New Sigma 180mm macro

Started Sep 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Ednaz
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New Sigma 180mm macro
Sep 1, 2012

Picked up the lens yesterday, along with a Sigma 1.4x teleconverter for a little extra reach when chasing skittish subjects. I used to have the 150mm un-stabilized and really loved it; sold it when I heard the 180 was coming because I wanted to get a stabilized lens, and a little extra reach never hurts.

First impressions... WOW the DOF is skinny, skinny, skinny. At f11, I don't think you can cover a whole moth's head front to back. The lens is quite sharp and focuses nicely when you're not in really close, but when you're in the closest focusing range, the light level's down enough to make the lens hunt a lot. And it's got that Sigma hunt... Nikon lenses and Sigma lenses rotate the focus rings in different directions, and where with a Nikon lens the first movement when acquiring AF is almost always in the right direction, with the Sigma it's almost always in the wrong direction. Then it corrects. Saw this with other Sigma lenses too - they're just a tad slower to work with as a result. And as expected, the stabilization doesn't do much at macro distances, as with any macro lens.

And, this is a HEAVY lens, with a massive lens hood. Almost too heavy to work with hand held for a long time, really glad I have a hand strap.

The cropping was only to the 4x5 aspect ratio, not to enlarge the subject. Also, to be fair to the lens, you may notice some vignetting... that's added by me. The lens doesn't show any appreciable vignetting. You can see a couple with the 1.4x on at the end. Still nice and sharp, but the light was already fading.

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