Of lenses, horses & portraits

I’ve been in need of a longer focal length macro lens for a while. Today I took delivery of a Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX; that’s quite a name! Now I usually stick to Canon L series lenses but this Sigma EX has a very good reputation and is quite a bargain at the moment. Anyway took the lens for an afternoon stroll in today’s dull, cloudy and sub zero weather. The lens seems promisingly versatile being suitable for portraiture as well as macro work. Tamsin & her pony, Snowy, seemed like good subjects to take trial portrait shots of. The gloomy afternoon would ensure the use of higher ISO & open aperture, I used only natural light for these shots. Here’s an image of Snowy, taken with the Sigma lens on a Canon 5D:

Black & White Pony Portrait 

I am very pleased with the nice bokeh that this lens produces; it is also acceptably sharp from wide open and gives a pleasant feel to the picture. The build quality appears good but perhaps not up to the rock solid build that Canon L series lenses give you. Focusing is quiet and of an acceptable speed for a macro lens but the AF doesn’t feel as accurate as a discerning photographer might wish for. Here’s a sample shot of Tamsin:

Tamsin - all wrapped up 

Overall, I am very pleased with the lens and look forward to taking more images with it. I expect to use it for macro, portrait (animal & human) and wedding photography. A brief test with both extension tubes & a x1.4 extender promises well for achieving good macro shots with magnification in excess of life size (1:1).


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