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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
73 225460 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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jmazza1984
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Registered: Dec 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jan 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $284.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp even when wide open, good build quality, great bokeh, color, contrast, etc.
Cons:
Autofocus is crap but who uses autofocus on a macro lens?

Bought this on a lark about two years ago from KEH, had some extra cash and thought it would be fun to try macro photography. I had shot with the Canon 100mm 2.8 USM and the MP-E 65mm ... but I didn't have that kind of extra cash. The Sigma has been excellent, tact sharp for portraits or detail work. Even strapped it on for a couple of action shots during a recent Supermoto event in Tallahassee. Autofocus is fairly worthless but macro and manual love each other. Contrast is great, color pops and the bokeh is smooth and clean. I can definitely recommend this lens.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/3314713660/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/4739006029/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/3314713752/


Jan 12, 2011
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Ric444
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Registered: Apr 10, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very very sharp for portraits. Nice macro IQ. Very value
Cons:
None as I used manual focus for macro.

What a nice surprise I had with this lens. I used to buy only Canon and mostly Canon L lenses, thinking that they were better than the Sigma lenses. I picked up a used copy of the Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro for a very good price, after reading the reviews here. I am amazed at how sharp and consistent this lens is for portraits and macro photo.

I have the Canon 135mm f2.0 L which is supposed to be the best portrait lens. In a comparison with 135mm I found both lenses to be equally sharp at f2.8. The 105mm was actually more consistent with fewer out of focus photos. The 135mm was more shot-to-shot consitent with colours, however, I paid 5 times more for the 135mm L.

I also compared it with the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro, which I bought after the Sigma, thinking that it was a better lens. I was so wrong. Probably it was the copy I got that was focusing incorrectly for portraits. I micro-adjusted my 7D by +8 units and the focusing improved but not even close to the level of the Sigma 105mm or Canon 135mm. I returned the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro. The Sigma is far better for portraits and I am not selling it in the next decades.

I own several Canon L lenses. I now love the Sigma 105mm as much or more than the L lenses.



Apr 13, 2010
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dealaddict
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Registered: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 31
Review Date: Nov 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: cheap, sharp, light
Cons:
slow and noisy AF, AF hunts sometimes, image somehow seems washout

I just got this lens used on Craigslist and did some test. It is very sharp wide open. The AF is slow and noisy, so it is not possible to double it as a portrait lens to be used on my 16 months son. I am trying to get a cheap macro lens to play around, so far, the sharpness of the image exceed my expectation. AF hunts and cannot focus sometimes also, but, I think there is no other way out except getting the Canon USM which is significantly more expensive. It is a good lens to start with to learn macro photography.

Nov 14, 2009
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haringo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Oct 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: cheaper than Canon
Cons:
slow focus

Smile:):)

I guess the reason you are here because you don't want to spen d a lot of money on a Canon 100mm f/2.8, right?

Don't worry, this lens is as good as the Canon 100mm f/2.8!

They say that there is a slight difference but you can't notice. My friend has the Canon 100mm and none of us could tell the difference in image quality...!

It is much cheaper than the Canon!!!!
You can check my ring pictures under the "I do" section: www.haringphotography.com

I hope this help!


Oct 29, 2009
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hotline
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Registered: Apr 25, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 13, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $200.00

 
Pros: sharp, sharp, did i say sharp ??!! very good for portrait, HSM for fast AF
Cons:
it little bit bulky

I still recommend this lens for portraits ! maybe a little bit to sharp ?
Here an example:
http://www.pragstorage.com/photos_7/essence_thailand_2009/thai_07_jpg_orig.html
highly recommended.


Sep 13, 2009
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nightheron
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Registered: Aug 3, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 13, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: front element recessed (protects the front element), sharpness
Cons:
switching between AF/MF, no FTM, AF very noisy, AF hunts often, AF very slow, lens extends as you approach 1:1

I owned this lens and eventually bought the Canon 100mm f/2.8 instead. My primary use for a macro lens is to take photos of flowers at a wide range of magnifications. The two lenses produce similar sharpness but the Canon to me seemed to produce more pleasing colors. The biggest differences between the two lenses are regarding focusing. The Sigma lens has an awkward two step process to switch between AF and MF and has no FTM. The AF motor on the Sigma is also by far the nosiest and slowest I have ever used. I have also never owned a lens that hunted for focus as much as the Sigma - it hunted constantly, and the slow speed at which it went through the focus range resulted in plenty of frustration. Focus performance is why I ended up buying the Canon equivalent instead - its focus performance is light years ahead of the Sigma in every respect. That being said, I have many great photos in my collection that were taken by the Sigma. Optically, the Sigma is a great lens. But at the time of writing, the Canon equivalent with rebates is about $30 more than the Sigma, and that small difference is well worth the large gain in focus performance, even if you primarily use MF.

Jun 13, 2009
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AaronNegro
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Registered: Apr 7, 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1340
Review Date: Apr 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Warm colors. Small and compact. FR very useful in Crop and FF.
Cons:
Swtich to manual/AF is a bit like last minute designed. AF hunts.

Bought the canon version of it to use with FF and crop. It's my first 1:1 Macro lens and I'm still getting used to it.

The lens is very sharp, more than a 50 mm 1.8 Canon so far. I have tried from f2.8 to f32 and at f8 it still is sharper than the 50 mm I had.

The bokeh is not distracting and it proved to be soft and creamy.
AF hunts quite a bit in short distances but for portraits seems to have more accuracy.

I have found that it is so much sharp that it is not the best for face portrait unless the subject is very young. Photoshop has to be used to hide reality Smile

AF switch is.. how to say it... capricious and not very well designed.

Here are my first pictures: Sorry if they are not the best ones ever.

1st one at f2.8 to see shallow DOF:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmaniadotcom/3479686085/in/set-72157617391357260/
2nd:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmaniadotcom/3479688337/in/set-72157617391357260/
3-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmaniadotcom/3480497232/
4-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmaniadotcom/3480498148/




Apr 27, 2009
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Praeconis
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Registered: Nov 13, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, very nice colours, metal hood, good weight.
Cons:
Clutch focusing system (but this is more of a preference than a negative). Lens length is not constant throughout focusing range.

On a full frame SLR, this is a wonderful portrait lens as well a macro lens. Colours are a touch warm which is nice in comparison to some other lenses. It also makes for a decent telephoto on a APS-C as the lens becomes a 168mm.

Build quality is extremely good, and with the metal hood the lens has faired well against the rigours of long treks, car boots, a few drops and even WYD.

A highly recommended lens, especially considering the price.

A few sample images:
http://patrick-lee.smugmug.com/gallery/5527684_rWFo6#338449507_Qpfmh-A-LB
http://patrick-lee.smugmug.com/gallery/5314382_pkxrr#324443943_MVSMV-A-LB
http://patrick-lee.smugmug.com/gallery/5314382_pkxrr#324449457_Wq8Xv-A-LB


Jan 27, 2009
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brucem48
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Registered: Nov 16, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 791
Review Date: Jan 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light weight. dual purpose. fantastic results. no CA.
Cons:
absolutely none

one of the best lens iv'e used ever in my 40 yrs. of photography. no CA at any setting. simple in design and very light weight. doubles as an excellent portrait lens on my 5d. screw on the hood and leave it on.. then get a snap lens cap to fit on the hood...wahlaaa. ready to shoot all the time. a defenite choice over the canon and tamron models. focus ring has just the right tension. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in all respects.

Jan 4, 2009
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scalesusa
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Registered: Sep 2, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2382
Review Date: Sep 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Low Cost Excellent mechanical and optical quality
Cons:
Older models need to be rechipped for use with Canon DSLR's, and may not work with future models.

I bought mine for $50, and paid Sigma $75 to re-chip and clean it. It worked great with my 40D after that.

I found that 105mm was not really the best focal length for my usage at the time (too long), so I sold it to some lucky person.



Sep 23, 2008
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Ray_B
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Registered: Apr 16, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 33
Review Date: Jul 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp.seems solid build
Cons:
washed our colours

Compared this lens in non macro distance to my70-200 usmL non is,first thing i noticed,the colours dont look as good as my 70-200 at 105 mm,like it falls short recording parts of the light spectrum,its sharpnes is exellent though,got the 180 Canon L now and couldnt be happier.

Jul 7, 2008
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Ulan
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 133
Review Date: May 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, very sharp, wonderful pictures
Cons:
AF hunts but I always use macro with manual focus

Seeing the results I understand what the word "prime" means for a lens.

May 22, 2008
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Mono
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Registered: Oct 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 70
Review Date: Apr 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great Portrait lens
Cons:

Bought this lens specifically for Portrait photography. Extremely sharp optics (sometimes too sharp for portraits). Colours are faithful & although a little AF hunting can occur, nothing to worry about

Example shots here :- http://www.davidjameswilliams.com/portrait/katie-s-portraits/


Apr 27, 2008
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hotline
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Registered: Apr 25, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Sharpness, Sharpness; excellent quality of construction ; vibrant colors
Cons:
AF hunting; AF a little bit noisy

Reviewing this forum, i decide to purchase this lens; i'll never regret it ! What a sharpness. A Must ! Don't hesitate anymore.

A link to my first pictures: http://www.pragstorage.com/photos_4/macro_meise_01/

"Highly recommended ..."


Apr 25, 2008
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bocaminus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 515
Review Date: Mar 26, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $400.00

 
Pros: Sharp,well priced
Cons:
Nothing

This is my second post. After almost 2 years using this lens I have to say I'm quite impressed. Fantastic macro performer but also a great portrait lens ... highly recommended! 90% of samples photos were taken with this gem:

http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p744411946/


Mar 26, 2008
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Doug Weasner
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Registered: Oct 24, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 221
Review Date: Feb 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp with a nearly 3D "pop," solid construction, EX pack-in hood and soft case both nice touches.
Cons:
AF is slow and loud under any conditions and unreliable under all but the best light, dual focus control takes some getting used to.

Optically, this lens is in excellent to spectacular territory. However, achieving the focus necessary to lock in such results can be frustrating. The AF on this lens needs loads of light to be accurate, and using the limiter is strongly recommended. (The focus limiter cuts the focusing range in two halves - 1:1 through 1:2 magnification and 1:2 through infinity. In terms of rotation of the focus ring and travel of the focusing group, this is a roughly 50-50 split.)

However, once you do achieve focus, the results are worth it. This is the sharpest lens in my kit, and is likely to hold that title for quite some time. Also, vignetting, distortion, and CA are non existent in the shots from it. If AF performance is important to you, or you plan for a ~100mm Macro lens to double as a telephoto lens, I'd skip this one and go for the Canon EF 100mm 2.8 / Nikon 105 2.8 Micro-Nikkor. For me, I have an EF 85 1.8 for telephoto, so I use this Sigma for macro work only, and for manually focused dedicated macro work, it's a winner.


Feb 12, 2008
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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 225460 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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