About a week ago I received the much awaited (at least by me) close up lens made by Sigma. I must say that I was happily surprised about the little leather box that came with the lens! Soooo retro and beautifully crafted! WELL DONE SIGMA! Now, is the lens as good as the box it came in? :D
I’ve read numerous threads over at dpreview on different solutions and I’ve seen magnificent macro shots with all sorts of filters – some good, some not so good. Now, when the Sigma AML-1 was announced I was a bit surprised on the closest distance which is 20cm – not very Macro on a 28mm lens is it?! :D and in order to show you just how close 20cm is and what it feels like – I made this little video. If you watch it on Youtube then you can see it in higher resolution. Embedded is low res.
The lens is very bright – not sure you loose any light. Can’t really see any difference in shutter speeds and the lens says nothing about it. You can’t focus to infinity with it on – but it’s made for closeups so it’s not really a problem. OOF becomes BEAUTIFUL! Especially welcome when you’re making movies. Along with the extremely sharp lens and sensor it becomes almost unreal. Take a look at the shot of Linn, click it and the full version will load. It’s so so detailed. If the DP1 only had MORE resolution when making movies!! :D
The AML-1 as a slight negative distortion in corners – The opposite to the type of distortion we’re used to with normal lenses. But it’s not noticeable in day to day images. The picture below shows the effect, look at the window and you’ll understand what I mean.
Conclusion. I should have had TWO lenses or even three and stacked them, that would probably give very nice macros. Right now you don’t get close enough for that type of photography with only one lens. For movies and portraits such as the ones above it’s a wonderful solution and gives you new views – plus that the extreme OOF is perfect for videos.
Btw, the lens / filter itself is very very well made and NO CA can be found. At least not in any of my photos so far. Contrast and sharpnes are really top notch.