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07-07-2014, 08:16 PM   #1036
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
In a nutshell: you have FF/BF issues? too bad, sigma will just tell you to get the dock (which is another $89 for Australians).
Are you reporting from experience or are you just speculating?

I'm fairly sure that Sigma will look at a lens and even calibrate it for you if you ask them to, despite the existence of the dock. I have to admit that I don't really know (I only have excellent experiences with Sigma regarding lenses that precede the dock) but I'm not making a statement without expressing that I'm making an assumption.
The treatment you get from Sigma's distributors can be all over the map. Here in Canada, their distributor will calibrate your Sigma lens to any single camera you choose, for free, as many times as you switch camera bodies. It takes a week or so for them to get around to it, and yes, it's only for a certain focal length with zooms. I had both my old 150-500 and 50-500 calibrated this way to see which was better at 500, and while they ended up equal, the 50-500 was nowhere close to begin with.

My SA-mount 18-35 required a small AF adjust in the SD1M (yes, Digitalis, I'm one of those folks), and while it came with the USB dock (long story), I've never used it. Always quite happy with the performance of this lens on my Foveon body, and that makes it the only zoom I can say that about. Other than that, I stick to their macro lenses (the 180mm is a beast!).

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Before I get all kinds of grief for putting the DA20-40 down, it does have virtues - like small size and excellent build quality.
HERETIC! Light the torches! Sharpen the pitchforks! Don't you know that's a Pentax Limited you're talking about!??

07-08-2014, 01:12 AM   #1037
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Other than that, I stick to their macro lenses (the 180mm is a beast!).
Mmmh, that's one lens I'd like to get my fingers on...

I have the Sigma 70/2.8 EX which I cannot fault optically, but more stand-off distance would sometimes be useful.

I wouldn't mind a Pentax FA* 200/4 macro either, but saying it's expensive would be an understatement.
07-08-2014, 01:37 AM   #1038
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I wouldn't mind a Pentax FA* 200/4 macro either
this is OT but I have the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX MACRO and the FA*200mm f/4 ED MACRO. Considering your experience with the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX MACRO would leave you disappointed (optically, it isn't anything to write home about. However the FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro is simply stunning, especially on the K5IIs).
07-08-2014, 03:06 AM   #1039
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
this is OT but I have the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX MACRO and the FA*200mm f/4 ED MACRO.
Lucky you!

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Considering your experience with the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX MACRO would leave you disappointed (optically, it isn't anything to write home about...
Six 10s and three 9s awarded by PF reviewers speak a different language.

If it weren't for one -- let's call him "outlier" -- who scored a "1", the score average would be an impressive 9.67.

IIRC, you mentioned (long distance focus) issues with your copy, so perhaps it isn't quite OK. Not sure why you are keeping both Sigma 180mm and Pentax 200mm macros. Even if you won't get much for the former (IIRC, it had cosmetic issues as well), it would still be more than nothing which is what you have now if you always prefer the 200mm anyhow.

07-08-2014, 04:03 AM   #1040
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Not sure why you are keeping both Sigma 180mm and Pentax 200mm macros
You can't remove the tripod mount on the FA*200mm f/4 ED MACRO which makes the lens profoundly uncomfortable to carry in my everyday Flipside 300 bag. Also the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 is smaller and somewhat lighter than the FA*200mm f/4 ED MACRO.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
you mentioned (long distance focus) issues with your copy, so perhaps it isn't quite OK.
I have tried several other copies of this lens at similar focusing distances on different bodies - all of them had exactly the same issue.

All those lenses produced results like this:

Pentax K5IIs - Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX MACRO @ f/3.5 distant focus

I know you probably can't see it in that reduced size image but nothing is critically sharp in that image, and that doesn't change at all when you stop the lens down.

Having said that, the lens is excellent at close focusing distances:

Pentax K5IIs - Sigma 180mm f/3.5 APO EX @f/5.6 ISO 3200 1/640th

Personally I prefer to use my Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG for long distance scenery (an embarrassing situation where a telephoto zoom does better than a macro prime) I use the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX for closer up work which the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG doesn't do well at all. At focus distances below 2.5m the image quality from the sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX takes a nosedive, no matter the focal length or aperture used.

Last edited by Digitalis; 07-08-2014 at 04:37 AM.
07-08-2014, 06:14 AM   #1041
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Are there any lenses you don't own?
07-08-2014, 06:35 AM   #1042
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Are there any lenses you don't own?
I think the answer is 'yes' (but those are the ones he's owned, tested and found wanting. ;~)
07-08-2014, 07:07 AM   #1043
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Mine is out for delivery via UPS!

07-08-2014, 07:31 AM   #1044
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I got mine last night; I'll be taking it for a quick spin at lunch time.
07-08-2014, 09:05 AM - 1 Like   #1045
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
I got mine last night; I'll be taking it for a quick spin at lunch time.
We'll keep our fingers crossed that there will be some cats handy!
07-08-2014, 09:25 AM   #1046
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Birds and flowers for sure.
07-08-2014, 04:36 PM   #1047
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I got mine and did some messing with it. Here's a link to some .dng files for you to play with to see how it does. I think I need a slight adjustment on it, and for some reason it meters really weird. Anyway, enjoy! https://www.dropbox.com/s/ahk5dhnsk77xnzz/samples.rar
07-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #1048
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I got mine yesterday, I've done some test shots and it looks good, it will be put to a real world test this week though as I have three shows to shoot. I will do some comparisons with my FA31LTD at some time but I don't expect the 31LTD will perform particularly well at 18mm, that's why I own both (for now, I've given up on FF from Pentax so the 31LTD may end up on the chopping block).
07-08-2014, 10:52 PM   #1049
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I think I need a slight adjustment on it, and for some reason it meters really weird.
Like in a nominally dark room completely overexposes?
07-09-2014, 05:29 AM   #1050
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rich M Quote
Like in a nominally dark room completely overexposes?
Outside it seems to underexpose while wide open judging by the light meter if the sky is in the shot, other than that yeah, where it is darker I get overexposure. I can compensate for it pretty easily though. I simply have to learn the lens.
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