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04-12-2008, 05:11 PM   #1
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first attempts with the Sigma 180mm macro

Just got the Sigma 180mm f3.5 macro and started playing with it. In this photo, camera is resting on a table outside with 2 second delayed shutter release, at f3.5, 1/125 sec, at ISO 100, with the K10D. Newspaper is roughly but not exactly parallel to camera roughly 8 inches from lens; shot is at 1:1. First shot is no crop, next is 100% crop from the center, and the last is 100% crop from a corner. By no means a "scientific" test or even a terribly careful test, but still produces some interesting results.


Last edited by sholtzma; 07-19-2008 at 03:08 PM.
04-12-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
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nice lens

Congratulations on the Sigma 180 macro. Not an easy lens to find for Pentax! Looks pretty good wide open. Most macros are designed to be really good stopped down. Wait until you shoot it at f8-11. Takes a while to get used to such a long macro. Love the ability to shoot bugs from afar.
On my Pentax 200 macro I turn the tripod collar upside down (top of lens) and have a 1/4" thread that screws into the tripod socket. The other end of the short thread is a Pentax P-ttl adapter shoe. This allows handheld flash and easily switches from h to v by rotating the tripod mount.
Enjoy the new lens. Would love to see an 180 someday. Post more pics. The bugs are starting to arrive.
thanks
barondla
04-12-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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I was going to wait for the 150mm to come out in pentax mount, but after looking at this, i may reconsider the 180mm. got any other shots (non-newspaper) you'd care to share?
04-12-2008, 08:12 PM   #4
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ivoire, yes, I do. I'm still examining some of flowers. I was again trying out the lens only wide open, checking for sharpness, color accuracy, manual vs. autofocus accuracy, use of the pop-up flash with the lens (and hood retracted). Just some very basic checking. I'll see if I have enough kb space to post more photos.... (By the way, no pp on any of these photos.) Again, each of these is roughly a 1:1 shot, followed by a center crop at 100%. (The Euphorbia flower, sometimes called "crown of thorns", is no more than 1/2 inch long. So, to see as far into that flower as the crop shows is impressive.

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04-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #5
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You are right about the crown of thorns shot. thats very impressive. i just sold my vivitar series1 105mm to help pay for the da 35mm macro i just ordered. i wanted it for its versatility. i still am trying to decide on a long macro. the 180 is now one of the finalists
04-19-2008, 11:07 AM   #6
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Okay, this is for Barondla: you asked for bugs (but I'm sneaking in flowers too). Lens is now stopped down some, but still handholding or resting against something (ie, no tripod). Both crops are 100%, with minimal pp. Bug shot (of a baby mantis?) is ISO100, f13, at 1/180th sec with on-board flash. Flower shot (of a blue scilla) is at ISO400, f9, at 1/40th sec with no flash.
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04-19-2008, 09:51 PM   #7
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Wow, like the images a lot. Favorites are the flower with "mantis" and the last flower shot. You have that lens really cranking now. Great job. Bet its tight getting the builtin flash to fire over the front of the 180. Does the lens get longer when focused to 1:1?
I also have the Pentax 100 macro. The 200 arrived and thought I would use it just like the 100 (handheld, flash). This is only half true. Shoot a much higher percentage of bugs and flowers on tripod. They aren't as scared with the greater working distance. Kind of surprised. Do love the way the long macros simplify the back ground. Can't get a 100 do it as nicely. Don't even pack the 70-210 A4 Pentax zoom anymore.
Have fun with the lens. The bugs are out. Time for action. Show more when you get the chance.
thanks for the pics
barondla
04-20-2008, 06:58 AM   #8
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WOW. I'm not into true macro yet, but 1:1 @ 8" sounds like it should be great.

04-20-2008, 07:29 AM   #9
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get a grip and a flash and cord and you'll get better shots. getting the flash off camera makes a great combo..
when using the 105/2.5 i always shoot at f16 for the DOF..
04-20-2008, 12:24 PM   #10
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Congrats on your Sigma 180 and welcome to the world of the "macro-obsessed"!
I've had mine for a little over a month now and have been very impressed so far. The bugs are just starting show up around here and I'm really looking forward to the next few months.

I believe that your bug is actually an assassin bug nymph rather than a mantis.

Here's a link to a great bug identification site. You'll probably find yourself referring to it often as you discover all kinds of fun critters lurking in your garden this summer.

Assassin Bug - Zelus sp. - Zelus luridus - BugGuide.Net


Nice shots with the new lens and we'll look forward to more!
04-20-2008, 01:28 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the responses.

First, it is internal focusing, so the lens does not change in length, which I very much appreciate. My former MF macro lens changed in length, and with the close working distance with that (otherwise wonderful) 90mm, I would sometimes have to back up. The working distance of this lens, combined with internal focusing, is wonderfully freeing.

Yep, got the wrong bug ID, didn't I? Not knowledgeable about many bugs, sorry to say.

And, yep, I will be using my 540 flash with off-camera sync cord soon, which should help the lighting quite a bit. Will also be putting the lens on a tripod and stopping it way down to examine sharpness and DOF. I'll also test it as a non-macro 180mm tele. The testing goes on, but so far I really like this lens. Of course, at its price, it had better be pretty darn good. I'm not into selling loads of camera equipment in order to buy an expensive lens that turns out to be only so-so....

Might be another week or so before I can post more images. Have to let the school semester wind down; lots of work still to do.
04-20-2008, 07:31 PM   #12
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Not very good with bug identification either. Just shoot neat looking bugs when I find them. Look them up later - sometimes.
Use 540 flash a lot with wireless control. If I use the bigger Sunpak softbox, it blocks the sensor. Have to use the flash cable then.
Macro is fun because there is always something new to see in the back yard. No expensive, long trips required. Can shoot in virtually any light or make your own.
The bugs are definetly out today. Finally hit 70 degrees. Yahoo. My shutter count goes way up in macro season.
Enjoy the new lens.
thanks
barondla
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