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Sigma 70mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Sony Digital SLR Cameras (OLD MODEL)
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- Special Low Dispersion (SLD) lens and two high refractive index SLD lenses provide excellent correction for all types of aberrations
- Super multi-layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting
- Floating focus system provides extremely high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 Macro
- Equivalent field of view to 105mm macro lens when used on a digital SLR camera with an APS-C size image sensor
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This medium telephoto macro lens is ideal for both digital SLR cameras and 35mm film SLR cameras. The 70mm focal length gives an equivalent field of view as our popular 105mm macro lens when used on digital SLR cameras with an APS-C size image sensor. The design of this lens makes it suitable for taking pictures in all situations from infinity to 1:1 macro, both with natural light conditions or flash. A Special Low Dispersion (SLD) lens and two high refractive index SLD lenses provide excellent correction for all types of aberrations and produce an exceptional level of optical performance. Sigma..s super multi-layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting, and helps create a natural color balance. The floating focus system provides extremely high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 Macro. A "Focus Limiter Switch" in incorporated on the lens, improving the speed and accuracy of autofocus by limiting the focus range. A screw-in lens hood is included for convenient use of circular polarizing filters.
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The autofocus is extremely accurate (but see notes below). Even at f/2.8 and near 1:1 magnification, it nails the focus. Manual focus is made much more accurate by the 270 degree rotation of the focus ring. When the camera is vertical the focus is held. The bokeh is also wonderful, better than any of my lenses (other than the STF).
The focus accuracy, sharpness, and bokeh make this an excellent portrait lens. While not a super fast lens, I was able to get some excellent hand held indoor architecture shots.
OK, now for the bad news. The most obvious concern is the AF-- it is slow and noisy. For macro work, this is not a concern since you will probably focus manually (peaking and AF confirm work perfectly even in MF). Indeed, for the maximum magnification you will extend the lens fully and move the camera. There is a focus limiter, and while it is odd in its function-- it does work and speeds up the AF when it is used. For me, I knew the AF limitations ahead of time so these are not a problem at all.
The only other downside is the lens hood. It is metal, and screws into the filter threads. When the hood is in place, the lens cap cannot be attached since the hood is using the threads. The large end of the hood has a 77mm filter thread, so a cap or filter can be attached there. This works quite well, even though it is a little odd (such a configuration looks very hip and retro if that is your thing). I suppose a 62mm CPL could be put on the lens, then the hood screwed into the filter-- allowing easy rotation of the filter. I have not tried this, but it occurred to me. Even though the hood is odd, it works and is quite durable.
In summary: if you are looking for a really good macro lens with a comfortable working distance, this is a really good choice. If you are also looking for a portrait lens, that ought to seal the deal. I have used this as a walkaround lens just to see how it would do, and even there it performed quite well. The AF performance might be a concern to some, but compromises have to be made somewhere to allow a lens to have as great a focus range as this lens-- and for me this is reasonable but as they say YMMV. The lens hood is weird but functional, and in some cases might even be an advantageous design.
I knew the limitations before my purchase, and I have no regrets.
Focussing in the near is a waiting game. The motor is useless if you have no time to focussing a motive. Better you decide using the "good old focussing by hand".
That lense is also a very good normal lense for indoors and for portraits.
My camera is a SONY-SLT A77, which by itself is pretty complex. I am convinced, that I will get far better pictures with this lense, if -one day- I have a fully perspective of my camera and it's options combined with that great lense.-
Prior to purchasing this lens, I did my research on macro lens, comparing technical specifications, prices and manufacturing countries. Contacting Nikon USA, the representative could not tell the manufacturing country. I had bad experience of owning a Japanese brand, made outside of Japan. Guaranteed by the manufacturer's brand name is not good enough. I like to buy and use a quality lens, not a brand name!!!! When I contacted Sigma USA, I got a positive reply that the lens is made in Japan.
Great macro lens on my Nikon D700.
Picture quality: Excellent. 9 Diaphragm Blades creates smooth bokeh, great for portraiture.
A full frame lens for serious photographers.
Competitively priced at Amazon.com.