APO Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Features:
- Designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 225mm with most cameras
- Splash-proof feature protects the lens from the effects of harsh weather conditions
- Offers Sigma’s OS System (Optical Stabilization) allowing handheld photography even in low-light situation
- HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) ensures a quiet & high-speed auto focus
- Focuses down to 1:1 magnification ratio at its closest working distance of 15 inches
by Dave FitzSimmons
If you could imagine the perfect macro lens, what qualities would it have?
How about these:
- Super sharp
- Optical Stabilization
- Wide maximum aperture
- Pleasing Bokeh
- Weather sealing
- Hyper Sonic Motor
Meet the new Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro lens, by the above standards, the perfect macro lens.
I have to begin by admitting that I got a little nervous when the folks at Sigma told me they were coming out with a new 150mm macro lens. Why? Because I had been raving for years to audiences across North America about how great the previous version was. I wondered how Sigma’s engineers could make such a great lens even better. They did.
The new 150mm macro has all the incredible attributes of the previous lens and more. They took an already durable, well-built lens and, as Emeril Lagasse would say, “kicked it up a notch.” Simply put, the svelte exterior feels rich in your hands, with a black metal barrel that is well-crafted and solid. The detachable tripod color is silky-smooth to turn, and the hood locks on tightly and extends far, certain to eliminate stray rays from the sun or other lights. This new baby even has weather-sealing!
In addition, the lens has optical stabilization. Okay…so you say, “It’s a macro lens. I’m just going to use it on my tripod at high magnifications. I don’t need Optical Stabilization.” Well, not so fast: I think you’re gonna fall in love with OS on this f/2.8 prime.
My family and I took a trip this summer to Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. While traveling, I kept the 150mm macro in the front seat of the car with me, where I could photograph wildlife on the spur of the moment. Black bears appeared along the road quite frequently, and Optical Stabilization allowed me to grab sharp shots immediately. Roughed grouse were fairly common. I followed one of these well-camouflaged birds into the underbrush. Needless to say, without time to set up my tripod, having a fast telephoto lens with OS allows you to hand-hold wildlife shots with confidence.
What about the OS performance? I put the OS to the test upon my return home. I shot at one of my all-time favorite gardens: Kingwood Center, Mansfield, Ohio. Spectacular landscaping surrounds the elegant estate of former business magnate, C. K. King. Besides photographing flowers, I turned the lens on Kingwood’s architectural features. A brass cupola with a large bell inside adorned the mansion’s carriage house. Positioned about 100’ away, I tested the 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro with the OS on and off.
In my first sequence, I shot a Canon 5D at ISO at 100, f/16, at 1/8 of a second. While my shots with the OS turned off were all unacceptable, I easily achieved sharp results with the OS on. I decided to push the envelope even further: I added the Sigma 1.4X Teleconverter EX APO DG to the mix, effectively creating a 210mm focal length. And, I kept the ISO at 100 and the aperture at f/16, meaning I’d be shooting a 210mm lens at ¼ second. The result: sharp again with the OS on. Remarkable! Excellent detail at ¼ second at 210mm!
So, turn on the OS when you are shooting any number of subjects, including during portrait sessions. Speaking of portraiture, if you love illuminating faces with window light, you can easily hand-hold full-frame and APS-C camera bodies and get super-sharp images.
For portrait shooters, if sharpness and OS don’t convince you that the 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro makes a great portrait lens, consider its bokeh. The previous, non-OS version was one of the greatest lenses I’ve ever shot with not only because of its sharpness but also because of its excellent bokeh. The same holds true with the new OS version. And it’s no surprise: The optics remained the same between the two versions. The nine blade diaphragm and the well-designed lens elements produce soft, pleasing out-of-focus areas.
Of course, most of us buy a macro lens to shoot close-ups of flowers, butterflies, stamp collections, or other small subjects. For these purposes, the 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro naturally shines. While I most often shoot this lens at f/16, I also shoot it at f/22 and obtain professional results. This is remarkable because most lenses suffer from a significant drop off of image quality at their smallest aperture due to diffraction, but the 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro remains sharp throughout its aperture range. I can confidently shoot at f/2.8 for romantic images of flowers and then photograph insects at f/22, retaining details across much of my subjects.
And if super sharp images, class-leading bokeh, and excellent Optical Stabilization aren’t enough, consider the price. At $300 to $400 dollars less than similar lenses from other camera manufacturers, how could you go wrong?
To see more of David’s work or to find out more information about upcoming Sigma FitzSimmons Photography presentations and workshops, visit fitzsimmonsphotography.com .
Stay tuned for David’s newest publication, Curious Critters, a children’s picture book featuring animals from across the North America, which will be available in November. All photographs in the book were taken with Sigma lenses, most of them with macro lenses, some with the 150mm macro. For more information, visit Curious-Critters.com.
This latest version of the Sigma Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG HSM boasts Optical Stablization (OS) which is critical to equipment sporting this focal range and is now splash-proof. Offering the latest optical design technology this lens remains a large aperture medium macro lens ideal for shooting the smaller things in our world that exists virtually unseen. A macro lens is one which will focus on a subject close enough to render it “life-size” on the image plane in your camera. It also has a “flat” field” front lens element so that it can shoot images of flat objects such as artwork or postage stamps and be tack sharp all the way across the image. With HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) a quiet & high-speed auto focus is ensured. It provides extremely high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 Macro. Three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide optimum color correction and sharpness throughout the entire range and Super Multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting. It has superior peripheral brightness and provides sharp and high contrast images even at maximum apertures. The OS offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. It is also compatible with Sigma APO Tele Converters. Ideally suited for taking pictures of insects or other small creatures, but it is also the perfect focal length for facial portraits rendering the best perspective of the human face. This greater distance also allows the photographer more flexibility in lighting the subject with natural light reflectors. So don’t miss the tiny insects, flowers of the world or the details in a stamp or coin collection or a piece of embroidery all of which are seldom noticed but offer a fascinating world if you look closely enough. Capture them with the Sigma Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro.
|Lens Construction||19 Elements in 13 Groups|
|Angle of View||16.4 degrees|
|Number of Diaphragm Blades||9|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||38cm/ 15in|
|Filter Size (mm)||72mm|
(Diameter x Length)
|79.6mmx15 mm/3.1in. x 5.9 in|
|Weight||1150g / 40.6oz.|
|OS – Optical Stabilizer Function
HSM – Hyper-Sonic Motor
APO – Apochromatic
EX – EX Lens
DG – DG for Digital* The appearance, specifications, and the like of the product are subject to change for improvement without notice.