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Sigma vs. Minolta?

Sigma vs. Minolta?
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro, Marumi MC-UV 58 mm
Exposure: f/18.0, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The Closer The Better [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-12-08 6:25
Viewed: 8442
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 158
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Sigma vs. Minolta? No.
Alex99+Sigma vs. Alex99+Minolta.

I have planned to share last picture of the Gaillardia and its Visitors last time. I have been mistaken. The Flower holds me in its embraces strongly. It does not release me. It has captured me. And I am very pleased. This is a very good condition.

Now it is hardly more serious.
There are such words in the note to my previous shot, taken with Konica Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro (D) lens: "for true macro photography true macro lens is needed". I agree with these words and I not quite agree with them. Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO DG Macro has nice macro mode and I pack just this lens (for macro shooting) when I am going to long journey.

Differently, I do not want to be too categorical and by means of this post I wish to smooth rigidity of the given above wording.

Pictured specimen of Vanessa Carduiis is the same one, I suppose, which was shared about week ago (The Flower and its Visitor II). Both shots were separated by two minutes. In spite of there were few butterflies of this species on the flowers that time and use of different magnification ratios during taking of mentioned two shots I am almost sure that this is the same butterfly.

In any case, you can examine this beauty more closely.

:-))) What can I add in summary? Such eyes can turn a head to everybody. Any photo model would be happy, if have so slender legs. Any couturier would be happy, if could create such amazing costume for so charming model. (((-:

Add. shot info:
Exposure bias value: -1.00 eV.
Frame: cropped.
Support: monopod.
PP: At compression the BG smoothness and contours of contrast objects have strongly suffered.

Maite, XOTAELE, Luis52, nglen, mariki, jcoowanitwong, cicindela, Argus, JoseMiguel, marhowie, izler, uleko, sily, vanderschelden, ramthakur, rousettus, Silvio2006, eqshannon, mlines, horia, Ena, fiyo, JORAPAVI, jmp, NinaM, ridvan, earthtraveler, cataclysta, anel, SelenE, angybone, aido, Juyona, nainnain, oscarromulus, goutham_ramesh, Necipp, Photoslave, valy67, Tamrock, haraprasan, maurydv has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: Thanks a lot.Alex99 2 12-10 10:11
To eqshannon: True colours and thanks.Alex99 1 12-10 07:58
To mrcrow: DOF and ...Alex99 1 12-09 09:59
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Critiques [Translate]

Magníficos detalles y estupenda nitidez.
Muy buena nota amigo.
Un cordial saludo, JL.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-12-08 6:35]

Hi Alexei.- Nice and sharp Macro. I think the two lenses work very fine. The photogtapher is one of the best I know here. TFS.

Hello Alexei,

Wonderful close-up! Very nice lighting and colours. Sharpness is excellent. Detail on the wings is great.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-12-08 6:41]

Hi Alexei. I have use the sigma on my minolta and fine i got good results. you know now i have the canon but not to sure iftho sell the minolta or just keep it.

Your picture has fine detail and natural colours. a good POV/DOF. excellent work all round.
well done TFS.

hello alexei,
what a lovely macro shot, the sharpness is just great, excellent details,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi Alexei!
Another great example how to take a great picture! This macor photo is really fantastic, not only because of very good portrait :) I like details, sharpness and colours (summer colors as you know ;>).
Perfect control of light and DOF too!
Best withes,

Hi Alexei,
This is fantastic macro picture. Sharp focus and zoom in very close. I can see the scale on the wing clearly. Feeling great to see such a fine image.

Hello Alexei,
What a nice close-up of this fine creature!
The details in the butterfly are totally amazing and wil be hard to top for anyone...
Tight dynamic framing, very attractive natural colours!
Pablo -

great close up and a perfect quality,
it can't be better :D

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-12-08 7:48]

Hello Alexei,
For a real macro with close sharpness and detail this is hardly surpassable. You have made an excellent close capture of the painted Lady's head and front part using natural daylight and your choice to focus in so that the the far antenna is in focus is correct, which causes the eye to be slightly OOF, but that does not detract from the extraordinary quality of this image. This is a real Macro!
Well done and thanks,
Enjoy your weekend,

Privet Alexei,
It's so useful your notes about lens comparison and it uses.
It comnes to my mind that said before that resources are not the most important thing in good photography.
It's amazing the results that can be got when in hands of the right person. An skillful and talented one, as in your case.
Sharpness and details are remarkable here.
My compliments and thanks for share it.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-12-08 8:46]

Hello Alexei,
Wonderful macro shot. Amazing details and great colours. Very good composition and BG. Great quality!

Hello my friend Alexei,
Thank you so much for the true and useful information regarding macro lenses as I getting more and more interested in macro, will see a lot of comparition in your posting before decide to equipt myseif for the right camera and lenses to do the boiling hobby of mine, will need a lot of guide from you in time to come!
as for this one, to me is the best size posting to enjoy totally the big close up of the butterfly in super sharpness, vivid colour and awesome details in it!
I loved and enjoyed it very much
thanks so much
best regards

Estas sacando un buen partido a ese Sigma Alexei. Yo aún no lo he utilizado en modo macro ya que siempre utilizo para macro el 105mm f2,8.
Buen acercamiento y mucha fidelidad en el color.
Desde luego un buen trabajo.
Un cordial saludo: J. Ignasi Tejedor

Alexei, Fantastic closeup. - Murali

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-12-08 10:56]

selam my friend
wonderful macro photo of this beautiful butterfly
composition, point of view, lighting, colours, sharpness and details are great
we understand the minolta & sigma combination is presenting successful results via your wonderful photos
thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2007-12-08 16:53]

HI Alex!
Oh my gosh, did you use a mycroscope?
This is so close Alex, I just can't pay attention on technical detail while I admire the finest details!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-12-08 19:16]

Hello Alexei,
Splendid closeup showing amazing details, the wings even have a texture along with a beautiful pattern. The colors are bright and alive, thanks for sharing Alexei.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-12-08 23:31]

Wow, Alexei... I am speechless!
This is really incredible.
Excellent on all levels.
A masterpiece of a macro.
Congratulations on this beauty.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-12-09 0:52]

Hello Alexei,
you point out the butterfly details in an admirable way. Yesterday, I commented a butterfly picture of Marccello (marcellr) and intended to introduce a new quality criterion for butterfly pictures, such as 'scaliness' or whatsoever. In this respect, your picture deserves a high rating. But besides that you picture is perfect also with respect to light, colour reproduction and composition.
Best wishes, Peter

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  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-12-09 0:59]

Impressive super macro of this butterfly.
The amount of detail is astonishing!
From the minute scales on its wing to the tiny hairs on its body! :)
The colours as usual are as vibrent as ever and add real interest to the shot.
Good POV and composition.
Great work Alexei.
Well done,

Magnifique détail et quel oeil !
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-12-09 2:05]

WOW!! Alexei, what a marvel!!
How stunning and splendid this macro! I love the framing and the sharp crisp details with wonderful colors.
Magnificent job!


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-12-09 2:19]

Hello Alexei,
Wonderful macro of Vanessa in beautiful light. Magnificent magnification of details and lovely colours! Very well framed too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Alexei,
Good macro. It is mentioned a lot of times above why.
So want to underscore something else: the effective square in your compo.

Goodness gracious, I never realized Sigma 70-300 was so full of potential, Alexei! You are a genius of a nature photogarpher to produce such a stunning macro with that lens.
Your note opens my eyes to the fact that even the best possible equipment is just junk for an inept user like me.
The image is the zenith of perfection.
Thanks for sharing it and also for providing us an insight into the qualities of this lens.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-12-09 4:29]

Hi Alexei,
Just marking this wonderful shot from you and will be back later with a proper critique.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-12-09 5:57]

Hello Alexei, that's an amazing macro, you surely had a fantastic light to be able to get 1/250 exposure at f/18.0 ! Great DOF, very sharp and nice tight crop ! Thanks !


Hi Alexei,
I start firstly your interesting notes. It is nice to read. I will not discuss about cameras. But you use both of them very well. Our hands are important as much as camera quaility.
On the other hand, you present a great detailed butterfly macro. Even scales on wing visible. Its order Lepidoptera means already these scales (lepido= scale).
Great POV, focus, BG and composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Best wishes

hi alexei
with f 18 and the quality of your lenses you get admirable results
do you use manual focus because i think the eye her would have been made sharper...
dof may be so shallow though that a sacrifice had to be made to get such perfect detail on the body
i can see the rear legs sharper than the eye
is there any way to compute dof from your lens and fittings to be aware of just how much latitude you have..
a true macro lens photographs at lifesize..any smaller is not macro and larger is micro
macro is 1:1 that is why a macro prime lens will come with a 1:1 tube if it cannot satisfy this requirement without it...so as to make the lens..'macro'
close ups are another thing and i dont mean to critique that quite perfect technique..
my macro lenses were f32
god bless

Hi Alexei, splendid detail for your lovely war, great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

aie aie, quelle merveilleuse macro,des détails magnifiques et somptueuses couleurs, bravo, excellent

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2007-12-09 12:59]

!!!!!!!! incredible macro's work !!!!!!! the pic talk alone,2 points !!! have a nice week,Luciano

This is a good lens which I use, the 70-300 Sigma. Many of my best shots some with it in macro mode..during summer of course. I would freeze my fingers trying this in winter...
...Very very sharp with not so bad depth of field considering how close in you are. Colours are quite true I am sure as they do not look at all manipulated PP...Excellent shot.

Hello Alexei,
I've read your statements and you've made some great comparisons..You've "smoothed the rigidity of the above given wording" well and made your case. In the final analysis though, I say the winner is the true macro lens. It's the only way I know to fill the frame, thus maintaining enough quality for a good print. I do not know how well you accomplish this (fill the frame)with the 70-300mm Sigma in macro mode, so I cannot fairly judge..How much has this post been cropped, as you've shown it here BTW?
Undoubtedly, the versatility of the Sigma 70-300mm in the field cannot be beat. I use several Sigma lense's, and they serve me well..
I'm sorry to read of the negativity you experienced on the Russian only photo site..
You are home here :)
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2007-12-09 14:38]

Hi Alexei. It has been good to see your macros develop so well. I like this a lot. It is like a text book from the zoology shelf. Beautiful clarity and colours throughout. TFS. Murray.

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-12-09 20:17]

Hello Alex,
I don't have much time today because I have to study
for my final exam tomorrow, but I had to stop by to congratulate
you for this excellent capture.. Very well done


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-12-10 2:35]

Hello my friend

I'm really sorry for missing out on some of your lovely photos, Alexei, but i've been involved on some projects these past few weeks and TN time had to be sacrificed... :(( My honest apologies, my friend!
Even now, i'm still not done with all of them but i had to come and detach myself from all that even for a little while and i relaxed myself by reading your always interesting notes and comparisons of your equipment.
I can only congratulate you on your results - as usual: terrific - and sya once again that i'm very much looking forward for spring so that i can finally do some testing like this myself :)
This is again a splendid macro, one with an amazing DOF and super sharp details. I really like your use of natural light here and the beauty of all the colors and tones that it gave you.
The dramatic close-up adds to the overall composition and it really proves once again that this inexpensive Sigma is a very versatile lens.
Wonderful work!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2007-12-10 2:53]

Hi Alexei,
Great macro! Good composition and excellent sharpness!

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-12-10 3:13]

Hello Alexei,
Magnificent close up.Details are amazing.I liked POV,exposure,framing and composition also a lot.TFS

Hello Alexei,
I'm back now and good to see you again.
Thanks for the kind comments on my previous shot Chickadee. :-)
This photo is a truly amazing macro shot with and delicate details and perfect DOF.
What a details on the body and wings!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful photo. :-)
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-12-10 6:59]

Wonderful macro! Detail and sharp are amazing - like if this butterfly is a cat size. Nice color.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-12-10 12:07]

Hi Alexei

That is a very close up, sharp and detailed macro shot. You have got great results out of the Sigma lens. Wonderful colours and excellent DOF as well



Hello Alexei,
What a great, well composed and detailed macro! I don't have the equipment to do such work of art. I'm amazed by this proximity, clarity and quality. This is very well done with interesting notes. Thanks,
PS, I have sent you an e-mail regarding those questions you had in your last comment about my picture :)

Hola Alexei,
Impresionante el acercamiento, con extraordinaria nitidez mostrando muy bien los pequeños detalles y texturas, fantástica iluminación. Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-12-10 13:51]

Hi Alexei,
This a really close closeup! The most in details and sharpness. Impressive pov and composition too.
TFS José M.

Hi Alexei,
Splendid macro of this wonderful butterfly!
Excellent coloration and texture.
Superb details and very good sharpness.
Thanks for sharing!
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2007-12-10 18:59]

Hi Alexei, I am stunned by the beauty and precision of this photo, the DOF is superb. How beautiful can a butterfly be, it's incredible. I think they are the most beautiful of insects and this photo makes that true. I liked reading your note as well. Thank you to share such great pictures and notes,


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-12-10 19:48]

Hello Alexei

Just marking the post for now


  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-12-11 3:01]

Hello Alexei,
wow...i'm speechless at how good this is! The level of detail is truly incredible. Exposure, DOF etc are all perfect...i am very impressed, well done!

Good portrait with excellent details! The fine animal looks great
Best wishes,

selam alexei; Excellent macro shot of this butterfly .Nice composition.Good POV and sharp image whit nice details.splendid Colors. well done.
TFS ridvan

Hi Alexei,
Fantastic macro closeup of this butterfly!
You acheived such wonderful sharp details and color.
Really fine. Composition is great. The flowers detail is so cool also. Well done, TFS

Wouaw Alexei,
what an outstanding cloes-up, simply fantastic,
cheer cheer cheer,

Hi Alex
Great butterfly portrait. Almost perfect sharpness. Very nice POV. Perefect OOF homogenous background Great macro work
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-12-12 4:31]

hello Alexei,
Trechnically I'm not a specialist, but I can see that this picture is of top level. All these details shown in a wonderful smooth light. I like also the composition with your choice to focus on the head of the Vanessa cardui. Bravo again
Thanks and best regards

bonjour alexei
c'est impressionnant les details que vous avec obtenu sur les ailes de ce papillon et surtout avec ce 70-300 que je possede egalement,de plus vous avez utilisé un monopode et ce n'est pas toujours tres pratique car on a tendence a bouger tres legerement.
vraiment toutes mes felicitations.


That is amazing...such detail...this is going into my favorites folder. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Hi dear Alexei ,
nice shot with great focus as always.
good BG and nice sharpness.
thanks for sharing
my best wishes my friend

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-12-13 2:26]

Hi Alexei

Excellent close-up - the detail is outstanding. I do not know what else to say - kudos!


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-12-13 3:14]

Hi Alexei,
very good close up of this butterfly with lovely colors, focus, sharpness, POV and details. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Alexei.

Guau, very nice macro photo, great details.

Jose Luis.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2007-12-13 11:31]

Hello Alexei,

What a wonderful image, I can almost feel the texture of the wings. Beautiful warm colours and light. I agree, the Butterfly is the same one as in the previous picture, it has identical 'disruptions' to the wing texture above the black marks.

I think the lens you have used is a fine macro lens. Dedicated macro lenses may exceed the quality, but I believe not all dedicated lenses.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-12-14 0:48]

Hola Alexei,
realmente es una macro de altura,
color y detalles hermosos...
foco genial, excelente trabajo,

Dear Alexei,
This is another OUTSTANDING piece of art by your hands.
A 3D image. Great notes too.
Warm warm warm regards from Mario.

Hi Alexei,
A visual impact! Terrific macro of the head of this Vanessa. Details are good, and looks better with sun from behind. Superb job

Hi Alexei,
Wow now THIS is a macro, the hair on the butterflys legs looks so soft like my dogs fur coat!! Great shot! TFS

Its the photographer who makes the impact and not the lens! and ur an excellent photographer. Having said that i own both Sigma 180 MM macro and Sigma 70-300 APO macro and i vouch for 180 MM even though my 70-300 gives me good results. As Howard as mentioned when you want to fill the frame and do not want to crop; macro lenses do a better job.

Hi Alexei,

Visiting your photos after a LOOONG time :-). Reason - BUSY BUSY BUSY! Will try to be regular, IF work permits :-).

You have a VERY nice macro here. A TRUE MACRO picture. Sharp and detailed with good colours. The -1 bias helps on my Sony Alpha too, most of the times.

Good work,
Warm regards,

Hello Alexei what great closeup with fine detail just superb! tfs rgds Necip.

Hi Alexei,

Your shooting some excellent macro shots. I like this one very very much. Superb colors, excellent POV and good sharpness.

Dear Alexei,
having been eaten up by work during the last couple of weeks I am slowly catching up with what I have missed: This image is truly spectacular, so rich in details, clear and precise, and most powerfully approached and composed. By perfectly mastering your equipment to its limits you are expanding macro-photography into micro-dimensions. A fascinating document of exceeding the expected boundaries of resolution and heading into new territories. My great compliments! And thank you, dear friend.
All my best wishes to you.

Hi Alexei,

incredible macro shot! I like a lot these fine details, excellent result! Minolta was my camera in my film photos experience.



  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-01-05 8:08]

hi Alexei,
fantastique macro avec ce choix d'un plan serré, la qualité est au rendez vous, belles couleurs. Bon travail sur le BG.


Hello Alexei !
I don't undrstand how I could have missed this one... It is probably the most awesome vlose-up on a butterfly I have ever seen ! There are so many details, each little hair is sharp and I can even see the sclaes on the wings ! Composition, colors, light, blurred BG, all these things are excellent too. Very well done !

Hi alex another great shot
very good sharpness great pov and good potrait picture of this butterfly
I like your gallery
very well done

hi alexei!
thats a great close-up with
really good sharpness!
well done!

Hi Alexei,
A nice close up shot of this beautiful butterfly. Excellent composition and details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello Alexei,
what a superb super macro shot, impressive detail, outstanding sharpness and lighting, POV, DOF and composition are excellent.
Best regards

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