Sigma 70mm macro


hmm I recognise this place! And some of you!
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May 1, 2008
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*dances the happy new lens dance!*

its here its here!
sigma 70mm macro finally arrived!
So early first impressions;

1) Its well build - the lens hood is even made of metal! The finish is Sigma's typical EX lens finish feel; buttons on the lens feel good and strong, as does the af and general overall feel.

2) AF - its not the HSM of its bigger brother the 150mm macro - but its good enough - decently fast when the limiter is used (and it really has to be used if your not doing macro work). It is loud though - very noticeably so - not one for stalking unless your using manual focus. This is mostly to be expected of a macro lens (lesser AF performance) and the manual focusing ring is well positioned and responsive - I also don't notice any lens creep when it’s pointing up or down either.

3) Teleconverter compatible - now this is an interesting point - the lens will comfortably fit both the sigma 1.4 and 2* teleconverters. Further the lens will full auto focus with both TCs - with the 1.4 it even does well at macro distances (though support from my 580M2 focusing aid was needed this might just be due to being indoors); with the 2* the AF is less responsive and does a poor job overall - I will try testing this combo outside where (I expect) it will do passably well at the longer distances.
This is something that sigma do not list on their website as a compatible setup and as they don't have an email contact point (that I have seen on their website) you will have to wait till I get to a phone since I do intend asking why a physically compatible setup is not listed. As a point I do not have to force the connection between lens and teleconverter – in fact the fit is smoother than it is to my 150mm macro (which is also compatible and is listed as such on the website).

4) Hood - the hood is small, but this allows it to remain usable at macro distances - it screws into the lens filter thread rather than into a separate thread. This is both a blessing and a curse - it does mean that if one uses a circular polarizer you can use the supplied hood with the polarizer without problems- however it does make storage a bit of a pain (though the hood will sit comfortably in the reversed position - just nothing holds it there) and also means that the hood has to be removed before you can fit the lens cap.

5) Sharp - its spot on sharp! I will add in some proper testing shots later (when I bother to get my tripod out and such). Even with the listed teleconverters above optical quality remains high!

6) Working distance - it’s noticeably smaller than my 150mm macro - one has to be very close at 1:1 macro. This is something that is expected of macro lenses of this focal length.

7) its light - not small though, its bigger than my kit lens by far – in fact its a very similar size to the 150mm - being about the same length (when fully extended) though a slimmer lens

Overall – This lens offers great optical quality in a macro lens capable of full macro magnification (1:1). Its build and overall finish are good and strong and its only real downsides are the hood not taking the lens cap and the very noisy AF of the lens.
As a full frame compatable short focal length macro lens this is a great alternative to the (Canon) EF-s 60mm macro which is only crop camera compatible.
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Just curious, but why a 70mm? I've been thinking about going in the other direction, say 150 or 180mm.
Well congrats on the new glass glad to hear someone is getting some.
I already have a 150mm macro, but I have encountered some situations where its long working distance has been a problem (ok mostly just working in butterfly houses where the bugs are rather docile and you can't move back as much as you can in the field)

Also the MPE65mm is a lens I would like to get hold of oneday - of course that is a much shorter working distance so the 70mm is a bit of practice too with dealing with much reduced distances.

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