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LENS PORN: Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro
Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro


Back in the mid-1970s, Sigma came up with an interchangeable 'YS' mount system, similar to Tamron's Adaptall lenses. These lenses are actually T-Mount (similar diameter to M42), but supported auto diaphragm. When I bought this lens, it originally came with a Canon FD mount. It was easy for me to remove and swap it with other T-Mount adapters.



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SPECS

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5

Year Introduced: 1975

Original Price in 1975: USD 

Mount: Sigma's Interchangeable YS Mount

Minimum Focusing Distance:
7 feet / 2 meters (Normal Mode)

Maximum Macro: 1:3.5

Filter Thread Size: 62mm

Rotating Front Filter: Yes

Aperture Run: f/3.5 - f/22

# Aperture Blades: 6

Made in Japan

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro



Below are my T-mount adapters in OM, Canon EF and Canon FD mounts

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro

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SUMMARY


For

Images are VERY sharp when you're in normal mode (not using the macro).

It comes in Sigma's YS interchangeable mount system, based on T-Mount design. T-mount adapters are very cheap and easy to find online. Considering its flange distance of 55.00mm, you don't have to worry about not being able to focus to infinity, as is the usual case with Nikon users like me.

A very tiny and compact zoom lens.

Beautiful design, it looks like a work of art. It looks modern today, considering it was from 1975.

It has a constant maximum aperture of f/3.5 throughout the range.

Stops down to f/22 (many lenses of the time only stop down to f/16).

Multicoated glass. That beautiful amber sheen on the front glass... lovely!

Manual focusing is smooth.

Uses 62mm filter thread. Filters this size are common and cheap.

This lens is easily sold cheap nowadays.



Neutral

Fully manual. No AF.



Against

Zoom ring, aperture ring and macro rings have very thin width. It is not comfortable to grip, and you can accidentally turn the other rings while turning one ring. Fortunately, the zoom ring on my copy is firm enough not to turn around while I'm tinkering with the macro and aperture rings.

The Macro Mode is kinda worthless, because images becomes very soft and diffused at the maximum of 1:3.5. The optimal range is around 1:6.



Conclusion

Considering this was from 1975, this is as good as they can get from that era as Sigma's high-end lens. This is a wide angle to short telephoto with fixed aperture on full frame cameras. Used on crop sensor cameras, this makes for a nice portrait range lens (DX = 50-120mm).

Sigma's YS mount lenses are actually T-mount lenses. T-mount has a flange distance of 55.00mm, so it's easy to adapt even for Nikon, without worrying about not being able to focus to infinity.

I don't have much samples using this lens, because they T-Mount to Nikon Adapter that I ordered did not arrive (lost in transit). So, I did take a few, using freelensing. It may be unfair, because this introduces light leaks and tilt-shift effect on the images.

But I can tell you that this is a high quality sharp lens when used in normal mode. A soft diffused glow is introduced when you use the macro at its maximum (images are optimal at 1:5). I noticed that when turning the macro ring, the rear glass does extend further away. So the aberration may have something to do with the glass moving away.

The macro is not reliable. This lens may not be what you want for all around photography that includes macros and product closeups, but for portraiture and distant shooting, it's a very nice and cheap lens.

Sigma XQ Mini Zoom 39-80mm f/3.5 Macro
This was at 80mm f/3.5, macro at 1:6

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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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