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Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

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Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $548.89
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A new optical formula from Sigma affording greater working distance from subject than the popular 100mm focal length. The special lens elements and optical coatings of this lens give superior sharpness and contrast across the focal plane

Lens Construction: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
Angle of View: 16.4 degrees
Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9 Blades
Minimum Aperture: F22
Minimum Focusing Distance: 38cm/15.0 in.
Maximum Magnification: 1:1
Filter Size: Diameter 72mm
Dimensions Diameter: 79.6mm X Length 137mm
3.1 in. X 5.4 in.
Weight: 895g/31.6 oz.
Corresponding AF Mounts SIGMA, CANON, NIKON (D), FOUR THIRDS
* Nikon mount of this lens is not equipped with an aperture ring, therefore, depending on the camera model some functions may not work.


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Peter Bennett
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Registered: Mar 24, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jun 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated


Just a note to Chin 450....... I just recently purchased a new 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG HSM lens........ Mine came with a removeable tripod collar.
I agree it's a great lens.....won't be swapping this one for a while.

Jun 13, 2006
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Registered: Sep 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1234
Review Date: Jun 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp!! Sharpest lens I've ever used, even at f/2.8. Easy to handhold, great working distance, and macro AF is more refined than any other kind of lens.
Focusing is slow but it's a macro lens...and it's ok since the AF is so precise.

I sold my Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX (which was an excellent lens) because I wasn't getting enough use out of it. I in turn purchased this lens, a flash unit, and a macro bracket, because I was more interested in nature macro photography than anything I could shoot with my 100-300.


What a great purchase. First thing I noticed is how sharp the lens is. I did some tests on a dollar bill and even at f/2.8, this lens is tack sharp. It's rediculous, I've never seen a sharper lens before. It also feels great in my hands - built like a tank but still light enough to easily handhold. I can easily handhold this lens plus the bracket and flash unit for a long time. The working distance this lens gives me is really nice - enough room between me and the subject without having to worry about lens shake and still being able to track the subject without a problem. I shoot bugs and flowers; the lens is a little long for flowers but perfect for insects.

Onto the focus...everyone should know that a macro lens has a very refined focusing ring and it moves quite slowly. This affects the AF and it takes some time for the AF to move throughout the focusing range to get where it needs to, so don't expect this lens to focus as fast as a normal lens - even with HSM (which does keep the focusing dead silent). If the subject is almost in focus, the AF will instantly snap to perfect focus, but if the subject is completely out of focus, the AF will take some time. However, the good thing about this is that the AF is so precise. It can focus on the eyes of a fly, the body, the wings, or whatever I want it to. I thought I would always be manual focusing with macro, but the AF is so exact that I don't need to.

I love shooting macro, and this lens is definately a keeper. For anyone that's looking to shoot insects: I highly recommend this lens, even over the Canon 180L that costs twice as much. Spend the money elsewhere! This lens is perfect!

So far I've had only great experiences with Sigma gear. Sigma, keep up the good work.

Jun 7, 2006
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[ X ]

Registered: Feb 21, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunningly sharp even at f/2.8, incredible colour rendition, tripod mount, and much cheaper than Canon.
Nothing worth considering, its an awesome lens. It might be nice for the tripod collar to be removable, but its never bothered me.

This lens is stunning. If you are reading these reviews thinking about buying a macro lens, go and buy the Sigma 150 mm f/2.8 Macro now.

This lens is razor-sharp even wide open at f/2.8. At the closest focusing distance shots of newsprint are unbeatable for sharpness. At no time have I encountered sharper pics than with this lens, and I include the legendary Canon 70 - 200 f/2.8 L in that comparison.

Colours are fantastic, and the build quality is top notch. The manual focus ring is silky smooth, and the inclusion of a tripod mount is a bonus.

This is my first macro lens and I had not previously realised how much slower the autofocus was on a Macro lens. Finer focus threads make sense now, but don't expect this lens to double as a general purpose lens for action shots, it won't keep up. However for general purpose shots in low light, this lens is great.

If you want a sensational macro lens which allows you to keep some distance from the subject, but which is also usable for other subjects, get this lens. If I lost all my lenses, its the first one I'd replace.

May 26, 2006
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Rob Ernsting
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Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7
Review Date: May 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Including tripod mount!!. Fantastic bokeh, sharpness at f 2.8 on a full frame camera. Ease of use. Silent HSM. Feels good and solid. Price.
It does not have a Canon L sign printed on it and really deserves it!

Camera used; Canon 5D full frame sensor.
It took a while and thorough surfing before I decided to buy a non Canon lens. A focal length of 150mm was desirable, f 2.8 was a bonus. The tests at confirm the quality of this lens, admittedly I read those after I had the lens for a while. Having used it for a few months now I can convey that I am very pleased with the quality and the results. It handles well, it feels well and the results in macro and general use are excellent. I own a two L zoom lenses so I can compare what quality it should have. This Sigma prime is better in sharpness certainly and and maybe also in contrast.
What I should mention is that the lens acts typically as a macro lens does in low light. Using any of the the excentric AF focus points of the 5D in low light it tends to hunt. Switching to the center AF point resolves the problem. For macro work not a big deal but for general field or architecteral applications it can be, but I donít consider this a problem since it is common to macro lenses. MF works fine.
The HSM (USM) works great and silently. Surprising is the sharpness full open and up to f 8 after f11 to f 22 it tends to lessen but still great.
I shot handheld pictures in the city and at distances of up to 1000 meter the sharpness is fantastic at f11 even at the border. I was amazed.
The tripod mount IS detachable!!! The tripod mount is a great addition. I use the lens a lot for street shots of people and the bokeh at f 2.8 and f 4 is superb. And the sharpness is unbelievable in those instances.
I started with some reservation and gave it a try with the idea that in the worst case I would sell it. In the meantime it sits on my 5D most of the time for candid portraiture and even landscape views. Magnificent pice of quality glass, highly recommended.
Not any cons? Well I wished it had a Canon logo on it.
I gave 10 for overall rating and qualitly, anyway it is close to 10, a 9 is not a good fit either.

May 18, 2006
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Registered: May 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Zero distortion, CA and vignetting (on 1.6x crop), small for 150mm, very well built, relatively inexpensive, tripod collar, hood and nice case included.
Slightly inaccurate autofocus.

When I decided to get a macro lens for my 350D, I had no idea how difficult it would be to choose the right one for a newbie like myself.

After many hours of "googling" and absorbing all info I could find on macro equipment, macro photography in general, tips and techniques etc., I realized that I really needed to complete some sort of questionnaire before taking any further steps. Here are the questions, my answers and my decisions based on those answers. I am sure many people will find this approach inconclusive, but I hope some will find it helpful, too.

Q: What is my budget?
A: One thousand USD.
D: Canon 180mm L good-bye. Especially considering the fact that I'll need more than just a lens.

Q: What would I like to photograph?
A: Live insects, arachnids, other arthropods. Most of them can be easily scared. And I definitely don't want to put them into fridge before shooting them.
D: Longer lenses look much more attractive, especially those with inner focusing systems. Not many of my potential subjects will tolerate close approach of an (extending) lens barrel.

Q: Do I need versatility from a "real" macro lens?
A: To an extent. I need infinity focus, other than that, I am not willing to sacrifice macro performance for anything else.
D: Canon MP-E 65mm is not for me.

Q: How important is AF?
A: I'd love to have accurate and fast AF. But manual focusing is the only good choice with real macro anyway.
D: Nothing focuses as fast as a genuine Canon lens on a Canon body Smile But since it's not that important, I can also look into third party lenses.

Q: What kind of lightning setup I am going to use?
A: Toughest of all questions. With macro, natural light can only be used in very limited circumstances. Since I don't have anything at the moment except built-in joke of a flash, I'd very much like to get something more versatile than a ring-type dedicated macro flash. Besides, if the lens is long, the ring type light is not going to be very effective. The hot-shoe mounted flash is going to be even less effective, but it can be moved forward on a bracket, which I will probably be able to make myself. I can also make, or buy, a diffuser or softbox. If I have no choice but to buy something I'd rather buy something that can serve more than one purpose. To have enough flexibility in adapting the light for different shooting situations, it has to be a powerful, but compact, flash gun with rotating zoom head.
D: 580EX with off-shoe cord 2 is the best I can think of. Expensive, but good from what I've heard.

Q: What other special accessories I am going to use when shooting macro?
A: Flash bracket -- definitely. If it is mounted on a tripod collar, it makes a very versatile lighting -- I can easily rotate the flash around optical axis. Filters -- likely, too.
D. Tripod collar is highly desirable. I'd also prefer a 67mm front barrel to use my existing set of filters. If no such thing exists -- the longer lens will be better because of lesser likehood of showing vignetting when coupled with a step-down adapter ring.

To summarize -- by answering these questions, I found myself looking for a long, optically uncompromising, inner-focusing macro lens with tripod collar, for 600 USD or less (considering the cost of other needed accessories). Thus, the list of available options became very short.

Sigma 150 mm matches all these criteria perfectly. Actually, for me it was a close call between Sigma 150mm and Canon 100mm with main advantage of the latter of being a Canon, but at the end the Sigma prevailed. All owners already know Sigma's advantages over Canon -- it's longer while being just as fast at F2.8 (which means it's more advanced optically), arguably better built, and, for the price, it comes with the tripod collar AND the hood, while Canon lacks both.

So I bought Sigma 150mm with 580EX and off-shoe cord 2 and 72/67mm ring adapter, and so spent my thousand.

Now, a month later, I feel I have made a good progress in putting it all together Smile and in learning how to shoot with it... It's quite different from what I am used to. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to give this rig a good field (torture) test yet.

From what I've discovered about the lens so far:

Optically, it's very, very good. No distortion, no CA whatsoever -- this is just incredible. I admit -- this is my first prime lens, I am not used to such kind of luxury Smile But from what I heard -- many primes have issues with distortion and CA. I think I would be able to detect them in any lens... but, unless my eyes deceive me, I cannot imagine how ANY lens could be better in this regard. With my 1.6x crop factor on the sensor there's no visible vignetting either, of course. Sharpness is consistent across the frame. If the lens were shorter, making pixel-perfect panoramas of static objects would be very easy. It's just one thing that I don't like... When the aperture goes down to F16 and below, an abrupt decrease in sharpness occurs. While at F11 it's almost as sharp as at f5.6 (I found the sweet spot at about F5.0), F16 is very noticeably blurrier than f11, and F22 is QUITE blurry. Here's what I am talking about (animated GIF made from 100% crop):

I guess such loss of sharpness due to light interference is to be expected from any lens, but I've seen people making statements about how sharp this particular lens was at F22, so obviously I am a bit disappointed. With a powerful flash and diffuser, I have enough light to shoot at F22 and have a greater DOF, but with this kind of performance it makes very little sense in many cases because much of the sensor resolution would be lost. At F2.8, on the other hand, the lens perfomed much better than I expected. Unfortunatelly, with macro, wide open aperture is of no use for actual shooting -- though more light through the viewfinder and shallow DOF really help to focus on a subject.

About autofocusing... I don't want to follow the trend and start complaining about its speed, although it's admittedly slower than I expected. I guess it's still fast for a macro lens. It's accuracy I have issues with, and here I am talking about well lit environments. Quite strange, in many cases the AF is more accurate with close-ups than with distant objects. I would really prefer the opposite situation, since I am using MF with close-ups most of the time. The focusing ring is wide, smooth and a pleasure to use. The autofocus switch, however, is smaller than I would prefer and needs to be pushed hard to click. I often search for it while looking into the viewfinder... but maybe it's just a matter of practice.

All other physical aspects of the lens leave nothing to complain about -- it's very solid, yet small for a 150mm (which is important if you use it handheld). The tripod collar IS detachable, at least on my copy (some people say otherwise), you just have to turn the knob counterclockwise until it stops rotating, then pull. Very convenient.

I feel my post is getting too long Smile Thanks for your time reading this and sorry for my English.

Some final words.. Please don't get me wrong -- my complains are really minor and, after using this lens for a while, I feel how it's growing on me and I don't think I will part with it willingly in any foreseeable future. I am just learning how to use it, and such learning is a joy in itself. It really has opened a new world for me.

If you are interested, here are some examples (nothing to really brag about yet):

I hope to come up with something better in the future. If not, please blame the photographer, not the lens Smile

May 4, 2006
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Registered: Apr 9, 2006
Location: Japan
Posts: 2785
Review Date: Apr 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything

I am not spoiled by shelves of L-series lenses in my lounge by the open fire, where I drink brandy and rub shoulders with the members of Royal Photographical Society.
Neither does my father own oil fields in Saudi Arabia. For me £350 is not your average everyday expence.

This is a template for a lense in my opinion. And this is how a quality build should be priced. In fact, saying "Good lens for the money" doesn't do it justice.

I am using it not only for macro hotography but also for portraits, wildlife, you name it. It's a truly versatile lens.

Only slow focusing can be experienced when switching between subjects far away and in close, but hey, it's a macro lens.

I would recommend it to anyone anytime.

Here are the examples of the lens in action (my apologies for the volatile hosting, the gallery might be unavailable occasionally, especially due to the upcoming relocation)




Apr 24, 2006
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Registered: Apr 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 145
Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp (center and edge), colors really "pop", build quality, silent AF (HSM), has a focus-limit switch, true 1:1 macro, comes with tripod collar/hood/carry pouch, great working distance, 4-year warranty, price is very reasonable, focus ring is smooth, large, and grippy, love the bokeh (even stopped down slightly).
EX finish can scratch easily.

This lens has very few optical flaws. It's very sharp from center to edge, and the colors it renders are fantastic. Distortions and vignetting are basically non-existent with this lens. I have many lenses, including a sharp 70-200IS copy, and this lens is slightly better across the board optically. It can be used as a tight/tele-portrait lens as well as a dedicated macro. It's simply one of the best lenses I've ever used.

Apr 20, 2006
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Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1435
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp. Build Quality. Size.

After reading all the great reviews on this lens I decided to give Sigma a shot. I am not dissapointed. The lens is sharp. I was most suprised to see how sharp it was stopped all the way down to f22, where it was almost as sharp as it was at f11. Wide open at f2.8 it is pretty soft but usually wide open I am doing portraits and the little softness actually work well and flatters the subject. Focusing was suprisingly fast for a macro lens, as long as you were somewhat close to where it needed to be and not on the complete opposite end of the focusing scale.

Apr 3, 2006
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Registered: Sep 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mar 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $589.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quiet, fast focusing, great tripod mount, superb build quality, excellent optics
A bit heavy, nothing else really

I would have to say this lens has to be one of the best on the market. It is easily as good as Canon's 180mm L macro. If you miss focus in AF it can take a little bit to go all the way through the range to lock, but that is normal for a dedicated macro in my experience. The build quality is superb and holds true to the EX series.

Mar 18, 2006
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StL Don
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Registered: Mar 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $569.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, sharp, HSM (AF-S), Internal Focus, Constant aperture & focal length, did I say SHARP
Focus twist is backward from Nikkor lenses - not a big deal.

I am a Nikkor chauvinist. With that said I feel this lens blows the Nikkor 105 Micro out of the water. I have absolutely no regrets selling mine and replacing it with the Sigma.

It was like getting out of a '70s car and into a 21st century model. Gone is the annoying mechanical AF, the aperture constantly changing as you focus, the actual focal length changing... all gone and replaced with a sleek, albeit a bit funky finished, speedster.

Sharpness, contrast - everything is top shelf all the way.

Mar 12, 2006
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Review Date: Feb 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp and great colours, esp. with flash. For the price compares well with L glass...
None yet...does hunt a bit in low light but most macros do.

I already have the 105 but wanted something with more "reach" as I use it for both macro and shot tele...this was a good guess, as it is great for both, and does an excellent job with colours at medium distance.

Would recommend over L lenses that cost twice as much.

Feb 20, 2006
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Registered: Jun 18, 2004
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 268
Review Date: Feb 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $526.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, hood, internal focusing ie; no extension, fast focusing up to 1:1, focal length, pretty good on price, tripod collar especially with quick release.
72mm thread... quite in-between for me.

I come from a skeptic's point of view, having had the 105 macro which wasn't compatible with my digital, requiring an expensive re-chip from Japan and several visits to regional headquarters because workability was still erratic.

However, having seen the results of this lens from several photographers I know, and all their good ravings and write-ups... I decided I'd brave a Sigma lens again!

Fortunately I have nothing but good things to say. The focusing is silent (not really a problem with insects but...) and fast... even right up to 1:1! If you've used other macro lenses you know how unreliable AF can be... slowly hunting when it comes close to 1:1. Not this one! It's a PRO.

The internal focusing might not be such big a point... but not having your front end extend when tripod mounted can be quite significant!

I like everything about this lens! Except maybe the 72mm thread size... since nothing else I have matches it... Sad But that's not a biggie... seeing all the pluses it has Smile

Feb 9, 2006
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Registered: Apr 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2951
Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Sharp oh.. did I mention it was sharp?? great build for price. creamy smooth bokeh.
not many, I guess in low light when I try to use the AF for tracking my kids across the back yard its a little slow, but when I use it MF for macro and even AF in macro I never had any problems

I bought this lens almost as soon as it came out, I have had a lot of time to play with this before I posted a review. It has great color rendition, the build is excellent (almost an "L" quality feel to it) I really like how sharp this lens is. I have used it at f/22 and haven't noticed too much degredation in quality, some, but not like the 105, or the canon 100 (a couple other great macro lenses) I have tried all the macro lenses on the market right now except for the 180L and the MP-E, and I chose the 150 2.8 mainly for the reach, but I was pleasantly suprised by a lot of other little things like: internal focusing, the hood it comes with, and especially the tripod ring, it really is a nice tripod mounting ring! The fact that it makes a great outdoor portrait lens is a plus also. Little things like that have made this lens one of my favorites! There are a few downsides to the lens also, a lot of people will find this lens heavy, not me because I am basically an Ogre (I like using my new 70-200 2.8L as a walkaround lens) When using the AF for macro in dark situations (which I rarely do anyways) it likes to hunt a lot, other than that I really can't find much at fault with this lens! I would highly recommend anyone who wants to get a solid good macro lens to definately check this one out.

There are samples from this lens on my private (not pro) website at:
and look in the macros folder, most of them were taken with this lens, some of the more poorer quality ones were taken with a rev. lens or a 2x extender added handheld.


Jan 28, 2006
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Gary W. Graley
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Registered: Jun 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 719
Review Date: Jan 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, focuses fast and accurately
None so far

My first Sigma lens, as a lot of folks have stated, it's a risk or seemed to be to get a lens not made by Canon, but after reading rave reviews and wanting a lens in this focal range I took the plunge and very glad to have done so.
I can't add much more to what everyone else above have stated, so I'll keep it short, if you need a very good macro lens, grab this one!

Jan 22, 2006
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14887
Review Date: Jan 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $479.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp as a tack, great colors and contrast
None or maybe a little slow to focus at times but no big deal

I had this lens before and sold it big mistake. This lens is awesome as a macro and for a tele.

Jan 14, 2006
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: Jan 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $479.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, excellent sigma build , good amt of working distance for macro subjects, HSM, doubles as a great portrait lens w/ very pleasing bokeh
None for price paid

For me , owning the canon macro 2.8 USM i found i needed a little more working distance for my macro subjects. The sigma ,especially for the price does the job. It took a lot of comparisons and testing to decide on the sigma over the canon 180L the end...after having both mounted on my camera...i found the sigma size/weight exactly what i wanted...the canon for me is not worth the extra $$$ or weight.

Jan 7, 2006
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Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
103 299010 Nov 5, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $548.89
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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