Thanks to the lockdown, in recent months I’ve spent a lot of time at home and that’s meant fewer opportunities to get out for photography. Fortunately, though, I’ve been in a cohabiting bubble with a rather remarkable lens, the Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art for L-Mount.
Macfilos carried an article in April this year, with some of my earlier macro efforts from the garden. But I’ve been getting a bit more adventurous since then and becoming even more impressed with this bargain prime.
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Conventional wisdom dictates that the best macro photography needs a lot of setting up, including the use of a tripod and judicious use of lighting – perhaps even a ring light. I can’t be doing with all that fussing around, so I decided to try the SL2 and the Sigma Macro with absolutely no special precautions. There was no tripod, just the SL2 (with its in-body stabilisation) and the £499 Sigma seventy. A little bit of judicious use of flash was all I allowed. Would it work? Would I make a pig’s ear of it?
As it happens, no, it wasn’t a disaster as you can see from the accompanying photographs. These were the simplest of tools and they’re available to anyone who wants to try some ad hoc macro work.
I tried autofocus, I wanted it to work. But in the end the rig wouldn’t lock on to these tiny insects, despite using the precise + focus point. But manual focus was remarkably easy, despite the flighty nature of the subjects, and I have been surprised just how good the results have been. Bear in mind that some of these insects are not more than a few millimetres across.
What does impress me is the image quality from this bargain lens. For around £450, it’s a stellar performer, both as a macro lens and as a very respectable portrait lens. In the latter guise, it’s even more effective when bolted to a CL or TL to give an effective focal length of 105 mm, just the ticket for portraits.