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10-09-2008, 07:12 PM   #1
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Questions on Sigma 105mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro Ex (non-DG)

I bought this lens used from MarketPlace thinking that it is the EX-DG version, not that the seller intentionally misled me, but I was naive in not knowing what DG is special for. I only confirmed that my version is EX and that it is a 1:1 macro.

Even with the non-DG version, I kind of like it after taking few test shots. But I do have several questions to ask.

1. Any significance difference between DG vs non-DG

Peter has told me not to worry too much as the old version is a favorite among macro shooters. And Frank's words is even more encouraging, there is usually no crappy macro lens. He means that Macro lens are special in the area of sharpness.

And so far I find the test images to be good to outstanding and concur with Peter and Frank's valuable inputs . Others, please comment what you know about DG and non-DG version of the Sigma macro.


2. MF/AF switch on lens barrel

I find the MF switch on lens barrel somewhat a strange beast to me. Upon toggling from AF to MF, the focusing ring can't be used for MF until I also switch to MF on body. Without switching to MF on body, the ring is difficult to turn as the AF is still engaged

And here comes the caveat that I have the biggest problem with. With MF is switched on camera body as well as the lens barrel, I lose focus trap that I usually rely on in AF mode where shutter is disabled until focus lock is obtained. I can only rely on the focus beep confirmation to hit the focus lock. And my previous dependency on the focus trap locking get me trained to hit the shutter fully pressed while aiming at the subject. And that practice get me into troubles into shooting many out-of-focus shots. With this lens, I need to re-train my shutter practice.

3. Some test pictures

Various mistakes happen with some soft images. What do you all think? Is the lens a keeper?



10-09-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
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Hin as you know I have the same lens. The shots above look very good (maybe a bit too shallow DOF). I'd say you have a fine lens. I've never been a big fan of trap focus myself. I sort of consider it the only option when there's no other way to get a shot but I find the image results average at best (motion blur and missed focus) when trying to shoot macros.

As for the differences. The newer version is basically the same but is cosmetically different. It also has a "floating element" to help the lens work better as a telephoto lens. I've never found any issues with mine in this regard.
10-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Hin as you know I have the same lens. The shots above look very good (maybe a bit too shallow DOF). I'd say you have a fine lens. I've never been a big fan of trap focus myself. I sort of consider it the only option when there's no other way to get a shot but I find the image results average at best (motion blur and missed focus) when trying to shoot macros.

As for the differences. The newer version is basically the same but is cosmetically different. It also has a "floating element" to help the lens work better as a telephoto lens. I've never found any issues with mine in this regard.
Thank you Peter, definite yes on the shallow DOF, I only managed to shoot in f/8.0 as I have not gotten into the flash setup. And I should try f/22 or something in that order and up the ISO but the movement of the insect get me to choose bigger aperture. I think with more practices, I will eventually get to love the lens. I don't know if I overpaid for the lens. There is that un-settlement within myself. Had I known that it is a non-DG before the purchase, I will feel better. Actually I feel better already after using the lens for 2 times and I find the manual focusing very good from this lens after I get used to the ring and the focus limiter. The color and bokeh is great. And I find the color and contrast quite pleasing.

The build of the lens impresses me a lot even when it is not the latest DG version.

Peter, much thanks to you. And I am sure Javier would love his new DG-EX copy.

Hin

Last edited by hinman; 10-14-2008 at 06:06 PM.
10-09-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Without switching to MF on body, the ring is difficult to turn as the AF is still engaged

And here comes the caveat that I have the biggest problem with. With MF is switched on camera body as well as the lens barrel, I lose focus trap that I usually rely on in AF mode where shutter is disabled until focus lock is obtained. I can only rely on the focus beep confirmation to hit the focus lock. And my previous dependency on the focus trap locking get me trained to hit the shutter fully pressed while aiming at the subject. And that practice get me into troubles into shooting many out-of-focus shots. With this lens, I need to re-train my shutter practice.

I can't believe that you do not know the trick, Hinman.

Read carefully - use at your own risk :

1) there is a button that you press to remove the lens from the body... it does disengage AF (screw drive, not functionality itself, I mean not completely - see #2)... should I continue ?

2) if you want to use trap focus/catch in focus then press the shutter first and then proceed to #1

Enjoy...

PS: ok, I will continue - one finger of your left hand presses the button, the rest do manual focusing as the screw drive will be retracted - be careful not to remove the lens in the process...


Last edited by deejjjaaaa; 10-09-2008 at 07:59 PM.
10-09-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Others, please comment what you know about DG and non-DG version of the Sigma macro.
I hate companies that remove technical information about their discontinued products from public access...

You have 2 quick options:

1) call Sigma service center and be nice - they might be willing to send you the copy of what was posted on their web site

2) archive.org

for example : Fixed Focal Length Lenses Standard

well, I save you some time:

THE NEW : http://web.archive.org/web/20050305055738/www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_a...53&navigator=5

THE OLD: http://web.archive.org/web/20050305052125/www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_a...91&navigator=5


PS: get a copy of PopPhoto from Aug 1998 - there was a review of that old Sigma 105mm there

Last edited by deejjjaaaa; 10-09-2008 at 08:23 PM.
10-10-2008, 12:23 AM   #6
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I'd be very happy with $250 for this lens Hin. I bought my first one for $325.00 and sold it for about the same early this year. I just replaced it for about the same price once again.

So your price is very good. These will sell on Ebay for $300-$330 when they come up.

The other trick is to cut a piece of thick paper the shape of the ring around the lens mount and use it like an insulator. So the lens appears to be a K mount to the camera because the paper isolates the electrical contacts. The same could be done with a very short extension tube. But the lens will be a little slower and you'd loose infinity focus. But again, I'm no big fan of trap focus.
10-13-2008, 10:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I'd be very happy with $250 for this lens Hin. I bought my first one for $325.00 and sold it for about the same early this year. I just replaced it for about the same price once again.

So your price is very good. These will sell on Ebay for $300-$330 when they come up.

The other trick is to cut a piece of thick paper the shape of the ring around the lens mount and use it like an insulator. So the lens appears to be a K mount to the camera because the paper isolates the electrical contacts. The same could be done with a very short extension tube. But the lens will be a little slower and you'd loose infinity focus. But again, I'm no big fan of trap focus.
Peter, thanks for the input and tricks on the focus trap with insulator. I still prefer focus trap for birds in flight and I get used to focus trapping. Perhaps, focus trapping will incur more errors in macro shot. But I still use it often for birds in flight


Focus trapping
with Tamron 70-300 Di LD + Tamron 1.4x TC


10-13-2008, 07:21 PM   #8
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That's a great shot of the hummingbird. Thumbs up!

10-13-2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Peter, thanks for the input and tricks on the focus trap with insulator. I still prefer focus trap for birds in flight and I get used to focus trapping. Perhaps, focus trapping will incur more errors in macro shot. But I still use it often for birds in flight


Focus trapping
with Tamron 70-300 Di LD + Tamron 1.4x TC



This shot rocks!
10-14-2008, 01:28 PM   #10
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Creampuff and Jay, thank you very much for the compliments.

I may be thinking of trying the new or used copy of Tamron 90mm f/2.8 1:1 macro instead. While this Sigma lens serves me really well for flowers and bugs, I miss the focus trapping that I get used to in MF. While there are ways to get over that but I like the lens to do things for me.

If anyone have a interest in a good copy of this non-DG but EX version of Sigma, please PM me. I am contemplating to trade in trying out the alternativelens that fits my needs and satisfy my curiosity of other unused lens. My sigma comes with the original box, the great lens storage holster and the original documentation.



Sigma 105mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro Ex (non-DG) -- Hin's Tech Corner

With lens hood, lens holster, original box
PM if interested
going to Marketplace soon







Last edited by hinman; 10-14-2008 at 06:05 PM.
10-14-2008, 06:03 PM   #11
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I have posted it for potential sale in Marketplace

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/39364-sigma-105...g-version.html

Thanks,
Hin
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