Phil is a Professional Photographer of considerable experience. He says about himself:- I have to be honest, it was with a bit of trepidation that I agreed to write a short article for the Sigma website. After all I am a photographer not an author and writing about myself feels just a little bit strange.
I am a professional natural history photographer based in the UK county of Kent. My photographic career spans some thirty five years and for the last twenty five I have worked as a scientific photographer for the Natural History Museum in London where I am responsible for the imaging of specimens from the vast collections for use by the scientists in their research and for publication in scientific journals.
I am also contracted to two image libraries supplying stock photographs, and, for this side of my photography, one of my favourite lenses for close up work is the Sigma 180mm f3.5 EX Macro, which I have used for the last three years. Why did I choose the Sigma? Quite simply, value for money combined with image and build quality.
As a working professional my lenses should perform and provide the image quality that I expect and I am pleased to say that the Sigma certainly does. At less than half the price of the Canon equivalent, in my simple comparisons the image quality is almost equal and under normal conditions no difference is visible.
Important to me are the extra working distance the 180mm focal length enables along with the ease of manual focus. I never use AF for close up work, this is not down to a problem with the lens but a need for greater accuracy of focus than many AF systems are able to provide. This ease of focus is combined with an internal focus system which means that the lens will not extend as you focus, although this means that the focal length reduces slightly as you focus closer, it is not something you will notice in everyday use. Of course one of my favourite features with this lens is the way it ‘melts’ out of focus backgrounds.
Would I part with this lens, well no, unless Sigma produces a version with its Optical Stabilizer system, which would allow me to hand hold on the odd occasion (I will not be parted from my tripod). A final point which, perhaps I shouldn’t mention, but I will anyway, is that the 180mm Macro works very well with the Canon 1.4 and 2x extenders by placing a 12mm extension tube between the lens and extender, providing increased magnification without reducing the minimum working distance.
See some more of Phil’s work Here