Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:39 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Equipment for macro
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:16 pm 
Hello, I'm the macrofotography fan and I consider buying my first serious dedicated stuff for photographing butterflies, dragonflies and so on.. also flowers and maybe (just a little) birds..

Firstly I was considering sth of the focal length like 90-105 (to be more precise - Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM), then I've read that for this type of photos I would need sth longer (for not scaring objects..).

So I ask you if Sigma 150 mm f2.8 EX DG HSM APO Macro would be nice/BEST OPTION for my purposes

- I don't plan doing portraits now
- and also don't have money for second lens (for birds only) which is kind of too expensive for me - for good one..
- I plan using this stuff with C50D..


I've read many reviews, articles.. I just want your opinion if this set works fine.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:01 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7968
Location: Germany
Hello Introverder, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
If you've read reviews, you certainly have stumbled across mine. Great lens, unfortunately no image stabilization. If you want that, you need the new Canon EF 100mm 2.8 L Macro IS USM.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8042
Location: UK
I find the combination of Sigma 150mm macro and fill flash to be a great combination, particularly when used with a 1.4x teleconverter for either extra reach at the same magnification, or greater maximum magnification.

Also consider the 180mm, which isn't much more expensive and offers a further increase in working distance over the 150mm.

The new Canon 100mm IS is certainly interesting if you want to use natural light.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: -
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:46 am 
popo, do you use internal (pop-up) flash or some external/macro flash? Or maybe flash + sth to give the light softness/disperse it?

I do/would prefer using natural light (if it is possible) that's why also I think that 0.2m (MWD) would work for me here also..


2 thing:

Quote:
a 1.4x teleconverter for either extra reach at the same magnification, or greater maximum magnification.


How it goes with the quality using this stuff, as I guess some extra "reach" can/could affect in birds photography as well (150 x 1.6 (crop) = 240 x 1.4 it gives some "fair" 336 mm..). And is the MANUAL FOCUCING convenient at the further distances as I take it for granted (after reading some reviews) that in "MACRO" it work very well.. The reason of this question is that I think the macro lens hasn't got particularly fast AF system..

Asking about the QUALITY I think about comparing the quality to the "electronically cropped images", so if the quality wouldn't be better with 1.4 TC APO I would definitely would not think about such a solution.. Still I don't feel really enthusiastic about this (saw some samples with Nikkor 105 Macro + 1.4/ 2.0 TC and the results were very poor..).


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8042
Location: UK
I mostly use body flash as I'm opportunistic on macro, and rarely plan enough to go out specifically for it. I do have the Sigma ringflash but I find that rather bulky for walkabout use so I don't use it much. I recently got an external flash (Nissin) but haven't tried that yet. Trouble with body flash is the slow recharge. I've been thinking about about a diffuser, as body flash does give harsh shadows. I'll get one for the external unit some time...

Using the 1.4x TC on the Sigma 150mm... doesn't seem to make much difference to quality for the same physical aperture (so f value is about 1 stop worse with it). Just remember that longer focal lengths at close distances can be quite prone to shake, combined with light loss at higher magnifications and naturally shallow DoF, it makes for a challenging combination for available light. I wrote more about the Sigma TC here, including a 2x one which I haven't really used much yet.

MF at longer distances - I haven't really used it in that way so hard to comment. With the 1.4x on it, it still AF so I use that. The lens is quite slow focusing though, so it's not so suited to BIF.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: -
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:17 pm 
Oh thanks a lot :) I was reading these texts yesterday so I've must have taken it all wrong/ backwards.. :); ) Now I see the difference, nice :). It's clear for me now that using TC isn't actually some waste of money (at least speaking about TC APO 1.4..), some practical proof from which I'm really greatful of..

And what is BIF :); ). English is not my national language, so I sometimes don't get every expression/abbr for which I come across ;).


Also one more thing - would you be able even right now, to tell me from which "combination" I would get a better result/quality of the image:

1) Sigma 150 EX Macro + TC 1.4 which gives 336 mm

2) or Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro at 210 which would give me (with a 1.6 crop) also 336 mm just curiosity or some practical solution also ( I don't know right now, just thinking..).

I don't compare to Sigma at higher focal length (210-300), as I understand that quality after 200 mm on Sigma is at most AVERAGE/POOR (especially on borders..).

You know, I would use it probably more for insects but if the image quality is so good/sharp then why don't use it also for the birds I was thinking..

ALSO the cost of APO 1.4 and Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro in Poland is quite similar.. so it really becomes some tricky question for me :); ).

Obvious reason of asking there is some budget limit which makes me think this way (only MACRO LENS for now..)

I think this way: if I buy a lens for me, I buy the best one for which I can afford for/good one (as I really want to make my shots look pretty and nice..).

And I'm also afraid how SLOOW AF would be if I were using this Sigma 150 Macro with TC 1.4 (I'm also aware of MF at the closest range (you've checked that out, yes?)).. I guess you've tested this solution/option also for birds.. I'm sure that less light of that set makes AF running even slower than w/o TC.. - Do you use Canon body to this lens?

Because if it comes to birds they can sometimes sit on one branch for a very loong time, so it is enough time to make a shot :); ). But mostly if we're talking about wild birds they move actually pretty fast (especially when the human presence is really close..), SO if the AF is so slow that I can't shot a bird then I would have to use MF anyways, cause with MF i would probably do it faster..

--------


Do you think (now, after monts of using Sigma 150 Macro..) that your lens gives you OPTIMAL distance from flying insects or is it too less or maybe too more (which I doubt). Have you got any shots of birds also (especially with this new range/set)?


--------


And I guess that the MAIN advantage of TC from ET (extension tubes) and Close-Up lens is that getting bigger magnification is possible without the need of getting closer to the subject, right? The two other ways allow us to focus at infinity? Are they of any usage at normal/far distances or they (close-up lens and extension tubes..) work simply for macro and close range?

I was also wondering if ET and close-up lens needs (if I get it right) closer distance to get better maginification, so at the same distance from the subject the maginification is the same than without it?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8042
Location: UK
So much to write about! Firstly, I prefer to talk about real focal lengths as applying the crop factor does not add any value in this situation.

BIF = birds in flight

While I haven't used the Sigma 70-300 APO, I have used the Olympus 70-300 lens which is speculated to be a very close design. The maximum magnification is only 1:2, but you do have a comparatively massive working distance at that point. I think the quality is ok considering.

Back to the Sigma 150mm macro, yes I do use that on Canon, 50D to be specific. On the working distance, it mostly makes a difference if you really want to get bigger magnifications. At lower magnifications, even with a shorter focal length lens you can remain quite some distance away. If I were to buy again today, I think I'd prefer the new Canon 100mm IS, but more for the IS than the focal length. I haven't confirmed, but assume I could use a TC on that too for more magnification.

To summarise the impact of various ways to increase magnification:
Teleconverter - increases the magnification in same settings. Maintains infinity focus.
Extension tubes - No additional glass, possibly highest quality. You will lose infinity focus, and will have to get closer for the higher magnifications.
Close up lenses - You increase magnification slightly keeping the same distance. You lose infinity focus, and gain increased magnification from moving closer.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: -
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:12 pm 
Thanks for putting some light on the ET, TC subject :); ).

The most important thing for me is simply IMAGE QUALITY (and I have also some budget to spend on this lens).

Maybe if the price for Canon 100 "L" goes down a bit I will consider buying it and ONLY if Canon 100 "L" would appear to be superior to the Sigma 150/2.8. The "pure" IS doesn't give better pictures to me and it doesn't prevent from changes in DOF (because of the movements..) if I get it right..


Comparing pics from both: Sigma 150/2.8 and Canon 100/2.8 Macro Usm (the old one) I prefer the first ones muchly..

Now I'm thinking if these ca. 50mm of MWD is what I should look at or not.. In some reviews it was said that for flying object MUCH BETTER would be using some longer lenses.. hmm.



Also with 150 it would be easier for me to shoot some birds also for which 100 (even "L") would be too short.. That's what I think.

Still I was thinking a little bit of S180 (as the pics from S180 looks also very sharp and nice..) but it costs significantly more than S150 (not much but for me is a difference..).

----------


Talking about Sigma 1.4 APO I have to say that there must be some control/quality problem, as it appears that some people are very happy using this stuff and some don't ..


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:42 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7968
Location: Germany
The new Canon was tested here with a 4-star quality rating. To compare: the Sigma 150 was tested there with a 4.5-star quality rating.
But for the IQ to be achieved in real shooting situations you need to (a) focus absolutely precise and (b) avoid any shake.
And just because of (b) the Canon might give you better results in hand-held (macro) shooting.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: -
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:56 pm 
So the tests only CONFIRM what my eyes say (razor sharpness of S 150..) And this data gives me a conclusion that IQ still will be better with Sigma than with C 100 "L" :); ) or probably will, as I haven't seen ANY macro photos of this Canon on http://www.pbase.com/cameras .. yet..

P.S. Plus I always count this ca. 50mm "additional" if it comes of MWD (this space maybe would help me catch some flying dragonflies with Sigma 150..) and the conclusion that with 1.6 factor crop I would have some better chance to shoot some birds with it (it's maybe not much advantage but for my purposes it would make S150 more versatile than C100) :); ). If C 100 "L" would appear to be much superior in IMAGE QUALITY than I would definitely have some tough time making my decision right.. But even so, in my country at least S is still cheaper (3. 000 zl) than new Canon - 3.500.. And my guess is that C100 "L" will become more expensive in a short period of time and S probably will keep price..

I can just assume that Sigma can have:

better IQ (looking at the tests given and comparing to the old version of Canon a bit..),
better price,
better working distance,
more versatile focal length for insects, wild birds shooting..

Canon has:

- Hybrid IS
- better/faster AF ( my guess after reading reviews..).


And one more, maybe obvious conclusion:

- Canon makes us paying for 100mm macro lens almost as much as Sigma for 180 macro.. So I think saying that C 100 "L" is "cheap" is misleading (at least in my country) and C 180 L costs about 6. 000 zl and Sigma less than 4 k.. And if the pics of Canon macros would be much better than Sigma's than I would understand such a big price, otherwise I think that every Canon macro lens is overpaid in some tricky ways which also has its slight influence on some people's choice..


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:41 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7968
Location: Germany
Introverder wrote:
Thomas please tell me,

for the minimum amount of extra cash for bird lens..

is putting TC 1.4 (to Sigma 150 Macro) the best (also in QUALITY) way to get at least a few nice shots of birds?

Well, I have no doubt that the Sigma 150/2.8 macro has easily the quality to be magnified 1.4x and even 1.7x (not sure about combining it with a 2x converter). You then get 210mm (or 255mm with 1.7x TC). But this might be too short in many situations. Birders would consider anything shorter than 300mm (on a 1.5 crop body) as not up to the task.
But as you said: magnifying a great 150mm lens might give you equal IQ as a so-so 70-300mm zoom.
From my personal experience I'd say: If 210mm (or 255mm) is enough for your purpose you should be more satisfied with the IQ of a Sigma 150+TC than with an average 70-300mm zoom. At least it has better IQ at 150mm, has a larger aperture of f/2.8 and gives you real 1:1 macro.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: -
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:43 pm 
First of all I have to tell you guys that nowhere I've met before so helpful and nice guys :). Almost everywhere I had to look for every info alone reading pages and pages of info.. And I've come here after so much searching and any more wouldn't give me I think any more clue without wise guidance :), as come here :).

And maybe some obvious fact but which haven't been spoken yet.. - the light with TC 1.4 Sigma would be:

210/ f4 which is better than Sigma (70-300 APO DG Macro)'s f/5 (at 210 mm)

and also some comments saying that Sigma 150 Macro works fine with APO 1.4..

And after a little research (as I always treat web, as the best source of info :); )) I've found also this infos:

"Only drawback: I had to buy a new Sigma TC 1,4 because the Kenko/Soligor did not work: it hunts for some seconds and leaves the battery indicator blinking on empty." (users' comments..)

About Kenko I've even heard sth that it DON'T WORK before..

More here (users' comments):

"The 15" to film plane working distance is ideal for most situations. I am looking forward to getting a hold of a Canon 500D closeup lens and the Sigma 1.4X TC to start playing around with greater image magnifications. Unfortunately this lens does not work at all with the Kenko TC, which I already have."


And more.. :

"(...)but unlike some of their telephoto lenses, this lens will "only" work with their converters, not the Canon extenders."


And also one note here:

"Only gripe, it doesnt take Canon 1.4x converters...no dramas, will have to invest in a Sigma 1.4x."


CONCLUSION:

So, so far I haven't found any other combo working than:

Sigma 150 Macro + Sigma 1.4 TC and 2.0 (but probably connected with losing AF which popo could confirm..).

Also a few notes that it doesn't work with Kenko or Canon TC's (and Soligor probably also) .. No more info so far. But I guess after some reading that loss of quality is too big to use 2.0 TC's anyway and I don't know any TC 1.7 which would work with Sigma 150..

And some info about setting Sigma 150 + Sigma TC x2.0:

"For the moment, I'm experimenting with this lens and a 2.0x converter from Sigma. Thanks to the great sharpness of this lens, even wide open, you can almost use the 2.0x tc wide open."

And with APO TC 1.4:

"Sigma teleconverter 1.4x is a great affordable alternative for Sigma telephoto lens' user, especially for those who need extra reach. It does not sacrifice auto focus performance and only degrade a little bit of image quality. But remember that the maximum aperture will be smaller by one stop. So it might not be very good alternative if you shooting in low light like night sports."

And also some mixed opinions about the output of these TC's.. But as for I've read with Sigma 150 generally it works well..


------------

But from this two I think that choosing APO TC 1.4 is somehow better cause using TC 1.4 I could crop much more easily than with TC 2.0 with the quality almost the same..


Last edited by Introverder on Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:11 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7968
Location: Germany
I think you've got it right, Introverder.
I can confirm that the Sigma 150 does not AF properly with the 1.5x Kenko TC. I was only alluding to a 1.7x converter because I will acquire the Nikon TC in due time and test it with the Sigma. I hope it works, but that would be no solution for you.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: -
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:19 pm 
Quote:
because I will acquire the Nikon TC in due time and test it with the Sigma. I hope it works, but that would be no solution for you.


No solution cause some malfunction occurs AF with Nikon TC (or put it more simply - "it doesn't work correctly/at all").. ?

And also there is MORE loss of IQ also, so probably you're twice right..

Still there are problems finding photos with these sets - I mean "normal"/street photos, so it's hard to compare - the sharpness and the quality of the images.

Just only/recently found some normal/"street" shots and I think it was Sigma's 100-300 zoom (+ APO 1.4 TC) and the quality of this set was really very nice.

Three of them.. :

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/1588/stranger1ta6.jpg,

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/2301 ... er2ei0.jpg,

http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/9490 ... 261dm6.jpg.


I think that these images are still pretty sharp..



-----------------

And one more TABLE showing compatibility test (but only to Sigma's 1.4 and 2.0 TC):

http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/acc/condaitr.htm.


I've probably put one link before but if not click above..


About using it with Sigma 150.. :

"If using a lens which has in the list, the camera's display will indicate the converted exposure information. If using a lens which does not have in the list while using a hand-held exposure meter, you should increase the exposure reading by 1-stop for the APO 1.4x Tele Converter EX or by 2-stops for the APO 2x Tele Converter EX." (about Canon mount).


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:56 am 
The best macro lens for use on a Sigma DSLR is the Nikon Micro Nikkor 200mm f4 ED IF Ai-S. Its razor sharp and it works great with one or more 52mm Canon 500D close up lenses.
To use it on the SD9 or SD10 you can use the JTAT Nikon-SA adapter but for the SD14 or SD15 you will need the Roxsen Nikon-M42 adapter plus an M42-SA adapter. The latter adapter combo also work with the SD9 and SD10 but the JTAT is restricted to the SD9 and SD10 due to the different camera mount.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group