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Old May 17, 2008, 8:48 PM   #1
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I have been looking at moving up to a true 1:1 macro for my flower pictures. Since flowers are an inanimate object, I don't have to worry about scaring them off, so the 50mm really works well and allows me toshoot flowers at a wider angle than a 100 or 150 would.

I thought at one time I would like the new DA35mm macro, but the price of it is outside my budget. The Sigma is about $250. I have been using an M50 macro, butI would like to try one that is fullyoptimizedfor a digital camera with auto everything.

I guess my question is, has anyone used the Sigma 50 and how does it compare with the DFA50 macro Pentax, which is over $100 more. A plus for the Sigma is ituses 55mm filters, which my Fuji had and I have about $100 worth ofvery good filters for it (ND8, polarizer etc). The 18-55mm kit lens is also good for flowers, but just not as sharp as the primes, enough said- Bruce
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Old May 17, 2008, 9:46 PM   #2
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Bruce, I have the Sigma 70 macro. I think it is pretty much the same as the 50. Have you read the on-line reviews? The Sigma macros are highly recommended, so I don't think you'll be disappointed. I decided to split the difference between 50 and 100 (or 90) as a compromise. I have not used it extensively, but I like what I see so far. Here are two samples, maybe not typical, but hopefully helpful.
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Old May 17, 2008, 9:52 PM   #3
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The wolf carving is about 4" overall. Here is the other example, a glass paperweight. The OOF on the left is intentional, in an attempt to create the impression of movement by the 'twister' on the right.
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Old May 17, 2008, 11:04 PM   #4
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Bruce, I have that Sigma. For flower closeupsI prefera 100mmlength to the 50 because I prefer the perspective given by the additional distance (and I don't have to bend over as much!, which my aging back appreciates). I haven't used the Pentax macro, but I have used the Sigma for tabletop photography, and I can tell you that it is absolutely first rate. If it has a drawback for field use, it is that while a sunshade is provided, it is not built in, which engenderssome fumbling when you get it out to use.
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Old May 18, 2008, 12:14 AM   #5
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Most of my flower shots now are taken with a small tripod. I have a pair of knee pads like the carpenters use, so I get down on my knees a lot and spend some time setting up the picture. I also use a 12" diffuser if the light is causing to much shadowing within the flower.

Often times if the wind is not blowing to bad, I use the 2 sec timer, so I have time to hold the diffuser just right. One thing I have found is that if you are not blocking the eyepiece with your eye, your light meter will be off, since light enters the camera here. I often use the little MX viewfinder cap (included with the camera)to block the light once I am set up. Sounds like a lot of trouble just to take a picture of a flower, but I'm learning and having fun.

After3 or 4 hours of wildflower shooting, I'm pretty worn out, just from the contorted positions I need to get into to get the right shots. The flowers don't come to you, you have to go to them and lots of times the background is terribly distracting or the backlighting is bad. Notice I've lost my eyepiece cover. I wonder how many of you have done this also? No big deal as you need to remove it to use the MX plastic cover anyway- Bruce

PS - The Tripod is a Slik Sprint Mini. It goes from 6" to 43". The ballhead allows me to take either horizontal or vertical pictures. The lens in the picture is the M50 macro. One thing that works out well for me is in hiking, I put the strap around my neck and fold the tripod legs in and cradlethem under my right arm. This makes it very quick to set up for a picture.



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