such 'testing': the camera is going to be subject to conditions where it should fail. And not just a little hiccup failure; a full blown meltdown or eruption is sought! And then the experimenter/engineer/scientist (not the photographer on a budget) will compare how well one camera/lens failed with respect to another camera/lens' failure.

Well that's certainly information every photographer needs!

But hold the phone! Do you know how to cause CA or flare? I do; and that info could be had for the price of a good book or some friendly conversation--see, I'm not all bad. And If you knew how to cause such calamities, could you possibly avoid them? I can. And if they cannot be avoided, could the be corrected; could they be fixed in post processing? Mostly!

So, it's big, it's heavy, it has the potential of making great images (YMMV). I don't care about the Tamron because I bought the Sigma (it fits well in the bag with all my other Sigmas macro line of lenses) and that broke the budget anyway. Probably, it will do the same to and for you.

And by the way, what kind of bee is that anyway?
So then.... does it have CA, flare, etc or what?!
10-18-2007, 09:11 AM   #7
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Yes, no, maybe.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
So then.... does it have CA, flare, etc or what?!
10-18-2007, 02:55 PM   #8
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Too bad the Sigma 150 isn't in a K mount. That is a true tragedy.

10-18-2007, 06:35 PM   #9
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Hello all and thanks for the responses! Phil, thanks for the link that was very helpful.

John, thank very much you for the response. It did come across as condescending and belittling , but that 's alright! Well, you guessed correctly. I am a newbie and all of my equipment vastly exceeds my limited capabilities. I get CA way too often mainly due to my inexperience and bad habit of snapping photos in very harsh lighting conditions where a more experienced photographer wouldn't bother.

But I also like to shoot flowers with large apertures to get that with shallow DOF effect. And often even when I am shooting in, what seems to me (maybe I'm wrong?), to be more reasonable lighting conditions, I sometimes get strange CA effects in the slightly out of focus areas along the edges of the petals that is distracting and difficult for me to deal with in software. So that's why I asked about CA. Not to be pretentious or pretend to be a with-it, happenin' kind of dude. Maybe this kind of CA is also due to user error and pushing things too far? I don't know. I do see more experienced photographers raving about this or that APO lens' ability to control CA so that seems like a desirable trait if I am going to spend several hundred on a lens that hopefully I can grow into with time maybe feel worthy of owning.

Thanks for the info on weight, build, etc. also. That was helpful.
10-18-2007, 07:10 PM   #10
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You're right on-target with CA and harsh lighting. The easiest fix is to stop shooting in those conditions. A slightly more versatile fix is one of those 3 to 5 fabric reflectors/diffusers: Photoflex is one popular brand-about $70.00US. User bdavis here (my daughter) has a nice 3 by 5 foot-five panel that she carried all through the Denver Zoo and Botanic Gardens this past summer; the unit folds to fit in her Lowe Sling100 bag. As a diffuser it should help greatly with macro work, as a reflector it works better than flash-my never humble opinion.

Keep a couple things in mind: the lens is a tool, the photographer should be what or who is in control. Reviewers, on the internet, in popular magazines or from visual/audio media are seldom impartial, rarely technically adept and ultimately tied most strongly to 'getting paid'; getting bad information second-hand is the internet standard!

Frankly, I use the 'feel-'m-up' method of product selection. Go to a brick and mortar, get your grubbies all over the item of your dreams and buy the one that gives you a tingle.


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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeatnite Quote
Hello all and thanks for the responses! Phil, thanks for the link that was very helpful.

John, thank very much you for the response. It did come across as condescending and belittling , but that 's alright! Well, you guessed correctly. I am a newbie and all of my equipment vastly exceeds my limited capabilities. I get CA way too often mainly due to my inexperience and bad habit of snapping photos in very harsh lighting conditions where a more experienced photographer wouldn't bother.

But I also like to shoot flowers with large apertures to get that with shallow DOF effect. And often even when I am shooting in, what seems to me (maybe I'm wrong?), to be more reasonable lighting conditions, I sometimes get strange CA effects in the slightly out of focus areas along the edges of the petals that is distracting and difficult for me to deal with in software. So that's why I asked about CA. Not to be pretentious or pretend to be a with-it, happenin' kind of dude. Maybe this kind of CA is also due to user error and pushing things too far? I don't know. I do see more experienced photographers raving about this or that APO lens' ability to control CA so that seems like a desirable trait if I am going to spend several hundred on a lens that hopefully I can grow into with time maybe feel worthy of owning.

Thanks for the info on weight, build, etc. also. That was helpful.
10-18-2007, 09:12 PM   #11
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Well thanks for the tip on diffusers. I never tried one before. Even though I now know better than to shoot macros in harsh mid day sun, I still can't resist sometimes, just to get out for the practice and the fun of it. It feels great to be out there with the camera on a beautiful day.

I do put a good amount of weight into the opinions of users on this forum when it comes to lenses, gear, etc. I've learned a huge amount from this place about all kinds of photo-related things.
10-19-2007, 06:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeatnite Quote
I do put a good amount of weight into the opinions of users on this forum when it comes to lenses, gear, etc. I've learned a huge amount from this place about all kinds of photo-related things.
The opinions of many people in this forum are priceless, indeed if I were you, I would put jfdavis opinion well in top. I would advice you to develop your skills rather than expend a big deal of money in lenses. When you come to this forums you see these gorgeous pictures made with highly specialized lenses by highly experienced photographers and you might think that to have that lens might be the secret. But you can also be critic and look at many pictures made with those lenses by not-so-experienced people and see how they are not that good. Long story short, many people have more lenses than talent and some of them might be in this forum giving you advice.

If I am not wrong, you already have a DFA 100 macro, which seems to be an excellent lens. Consider that going to a longer macro lens will be technically more demanding since your depth of field will be narrower and you will need a tripod almost always. My advice is to stick to your lens until you are able to outperform it and once you get there try another. Another advice would be to use a cheap teleconverter to see if you really fell confortable with the reach that you are looking for. They will degrade the image if they are not good, but a cheap one should be enough to see if you like the working distance before buying the lens. Besides that, extension tubes can be also funny to use, they are also cheap and would let you go further than the 1:1 ratio. You can also consider expend the money directed to the lens in a good ilumination system (which it is also very important to do nice macro pictures). And above all these advices, (as jfdavis said) try the lens before buying it, you are not expending 50 dollars in a old second hands lens.

Hope it helps
10-21-2007, 04:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeatnite Quote
Does anyone have experience with this lens they can share? IQ, resistance to CA/flare, etc? I am thinking about a longer macro than the DFA100 and would appreciate any info anyone can share on this particular lens. Thanks!

Whoops! Just saw an identical request from Asad_Masede a few threads down. Sorry for the repeat!
I bought the lens (Sigma 180) last year when I started to do macro work. I have not had problems with the lens under any conditions. It is rather large but can produce exceptional results.

Some images are scattered throughout various macro galleries and my odds and ends gallery on pbase. www/pbase.com/scgushue.

Stephen
10-21-2007, 07:08 AM   #14
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Don't have the Sigma 180, but do have the DFA100 and A*200 Pentax macros. The 200 is bigger, heavier, and maybe a little slower to use. It has also allowed bug shots that were almost impossible with the 100. The 100 for bugs was almost always a flash situation. The 200 actually allows shooting bugs with a tripod. For flowers it is much easier to use than the 100. You aren't standing in the middle of the flower and the background is much simpler. Having a tripod collar is also a huge plus. It allows switching from vertical to horizontal framing without losing sight of the subject. It also allows for a very easy flash bracket. The 200 goes with me everywhere. It replaced the 70-210 F4 zoom. So the bag gained very little weight. Hope this helps.
thanks
barondla
10-21-2007, 09:45 AM   #15
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I hope I was clear in differentiation the reviewer caste from the photographer caste. Here as in some other forums there is a significant amount of experiential knowledge- things that people know and share because the did it, they found it, they worked it. This is the stuff of the photographer caste.

Most reviewer caste types have the item of interest for a few days, a few shots, a few tests. The also have the makers notes and advertisement hype--all this becomes the opinion/review. Sometimes it's coherent and useful; sometimes.

There is a third caste->forum. For my taste, they get a little too involved with propagating the opinions of the reviewer caste; they should be out working with or to become members of the photographer caste.

_____


You don't need a large diffuser/reflector. I've got three that are only 12 inches in diameter--2 colors/panels types. They fold to the size of a typical man's wallet and cost about $10.00. They would be very handy for your beautiful day scenario.

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeatnite Quote
Well thanks for the tip on diffusers. I never tried one before. Even though I now know better than to shoot macros in harsh mid day sun, I still can't resist sometimes, just to get out for the practice and the fun of it. It feels great to be out there with the camera on a beautiful day.

I do put a good amount of weight into the opinions of users on this forum when it comes to lenses, gear, etc. I've learned a huge amount from this place about all kinds of photo-related things.
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