Customer Reviews on Sigma 50mm F2.8 Ex Dg Macro Lens for Canon
Review by Dayve Ward
, 09/08/2011, Customer Rating:
Although I bought this lens mainly for product photography, it's macro ability comes in very useful. There are other lenses available, which also get good reviews, but not even the most expensive ones are as good as you'd expect. At £240, this is a fair price to get good quality. I'm not interested in large apertures, so f2.8 (large for a 50mm prime) is good for me. The results I'm getting were compared to my Canon 45mm T-S lens. Without ant shift the Canon lens is very marginally sharper in the centre. However, the Sigma maintains it's sharpness to the edges, unlike the Canon.
The Sigma is also very light weight. It has a small diameter objective lens (compared to the Canon's f1.2) and is more typical of a normal 50mm lens in this respect.
A couple of downsides though: The lens extends during focusing (especially macro work). This is not normally an issue, but extreme close-up's allow for little in the way of distance from lens to subject. This makes lighting more difficult. Not an issue for myself, but if you're doing more macro work, I'd suggest a longer macro lens. The other slight downside is the screw-on lens hood. It's not as quick to remove for storing, so I leave mine in attached (it has a handy 72mm thread on the hood itself, so I bought a lens cap to fit). The hood is said to be made of metal. I don't think this is true; it seems more plasticy to me.
Maybe the focus could be snappier and the focus ring could be better damped (both minor, hair-splitting issues though).
In testing the lens, I found that it performs best between f5.6 to f16 (f8 is optimum). Smaller apertures than f16 show diffraction effects, which get very bad (unusable) by f45 (on a Canon). This is physics for you; you can't beat diffraction (not even Leica). There are other ways to increase depth of field (focus stacking), so this is not a real-world issue.
Overall, this is a very good lens