February 9, 2017

My love for the humble, cheap, Sigma 50mm macro

For Photographers

For Photographers

Sigma 50mm Macro 2.8

The Sigma 50mm macro 2.8 is now discontinued, but it’s been such a standby for me over the years that I bought three different copies for five different cameras. I bought it for my Canon Rebel XT in 2005, I think because it was cheap and I had no idea what a macro was back then. I was just thinking about getting into photography ‘professionally’ because I’d taken some good pictures with the kit lens. From the minute I opened the box, it was love. You see, I can’t see well. I have been severely nearsighted since I was little. This little macro lens let me SEE.. big! Let me see all the things I was missing. Every scratch on a penny, every little shimmer in a flower petal. It was downright magical.

I upgraded to a Canon 5D in 2008 and kept the same lens, which I had by that point begun using for portraits as well. In 2009 I bought a 5D Mark ii, but I was unable to get it to ever focus correctly, so I jumped ship and bought a Nikon D700 in the later part of 2009. I rebought the trusty Sigma 50mm macro then. I kept that for three years (with a few other Nikon lenses), but struggled with getting skin tones the way I wanted. So in 2012, I jumped back to Canon with the 5D Mark iii.. and you guessed it.. bought that cheap Sigma 50mm macro a third time!

That little lens has been with me through 15 years of business and actually taken some of the most memorable photos in my life.

On the Rebel XT:

I began experimenting with macro, seeing just how close I could get to things. This is the lens I brought with me to my husband’s (back then he was boyfriend) first black belt test. That test resulted in his still to this date favorite photo of himself.. arms covered in bruises. It also took out very first Christmas card photo, and some of the first photos I have of my beloved cat.

On the original 5D:

This is the lens that began my love of hummingbirds, took the first photo of my first website ever, took the first picture of me with my REAL business computer, and took more amazing photos of my girly kitty.

I took a total of about 600 photos on the 5D mark ii in between sending it back for repairs three times, but it was never sharp enough for photos to keep. By the time I figured out it wasn’t user error, I was frustrated enough to look at Nikon.

On the Nikon D700:

I kept going with macros, and this is the lens that I used to take pictures of my engagement ring, more hummingbirds, and more lizards.

I loved Nikon’s greens, but I didn’t ever love Nikon’s skin tones, so when Canon had fixed the focus issued, I came back.. and bought the Sigma 50mm macro all over again.

On the 5D Mark iii:

This is the lens I chase lizards with, stalk ants with, shoot dewdrops with. It’s also been from Georgia to Seattle, New Orleans, Charlotte, Cincinatti, and Mississippi.

The Sigma 50mm macro has shaped my photography career in ways that I can’t even imagine, I’m sure. Sigma did not pay me to write this, I just wanted to share my love of a rugged, dirt cheap, discontinued little lens that does an amazing job. I might never has a real love for a camera body, but I do LOVE Sigma lenses!

Client Images:

Below are some actual client photos I’ve used the Sigma 50mm macro for.

Edit: I tried the 50mm macro with an adapter on the Sony a7iii and it mostly works but not totally. If you get the lightest bit of sun in the lens, it does this weird thing where you can actually see the adapter insides. It’s also just not quite as magical as it was before. It takes longer to focus on the adapter as well. I will be replacing this with the 70mm macro linked below.

If you’d like to begin your own love affair with a Sigma macro, try the new 70mm 2.8 Art or the 105mm 2.8 Macro.

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We are a luxury portrait studio based in Athens, GA specializing in creating unique and vibrant images that capture the best of maternity, newborn, family, senior and Fairyography clients.

Our studio is located at:
235 Great Oak Dr
Athens, GA 30605
235 Great Oak Dr, Athens, GA 30605