Sigma’s APO MACRO 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM; It’s A Macro Lens—Wait—It’s A Portrait Lens! Page 2

The outdoor macro images were simplicity itself. I'd just see something I liked, set the lens at f/2.8 or f/4, move in close, and fire away. I'm a big macro fan and also own a 90mm f/2.8 macro lens. The narrow angle of view and comfortable working distance are big pluses with this lens. It locks in the focus really well and I was thrilled with many of the flower images I captured. I noted the colors seemed more vibrant with this lens than my other, older macro. I'm sure this is due to the APO glass.

Studio Shooting
I'm a portrait guy but I used to do quite a bit of studio commercial shooting, so I borrowed a piece of jewelry from a local store and did a little setup. After creating the set and positioning the lights I was ready to get right in there and shoot. Here's where I found out how useful that rotating tripod collar is. I don't use tripods much and when I do it's usually level. Seems like my trusty pistol grip wasn't going to hold this weight at the angle I wanted no matter how much I tried to increase the tensioning. At first I tried to set the legs unevenly and then it hit me--just rotate the lens and the body will go with it! Worked like a charm, and it's brilliant for close-up work.

Thanks to Jewelry Creations of Dover, New Hampshire, for the loan of the piece. Taken with studio softbox and mirrors for reflectors. Image taken at f/13.

Conclusion
This is one beautiful lens. I know what you're thinking, why don't I just get an 80-200mm f/2.8 lens instead of this one fixed focal length. Good point. The big factor is the weight of such a zoom (almost 50 oz) and, to some extent, cost. Plus, zooms with close-up capability won't get you to life-size without some jury-rigging. All in all, the benefits are a great, really long portrait lens along with wonderful macro capabilities.

I usually manually focus my other macro lens since it gets "fooled" often and "hunts" for focus. This lens does not. I used it on autofocus and it snapped everything right in. Images also seemed to have more snap, color saturation, and overall sharpness than with my older lens.

If you're looking for a macro lens with plenty of working distance or a long and silent portrait lens, this fills the bill. Come to think of it, it makes a great sports lens for Nikon cameras, especially with the smaller "cropped" format you can use with the Nikon D2X and new D2Xs.

Technical Specifications
Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
Angle Of View: 16.4Þ
Number Of Diaphragm Blades: Nine
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Minimum Focusing Distance: 15" (38cm)
Maximum Magnification: 1:1
Filter Size: Diameter 72mm
Dimensions: 3.1x5.4" (79.6x137mm)
Weight: 31.6 oz (895g)
Corresponding AF Mounts: Sigma, Canon, Nikon (D). Nikon mount of this lens is not equipped with an aperture ring, therefore, depending on the camera model some functions may not work.

For more information, contact Sigma Corporation of America, 15 Fleetwood Ct., Ronkonkoma, NY 11779; (800) 896-6858; www.sigma-photo.com.

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