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05-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #1
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Sigma EX DG 70mm and my first macro.

or actually, a close-up and not a true macro shot. As some of you know, I love to photograph watches. With all the angles and shiny parts, it's a challenge. I had the chance to use my new Sigma 70mm macro and I will say this....it's terrific!! Perfect working distance, razor sharp, and a joy to handle. I think this will be my macro lens benchmark from this day forward. It's that good and it'll be hard to beat. Sharp at nearly all apetures too.



Larry


Last edited by larryinlc; 05-13-2009 at 06:20 PM.
05-13-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
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And they ask why the Sigma 70mm Macro costs more than its 50mm and 105mm brothers! Excellent picture helped by an excellent lens!

Steve
05-13-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
And they ask why the Sigma 70mm Macro costs more than its 50mm and 105mm brothers! Excellent picture helped by an excellent lens!

Steve

I agree that its an excellent lens, but it still doesn't explain why it costs more than the 50mm or 105mm.
05-14-2009, 01:18 AM   #4
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Congrats on an awesome lens and nice shot!
If your wondering why it cost more it because its picked up the "best lens sigma has ever made" tag.
Just like the FA 31ltd price premium.
Its also an awesome landscape a portrait lens!
I love mine even if it feels like a brick round your neck on a K10d!
Cheers

05-15-2009, 09:15 AM   #5
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wow nice shot! what is the magnification for this lens if its not 1:1?
05-15-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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beautiful shot! I wish I could borrow one of these from someone local and test it out.
05-15-2009, 11:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyou Quote
wow nice shot! what is the magnification for this lens if its not 1:1?
It is a 1:1 lens, but he didn't use 1:1 magnification for this shot.
05-15-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I agree that its an excellent lens, but it still doesn't explain why it costs more than the 50mm or 105mm.

It's one of the best macros I've ever shot. Here's an explanation of cost difference from photozone:


QuoteQuote:
The Sigma AF 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro is the 5th and latest of the current macro lenses made by Sigma. The local length of 70mm is a bit off the mainstream but it actually makes sense. The Sigma is a full format lens but it is safe to state it will be mostly used on APS-C DSLRs where its field-of-view is equivalent to ~105mm and this is actually a quite classic perspective and it's also in the hot spot of portrait photography. Another interesting aspect of the lens is the optical design. Unlike most other moderate macro lenses it uses 3 SLD elements to correct optical flaws. This ambitious approach has one obvious side effect - the lens is quite a bit more expensive than the 50mm f/2.8 macro and roughly on par here with the 105mm f/2.8 macro. Size- and weight-wise it is also more comparable to its longer cousin.


05-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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That's a beautiful shot!

I've been having fun with my DA70 + Raynox 150, which gives me roughly 1:2 macro and very good quality too. Would be kind of interesting to see side by side comparison. The Rayox 250 would presumably give around 1:1 magnification. Cost would be about the same as the Sigma; weight a lot less.

However, for the application being discussed here, where it's all about controlling working distance, the DA70+Raynox combo is far less flexible. Without the Raynox, the lens can't focus closer than 2-3 feet; with the Raynox, it can't focus beyond a few inches. So there's this whole no-man's land territory where the DA70 cannot focus with or without the Raynox. Probably not an issue for "most" macro purposes, but it would be here.

Here's an uncropped shot from the DA70 + Raynox 150 (and yes, sigh, I've still got a dust spot):

05-15-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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Yes, working distance is key. If I were to use the wonderful DA 35mm macro from Pentax, I'd be fogging up my watch having to be so close. Not to mention how disruptive it would be to my light source.

There are many worthy macro lenses, but this one fits me like glove for my application. After all, isn't this the reason why we have so many focal lengths available??

Larry
05-15-2009, 12:20 PM   #11
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I have the Raynox 250. I attached it to my Voigtlander 125. It's a challenge and a near art form to make this combination work. Using the Raynox is not for the faint of heart or the impatient photographer. I have the utmost respect for anyone who produces great photos using a Raynox. I understand they're somewhat easier to use attached to a zoom lens??




05-15-2009, 12:36 PM   #12
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Another beautiful watch! The last one you posted sparked a bit of an interest in me, so I might even post some of my own less exciting watches later.

I'd like to acquire more some day. I particularly like ones where the movement can be seen fully like on this one.
05-15-2009, 01:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
I have the Raynox 250. I attached it to my Voigtlander 125. It's a challenge and a near art form to make this combination work. Using the Raynox is not for the faint of heart or the impatient photographer. I have the utmost respect for anyone who produces great photos using a Raynox. I understand they're somewhat easier to use attached to a zoom lens??
I guess that depends on what aspect you find difficult. The Raynox gives you very little control over working distance period. Maximum focus distance is fixed at something around 6 inches or so (I forget the specifics; longer for the 150 than the 250). Minimum focus distance is determined by the lens' own focusing characteristics, but in general, its not that much closer than the maximum.

So no matter what lens you use, you're pretty well stuck with a very small window of working distances, and with a prime, that also means you're stuck with a single magnification. A zoom lens doesn't give you any additional flexibility when it comes to working distance, but changing focal length gives you a way to control magnification from a given working distance.

So, prime + Raynox = fixed working distance, fixed magnification. Zoom + Raynox = fixed working distance, variable magnification. Whereas a true macro prime gives you a range of working distances, with magnification directly (well, inversely) related to working distance. Only a macro zoom would allow you control working distance and magnification independently.

Anyhow, I kind of assume that the fixed working distance & magnification is the limitation you find frustrating? It seems to me that within those constraints, there wouldn't be anything at all more difficult about using a regular prime / Raynox combo than using a macro prime at that same working distance. i mean, all other aspects of using the thing (exposure, focus, etc) should be identical, no?
05-15-2009, 02:51 PM   #14
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I guess that's what I mean Marc. The window of opportunity for sharp focus is very limited. It's a challenge on a tripod with a static subject as I've shown, so I cannot image how people get good shots of bees and such. Moving targets and handheld??....you've got to have the hands and eyes of a surgeon. Or, maybe I'm just inept.

Larry
05-15-2009, 06:29 PM   #15
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I could imagine a tripod making it harder, actually - with the limited range of focus distances, focusing is accomplished mostly by moving forward and backward (after first racking the lens either all the way in or all the way out, depending on whether you want to maximize working distance or magnification). The trick is then trying to hold position long enough to snap the picture. Catch-in-focus could be useful here, I suppose. Tricky, to be sure - but I imagine shooting bees handheld with a normal macro lens would be no picnic either.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-16-2009 at 10:42 AM.
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