Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Revisited
11th February 2014, Singapore – For some strange unexplained reason, my earlier (2012) review of the Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro went missing in cyber-pandora. Due to many requests from my students & friends who are big fans of macro photography, I had decided to do up this review to “complete” my set of user reviews on Sigma macro lenses.
The current version of the Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro is actually a Mark II (1st version has no OS and uses the old peel-when-aged body coating) which many keen eyes will be quick to point out that the lens was built using a much better material than its predecessor. Looks like engineered plastics, the fact is, the barrel was made from TSC (thermally stable compound) and was used as a test run for the current versions of new Sigma Art, Contemporary & Sport line lenses.
Made as a premium Sigma lens, this high performance macro lens are designed to fill in the focal range gap for between 90/100/105mm & 180mm which makes lots of sense. A full frame lens, this 9–Blades (aperture) 150mm offers excellent bokehs (at F2.8) that creates stunning portraits while the 150mm also gives the user a good working range when photographing tiny insects from a distance or for general table top studio uses. Designed for high versatility and general use, this 150mm is the “almost-all-you-need” lens for medium telephoto range.
When used with APS-C DSLRs, this 150mm effectively becomes a 225mm* telephoto lens allowing the user to do more like sports or even birds photography. (*240mm on Canon APS-C & 195mm on Canon APS-H sensor bodies) To ensure this 150mm lives up to its claimed performance, Sigma included the company’s long proven Optical Stabilizer (OS) in 3 operating modes to ensures the user will be ready to shoot with assist in any shooting situation, a blazing fast Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) for that spot-on focusing in fraction of a second. The HSM is noted for their accuracy, almost silent high-speed focusing.
Focusing range is selectable from 3 pre-set range allowing the user to tailor the focusing distance and speed to their shooting. On the exterior, apart from the excellent lens finishing, the handling are user-friendly. The AF/MF switch, the Focus Range switch & the OS Mode switch are thoughtfully arranged and the focusing ring is smooth and very easy to operate. At 1150kg, the 150mm is considered light weight for handheld shooting and it comes with a tripod mount ring for that added versatility should the user decides to use a monopod or tripod with this lens. APS-C users will be glad to know that in the retail box, Sigma had included an APS-C hood adaptor together with the hood so that users using this lens on APS-C bodies will not compromised on stray lights or other light pick-ups. (Phenomenon where long lenses are used on smaller sensors which are positioned nearer to the lens.
With all the goodies incorporated into the 150mm, the package will not be complete without Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating. Known for its ability to reduce flares & image ghosting, color rendering are also near perfect at an approximate 95% (color chart test at Auto WB) which is perfect – for what it was designed for. The 150mm is a true macro lens with 1:1 (life size reproduction) and it focuses as near as 15 inches as claimed by Sigma. On our field test, this lens is still focusing accurately at 10 inches! This lens is sharp – very sharp as expected from a true macro lens. Internally there are 19 elements in 13 groups which I did not expect due to the light weight. Personally, I am more concerned with the final image quality which this lens pleases me.
Fully compatible with Sigma’s full range of accessories, the 150mm will be best purchased with the company’s tele-convertors and the macro flash which are individually known for their proven capabilities.
For more information on this lens, please visit here.
For Sigma 50mm Macro Review please visit here.
For Sigma 70mm Macro Review please visit here.
For Sigma 105mm Macro Review please visit here.
For Sigma 180mm Macro Review please visit here.
For SigmaDG Macro Flash Review please visit here.
Sigma will be announcing another new DC lens later this week. Stay tuned.
** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.
C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.
A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.
S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.
For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com