Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX IF HSM APO Macro 35mm Primes

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180mm f/3.5 EX IF HSM APO Macro

This high performance telemacro lens can focus from infinity to full 1:1 Life-size reproduction without accessories. The models for Sigma, Canon and Nikon AF cameras employ Sigma's HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) for quiet, responsive AF function plus "full time" manual focus.

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
amattess   Intermediate [Jun 30, 2005]
Strength:

Tough metal body. Sharp focus.

Weakness:

Weight. Speed. AF hunting.

Great quality with sharp focus and no noticible distortion. Autofocus hunts and burns batteries on my Nikons. Weighs a ton but tripod mount is sturdy and should be used. All in all if you can pick it up cheap (used as I did) it makes a nice Macro addition to the quiver.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: Nikon 180mm Macro
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Ferko   Intermediate [Feb 11, 2005]
Strength:

Build. The lens itself has a tank's massivity. IF: during AF nothing rotates or extends from the lens. The only thing what changes is the rotating distance scale under a small window. The weight and size: In its category, where its "classmates" the Canon 180/3,5, the Nikon 200/4 etc. I think it is still the shortest and lightest lens, even with his 945 g own weight. Picture quality is superb, not only in the macro range, but even in the whole. Focus limiter: 3 positions (full; full to half life-size,(from infinity to 0.61 m) and from half life-size to 1:1 (from 0.61 m down to 0.46))Can be very useful. Accept 72 mm filters (note SB-29 can be used without adaptor) Bokeh is beautiful, thanks to the 9-bladed diaphragm. Sharpness, contrast, resolution, colors;(the most important things) I won't write. Just go and see it yourself. HSM: In a Nikon body it's even better than a Nikor 200mm. Silent. Full-time manual focus: you roughly set the focus, and the AF corrects it.And you still can hold the lens in your hand because focus ring doesn't rotates during AF.

Weakness:

Vignetting. NOTE: maybe YOU WON'T EVER NOTICE THIS. Open at f/4 and with a light gray background without any pattern in it this lens ONCE "delivered" this. Fully opened I've never noticed it with green or even white background when I used pro slide film. HSM: silent, but not as fast as you think. It's slow, silent, but in close distances it hardly find the correct focus. But in this range (=>very shallow DOF) the AF remains fast in the finder. Shallow DOF. This lens is not designed to be your 1st lens what you buy. You need experience to can use it. As you wish. The category. It is almost useless without a good, heavy tripod. Without it you 'll miss dozens of beautiful shots, and get nothing else but blurred, out-of focus photographs.

1st: Dont't be shocked about the price I've paid for it. I bought it used in a tiny shop for half of its new price; a brand new one would cost about 1600 USD or even more because of the high taxes of my country. It is a very useful and well constructed lens, overall. But it requires a steady hand:-)

Customer Service

Never needed. Because of the IF, it is very resistant to dust.

Similar Products Used: nothing yet.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
b_nikon   Intermediate [Aug 22, 2004]
Strength:

- construction (almost entirely made of metal alloy) - razorsharp - HSM is really silent - wide focus ring

Weakness:

- heavy (but I don't care) - hunts at close range (macro shots) - AF is not that fast

This lens is superb. It is built like a tank what I like very much since I work outdoors all of the time. The tripod socket and collar are excellent in use. The lens produces very sharp images with excellent contrast and color (thanks to apo and sld elements - two of them). Very good price - quality ratio.

Customer Service

-

Similar Products Used: -
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Levon5   Expert [May 08, 2004]
Strength:

Great sharpness and color. It appeared fairly neutral in rendition to me and it displayed that little extra sparkle that great lenses do. (The best telephoto I've used for that little extra is an older 180mm F2.8 Nikkor.) I like the having the ability to immediately overide the lens' HSM focus at any time without pushing a button and/or body switch. The focus collar is good; read 'BIG'. You can find it immediately without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. Another plus was the ability to put a tripod plate on the 180mm's collar and the camera simultaneously because the lens' tripod mount sits lower. That enabled me to utilize the camera plate immediately when I switched lenses, cutting out an extra step. Thank you Sigma! Someone was thinking!

Weakness:

Little heavy (to be expected), searches a little (to be expected w/macro).

I purchased the Sigma 180mm F3.5 HSM after I read all of the positive reviews here on Photography Review. I took special note of the reviewers who said that this macro was sharp even wide open. My macro shots indeed verified that the lens is sharp wide open and a even a little sharper when stopped down two f-stops. It turned in both stellar macro and APO telephoto perfomances. Thank you for your sage observations and recommendations!

Customer Service

Not needed

Similar Products Used: Sigma 105mm Macro Nikon 105mm Macro Nikon 60mm Macro Sigma 400mm APO Macro-Telephoto Sigma 70-300mm APO Leica 90mm Elmarit w/Elpro VII Sigma 180mm F5.6 APO Macro
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
olegv   Expert [May 06, 2004]
Strength:

Very good sharpness

Weakness:

Sigma's HSM autofocus turns to be a worst I ever seen. It hunts a lot even in day light and finally focuses in wrong position. The problem seems to be in mechanical slackness and unresponsive motor. Only 30-50% of shots appears to be of adequate quality. People in service sad that its normal. Shure in case you print 4x6 its normal but for DSLR its just unacceptable. The Sigma 105 macro with mechanical coupling behaves much better.

Optically 5 Mechanically 2

Customer Service

Going to return it back

Similar Products Used: Nikkor 24-85 F3.5/4.5 AF-S Sigma 105 F2.8 macro
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Jbear   Expert [Feb 20, 2004]
Strength:

Super sharp (even at f3.5). Beautiful contrast and color. Great MF feel. Smooth Quiet AF. Solid Build. Well designed tripod mount.

Weakness:

Some may find it heavy. Specialized application. Tricky to effectively use shallow DOF at 1:1 with fast macro lenses. Not inexpensive (but not exp. compared to like products). Wish Sigma lens caps stayed on better (I replace mine with Nikons)

Sorry if this ends up reading like an ad, but when I work with equipment that performs like this lens does... I have found this to be a professional quality lens in every regard. Shooting nature and wildlife, Sldes are critically sharp at all apertures, and wide open you get good subject/background separation with very nice bokeh (although this takes practice at high magnifications). The sharpness and contrast are on par with any pro Nikkors or Tamron (another good choice) macros that I have worked with. Focusing is very smooth and quiet and fairly fast. I prefer manually focusing for macro work, and the damping and throw are very well designed for this purpose. It seems to be well built and has held up in the field thus far with no problems. It isn't especially light or compact; if that is important in your work, you might take this into consideration. The 180-200mm macro range is a somewhat specialized class of lens, and not for everyone's general photographic needs. If you are doing significant macrophotography and need the working distance that telemacros provide, this is one superb lens that is priced well below its value. I guess the bottom line is that there isn't anything that I wish that this lens did better than it already does.

Customer Service

Haven't needed it, but I have read on many discussion groups that they are outstanding.

Similar Products Used: MicroNikkor 60mm2.8 Sigma 105mm2.8 macro MicroNikkor AF105mm2.8 Tamron 90mmMacro Tamron180mmMacro
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Q B   Professional [Aug 16, 2003]
Strength:

Sharp, well built, a match for any marque macro lens.

Weakness:

I hae the EX finish! But thats a personal thing. Bit heavy.

This lens shows Sigma can build top quality lenses when they want to. I added this to my Tamron 90mm F3.5 in order to shoot from further away. It is only used for Macro and studio work. It is well built - well up to pro standards - comes in a smart carry case, and performs exceptionally well. In particular, it is sharp wide open, so it is well suited to those shallow depth of field shots. HSM means quiet, if not particularly fast, focusing. Pity all Sigma lenses are not this good.

Similar Products Used: Quite a few.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
LRothman   Professional [Jun 22, 2003]
Strength:

Build,resistance to chromatic abberation, sharpness center to edge, nice tripod bracket, quiet focus, a superb value for the dollar spent

Weakness:

autofocus in macro mode a tad slow but not bad.

One of those rare Sigma lenses built tight as a drum. Definetly meets professional standards.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
quico   Intermediate [Oct 11, 2002]
Strength:

Price. Construction. APO glass. Comes with tripod collar and lens case.

Weakness:

Slow AF, though not a big drawback for macro.

This is my first prime lens, and I am very pleased with it. I used it mainly for small insects and flowers, and the results are very sharp, with crisp colours.

Customer Service

Not used.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
uwcamerman   Intermediate [May 30, 2002]
Strength:

Sharp, fast autofocus, tripond collar, nice feel, 7 year waranty

Weakness:

always the fear of reliability issues which is a little easier with their

I had bought Nikon's 200mm f/4 AF-D micro and this Sigma at roughly the same time. I bought the Nikon and a few days later found the Sigma on sale for a screamin' deal. To put the price in perspective, the Nikon was exactly double the Sigma. I shot many slides with the lenses side by side and was surprised by the results. Other than the slight gain in focal length, the slides were virtually identical. The Sigma seemed to be every bit as sharp as the Nikon and contrast and color were exceptional too. The colors were ever so slighty different between the two(hardly noticable), and both were equally pleasing to look at. The Sigma's full time manual focusing is much more user friendly as is the tripod collar. I love this collar and it seem to do the job well. I was so pleased with this lens that I sold my Nikon 200mm. My only hesitation in doing this is predicted reliability. This is the reason that this is the only non-nikon lens I own. Hopefully it will be as strong as it feels. This lens now joins my other macros in my very heavy camera bag. Oh yeah I almost forgot, It focuses pretty d*** fast for a macro.

Customer Service

none needed yet

Similar Products Used: Nikon 60mm, 105mm, 200mm Micro Nikkors
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 26  
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