Sigma APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens review at PhotoReview: Buy this lens if you want a sharp and stabilized macro lens with a good working distance for photographing active insects and other small animals.

Sigma APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens review at PhotoReview: Buy this lens if you want a sharp and stabilized macro lens with a good working distance for photographing active insects and other small animals.

"Sigma’s APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM is the fastest macro lens with a 180mm focal length currently available. Canon has an EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens but it's not stabilised and it was selling for more than AU$2000 (US$1580) when this review was written.

Tamron has a 180mm f/3.5 macro lens, which is also unstabilised and was selling for around AU$1350 at the same time

(US$750. However, it has neither stabilisation nor a focus limiter and autofocusing is driven by a conventional AF micro-motor, which is relatively slow and quite noisy.

The closest Nikon equivalent is the AF micro Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED lens, which is slower and was selling for AU$2050 (US$1650), when this review was written. This lens has been around since the mid 1990s and has no internal AF motor, relying on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. A focus limiter is provided but autofocusing remains slow and relatively noisy.

Pentax and Sony camera owners are limited to the 100mm focal length for their macro lenses. The smc Pentax D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro is currently selling for  around AU $750 (or US$850 through the Pentax online store). Sony's SAL100M28 100mm f/2.8 macro lens is currently priced at AU $1040 through a leading online re-seller. In the US it sells for US$798 online.

Even though it's relatively pricey, for its features and performance  the Sigma lens represents good value for money. Photographers looking for a long macro lens should consider it as an option, particularly if they are prepared to focus manually in some situations."

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