First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

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First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Stany Buyle » Sun 12 Apr 2009 22:28

After having been a very happy nikkor 105VR user since the day it was available back in 2006 -also on FX sensor format cameras D3 and D700-, I went for the Sigma 180mm macro.
My initial findings:
With this lens I can stay much further away from my subject which is very important for shy insects.
AF speed is very fast and no hunting, this was quite a surprise for me after having read some reviews(*) of this lens who mention "slow focusing", very probably this reviews were done with the older version of this lens.
This lens works great with Kenko extention tubes, even with the 36mm the AF function is still usuable.
Sharpness is great but I didn't expect anything else... Most available macros and primes offer great sharpness.
This lens offers a real luxury for manual focusing: the focusing ring is huge and very well placed.
The tripod mount of this lens is very stable, perfect for live view and/or manual focusing and shooting.
The 3 position focusing limiter makes the AF function of this lens really perfect, even @ very close working distance and even with kenko extention tubes...
I can only highly recommend this lens for macro photography with FX sensor cameras.

(*): http://slrlensreview.com/content/view/158/75/
http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/sigma_180mm_macro_review.htm

Nikkor 105VR vs Sigma 180mm macro: If you prefer handhold close up photography, the 105VR is clearly the better choise both because of VR and the much shorter focal lenght.

Some samples of my first hours in the field with this lens:

Image
This picture is a 100% crop. Picture was taken handhold. The little spider didn't give me any time for a tripod setup. She urgently wanted to take her prey home... Shot taken @ iso 800, F9 and 1/400sec / no flash

Image
66% crop. Picture was taken handhold while using AF mode and kenko 20mm extention tube. A faster shutter speed would have given me a crispier picture, but I thought it's decent... Shot taken @ iso 640, F13 and 1/200 sec / no flash

Image
40% crop. Picture was taken handhold while using AF mode and kenko 20mm extention tube. Shot taken @ iso 640, F10 and 1/320sec / no flash

Image
40% crop. Picture was taken handhold while using AF mode and kenko 20mm extention tube. Shot taken @ iso 640, F10 and 1/500sec / no flash

Image
40% crop. Picture was taken handhold. shot taken @ iso 400, F14 and 1/320sec / PUFlash + 1.0L

Image
40% crop. This picture was the only picture I took on tripod and with manual focusing during my first hour in the field with this lens. As mentioned manual focusing with this lens is extremely easy and "comfortable"...Shot taken @ iso 640, F10 and 1/80sec / no flash

Thanks for looking.
kindest regards,

Stany
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Guy Van Hooveld » Mon 13 Apr 2009 09:43

Nice shots... which aperture do you need to get that kind of DOF ? and do you need flash or is this just natural light ?
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 13 Apr 2009 11:14

Guy Van Hooveld wrote:Nice shots... which aperture do you need to get that kind of DOF ? and do you need flash or is this just natural light ?


Hi Guy,
Thanks for your reaction.
I added some main exif info under the images.
kindest regards,

Stany
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby BrianSmith » Tue 14 Apr 2009 18:31

Great shots Stany. I love the 'not quite a bee'.
Can you tell me what sort of working distances you got with this lens and the above shots?
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Stany Buyle » Tue 14 Apr 2009 19:02

BrianSmith wrote:Great shots Stany. I love the 'not quite a bee'.
Can you tell me what sort of working distances you got with this lens and the above shots?


Hi Brian,
Thanks for your reaction.
Working distance was 60cm and closer upto very close, for some of the shots I was using a 20mm kenko extention tube (also for the flying "real" bee).
Also with the 36mm kenko ext tube AF was still perfectly possible. For tripod mounted shots this lens is a dream because of the big, comfortable and accurate focusing ring.(only the last shot was done on tripod)
kindest regards,

Stany
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby BrianSmith » Wed 15 Apr 2009 00:27

StanyB wrote:Hi Brian,
Thanks for your reaction.
Working distance was 60cm and closer upto very close, for some of the shots I was using a 20mm kenko extention tube (also for the flying "real" bee).
Also with the 36mm kenko ext tube AF was still perfectly possible. For tripod mounted shots this lens is a dream because of the big, comfortable and accurate focusing ring.(only the last shot was done on tripod)


I hadn't seen a bee like that. I wondered if it was one of the fake bees that is actually a fly but gets protection from its appearance.
Any idea if the Kenko extension tubes would work with my Tamron SP 90 Di?
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Stany Buyle » Wed 15 Apr 2009 09:36

Any idea if the Kenko extension tubes would work with my Tamron SP 90 Di?

Yes, it works(had tamron 90mm before) but you only can use MF.
kindest regards,

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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby lenz » Thu 16 Apr 2009 04:40

Dear Stany,
I notice the critical sharpness are lacking in some of the shots if compared to the last one shot on tripod.. I think you are right. 105 VR is still possibly the best macro for handheld macro photography for its VR. have you tried 105VR with the 1.7x TC? It is suppose to give around 180 mm too, and has VR.. I wonder how will it fare against the 200/4 or 180/3.5? Anyone tried this combo? How about 105VR + 1.7x TC + extension tubes? Anyone?
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby BrianSmith » Sat 18 Apr 2009 11:42

lenz wrote:Dear Stany,
I notice the critical sharpness are lacking in some of the shots if compared to the last one shot on tripod.. I think you are right. 105 VR is still possibly the best macro for handheld macro photography for its VR. have you tried 105VR with the 1.7x TC? It is suppose to give around 180 mm too, and has VR.. I wonder how will it fare against the 200/4 or 180/3.5? Anyone tried this combo? How about 105VR + 1.7x TC + extension tubes? Anyone?


Personally the only shot that lacks sharpness in these web versions is the first one. Maybe it was the violence.
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby ChrisBergstrom » Sun 19 Apr 2009 21:38

Nice Macro shots! I love the bee covered with pollen a lot, but they are all nice!
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 20 Apr 2009 10:06

ChrisBergstrom wrote:Nice Macro shots! I love the bee covered with pollen a lot, but they are all nice!

Thanks Chris, Nice you joined this forum. I saw some very nice pictures of yours in another topic on this board.
kindest regards,

Stany
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Leen Koper » Mon 20 Apr 2009 17:37

It is a nice lens, I considered buying one too. Now I have seen it yesterday and -unfortunately- forgot to try it out, I am in doubt wether I shall buy this one or the 2,8/150 Sigma. I won't use it for macro purposes, just for my portraiture photography outdoors. But I already own the 70-300VR.
I am still in doubt, but I have to decide rather quickly as it is tax deductable now, as I still do have my commercial studio.

Stany, you haven't made things easier. ;-)
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For Leen ///Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Stany Buyle » Wed 22 Apr 2009 10:14

Leen Koper wrote:It is a nice lens, I considered buying one too. Now I have seen it yesterday and -unfortunately- forgot to try it out, I am in doubt wether I shall buy this one or the 2,8/150 Sigma. Stany, you haven't made things easier. ;-)


Goodmorning Leen,

As I saw you're using DX cameras, the 180mm will give a field of view like 270mm, isn't that too long?
Did you even consider the 105 AF-S VR macro? (152,5mm on your DX cameras)

These were just my thoughts...
kindest regards,

Stany
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Re: First images with my Sigma 180mm macro...

Postby Leen Koper » Wed 22 Apr 2009 23:39

No, it isn't.
I often use my 70-300 at about 150-200mm for my outdoor portraiture. This works out fine.
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