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Sigma US gives price for APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

By dpreview staff on Jul 13, 2012 at 05:12 GMT

Sigma US has given details of the price and availability of the 180mm F2.8 macro lens for APS-C and full-frame DSLRs it announced in January. Featuring the company's Optical Stabilizer system, and three of its fluorite-like FLD glass elements, the APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM is billed as the world's first 1:1 180mm F2.8 optic. It will be available in the US from July 27th, at a street price of $1699.

Press Release:

Sigma Corporation of America announces APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

RONKONKOMA, NY July 13, 2012 – Sigma Corporation, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, has announced that the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM will be available in the United States on July 27 for the street price of $1,699.

The new APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens boasts Sigma’s proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology and a wide F2.8 aperture to allow faster shutter speeds for narrow depth of field. With the OS feature, the lens offers the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, enabling handheld, close-up photography. Three “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, which have a performance equal to fluorite glass, are included to provide excellent correction for color aberrations, and an inner focusing system enables this lens to photograph objects precisely throughout the entire focusing range. Overall length does not change during focusing.

“Macro photography is becoming quite popular and we’ve been growing our lineup of macro lenses as a result,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “We’re filling a gap in the industry by introducing the world’s first 1:1 180mm F2.8 lens to the market. The Optical Stabilizer technology and the larger focusing distance also provide photographers with more control for highly sensitive subjects that are on the move, like butterflies and insects.”

Equipped with the Super Multi-Layer Coating feature, the APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens reduces flare and ghosting, and delivers sharp and high contrast images, even in backlit conditions. The incorporation of Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet and high-speed autofocus, as well as full-time manual focus override capability. The macro lens has a rounded nine-blade diaphragm to create an attractive blur to the image’s out-of-focus areas. At 1:1 magnification, this lens has a focusing distance of 18.5 inches, which is a greater working distance than shorter focal length macro lenses, making it advantageous when taking pictures of highly sensitive subjects. It is also compatible with Sigma’s 1.4x EX DG APO and 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters.

To locate an authorized Sigma dealer near you, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/where-to-buy-sigma. To use Sigma’s new Lens Finder Tool to find the best glass to suit your needs, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/sigma-lens-finder. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit www.sigmaphoto.com, or follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.

About Sigma Corporation 

For more than 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,” with an emphasis on producing high-quality, high-performance photographic technology at moderate prices. This family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 40 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax.

Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. For information, please visit www.sigmaphoto.com.

Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length180 mm
Image stabilisationYes
Lens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sony Alpha, Sigma SA
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements19
Groups14
Special elements / coatings3 FLD glass elements
Focus
Minimum focus0.47 m (18.5)
Maximum magnification1×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Focus notesFloating focus system
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight1640 g (3.62 lb)
Diameter95 mm (3.74)
Length204 mm (8.03)
SealingNo
Filter thread86 mm
Tripod collarYes

Comments

Total comments: 129
bossa
By bossa (Dec 3, 2012)

After reading the glowing Lenstip review of this lens I can't wait to see how many of these posters are going to sell their 200/4 for it.

0 upvotes
odedia
By odedia (Jul 15, 2012)

I'll take the Nikon 200mm f/4 over this lens any day, thank you. Especially for only 1400$.

0 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (Jul 16, 2012)

... I wonder what school you attended :D

2 upvotes
mandm
By mandm (Jul 17, 2012)

I'll also be keeping my 200mm 4.0 Micro Nikkor (AIS). No need for AF when shooting close and while HSM might help in a few pic's, the Sigma is just too big compared to my Nikkor.

0 upvotes
chris_j_l
By chris_j_l (Jul 14, 2012)

And with this, Sigma signals that they have abandoned K mount for macro lenses.

0 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (Jul 14, 2012)

I only see that they've confirmed Sigma SA mount. Nothing about Canon EF, Nikon or Sony mounts either. I just wish Sigma would keep OS on their Sony and Pentax mounts.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 14, 2012)

Or that they have abandoned K mount for all new lenses. The big question is, are they still producing the existing K mount lenses, or when the supplies in the warehouse are gone, is Sigma out of the K mount business?

Tamron appears to have pulled out. Cosina (Zeiss and Voigtlander) has pulled out. That would leave Pentax the only camera brand with no third-party lens support.

0 upvotes
JeffAHayes
By JeffAHayes (Jul 16, 2012)

Why do you think they'd do that, or that be happening? And what would that mean to Pentax and Pentax shooters?

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Jul 16, 2012)

Because Pentax is too small of market. I think Tamron makes some of Pentax's lens anyway

0 upvotes
Ikeepem
By Ikeepem (Jul 14, 2012)

They're dreaming, but there's a sucker born every minute...the non IS 150mm f2.8 is about as far as I'll go...

0 upvotes
Don Karner
By Don Karner (Jul 14, 2012)

Who am I going to use for my 3rd party lenses now? Sigma raising their quality and prices. They are pricing themselves out of the market for the casual macro shooter.

1 upvote
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jul 15, 2012)

Well you can always use the plethora of old manual focus macro lenses on fleabay which are optically very good (almost all macro lenses are). And if you NEED AF for non macro work and in general then there is always the time tested Tamron 90mm f2.8 (which I use and like) as well as other sharp but cheap (relatively) lenses like the Tamron 60mm f2 and the Sigma 70mm f2.8.

0 upvotes
danniii
By danniii (Jul 15, 2012)

That price to me looks cheaper than the f3.5 180mm macro I was looking at on B & H last year.

0 upvotes
Chris Yates
By Chris Yates (Jul 14, 2012)

2 Sigma lenses, both AF dead within a year. One Sigma flash for Canon, again dead within a year. Never again Sigma.

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Jul 15, 2012)

Repaired my Sigma 105/2.8 macro 2 times last year (( Both times AF problems (( Going to buy Minolta 100/2.8 instead...

0 upvotes
Hugo600si
By Hugo600si (Jul 15, 2012)

Running with an early 180/3.5 apo macro since my film days without issues. Still want a Sony 100/2.8 as well though ;)

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (Jul 20, 2012)

I have a 7 year old Sigma 18-125mm zoom for Canon, which I bought for $300 to use with my Canon 20 D. It just keeps working! I use it on a Canon Rebel T1i now. I shot over 100,000 photos with that lens over the years. I wish it had OS. I might buy the newer OS version of that lens for my Sony A55.

0 upvotes
SteB
By SteB (Jul 14, 2012)

It looks a very good lens for anyone who tends to specialise more in tripod macro photography.

However, I admit it looks a bit large and expensive for my tastes. Currently I use the older non-OS Sigma 150mm, often with a 1.4x converter for a 210mm f4 1.4:1 lens. I've always been pleased with this lens. Nevertheless OS would be useful at times. I wanted to see the prices and sizes of the newer 150mm and 180mm.

Whilst the 180mm will probably be a macro lens to lust after, I'm not so sure I'd enjoy carrying it around. There's also probably a lot of useful equipment you could get for the price difference. So I think if I did move up to an OS version I'd get the 150mm as it's easy to turn it into a very serviceable 210mm with a 1.4x converter.

0 upvotes
danniii
By danniii (Jul 17, 2012)

(the 180mm f3.5) not too bad to carry around... I notice it a little when it's on the camera - I don't really notice it when it is in it's pouch. Since I picked up my SD1m in March my older 180mm has practically lived on my camera.

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (Jul 20, 2012)

I have a hard time believing they don't know how much it will weigh. They sure are proud of it. The 150mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro is only $1,100 street price! I don't see how 20% longer focal length makes this lens worth 50% more. Maybe the 150 is selling so well that they figure this one should be priced higher, so it can make them a little more profit. Besides, Nikon and Canon would be proud of a 180mm f2.8 VR or IS macro too, I'm sure.

0 upvotes
Artichoke
By Artichoke (Jul 14, 2012)

quesitonable move by Sigma
ideal focal length for butterflies
given the specs posted, it is likely more ungainly from the optically superb Nikkor 200 Micro f4 ...lots of lens elements!
the additional speed likely comes at significant cost as I suspect this is a heavy lens as well as a large one
I love using macro lenses for non-macro photography & the f2.8 with good quality IS is highly appealing at this focal length

0 upvotes
DVT80111
By DVT80111 (Jul 14, 2012)

$1700 is not a cheap lens. I expect it will outperform other lens in its class or Sigma can't sell to anyone.

19 elements, wow! it is not easy to design and put together with many piece of glass.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jul 14, 2012)

I seriously doubt too many people will buy this at $1700. Though they do say its a street price I feel its closer to the MSRP and the lens will sell for around $1300 or so which would make it cheaper than the Canon 180mm f3.5 L.

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (Jul 20, 2012)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/837868-REG/Sigma_180mm_f_2_8_APO_Macro.html

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (Jul 14, 2012)

Joseph Wisniewski: "Breathing" - that is a new term to me. Could you explain what you mean? Optical diagrams I get, but you can't readily show these in comments.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jul 14, 2012)

Ill like to give it a shot. Generally all lenses are rated at near infinity focus. However once you approach minimum focusing distance then most lenses show a reduced focal length. To give you an example, ill quote directly from Thom Hogan's site where he reviewed the Nikon 70-200mm VR II.

The 70-200mm (@200mm) is actually 192mm at infinity focus, this drops down to 164mm when focusing at 3m and finally at MFD (1.4m) the actual focal length is just 134mm.

Similarly the Sigma 180mm is approximately 180mm only at infinity focus. Once you focus at near 1:1 magnification, in all likelihood the actual focal length will be less.

I believe all lenses show some focus breathing but some show significantly higher focus breathing than others.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 14, 2012)

Brendon's on the right track.

Breathing is an old movie term. Still photographers don't pay as much attention to it, but it's a real problem when you focus in to blur a scene for a transition, or cross focus between two people at different distances, to add emphasis to a dialog.

It means the angle of coverage of a lens changes as you focus. Even a "unit focusing" lens that doesn't change focal lengths when you focus breathes.

Let's pick on my 58mm f1.4 Voigtlander. It doesn't change focal length when you focus: it's always 58mm. So, at infinity, the lens is a "hole" 58mm from the sensor. On a FF camera, that's 2*arctan(43.3mm/2/58mm) = 40.9 degrees.

When you focus to 1m, the lens extends 3.6mm. That hole is now 61.6mm from the sensor. So, the angle of coverage is now 38.7 degrees, a very visible difference from the 40.9 you had at infinity. Stuff gets larger looking.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 14, 2012)

A lens that changes focal lengths as you focus can partially or totally compensate for breathing. The older Nikon 85mm f1.8 D, for example, has an "internal focusing" mechanism that moves the lens's rear inner elements to alter the focal length of the lens when the camera tries to focus it.

Instead of racking out from 85mm to 92.9mm when you focus from infinity to 1m, it changes focal length. At infinity, it's an 85mm lens, 85mm from the sensor. At 1m, if it were perfect, it would zoom, becoming a 77.3mm lens at 85mm from the sensor. Since the "hole in space" is always 85mm from the sensor, the lens is always covering 28.6 degrees.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 14, 2012)

Note that I said "if it were perfect". In reality, it both zooms and moves as it focuses. So, it might use zooming to account for 5 of the 7.7mm that it needs to focus from infinity to 1m, and use movements of some elements near tie aperture to pick up the other 2.7mm. The result, the angle changes, but only 1/3 as much as it would if you used an old-fashioned unit-focus design.

So, the 85mm f1.4 Nikkor is "better" for video than the 85mm f1.4 Cosina Zeiss Planar. The Nikkor is not free of breathing, but it breathes about 1/3 as much as the Zeiss.

Some lenses overzoom. The Nikon 70-200mm VR II is an example. It actually changes focal length from 85mm to about 59mm when it goes from infinity to 1.4m. That's 25.5mm outward, when it only needs 5.5mm. So it "overzooms" about 20mm, and ends up breathing worse than a unit focusing lens that would only have moved 5.5mm.

The older version 1 zoomed much less, and has much less breathing.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 14, 2012)

To sum it all up. A unit focus lens is one "extreme". It breathes in, the angle of focus decreases, looking like it's "zooming in" as you "focus in" on closer objects. It's "not compensated" for breathing.

A "perfectly compensated" lens changes focal length exactly as much as would be required to focus, there's no movement of the lens's "rear nodal point" and you get no breathing, at all. Zeiss "master primes", at $15,000 each, are examples of perfectly compensated lenses.

An under-compensated lens changes focal length, but not enough to achieve focus, so it has to move a little, and the end result is it still breathes in as you focus in, but not as much as a unit focusing lens. The Nikon 85mm f1.4 is such a lens, Nikon eliminated about 70% of its breathing.

An overcompensated lens changes focal length more than it should to achieve focus, so there has to be "wrong way" motion to take up the slack. The breathing is more "noticeable" because they breathe out when you focus in.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 14, 2012)

This can be a small amount, an overcompensated lens may breathe 1/2 as much as a unit focusing lens, and you only really notice the breathing because it's "wrong way" breathing, out as you focus in, in as you focus out. Or it can even be more than a unit focusing lens. That's why the Nikon 70-200mm VR2 gets a lot of comments from people shooting video, because it has a lot of that "wrong way" breathing that's so easy to notice. More than a "conventional" lens, and wrong way, to boot.

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (Jul 14, 2012)

Thank you very much, that was an excellent explanation. I have noticed the focal length change on macro lenses at infinity vs. 1:1, but as I don't shoot video, it never occurred to me that this optical feature might be detrimental for some users.

The Zeiss "master prime" design may have no constraints on weight or bulk. I suppose lenses are like tripods, an inevitable compromise: you can't have high quality, light weight, no "breathing", and reasonable cost in the same lens.

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jul 13, 2012)

Is this a better lens than any of Canon's macros?

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jul 14, 2012)

The Canon 180mm f3.5 is a strict average lens thats grossly overpriced. They have nothing in the 150mm range but their 100mm f2.8 USM and 100mm f2.8 IS L USM lenses are darn good.

However if you need good working distance then you need a 150mm or 180mm macro lens.

Since Sigma's 150mm lens is very highly regarded this 180mm should also be a stellar lens unless Sigma has really screwed up the design.

Do note that 90mm - 100mm lenses can be used handled for good results but 150mm and higher macro lenses theoretically NEED to be used on a tripod. So the OS is more for non macro purposes.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jul 14, 2012)

Thanks for the info. :-)

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (Jul 14, 2012)

The Canon 180mm f/3.5 is a good but old lens, and it is now going to be outmoded. It has great sharpness, contrast, and color, but weighs a ton and lacks IS. I would say that a used one at the right price is well worth consideration if you don't work off tripod.

1 upvote
Rickard Hansson
By Rickard Hansson (Jul 13, 2012)

well, would like to see an lens equivalent to canons MP-E 65 instead that have 2-5:1 instead.

That lens is the one and only lens i envy the canon shoooters for, wish there was one with nikon mount.

This 180mm lens will probably be to heavy for everyday macro shooting, ig handheld.

My 150 mm sigma macro lens is a tad to heavy for all day usage hand held.

0 upvotes
DavidsfotosDotCom
By DavidsfotosDotCom (Jul 13, 2012)

To heavy! & Who needs f2.8 with iS at least when you can shoot at iso 1600 on Pro bodies.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
hippo84
By hippo84 (Jul 15, 2012)

What about DoF?

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (Jul 20, 2012)

Huh? Have you ever shot at 1,600 ISO? Noisy is not the word. That's a word reserved for ISO 400 and ISO 800. Try shooting with a high resolution camera, like a 7 D or a D 7000 at ISO 1,600, and take a close look at the image. Pro bodies? I'm assuming you mean something like a D 800 then. JUST AS NOISY, though you can downsample to 18 megapixels and get a resonable result. Still, that won't compare with what you get from the same camera shooting at ISO 400. Look at any large prints lately? Macro prints are especially needy of low noise, because people inspect them very close up, to see how much detail they can see in the print.

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jul 13, 2012)

Can someone please explain what 'flourite-like' means vs. actual flourite, and how this affects quality?

1 upvote
marsbar
By marsbar (Jul 14, 2012)

"flourite like" glass is meaning that its refractive index is similar to fluorite. This is like Canons SLD glass. Quality wise not too sure, i have lenses and telescopes with both types of glass, and both perform well enough.

1 upvote
NancyP
By NancyP (Jul 13, 2012)

At 1.6 kg/ 3.5 lb, that OS will come in handy.
At least as far as the aperture and OS, this is a category leader.
I have an old Canon 180mm f/3.5 L non-IS, lighter at approximately 1.1 kg, and it's strictly a tripod/ monopod/ "Lord V beanpole"/ beanbag lens at macro range.

0 upvotes
Cerumen
By Cerumen (Jul 13, 2012)

I have the older f3.5 version of this lens, and always liked it. For general macro purposes, one is probably better off going for a lens in the 90~105mm range, and consider this lens after mastering a shorter focal length. The 2.8 version is quite a bit heavier (about 700 grams heavier) than the the 3.5 version, so the weight alone could be a dealbreaker for some.
Advantage of the long focal length is much better control of backgrounds, along with the working distance, as others have mentioned.
Here's a recent post of some bees I shot, using the 180 f3.5's AF at 1:1 distances. I was very pleased with the success I was having:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&message=41976985

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Jul 13, 2012)

I have two Sigma lenses one is good the other is good? But it took 6 months and 4 trips to the service center to fix AF problems. For me. It would be easier to buy and spend more and not have to worry about it. Sorry Sigma it might be the best thing since sliced bread but you burned the bridges for me.

There press release should read:

For more than 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,” with an emphasis on producing sorry-quality, crummy-performance photographic technology at moderate prices.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Mach Schnell
By Mach Schnell (Jul 13, 2012)

Holy cow! Are they serious? $1,700. That is 3 times what I paid for the extremely good Sigma 150mm f/2.8. I can't fathom why it would cost so much more. I don't think they'll get many takers at that price.

1 upvote
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Jul 13, 2012)

longer focal length + optical image stabilization = more glass + bits = more $$$

1 upvote
fmian
By fmian (Jul 13, 2012)

Just like todays typical consumer. Wants everything for nothing.

3 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (Jul 13, 2012)

fmian: Just like todays typical company, every time somebody scratches him or herself a consumer has to pay for it.

1 upvote
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Jul 13, 2012)

I agree. Every time Sigma release a new lens the price is about triple the previous incarnation. OK it has IS and and no doubt very well built but surely the attraction of third party lenses like Sigma and Tamron is the very fact they offer very good quality at cheaper prices than camera makers own lenses. The Tamron 180 macro is £640 (and on a Sony or Pentax this is stabilised anyway). The equivalent Canon and Nikon lenses are around £1100.

Sigma are going to price themselves out of the market.

1 upvote
Michel F
By Michel F (Jul 14, 2012)

The price made me cringe also as I was looking forward to this lens to possibly replace my Tamron 180mm. What is Sigma thinking ? At that price, I'll skip and get a used but excellent condition Nikon 200mm f/4 micro. Heck, at that price I could get a new 200mm f/4 micro ! Considering their less than stellar reputation in the quality control department, Sigma needs to get real with their prices.

0 upvotes
chaking
By chaking (Jul 14, 2012)

Well, since the 105 and 150 both say they have a MSRP of 1400-1600, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't actually pay that much... just like always...

Also, how did the OP only pay ~$550 for the 150 macro? You must mean the one with no OS. The new one goes for about $1100.

This is not out of the ordinary - stop flipping out. Show me another > 150mm macro that's stabilized and doesn't cost that much...

0 upvotes
StyleZ7
By StyleZ7 (Jul 14, 2012)

Easy to understand the price tag, if you have the line - "First in the world" in advertisment ;)
It's happening so not only with lens manufacturing, but everywhere else too.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jul 14, 2012)

For all those who dislike the price it seems that there is a market opportunity for you. It maybe time for you to design, produce and market a lens made in America for half the price.
I am sure you would become very wealthy on the volume of sales even at your reduced margin because everybody would insist on owning at least one copy. ;)

2 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Jul 13, 2012)

I taste bokehlicious.
Always wanted lens manufacturers to push the magnification
100mm F/4 1.5x magnification anyone?!

Not everybody needs a mp-e 1-5x
But 1.5x is common for bugs.
don't mind if it's MF, the focus path might just be too long for practical AF.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
joejack951
By joejack951 (Jul 13, 2012)

The Nikon 105/2.8 AF-S G Micro can take any Nikon teleconverter (1.4X, 1.7X, and 2X) which increase the magnification by the same amount. In good light, the lens will still AF even, at least with the 1.4X TC that I've tried (yielding a 147.5mm f/4 1.4:1 magnification lens with AF and VR).

Then again, the same applies to the Sigma macros as far as I know.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
The Scurvy Dog of PR
By The Scurvy Dog of PR (Jul 13, 2012)

I noticed they did not state in the specs, how much it weighs. At F2.8 and 19 elements, it must be substantial.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 13, 2012)

1.64kg, 3 lb 9.8 oz

http://sigma-photo.co.jp/english/lens/macro/180_28_os/#/specification

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 15, 2012)

Oh my god, 1.64kg are they kidding! This is almost double the 150 f/2.8 weight and more than a 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

Absolutely absurd. I had my heart set on this lens but will probably now just get the 150 f/2.8 OS or get a 90/100mm 1:1 macro for my Olympus E-M5 at 1/4 quarter the weight and the Oly has IS built in.

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Jul 13, 2012)

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! i have glistening tears on my face now!

0 upvotes
GreginVA
By GreginVA (Jul 13, 2012)

I am 2 for 2 with dud Sigma lenses, including a 150mm OS Macro which will periodically decide to have problems with autofocus and with image stabilization. I won't buy any more Ford cars and I won't buy any more Sigma lenses, particularly when there are reasonable alternatives from Canon and Nikon. The specs for this lens look good, but Sigma does not have adequate quality control.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 13, 2012)

I'm 6 for 5 (one lens went in twice, for two unrelated problems).

The HSM died in my 30mm f1.4.

The 14mm had a problem with its own lubricants coating the glass elements, and, as it was out of warranty, Sigma promptly pronounced it irreparable, but a local shop fixed it.

My 400mm 5.6 went in twice: once for the AF mechanism, once for an internal element that came unmounted.

My 8mm has a focus problem that Sigma says (in tiny print, in the manual, no less) is normal for that lens.

My SD-14 died the second or third time I turned it on, and I returned it for "fitness for purpose".

3 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (Jul 13, 2012)

Yea Joseph ...

I use Sigma gear a lot and never had any problems. The only one was a shipping problem.

My DP2s is close to 35K actuations too.

50 f1.4 never had problems.
17-50 EX 2.8 never had problems.
85 f1.4 never had problems.
150 Macro OS APO HSM f2.8 EX never had problems.
17-70 Macro had shipping problems.

And so on ...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (Jul 13, 2012)

There is always a big gamble with Sigma, tried 3 50 1.4 all of them had horrible AF issues.

my sigma 70-200 2.8 os had to go to sigma because AF just stopped working, was hunting like crazy

2 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Jul 13, 2012)

i am 1/2 for now...my 50 1.4 AF sometimes chooses its day off too.
my 70-200 so far hasn't given me any problem yet and god it's @#$#ing sharp!

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jul 13, 2012)

I hope you change your mind about Ford...

0 upvotes
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Jul 13, 2012)

My experience with Sigma in terms of quality control is not that different than Nikon - out of 8 Sigma lenses, 1 failed to AF after years of use. Out of 9 Nikon lenses, 1 developed AF problems also after years of use.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Jul 22, 2012)

I am 1 for 2. The 18-200 sigam died within 2 weeks (AF, their VR) so Iwas able to returned it for a Nikon. A few month ago I took a gamble on the 85mm 1.4 and it still works. I hope it last forever but then again it is a sigma. It is also my favorite lens.

0 upvotes
Frenske
By Frenske (Jul 13, 2012)

Depth of field: 0.0004m at 0.47m and f/2.8. LOL ... even at f/16 it is just 3mm. I am not sure the world really needs lenses like this.

0 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Jul 13, 2012)

I'm guessing you don't know about teleconvertors and how they work then.

3 upvotes
Frenske
By Frenske (Jul 13, 2012)

I am guessing you have more money than sense if you consider to pair this lens with a teleconverter.

1 upvote
RPJG
By RPJG (Jul 13, 2012)

That makes no sense at all.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 13, 2012)

Actually, teleconverters are common with long macro lenses, to get more working distance around "skittish" subjects. Shaw's "Closeups in Nature" has a lot of good information on that technique. That's one reason for an f2.8 macro.

A lot of us do extreme shallow DOF macro. I often use a Nikon 85mm f1.4 (76mm f1.4 at its closest focus) with a Canon 500D diopter. That's effectively a 66mm f1.2. That's another reason why people need lenses like this.

Zeiss makes a pair of f2.0 macros, a 100mm and a 50mm.

Now, if you know so little about the subject, you really shouldn't be getting so rude with people who do know about it, or ridiculing equipment manufactures. Instead, ask intelligent questions, like why would they make this? What would you do with it?

8 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Jul 13, 2012)

Frenske is a camear hooligan! LOL!!!

thanks for the info Joseph

0 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (Jul 13, 2012)

Very good and informative reply Joseph. Frenske should go find another hobby that suites his narrow minded view of the world. I would recommend kite flying.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 13, 2012)

You're both welcome.

0 upvotes
Rowbear
By Rowbear (Jul 13, 2012)

If this 180 is as good as their 150, I'll be very impressed !!!

5 upvotes
The Smudger
By The Smudger (Jul 13, 2012)

1:1 @ 18.5 inches/47cm working distance!!!!!!!!

Really???????

0 upvotes
FritsThomsen
By FritsThomsen (Jul 13, 2012)

From the film/sensor plane , Yes

1 upvote
Steve Balcombe
By Steve Balcombe (Jul 13, 2012)

Focusing distance, not working distance. To get the working distance, subtract the length of the lens and the distance from the mount to the sensor (44 mm for Canon EF)

So, 470 - 204 - 44 = 222 mm.

Still very good of course!

6 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Jul 13, 2012)

The 150 is sealed. I see no mention of sealing on this one.

2 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (Jul 13, 2012)

Never heard of Sigma doing any sealed lenses.

0 upvotes
sirkhann
By sirkhann (Jul 13, 2012)

@raincoat - 150 OS and 100 OS both are.

2 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Jul 13, 2012)

As sirkhann said the 105mm OS macro and the 150mm OS macro both are so is the 120-300mm f2.8 OS is also weather sealed.

2 upvotes
brittonx
By brittonx (Jul 13, 2012)

Their 12-24 II and 120-300 f/2.8 OS are also both weather-sealed.

0 upvotes
George Veltchev
By George Veltchev (Jul 13, 2012)

I love my Canon macro lenses ... I really do, but in the same time I am a proud owner of a 150mm f/2.8 and a 70mm f/2.8 Macro lenses from Sigma. They are truly Spectacular in every way ..... impressive resolution characteristics even wide open, superb sharpness, lovely bokeh ( well not the creamiest but still pleasant ), nicely controlled Chromatic Aberrations and most of all great value for money!!! The latest Macro introduction from Sigma surely can be a welcome addition to the very impressive range in the line .... Bravo Sigma ...You Can too ;)

8 upvotes
dansclic
By dansclic (Jul 13, 2012)

High quality at moderate prices ???? I Am dead !!!! If you want quality you have to pay for, cheap stuff from sigma is not a good deal : 50 per cent is decentered, mecanical problems, un reliable autofocus.....
So again a 1700 USD Lens and what ? Buy a used nikon or canon instead.

4 upvotes
sirkhann
By sirkhann (Jul 13, 2012)

Sorry, no one makes stabilized 180/2.8 with 1:1 ;) Nor stabilized 150/2.8. Nor 8-16 DX. Nor 12-24 Full-frame.

19 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 13, 2012)

I've got 4 Sigma lenses and not one has had an issue. My Sigma 150 macro is as good as many of my L lenses.

14 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jul 13, 2012)

First party is overrated.

16 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jul 13, 2012)

Don't agree on the price but this 50% decentered seems to be waay off line. I used 3 Sigma lenses and all 3 were great lenses without problems. Though there are plenty of dud Sigma lenses, many of their EX lenses are as good as any Canon L lens especially their macro range like the 105mm OS, 150mm OS and non OS and their brilliant one of a kind 120-300mmf2.8 OS.

4 upvotes
OldScotch
By OldScotch (Jul 13, 2012)

Sigma equipment often sells for much less than the MSRP.

4 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jul 13, 2012)

i have no sigma lenses anymore.. because all of them had issues. sigma is a lottery for cheap buyers.... if your lucky you get a good one. thx but im not buying sigma anymore. it´s not for no reason that so many complain about sigmas AF. maybe that´s why macros from sigmas seem to get a better report. for macro most will use manual anyway i guess.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jan Madsen
By Jan Madsen (Jul 13, 2012)

Sigma lenses so far (for Canon 1DsII and 5DII):
15mm f/2.8 fisheye: Fine.
12-24mm f/4.5-5.6: Fine.
20mm f/1.8: Required tape on the hood to avoid ratteling.
28mm f/1.8: Fine.
70mm f/2.8 macro: Sharpest lens ever encountered.
100-300 f/4: Fine.
So except for the tape on the 20mm hood (just like the Canon 200mm f/1.8!) no problems at all for 6 lenses.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 59 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (Jul 13, 2012)

Yeah, I've owned a few Sigma lenses, too. Going all the way back to my old Sigma manual focus 70-210mm f/2.8 APO. Currently I have the 20-40mm f/2.8 EX DG Aspherical, the 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, the 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Macro and the 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro. I've had no problems with any of them. No decentering. No autofocus issues. Nothing. My guess is that a LOT of the complaining about quality issues with 3rd party lenses is coming from people hired by the majors to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.

1 upvote
Djenuwine
By Djenuwine (Jul 13, 2012)

I had the 70mm 2.8 Macro, it was an amazing lens wh good price. But... Sigma lenses have problems:
- 50mm 1.4 more than +2 correction on my 5DII so useless go back to Sigma.
- My fiend with 30mm 1.4 => problem
- I try a 85mm 1.4 prime lense => problem
So i understand 1700$ for this lens is expensive. Hope do not have focus problem...

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Jul 13, 2012)

We've all heard of sample variation from Sigma and it's a bit higher than the others I believe, but I've never ever heard of an issue with their line of Macro lenses, especially the 150 f/2.8 APO. Somehow Sigma's macro glass comes out of their own factory or own special assemblers or something but they are superb lenses.

1 upvote
Chris Cuennet
By Chris Cuennet (Jul 13, 2012)

Your comment is ridiculous... Sigma disturbs ultras-Canonistes and persuaded Nikonistes that they have the best material of the world... Sigma proved and proves for a long time that they are capable of making objectives of very high optical quality, furthermore, the last generations at the level of the HSM and of the OS does not much have to envy in Canon and Nikon. know the number of produced objectives not Sigma every year... What stands out in 100 % of products with no problem at all? Nobody!... Do not make of a 4 or 5 % of the totality of products for a majority !

1 upvote
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (Jul 13, 2012)

Such a statement is pure hyperbole. I own and use several Sigma lenses (with lots of professional abuse) and they are excellent, especially for the money.

0 upvotes
Djenuwine
By Djenuwine (Jul 13, 2012)

@Chris : The image quality is not the problem. Sigma produce lenses with very good image quality
Canon has exactly same problem. The problem is not Sigma or Canon or Nikon brand. It's product controlling.
That's the reason why i choose to buy zeiss lenses. They control each piece of production. So you have never problem.
Sorry but i don't want to pay 1k€ and to hope for a good product.

1 upvote
George Christofi
By George Christofi (Jul 13, 2012)

Great for macro and portraits,i ll wait for test results.

2 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Jul 13, 2012)

If you use it for anything else than macro the speed of the AF system becomes important.
I'm curious about that.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 13, 2012)

I know my 150 f/2.8 HSM macro has good AF speed in normal use. I would hope this is at least as good if not better.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jul 13, 2012)

While I can't see it mentioned anywhere in the press release, I can see from the photo that there is indeed a focus limiter which should boost the AF speed in normal photography to pretty good levels. :)

0 upvotes
semorg
By semorg (Jul 13, 2012)

I'll wait an see if they are truly f/2.8 at the 1:1 ratio position or if the the 2.8 is at longer range. Also I would be curious about the diaphragm design and the kind of bokeh this lens can produce. For me the best 180 lens and probably the best lens created remains to be leica 180/2.8 apo.

0 upvotes
sirkhann
By sirkhann (Jul 13, 2012)

It is physical limitation that reduces the light intensity at 1:1 in *any* macro lens. Aperture remains at F2.8, but light transmission would be something like F5.6-F7.1.

0 upvotes
sirkhann
By sirkhann (Jul 13, 2012)

And Leica 180/2.8 APO has 1:7 at 1.5m focal distance. Quite far from being a macro lens :D :D :D

3 upvotes
Epitaph_pmr
By Epitaph_pmr (Jul 13, 2012)

Even if f2.8 was possible at 1:1, you would never use it. You'd have no DoF (even at F11-16 you still need focus stacking).

2 upvotes
semorg
By semorg (Jul 13, 2012)

@ sirkhann
I do understand the physics behind it and that's why I was questioning their statement. But thought perhaps they have larger glass and aperture and extended 1:1 it still stays at 2.8.
I know the leica is not macro. However, an APO lens that is corrected really well could make a great general use lens and for me the benchmark is the leica 180 apo. So my point was that I want to see it tested against the leica at infiniti

@Epitaph_pmr I understand the DOF macro issues. Though for some artistic reason you may just want to shoot 2.8. In general for macro when possible I don't set my lens beyond 5.6 or f/8 and I then stack. The result as you probably already know is far better. I've even stacked the famous arch shot at mount whitney in eastern sieras (not macro obviously) and got some amazing results. The texture on the arch is so much more 3D looking vs. the other shots I've seen from that spot that were taken with wider lenses at f16-f22 range.

0 upvotes
Aaro
By Aaro (Jul 13, 2012)

"The macro lens has a rounded nine-blade diaphragm to create an attractive blur to the image’s out-of-focus areas."

0 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (Jul 13, 2012)

I have the 150mm f/2.8 APO Macro. At its minimum focus distance my D700 reads f/5.6, so the lens actually does reflect the light loss at close range with its electronic output.

0 upvotes
sirkhann
By sirkhann (Jul 13, 2012)

Putting your favourite Leica 180/2.8 on extenders to be able to close-focus will also reduce its light intensity transmission to sensor. It will remain 2.8 F-stops but will have lower T-stops. ;)

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 13, 2012)

This one, like my Nikon 200mm, is an internal focusing type: the focal length drops as you get closer to 1:1. WillemB says 117mm, which makes sense. 180mm f2.8 is a 64.3mm aperture, so 117mm at 1:1 is f3.64, which is a lot better than the 150mm does, a "conventional" macro that goes from f2.8 to 5.6 at 1:1.

@sirkhann, aperture is reduced (see "bellows factor") but light transmission (see "t stop") is unaffected.

1 upvote
semorg
By semorg (Jul 13, 2012)

@Joseph S Wisniewski good point about the effective focal length at shorter range.

@sirkhann thanks but we all know about the extension tube and the effect on focal length. This camera seem to have a larger front element . Leica uses is a 67mm front thread vs. the 86mm, it does not take a trigonometry genius to figure out there is potential for larger diameter that may have been used to design that could maintain a higher fstop. A bit like how zoom lenses with fix fstop do. So that's part I'm trying to explore and not the basic extension and fstop reduction that we all know about.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Jul 13, 2012)

Just wondering but why would you need f/2.8 for doing macro? Don't you usually want as much DOf as possible since you are focusing so close?

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jul 13, 2012)

Anything you want to stand far away from. I'm sure its a great quality telephoto also.

1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 13, 2012)

Well you can also use it for normal work, portraiture and even for close-up I like shooting flowers often with little DoF for a painterly effect.

Can't wait to get one.

5 upvotes
rlyone
By rlyone (Jul 13, 2012)

birghter viewfinder

4 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Jul 13, 2012)

2.8 on macro is great for portraits, studio use and since its a 180mm lens you can use it for taking pictures of birds as well at that aperture settings.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Jul 13, 2012)

yeah it will be a great long prime

1 upvote
BJN
By BJN (Jul 13, 2012)

The aperture on most macros gets considerably slower at macro range, so you have to start with a faster lens to get a reasonably fast aperture for macro work.

0 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Jul 13, 2012)

The reason it is f2.8 is so because that helps with using a teleconvertor. A f/4 could only use a 1.4x TC while a 2.8 can use a 2x. AF and all that happens at max aperture and the lens is stopped down as you take the photo. Max aperture for reliable AF is f5.6. Even when using manual focus as is typical with macro a brighter viewfinder is helpful

2 upvotes
WillemB
By WillemB (Jul 13, 2012)

Sadly, at close-up, the effective focus length of this lens has shrunk to 117 mm when 1:1. Is this called super-focus-breathing?

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 13, 2012)

Willem, it's close to the length you need to avoid breathing. If your lens doesn't change focal length at all, you get "breathing in" when you focus in. Say you've got a FF camera. At infinity, the angle of view is 2*arctan(43.3mm/2/180mm) is 13.7 degrees. Now, simply extend to 1:1, and you've got a pupil 360mm from the sensor, and 6.9 degrees.

If your lens zoomed to 90mm when it hit 1:1, you'd have the original 13.7 degrees, "breathing free", but you'd have a short working distance.

I guess 117mm is a "happy medium", you breath from 13.7 to 10.6 degrees, but still retain about 200mm of "working distance".

Oh, and of course, if it held its 180mm focal length, it would need to extend an additional 180mm to reach 1:1. It's already 204mm long: a 384mm (15 inch) long macro would be very hard to handle.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Jul 13, 2012)

@WillemB
Almost all macros focus breath ALOT at 1:1. Most 90-105 mm macros focus breath down to around 60mm. For example at 1:1 the Tamron 90mm (with typical focus breathing) and the Tamron 60mm (with remarkably little focus breathing for a macro) have around the same effective focal length and therefore nearly the same effective working distance.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jul 13, 2012)

Would anyone buy an f16 lens? Making it an f2.8 means it can serve many purposes.

0 upvotes
narddogg81
By narddogg81 (Jul 13, 2012)

so you can use the mentioned teleconverters for additional working distance and still have usable light levels

0 upvotes
WillemB
By WillemB (Jul 13, 2012)

@ J.S.Wisniewski:
Thank you for pointing out the welcome effect of shrinking focus length when close focussing..I used the old formula: 1/V + 1/B = 1/F when I read that the closest focus distance was 470 mm (= distance between V and B).

'Who is John Galt'

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Fl_Gulfer
By Fl_Gulfer (Jul 15, 2012)

Are thy realy dropping the "K" Mount? If so I'm getting a few lenses that they have before they run out of stock, Like the new Bigma.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 129