Good afternoon All. I said I would buy the above lens and I have. I received it Friday. I had a quick play around with it in the store and have had a quick play around with it today. Am I glad I bought the lens? So far - yes; definitely yes.
Please remember that I am an enthusiastic amateur and not a professional photographer. I am not formally trained and have taught myself all I know (which isn't much). I have been taking photographs, on and off since the 1970s, when given my first camera a Kodak Instamatic. Since then I have used film cameras (my favourite being my Canon T90), developed film, moved in to digital cameras (have owned approximately 15 to 20 of them).
This is going to be a brief
review of the lens after such a short time using it. I shall, hopefully, add further details in the future. I shall also add photographs to my Lens review set as I go along. Please note that the lens has not been calibrated for the cameras used. Also I did not use a remote release to take the photos, but they were taken from a tripod
So, are we sitting comfortably? Then let us begin.
I have read a number of reviews about this lens, and spoken with one or two people who have actually used it in anger. The comments in this review, unless otherwise stated, are my own opinions. I am not going to provide many technical details that can be obtained from other web sites.
The packaging gives great initial impressions. The lens comes with a two part hood. It can be used with both parts together or either part alone. Having written that, one part is really an extension for the real hood. Unfortunately I haven't yet found a way of storing the extension in the lens bag with the lens/ hood.
The lens itself is slightly off balance, which I noticed on both my D800 and D300. It's not that bad, but it is noticeable, especially when mounted on a tripod using the lens foot provided. The lens weighs in at 1,640g (57.8 oz). Closest focussing distance is 0.47 metres (18.5 in). The lens takes an 86mm filter (I bought a UV filter from Sigma). The lens has 9 diaphragm blades, which give a pleasing bokeh. The appearance and physical feel of the lens are not as good as the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, but are still good.
Something that does surprise me is how poor the lens foot/ collar is. I am surprised. It is a very simple mechanism. The lens collar can not be left loosened so as to be able to rotate the lens. This lens collar must be tightened, otherwise there is significant play in the lens collar/ lens. The foot is also too small for the lens and too close to the lens body.
The lens is either AF or Manual. When in AF mode it is possible to set the lens to "Full", "0.67m to Infinity" and "0.47- 0.67m". In all cases, AF is practically silent. It is not the fastest in any situation, but this is not normally an issue with macro photography. Focusing from infinity coming towards one self seems to be a lot faster than focussing from close out towards infinity. Chasing ants with focussing was not great. There is image stabilisation - off, mode 1 and mode 2. For the photos I took image stabilisation was switched off.
Focussing with the lens is manual is really rather good. The focus ring is large and pleasingly knurled. The motion is quite pleasantly wighted (slightly too light for me, but still very good).
When using the lens I was not able to get the lens down to f2.8. Even in todays relatively bright sun shine (i.e. it was day light, it wasn't raining, and I could feel heat from the sun through the clouds). I found this lens a lot easier to focus than my Nikon 80-400mm due to a brighter image. I quote this Nikon lens as I was playing around with it at the same time.
There is very, very slight chromatic aberration. I didn't test for pin cushion, but apparently there is some. There is also mild vignetting.
I have uploaded a photo stacked image of a poppy flower head here: - https://www.flickr.com/photos/hval01/sets/72157645129578447/
I shall add more images in a while.
If anyone has any questions please ask. I may not answer immediately, but I shall do so as soon as possible - if I know the answer.EDIT ONE
Link to photos of car keys - https://www.flickr.com/photos/hval01/sets/72157645547431975/EDIT TWO
- 2014 07 07 @ 11:39hrs BST
The high winds outdoors are preventing me from carrying out macro photography, so I have photographed a pine cone indoors. The link is here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/hval01/14615130993/in/set-72157645599823183EDIT THREE
Photos of a small figurine and tortoises. Also a couple of hand held shots out the window.https://www.flickr.com/photos/hval01/sets/72157645148300930/