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Sigma Macro - 150mm or 180 ?

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Psin  966 forum posts England
6 Jul 2006 - 8:21 PM

Hi there
Looking at going down the Sigma EX Macro route but can't decide on the 150mm 2.8 or the 180mm 3.5.
Any personal experiences people can bring to the table ?
Prices are very close (If you shop around) so that is no issue.
There is a possibilty of use with a tele converter @ some point in the future. But my main aim to start with it on our smaller friends(insects) and fauna.

Thanks in advance


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6 Jul 2006 - 8:21 PM

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tull  11181 forum posts United Kingdom
6 Jul 2006 - 8:32 PM

Hi Pete,

I've recently brought the 150mm and have had some excellent results but then never used the 180mm I can't give a comparison but I'm very happy with mine and no dissapointments so far!
Not much of a help really other than you would be pleased with the 150mm I'm sure.

Good luck on what is a hard decision!


spaceman  105166 forum posts Wales3 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jul 2006 - 8:35 PM

Why do they make two near-identical lenses?

u08mcb  105817 forum posts
6 Jul 2006 - 8:37 PM

I don't know but people bruy them.

spaceman  105166 forum posts Wales3 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jul 2006 - 8:41 PM


spaceman  105166 forum posts Wales3 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jul 2006 - 8:43 PM

It's a pity you edited - I liked that word "bruy".

6 Jul 2006 - 8:52 PM

And I can't help, really, as I've the 105mm but would say that I'd go for the f2.8 over f3.5 for the non-macro shots

spaceman  105166 forum posts Wales3 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jul 2006 - 9:21 PM

Now you're just messin' with my mind (not you Mark).

Max_WW  8124 forum posts
6 Jul 2006 - 9:29 PM

Can't comment on the 180 as I don't have it, but I do have the Sigma 150 mm f/2.8 Macro and its my most commonly used lens. Its stunningly sharp, even at f/2.8, and is the first of my lenses I'd replace if I lost them all. Imho, the picture quality is as good as any L-series lens I've used or owned.

The weight difference between the two is not that great 895g vs 965g), however the extra 4.5 cm length of the 180mm could make it more cumbersome. I particularly like the 150mm because it does not feel that big.

Lots of independant owner reviews here, and an epz one for the 180 here and the 150 here.


Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
7 Jul 2006 - 5:20 AM

I'm just going through the same decision making process and one thing that isn't mentioned in the reviews is this:

The 180 gives you some - but very little - advantage over the 150 in terms of separation between the end of the lens and the subject. The closest focussing distance [1:1] of the 180 is further but it is also much longer physically partially negating the advantage.

Closest focussing distance - length of lens = separation from subject.

180mm: 460mm - 182mm = 278mm
150mm: 380mm - 137mm = 243mm

Difference = 278 - 243 = 35mm.

So, for a much bigger [and somewhat heavier] lens you gain only 35mm extra separation.

Just a factor to consider.............


PS more reviews: PhotoZone

Leif  9722 forum posts
7 Jul 2006 - 7:02 AM

I would check where the closest focussing distance is measured from. On my Nikon lenses it is from the film plane, not the front of the lens.


7 Jul 2006 - 7:23 AM


Read my post again.

The 460mm & 380mm measurements are the closest focussing distances which are always measured from the film plane whatever the manufacturer.

The 182mm & 137mm measurements are the length of the lenses.

The calculations gave you the distance from the end of the lens to the subject.

Hope this helps

NickdeBug  9391 forum posts
7 Jul 2006 - 8:58 AM

Another vote for the Sigma 150mm. Really nice balance on this lens. Happy to hand-hold for 1:1 shots. It is also a newer design than the older 180mm, and one would have to assume (although this can often be dangerous) that Sigma have used newer technology within it as a result. Reading the blurb on the website, it certainly sounds like they have.

As mentioned above, you've also got the f/2.8 if you fancy using it as a candid portrait lens - although this is obviously not something to influence your decision if it is only for macro.

I went through the same decision process as you. Would the extra working distance be of benefit (I work as an entomologist so I am often wanting to snap stuff in the field). As MeanGreeny clearly shows, the distance is not really very significant, especially when you add the extra weight to the equation. I went with the 150mm and I am delighted with it. A colleague borrowed it and immediately ordered herself one as well (she got a good deal from Onestop digital - think it was about 340 squid).

Good luck with your choice and look forward to seeing your new lens in action in your p/f.

Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
Psin  966 forum posts England
7 Jul 2006 - 4:20 PM

Many Thanks Guys for all the replies.

I have made my decision......its going to be the 150..
I have gorged myself on every review i can lay my hands on and its been close but the 150 just shades it.

The only thing is now nowhere has them in stock !!!!!!
I have tried the onestop digital site but it seems to be down.
That is the best price i have seen is it an import ?.

It won't be used just for Macro so i think the 2.8 is going to come in to play.

Thanks again everyone now i can't wait the money is burning a hole in my pocket.


AngelaD  92861 forum posts Wales
7 Jul 2006 - 4:24 PM

Pete, if you Froogle the lens, choose under 400, then click from there, it will take you to onestop digital.

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