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Thread: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

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    Moderator PhotoProZero's Avatar
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    Default Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Hi guys,

    I was honored to be asked to do this end-user review on this Sigma 180mm Macro lens. Below is my humble opinion and I need to thank the following person(s) for their time and expertise:

    1) Stevewhy
    2) Dennis Kee
    3) James Tan
    4) MYSELF...Gosh this is a Super heavy lens...yet I don't see my arms any leaner....

    Pls go to this link for the lens specifications:

    APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM - Macro Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com

    Disclaimer : Me not pro (see my nickname), so this is just a simple hands on review by your friendly neighborhood fellow hobbyist.


    These are sample night shots of insects from Punggol Water Way :









    Above were shot with EOS7D with 580EX flash.

    For me, color not an issue since I will edit the images anyway.

    Compare to the Canon 100mmL Macro Lens, which I had to minus 1 to 1.5 on the 580EX flash, with the Sigma, I had to +3 to the flash compensation, Whether or not this is due to the different make, I do not know.

    Not only does the OS (Optical Stabilizer) on this lens does help to reduce camera shake since this is a tele-lens, especially shooting in low light or wanting to include the ambient light, where the shutter speed is to 1/30sec to 1/60sec. It makes composing the shot by looking through the view finder much easier the image is less "jerking". This is very important since the insect is very small and the DOF (Depth of Field) is extremely shallow, any slight shift in the composing can render the insect's eyes to be OOF (Out of Focus). I forgot to add...this is heavy...
    Last edited by PhotoProZero; 20th August 2012 at 09:59 PM.
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  2. #2

    Default re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    how much you paid for this lens?.. thanks..

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by blurboiboi
    how much you paid for this lens?.. thanks..
    Hey man, this is just a review. Shouldn't u be calling the shop for the price than asking it here?

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    Moderator PhotoProZero's Avatar
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    Red face re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Now for the lens - Day to Day Shots:

    Although this is a macro lens, it certainly doubled up as a a tele-prime for me to shoot other genres. So here we go:

    Sharpness & Contrast

    Original image




    Below are images cropped at 40% Centre of the original image:

    F2.8 ISO200 1/8000sec




    F4 ISO200 1/6400sec




    F5.6 ISO200 1/3200sec




    F8 ISO200 1/1600sec




    Personal Conclusion:
    I find the contrast is better at f8. As with most, if not all lens, depending on individualís definition of sharpness, the sharpness at wide open (f2.8) is average, but improved to tack sharp at f8. I will use f2.8 only for low light situation.
    Last edited by PhotoProZero; 20th August 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Below are the Top Left 40% crop of the original image,

    F2.8 ISO200 1/8000sec




    F4 ISO200 1/6400sec




    F5.6 ISO200 1/3200sec




    F8 ISO200 1/1600sec




    Note: I cannot make out the road name until it reaches f5.6, again, I will keep f2.8 for shooting under low light condition.
    Last edited by PhotoProZero; 20th August 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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    Default re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Chromatic Abbreviation

    Original Image:




    Below are images cropped 40% Middle Right of the original image:

    F2.8 ISO100 1/1250sec




    F8 ISO100 1/200sec




    Personal Conclusion:
    I see slight CA, but the CA problem seems similar from f2.8 to f8.
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    Default re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Shooting People

    1) F2.8 ISO400 1/1000sec







    With this focal length & at f2.8, it gives a nice Bokeh (for those of you who are critical and mindful of bokeh). I am not particular if the sharpness at the corner can slice you apart, its not important to me, what's important is that with my shaky hands, I still can have my subjects sharp. As for the colors, I think this lens give a very nice saturated green and red, not so much for the blue though. But, i think that's pretty alright..

    Oh, btw, I need to thank my impromptu models for the sample shots....thanks bro Peng Eik, James and Dennis....
    Last edited by PhotoProZero; 20th August 2012 at 10:57 PM.
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    Default re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Personal "Others" Comments

    This lens is heavy & big, just how big? Filter size is 86mm!!! And goodness me, just 2 insects, I’m not sure who gave up on whom! Btw, I don’t usually shoot macro with tripod or monopod. It's handheld, with external flash and manual focus. For ladies, if your setup is like mine, then this lens may not be suitable (again, in my personal opinion).

    Sigma 180mm DG HSM Marco Lens with Canon 100mm L macro F2.8 lens.

    1)




    2)




    Note: Not sure if the barrel coating will peel like the older version. But the feel of this...hmmm...smooth and yummy...


    Now, for the real big issue we (myself, James and Dennis - Well, I thought I was THAT bad with lens so...I had 2 other persons to help out...LOL ) have with this lens:

    We tested it with EOS1DMKII, EOS7D & EOS40D. When set to Full or 0.67m-Infinity, AF doesn't only hunt, but refuse to focus on the subject even in bright daylight!!! After the 1st attempt to focus at far away subject, which fails, we had to turn the AF Ring a bit (doesn't matter which direction) to try to focus again, afterwhich, it did focus!!!

    But as I was writing this review at 1730hrs.., to confirm this problem again, I tested the lens with EOS7D. It now works normally. But then again, I am known for being blur and at times, pretty hopeless...


    And last but not least, like any Macro Lens, don't expect it to focus fast even though there is a HSM badge.

    Overall, this lens is not suitable for me ...Cheers!
    Last edited by PhotoProZero; 20th August 2012 at 11:43 PM.
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    Default re: Sigma 180mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM hands on review

    Quote Originally Posted by blurboiboi View Post
    how much you paid for this lens?.. thanks..
    Sorry bro, this was on loan for review. Not sure about the price tag.
    I am IN LOVE with my Camera....
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