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06-18-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Sigma 180mm F3.5 APO Macro -- opinions? comments?

When I sold my Tamron 90mm macro, it wasn't because I didn't like the lens, it was because I needed more "specialized" macro lenses; DFA50/2.8 Macro fills one of those roles being an excellent flower and copy macro (owing to the flat field focus) lens, but is too short for bugs and critters. Now I just need a long focal-length bug specialized Macro.

Short of hunting for the holy grain or the white whale from Moby Dick (read FA*200/4, A*200/4), I have only two choices for a long macro:

Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 and Sigma 180mm f/3.5 lenses. The Voigtlander I am interested in but not 100% because it's not too much longer than a regular 90-100mm macro lens; that leaves only the Sigma 180mm as a real option. (how I wish the Sigma 150mm macro would come out in Pentax mount)

Getting to the point of the thread: Does anyone on the forum have experience with this lens? I've read the review at Photozone, considering they tested a pre-DG sample and while the high CA at small apertures that they mention is a concern, I'm sure the "DG" version (probably) has taken care of that.

How does this lens perform in normal (non-macro) telephoto roles? This would be the perfect walk-around lens for me if the non-macro performance is as good as the macro work.

One thing I'll mention is that I don't want to use any kind of teleconverters, tubes, macro extenders or any other macro doodads with my lens, so shorter FL is simply not an option.

Opinions and suggestions appreciated.

Cheers,
-Asad

06-18-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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Pentax, Bring Out A New 200 Macro!

Also looking at Sigma 180. Would rather have the Pentax 200. More likely to become president, I think. Shutterbug did a piece on the Tamron 180 macro and said it was available in Pentax mount. Have seen it listed recently. Might throw that into the competition too. Lots of pros use the Sigma, but reviews haven't been so good on performance. Not bad just not stellar. Really have no big desire for the Sigma 150. Give up too much working distance over 180 or 200. Every inch counts in bug shooting.
thanks
barondla
06-18-2007, 06:05 PM   #3
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Go check out Stephen's gallery - it is the best macro gallery by any Pentaxian that I have ever seen:
A Yard is More Than Three Feet Photo Gallery by Stephen C. Gushue at pbase.com

I believe all of his are with the Sigma and an old TTL flash, manually metered.

Edit - these are some of his pictures - click on them to go to the gallery:






And the pièce de résistance:

Last edited by carpents; 06-18-2007 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Pictures!
06-18-2007, 07:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asad_Masede Quote
Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 and Sigma 180mm f/3.5 lenses. The Voigtlander I am interested in but not 100% because it's not too much longer than a regular 90-100mm macro lens
Asad, why not the Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanthar Close Focus? It's a wonderful lens and Cameraquest is just about to receive the last batch in Pentax K mount from Japan. It focuses directly to 1:4 ratio. Just add some extension tubes or a bellows and you're set for macro.

Just my .02

Cheers,

Abbazz

06-18-2007, 08:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Shutterbug did a piece on the Tamron 180 macro and said it was available in Pentax mount. Have seen it listed recently.
Oh really... now that bit of info very interesting indeed! Will look into the Tamron 180, as well!

Cheers,
-Asad
06-18-2007, 08:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Go check out Stephen's gallery - it is the best macro gallery by any Pentaxian that I have ever seen
Wow, very nice indeed! I've seen some of those images before, fantastic stuff! This gives a very good idea of what the lens can do. Thanks for the link, Sean.

Cheers,
-Asad
06-18-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
Asad, why not the Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanthar Close Focus? It's a wonderful lens
I know it's a very nice lens, Abbazz, but as I said in the post, I don't want to be using any kind of macro accessories with my lens, makes the job a bit more cumbersome than it needs to be, I just don't want to deal with it.

Cheers,
-Asad
10-16-2007, 06:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
I know this is a few months old, but just came upon this thread now, after looking for 'lanthar' lenses now that I have the 125/2.5 on the way. What I'm wondering is, does anyone know what kind of a Bee that is?

Thanx much,
-steve

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