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Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

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Reviews Views Date of last review
73 224943 Jan 12, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $340.72
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.68
9.47
9.1
05_105mmEX_1_

Specifications:
The Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro delivers superb, distortion-free images throughout its broad focus range, from infinity telephoto to 1:1 (life-size) macro, as close as 12.3" without accessories.

Its non-rotating front lens group makes it easier to work with polarizing filters and has a focus limiter (eg. Full Range; - 15.8 in.; 14.6 in. - 12.3 in.).

A "focus-free" mechanical design allows the lens to auto focus without any interference from the manual focus ring. This makes it easier to hold the lens without affecting the speed or normal operation of the autofocus function. Rugged mechanical construction also makes it durable enough for even the heaviest use required by professional photographers.

The Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro features the new deluxe external EX finish. These features and other Sigma optical advances, including an uncommonly broad range of focus, make this an ideal lens for a wide variety of applications, from nature photography to portraits.

A handy screw-in type metal sunshade makes it easier to rotate
a polarizing filter.


 


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rafadavidc
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Registered: Mar 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 800
Review Date: Mar 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: SHARP SHARP SHARP, fast aperture, good focal length for keeping slightly away from the subject, virtually zero ghosting shooting directly into the sun
Cons:
lens hood, focus speed, focus travel (comes with long macro territory), loses more contrast than expected when shooting into the sun

i cannot say enough good things about the glass contained in this tube. it's the tube i have complaints about.

i did an mtf test on mine. it kept almost perfect contrast all the way out to all four edges at f/2.8. total dropoff from center to edge was less than 5%. diagonal contrast dropped 10-15% (hard to get an exact number by eye) at the very corners. phenominal. just gorgeous. and it only gets better as it closes down.

now, for the tube: long macro = long focus travel: thank god for the focus limiter, but i'd be happy with a three-way switch instead: inf-1:4 (or 1:3?), 1:4 (or 1:3?)-1:2, 1:2-1:1. instead, with inf-1:2, if the focus misses in regluar photography, it goes for a loooooooooong time before it cycles back around to try again.

also, the hood: what is this crap? it screws into the filter threads and is terminal: you can't put anything over it. it hasn't any threading at its end (if it did, it'd be like a giant step-down ring), so it must be removed to change filters or to cap the lens. pain in the rear.

lastly, focus speed: kind of slow. it'd be nicer if it had faster focus to somewhat make up for such long focus travel. any macro ~90mm or longer should have faster-than-normal focus so total focus doesn't feel as slow.

--RC


Mar 3, 2005
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Canon 20d
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Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 203
Review Date: Feb 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $332.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, hood and carrying case included
Cons:
Focus in poor light hunts, lens expands when focusing close up

I purchased this lens as a combination macro and portraiture lens. After ordering it, but before it arrived, I started to have second thoughts, worrying about how well it would perform as a portrait lens.

Well, I didn't need to worry. This lens is amazingly sharp and has great bokah.

In low light, it tends to hunt, but otherwise, focusing is reasonably fast. Excellent build quality, excellent feel when using manual focus.

I looked at the Canon 100mm macro, which is another excellent lens. However, the Canon would have required purchasing a hood (included with the Sigma), and the difference in price (around $160-170 with hood) didn't make sense to me.

No regrets! The images from this lens, both macro and portraits, blow me away!


Feb 23, 2005
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Simms65
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 253
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack Sharp, Awesome bokeh, Incredibly smooth MF
Cons:
Extends as it approaches 1:1, AF tends to search in lower light.

I originally got thislens in Feb of 2004, and havent looked back! This and my 50mm F1.8 are my go-to lenses when I need the best possible result. I compared this lens to a Canon 100 F2.8 macro, and my Sigma won hands down with sharpness and color rendition. If you are looking for a macro lens in the 100mm range, this is a definite winner!

Jan 22, 2005
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mlorne
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Registered: Jul 23, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 893
Review Date: Jan 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness equal to most L class lenses; nice colour rendition; equally great for portraits and macro work;
Cons:
lens hood

This lens is the standard to which I hold all of my other lenses to. It may have a slow AF and the AF/MF clutch can be annoying, but you cannot slight the GLASS on this lens. Sharp, wow, sharp. And good contrast. Wonderful bokeh.

One negative: the lens hood. This is a screw on lens hood made of solid metal. This may seem good, but in actual fact it has no front thread so you cannot fix a lens cap to it. Why sigma would make a screw on hood with no way to cap it is beyond me...

Cannot say enough good things about this lens.


Jan 21, 2005
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missionphoto
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Registered: Jan 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 265
Review Date: Jan 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpest lens in my bag, compact, nice bokeh, macro, solid hunk of metal, very nice color, looks great on the camera, unreal price:performance ratio
Cons:
Long slow focus throw to make it a macro, misses and hunts in low light

The sharpness of this lens is the begining and end of the story. It could weight 10lbs and cost $1,000 more and I would still buy it.

Two bad drops, one onto a rock the other straight to the sidewalk. I'd swear it's sharper now than when I bought it. No scuffs or scratches, the rock scrapes wiped off.

What a deal.

http://photocenter.smugmug.com/photos/7326307-O.jpg
http://photocenter.smugmug.com/photos/7325487-O.jpg
http://photocenter.smugmug.com/photos/7325486-O.jpg
http://photocenter.smugmug.com/photos/7326769-O.jpg


Jan 18, 2005
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optician
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Registered: Oct 16, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jan 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp. Excellent build quality Lovely bit of kit.
Cons:

At last proper sharp macro pictures for little money and no need for extension tubes.

I absolutely adore this lens. The results are so sharp with excellent contrast and beautiful background blur.

It's so easy to get fantastic shots of flowers, insects etc walking around hand held, either in bright conditions or with the flash.

The lens has excellent build quality, it comes with an excellent case too. It's as good as any of my expensive Canon L series lenses.

It's also a brilliant tool for portraits, perfect focal length and beautiful bokeh. Every EOS user should have one.


Jan 8, 2005
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MichaD
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 407
Review Date: Dec 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: extemely sharp, smooth mf action, creamy bokeh, price
Cons:
forget about af

I love the images from this baby. I mainly use it for closeup work around 4:1 - 2:1 rather than real 1:1 macro. AF is horrible as noted in like every review here but the MF ring feels so nice and smooth I use the AF close to never (so ok, it's not a sports lens). The hood is kinda overkill with the front glass retreated so far back in the extending construction. I actually have it mounted on my 50/1.4 as this didn't ship with one and really needs the straylight protection from it. Plus the noise the metal on metal threading of the Sigma produces makes me shiver Wink. The contruction seems pretty sturdy to me, better than non-L Canon glass for sure. The carrying bag it ships is not as well built as the ones from the other EX Lenses I own but then again other companies don't even ship a hood in this price segment.

edit: I have to raise it from a 4/5 to 5/5, I'm getting better and better at manual focusing with it and it's a real joy. Used it at the zoo wide open all the time having the focal plane exactly where I wanted it 9 out of 10 times, this thing just snaps into focus.


Dec 20, 2004
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n_utting
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Registered: Dec 11, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, good value for money, front element well shielded (lens hood almost superfluous!).
Cons:
Slow AF with a tendency to hunt, but for a macro lens this is an inconvenience not a fatal flaw. Required re-chipping to use with my 20D.

My EOS-fit Sigma 105 was purchased s/h as-new and has been a good performer. An excellent lens for the price. I feel no need to change to a Canon-made macro lens. A re-chip was required before the lens would work with my 20D, but that's technology for you. Overall, I have no hesitation in recommending this lens.


Dec 13, 2004
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superkoldby
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Registered: Nov 17, 2004
Location: Denmark
Posts: 35
Review Date: Nov 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp as h.. Nice focus ring. also good for portraits
Cons:
noisy & slow AF. extending front element

Before I bought this lens I was in doubt whether to boy the nikon or the sigma version. I then tried the nikon lens at a friend and wasn't really impressed. I hated the focus ring on it.

Then I read a review at photodo.com. They rated the sigma 4,1 where the nikon was 3,9. that did it for me, and I haven regret that. the feel of the focus ring is so smooth and well damped. And the images are tack sharp!
AF is rubbish on both lenses, but I only ever use that when I occasionally shoot handheld, out of the studio portraits.

My lens is the DG version with an exstra anti reflex treatment on the back (can't really tell the difference)


Nov 17, 2004
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eWILDz
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Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Location: India
Posts: 9
Review Date: Jul 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Seems decent piece of equipment for its quoted cost ! Surely OK as a macro alternative
Cons:
Construction !!

Over a period of time I've come to realize that the most functional macro in terms of practicality & image quality is Nikon's 70-180 ED-AF-D lens. Though not 1:1, it performs with a decent diopter in front. Moreover, provides a sturdy tripod collar ! Cost may seem like a bit higher, but the image quality & the lens functionality more than compensate for that !

Jul 30, 2004
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chinks
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Registered: Jun 18, 2004
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 266
Review Date: Jun 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Tack sharp. Works out more than 105mm at 1:1. New, imprved version is out
Cons:
A tad slow on focussing. Forget AF for macro. May not be forward compatible on Canon. Extending front element.

I have an older version which worked fine on my film EOS... until I got my EOS 300D. Had to order the 'chip' from Japan, which took over a month to arrive, then spent over a week at the Sigma service centre in my country. Cost a pretty penny for the 're-chip' too.

But when it's working, it's working! Solid, easy to use/grip/focus. Tack sharp performance.

The extending front element isn't so hot... but for the most part tolerable. The recessed front element also means no hood required, which is nice.

Lens coating produces slightly 'off' hues, but hardly notcieable mostly.


Jun 26, 2004
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Cory Conner
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Registered: Nov 19, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 376
Review Date: Apr 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp, sturdy build, 58mm filter size, cheapest 1:1 macro out there
Cons:
slowest AF I have ever used

This lens is fast, sharp and well built. An excellent first macro lens for anyone. i have the canon version of this lens and it works seemlessly with my d/rebel.

I am somewhat confused with the 1st posting/review....."A "focus-free" mechanical design allows the lens to auto focus without any interference from the manual focus ring. This makes it easier to hold the lens without affecting the speed or normal operation of the autofocus function." as my version rotates the focus ring when using AF and if you hold the ring it stops the AF as you wold expect.


Apr 28, 2004
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dlselvidge
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Registered: Mar 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 186
Review Date: Mar 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, Sharp, Sharp. Relatively inexpensive, solidly built.
Cons:
kinda slow AF, sometimes goes the wrong way, clunky AF/MF switchover.

Very nice macro lens, even better w/ a reversed 50mm in front of it. Also works well for portraits wide open. Gives a nice BG blur, but is a touch soft @2.8 that HELPS most portrait subjects. If you want to spend more $$, by all means buy the Canon. If you want excellent results and save a few bucks, get this one.

Mar 25, 2004
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Mar 18, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Good construction and manual focus action.
Cons:
Optics are not as good as other offerings in this range, AF is slow.

This is a good alternative to brand name lenses if you want to shoot macro. However take a look at the Tamron 90/2.8 or the cheaper Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro as an alternative.

The Sigma is well built, but I was not impressed by the optics when compared to my Canon 100/2.8 and specially the Tamron 90/2.8 which is by all standards a superb performer. When I compared the Sigma, Canon and Tamron, the sigma was the softest, specially at f/2.8. Both the Tamron and Canon were significantly better. However the Sigma caught up by f/5.6-f/8.

Of course this is not meant for AF, so the focusing is very slow. In all, I'd choose the Tamron - it offers far better value for money.


Mar 18, 2004
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CarlosChacon
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Registered: Feb 2, 2004
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 51
Review Date: Feb 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great optic quality, well built and still light, very good price.
Cons:
Slightly noisy AF, AF tends to hunt even with good light - not that AF is *that* important in a macro like this anyway.

After a lot of research for a good macro lens, basically 2 options remained: Canon 100mm and Sigma 105mm. So, unable to test them before getting them (for geographic reasons) I intensified my research on images and tests side-by-side and was amazed to find that the Sigma stayed on par and in some cases even overperformed the Canon. So I went for the Sigma and I'm very pleased at how sharp the images are. Not a single second of regret on this purchase.

Feb 4, 2004
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craiu
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Registered: Jan 1, 2003
Location: Romania
Posts: 5
Review Date: Dec 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, superb glass
Cons:
A little bit soft at f2.8, CA above f5.6

I've got this lens to use it on my 10D for macro and portraits and been very happy with it. Image quality is terrific, colors just excellent and on the 10D (as well for D30, D60, 300D) it goes up to 1.6:1 which makes it almost as good as a G3+50mm/f1.8 reversed.
Of course, the Sigma 50mm/f2.8 Macro may be a little bit sharper but I believe that with the 105 you can get much better shots because you don't have to get as close to the subject as you would with a 50mm lens.
So, if you're looking for a good and affordable macro lens to use it on DSLR you can't beat the Sigma 105mm/f2.8 Macro EX.


Dec 31, 2003
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Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
73 224943 Jan 12, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $340.72
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.68
9.47
9.1
05_105mmEX_1_


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