Yesterday I embarked once again on a photo-walk with the Sigma 18-300mm Contemporary. My attention was on the long end which, when it comes to super-zooms, tends to be much softer than the area around the sweet spot which can usually be found somewhere in the middle of the zoom-range. Since the longest focal length of 300mm also allows for the largest possible image ratio, I jumped at the chance and took a couple of macro-shots. And I have to say that, compared to the DP3M, which has a minimum focusing distance of 22.6 cm, insects are much easier to catch with the 18-300 C, since it has a MFD of 39 cm.
At wide open aperture the 18-300C offers an acceptable picture quality at the long end, which can be noticeably improved by stopping down to f/7.1 or f/8. The following photo was taken at 300mm and f/6.3.
For the following fly I stopped down to f/8 – the photo is much sharper despite ISO200.
Since it was windy and I was taking pictures with AF and at ISO100 (comparatively long exposure times), the following macro-shots are unfortunately not tack sharp.
Happily, a longer distance to the photo subject does not change the picture quality. Sharp shots can be taken at full aperture…
… as well as stopped down.
In any case, one should not forget that one is working with what corresponds to a focal length of 450mm on FF. Even though the lens is stabilized, the exposure time must not be too long. This is especially true when it comes to animals. However, taking a sharp picture of a bunch of frolicking puppies with an exposure time of 1/250 is more a question of luck than anything else.