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gteague

cl: sigma 70mm f2.8 macro art arrived

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here's the very first 3 shots inside. i cranked the shutter speed to 1/250 which means these were wide open at maximum iso and i can only imagine when i'm able to shoot outside at f4 or f5.6. you guys have seen me whinging about sharpness, but even as shaky as i am handholding, i can't find fault with these. they are, as usual for me, sooc no edits using the /vivid/ style cranked to max which is the only way i've found to get satisfactory sooc jpgs. and i assure you the originals on my mac display are about a million times better than you're seeing in these reductions.

the build quality is better than i expected from the reviews. the lens is longer and heavier than i was imagining, but it means that you're able to hold it very solidly in your left hand with fingertips on the huge focus ring. it's about the size of the panasonic m43 gx85 with a 70-200/2.8 mounted. the cl complained when i mounted it that it might drain the battery faster, and i can well imagine if it has to rack focus the entire distance each time it will do so. but there's a 3-range switch and even when i tested it at full range, it really didn't hunt that much. the focus is slower than the tl 23/2 lens of course, but very smooth and you don't feel that you're waiting on it that much although i doubt it would handle vigorous action.

i've always wanted to shoot macro, but hated close up lenses, extension tubes, and bellows with a passion. kids, ask your closet photo boomer what these are! :) i once bought the 60mm nikkor macro in the 80s, but always regretting not getting the 105 which was basically an optically perfect lens. so i'm looking forward to experimenting with it although the lack of ibis in the cl will likely handicap this and i might have to use the s1 when shooting serious macro stuff.

i casually tested the macro and, at least inside in like zero light, i found it 'fussy' and the best way to get close was to set your magnification ratio with the handy table on the lens and then just move the entire camera back and forth. in manual focus you have to turn the ring like 10-15 complete turns to go just a few inches which means extreme precision, but zero speed and the guarantee of wrist pain.

it's warm today so i look forward to taking my usual walk with this lens on the cl. and while it's on the cl, i can put the tl 23/2 on the s1 and test it so i can compare it on another platform--it's like a pancake lens on that huge body. i tested my museum piece nikkor 105/2.5 the other day and while i got very good results with it, i just can't manually focus very well, thus my decision to purchase the sigma which, at 105mm equiv, is the upper limit of being hand-holdable for me and a more versatile focal length than 150mm for most general use.


btw, meet rosso il gatto or ross and sambe la gatta or sami. the witches on the witchboard need their familiars.

Edited by gteague

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21 minutes ago, gteague said:

here's the very first 3 shots inside. i cranked the shutter speed to 1/250 which means these were wide open at maximum iso and i can only imagine when i'm able to shoot outside at f4 or f5.6. you guys have seen me whinging about sharpness, but even as shaky as i am handholding, i can't find fault with these. they are, as usual for me, sooc no edits using the /vivid/ style cranked to max which is the only way i've found to get satisfactory sooc jpgs. and i assure you the originals on my mac display are about a million times better than you're seeing in these reductions.

the build quality is better than i expected from the reviews. the lens is longer and heavier than i was imagining, but it means that you're able to hold it very solidly in your left hand with fingertips on the huge focus ring. it's about the size of the panasonic m43 gx85 with a 70-200/2.8 mounted. the cl complained when i mounted it that it might drain the battery faster, and i can well imagine if it has to rack focus the entire distance each time it will do so. but there's a 3-range switch and even when i tested it at full range, it really didn't hunt that much. the focus is slower than the tl 23/2 lens of course, but very smooth and you don't feel that you're waiting on it that much although i doubt it would handle vigorous action.

i've always wanted to shoot macro, but hated close up lenses, extension tubes, and bellows with a passion. kids, ask your closet photo boomer what these are! :) i once bought the 60mm nikkor macro in the 80s, but always regretting not getting the 105 which was basically an optically perfect lens. so i'm looking forward to experimenting with it although the lack of ibis in the cl will likely handicap this and i might have to use the s1 when shooting serious macro stuff.

i casually tested the macro and, at least inside in like zero light, i found it 'fussy' and the best way to get close was to set your magnification ratio with the handy table on the lens and then just move the entire camera back and forth. in manual focus you have to turn the ring like 10-15 complete turns to go just a few inches which means extreme precision, but zero speed and the guarantee of wrist pain.

it's warm today so i look forward to taking my usual walk with this lens on the cl. and while it's on the cl, i can put the tl 23/2 on the s1 and test it so i can compare it on another platform--it's like a pancake lens on that huge body. i tested my museum piece nikkor 105/2.5 the other day and while i got very good results with it, i just can't manually focus very well, thus my decision to purchase the sigma which, at 105mm equiv, is the upper limit of being hand-holdable for me and a more versatile focal length than 150mm for most general use.


btw, meet rosso il gatto or ross and sambe la gatta or sami. the witches on the witchboard need their familiars.

Such promising first results,  Guy. I was so excited when first announced,  but that weight made me wonder. Don't show me any more, please.

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lol! sorry mate! also, i was [ass]uming this lens was made in china considering the very low price for an l-mount lens (btw, the price of this lens in the other mounts has gone down $100 on the sigma page), but it's made in japan. doesn't much matter to me because i judge by the final result and the build quality, but no argument japan has a better reputation for quality and consistency for many brands.

/guy

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Posted (edited)

sorry again wda! i stepped outside to get my mail and took a dozen shots in the nice sun with towering clouds due to the storms we've had for nearly a week. i run a very tiny weather group on facebook for locals and we had nearly a half-dozen tornados within 50 miles of us overnight, so i didn't get much sleep. anyway, i had to step around large puddles, so my vantage points were limited. still, i got some tests of lens and camera in these few shots. tested sharpness, sooc quality, bokeh, macro, and even tracking for the very first time on any camera.

bottom line is this lens is dammed impressive! along with wanted to shoot some macro stuff for years, i've wanted one of the art lenses. i nearly opted for that first one, the 18-35/1.8 all the videographers praise, but never pulled the trigger because it wouldn't have been much of a useful range on m43.

the tracking really impressed me on the cl. i set it to single field mode and tracked a couple of kids on bikes and then a car. granted, both were moving to and from me, but still the box doggedly followed them until they were out of sight and the photos were tack sharp.

the macro shot was of a decal on my car and isn't worth sharing, but it shows the promise of macro mode as it was from about 1-2" away. i will share one shot of trees against the thunderheads which exceeds even my requirements for sharpness and as usual, i sooc with /vivid/ style maxed out. 

never mind. i've exceeded my image quota. 

 

 

Edited by gteague

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Posted (edited)

... and of course it said it uploaded it, but didn't. oh well, back to 1200px i guess. too much work to satisfy the upload process. the result here is abysmal compared to what  i see. i apologize. ever since flickr priced me out of the market, if i want to share full size images i have to use dpreview or upload the file to one of my cloud drives and share it out. i had to download about 9000 images i'd uploaded to flickr and now i can't upload anything. and i've taken the responsibility of backing up my image files with 2-3 archived copies on different drives. <sigh>

Edited by gteague

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Posted (edited)

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it's been available in other mounts such as sony e-mount for over two years it seems. and well reviewed although i see some complaining that sigma basically built in an ?mc11? adapter on the end of it and there were problems with that and that model isn't as compact as this one is which was designed for l-mount from the beginning. thus, when you read non l-mount reviews, you have to take that into consideration. one thing all the reviews agreed on though was the impeccable optical quality and i'm more than halfway to believing the claims based on my initial tests. /guy

Edited by gteague

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Posted (edited)

ok, just one more. took a very short evening walk. i usually go during magick hour, but the sun was in play on some of these shots and i try not to use lens hoods and the one on the 70/2.8 makes it much longer. got some very good shots and i know they're good because i shoot the same things over and over again on these walks as not much changes and i'm limited to the middle of the road. the 105 (equiv) is a nice walking around lens for this rural area as i can pull out found objects from the middle of the road where i don't dare stray onto the property.

my favorite spot is a goat pen where i have a lot of goat buddies. i caught the farmer feeding them this evening and they ignored me, but i took his picture. i only very rarely have a willing human to shoot, but this shot delighted him and his wife. i did forget to keep my 2m distance though ...

this shot is just a little soft due to the sun being behind him, but i still like it. it's also slightly busy in the background as i didn't open up and i should have done. but i wanted to get it before he changed his mind.

 

Edited by gteague

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9 hours ago, gteague said:

ok, just one more. took a very short evening walk. i usually go during magick hour, but the sun was in play on some of these shots and i try not to use lens hoods and the one on the 70/2.8 makes it much longer. got some very good shots and i know they're good because i shoot the same things over and over again on these walks as not much changes and i'm limited to the middle of the road. the 105 (equiv) is a nice walking around lens for this rural area as i can pull out found objects from the middle of the road where i don't dare stray onto the property.

my favorite spot is a goat pen where i have a lot of goat buddies. i caught the farmer feeding them this evening and they ignored me, but i took his picture. i only very rarely have a willing human to shoot, but this shot delighted him and his wife. i did forget to keep my 2m distance though ...

this shot is just a little soft due to the sun being behind him, but i still like it. it's also slightly busy in the background as i didn't open up and i should have done. but i wanted to get it before he changed his mind.

 

A genuinely  happy smile  and delightful separation.

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Posted (edited)

Looking good Guy, you seem to be enjoying it.  Totally agree with your findings on the Macro side, and also do much the same, (move the camera - rather than the focus).  

Bonus points are given from me because it's a full frame not crop lens, weight/size not bad, agree build quality is good, definitely price compared to 60TL.  TBH I don't think it's nearly the lens the Canon 100 2.8 L IS is, (not because of the lack of IS) but then I'm probably remembering using on a Canon body which is a whole different ball game.  I can see it as a lens I use more for normal shooting with the bonus of Macro, as your last shot shows, it's a nice focal length for portrait.

 

 

 

Edited by Boojay

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Gosh, you love to do close up and macro work but "hated close up lenses, extension tubes, and bellows with a passion"??? I don't know how to react to that. I still have a classic, early Nikon F plain prism ... The Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 and its dedicated M-tube for 1:2 to 1:1 range magnification, along with the slide copier ES-1 accessory, is one of the three F-mount lenses I have for it, and the most often used. :D

I love doing close up and macro work. A good tripod or camera stand, and the right accessories to enable focus and stabilize the camera (image stabilization systems in cameras are NOT intended for high magnification work!) are the basis of that endeavor. Closeups in Nature by John Shaw is a wonderful book on the subject of nature oriented close up photography, with a ton of useful techniques and examples. 

I do a lot of copy work and tabletop with the CL using my R system lenses, extension tubes, ELPRO close up lenses, focusing bellows and various stands/tripods/geared focusing rack. It's beautifully suited for it, aside from the lack of a wired remote release capability (I use the Leica FOTOs app as a remote shutter release). 

G

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ramarren said:

Gosh, you love to do close up and macro work but "hated close up lenses, extension tubes, and bellows with a passion"??? I don't know how to react to that. I still have a classic, early Nikon F plain prism ... The Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 and its dedicated M-tube for 1:2 to 1:1 range magnification, along with the slide copier ES-1 accessory, is one of the three F-mount lenses I have for it, and the most often used. :D

I love doing close up and macro work. A good tripod or camera stand, and the right accessories to enable focus and stabilize the camera (image stabilization systems in cameras are NOT intended for high magnification work!) are the basis of that endeavor. Closeups in Nature by John Shaw is a wonderful book on the subject of nature oriented close up photography, with a ton of useful techniques and examples. 

I do a lot of copy work and tabletop with the CL using my R system lenses, extension tubes, ELPRO close up lenses, focusing bellows and various stands/tripods/geared focusing rack. It's beautifully suited for it, aside from the lack of a wired remote release capability (I use the Leica FOTOs app as a remote shutter release). 

G

i know that book very well. wore out a couple of copies. he was a great author of nature photography books. and i believe i said, 'i would have loved to do', not 'i love to do', but perhaps i mistyped. and yeah, the older 55 micro-nikkor was much better than the 60mm they released in the 80s i think and was very plasticky.

in case you haven't picked up on it yet, i'm a very minimalist photographer and always have been. i use tripods and flash and other such accessories at times and own them ready to go, but i'm a photojournalist type shooter who takes what's presented as that's the only way to present reality. 99.9% of the time i shoot candids in available light and i would never 'pose' someone or remove something from a scene to make a photo look better. i mean, if you're not a journalist and your livelihood depends on altering reality, feel free--i won't criticize you.

the dangers of 'posing' and 'rearranging' came to the fore when i worked at the newspaper in the 1980s. they held the nobel prize conference and one scientist was photographed at a table by an ap photographer whose editor airbrushed out a pepsi can in front of him on the table. turns out the article had the hook of that guy being a teetotaller. ooopsie! and the ap announced a new policy against that immediately.

/guy

Edited by gteague

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LOL! Guy, I'm a fine art photographer who's work has often been cited for its minimalist tendencies, but that means nothing with respect to equipment and techniques... :) 

I do most everything EXCEPT photojournalism, I'm not inclined to do that that sort of documentarian work, but I do a lot of technical photography (copy work, tabletop stuff, etc.). When I shoot people, I don't pose them, but I am only rarely going for a literalism in my photos and am more concerned with expression and aesthetic. I use all kinds of different cameras and lenses and other stuff, at various times, and don't abide by any particular dogma about there being only one way to present reality. 

Nothing every recorded by a camera is reality, in my opinion, and I'm looking for a mood and an aesthetic rather than a reality. :) 

So we're very different in our photographic oeuvre and technique. Such it is. Do whatever you like to do and that produces the results you're looking for ... that's what's important.  I only commented because you stated something that seemed to me was a contradiction in terms, by definition. Macro work is technical and requires technical solutions to get good results. There's room for all of us in this boat ... :D 

G

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Posted (edited)

well said my friend. i grew up in photography absorbing the work of henri cartier-bresson and the 'decisive moment' movement and the work of photographers like david douglas duncan in vietnam. they were the ones i tried to emulate. but i tried to read every single book on photography which is why i've read all of john shaw's books even though i'm not a nature or close up photographer. i was never a huge fan of ansel adams, but i read everything he wrote because he was a supreme technician and understood the science of photography like no other. i routinely used the zone system as outlined by minor white i think back when i developed my own film. i freelanced for local magazines and the newspaper and needed to have the knowledge to tackle any assignment, thus i was a voracious reader. and back in the 60s you could read virtually all the photo books published. /guy
 

Edited by gteague

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Posted (edited)

warmed up again and no rain, so went for a short walk a different direction this time. here's a worst case example for this lens, directly into the sun with no hood. i'm one of those who like to create the sun stars, but i was shooting at a fixed 1/250 for everything and i couldn't stop down to f11 or f16 to get one, but i got a circle. 


 

i shot the rest in b&w and they were all pretty crispy. here's one of them ...

Edited by gteague

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oh, i forgot. some of you might remember i posted my first outing with the 23/2 and was testing the sharpness and quality and i shot a flood gauge near my house. i said it looked a little soft to me and people commented that perhaps i'd missed focus or had camera movement and some said it seemed ok to them. i figured i could settle whether it was sharp when i was able to put it on my s1, but hadn't gotten around to it.

so today i shot the same gauge from the same angle and same lighting and was convinced in advance that the sigma, which has been razor sharp so far, would put the 23/2 to shame. but it didn't--this image was perhaps just barely noticeably sharper, but basically identical to the image with the 23/2. and for this image, unlike the last one, i had tweaked the b&w hc style to the maximum settings.


 

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