Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro 35mm Primes

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105mm f/2.8 EX Macro

Includes reviews for the new "DG" digital SLR version of the lens. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 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. This new medium telephoto macro lens employs a new design concept for digital SLR cameras. Its new lens power layout produces an excellent optical performance and also reduces flare and ghost. This new lens is designed to reduce the influence of harmful light caused by reflections from the digital image sensor. Macro 105mm F2.8 EX DG allows greater working distance between the lens and subject. High contrast and excellent image quality are made possible in all shooting ranges. This macro lens is ideal for digital SLR cameras as well as film SLR cameras.

User Reviews (90)

Showing 1-10 of 90  
danic   Casual [Mar 14, 2009]
Strength:

* Bokeh

* Solid construction

* Contrasty

* Sharp

Weakness:

If I have to label a weakness, I'd say auto focus, but I simply don't use it.

After shooting with Extension tubes and normal lenses, I decided to spend some money and get a dedicated macro lens. It was a toss-up between the Tamron 90mm and Sigma 105mm. What swayed me in the end was the extra 15mm. Whilst the Tamron is supposed to be one of the sharpest lenses out there, this lens is razor sharp as well.

I bought my lens second hand, in reasonable condition. My initial thoughts were:
* well constructed
* good finish
* whats with the clutch mechanism?
* why a metal hood?

I have heard the AF is very noisy, and now I know how noisy AF is with this lens. VERY NOISY. I haven't turned it to AF since.

Manually adjusting focus is easy, and it adjusts smoothly. It has pleasing bokeh, and the detail it renders is beautiful.

Customer Service

None

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Louie Aguinaldo   Professional [Jun 27, 2008]
Strength:

It wasn't with me long enough to discover any strength. Since it was defective, I had to send it back

Weakness:

Severe lens flare? Or at least a severe orange glow right in the center whenever the subject or background had white.
Underexposes.

Unfortunately, my experience with this lens led me to returning it within a few days. No matter what I photographed, as long as there was white in the background, there would be a severe orange glow covering a large circular area in the center. The only thing I could think of is that it was some severe lens flare. Of course, I tried all types of lighting. I even tried feathered lighting wherein no direct light hit the scene and the only source of light was a very very diffused light source far far behind me. Still the glow was there. The glow would not appear if the subject and background I was shooting was dark. But as long as there was a significant amount of white a really big orange glow would appear.

I even tried shooting the black lens cap leaning on a white illustration board and filled most of the frame with it. I only had white in the corners. Still the orange circular glow was there. So I called the Sigma dealer, they even went to my studio and checked it out. They couldn't explain it. So it went back. Plus the lens was underexposing the scene. I use a Sekonic meter to measure the ambient light, and even if I set the camera to the recommended exposure settings, the image would be significantly darker.

I may have had a bad unit that doesn't represent the whole line of these lenses, but I seem to have had a bad streak of luck with Sigma lenses. I have purchased a total of 4 Sigma lenses, I got rid of 3 of them by sending them back or selling them due to various issues. I only kept one. Apparently, there seems to be some quality control issues. So I ended up with more reliable Canon lenses instead.

Customer Service

Pretty good in the sense that they came over to check the problem out, and when they didn't know what to do, they took it back.

Similar Products Used: Canon 100mm macro
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
hoasjoe   Intermediate [Jan 13, 2008]
Strength:

Good value for money. Compared to the higher rated Sigma 70, you pay a bit more money but you get a more working distance.

Very compact size of just 457g / 16.1oz. filter diameter 58. Easy to put in a small travel bag. The S-70 has higher rating but heavier at 525g / 18.5oz & filter size 76.

Did compare with the Nikon 105 equivalent with Vibration Reduction. You're paying almost twice the money for a heavier lens. If you use a Sony Alpha the VR feature is on the body so you wouldn't need a heavy lens. For about the same money as a N-105 you can move up to a S-150 macro which is heavier.

Good lens selections: 50, 70, 105, 150, 180. Tamron has only a 90.

Weakness:

As expected, Sigma body finish is not as good as Nikon but otherwise not a major concern.

Mounted on Nikon D70s. Macro focus doesn't work well on AF. Faster to switch to MF.

Wanted a dedicated lens for macro instead of using a standard zoom with close-up filters.

Had a Sigma 28-70 f3.5-5.6 1:2 macro. The photo isn't bad but the lens construction was as cheap as the price paid. To do close focusing precisely often require switching off the AF. The focus knob was very loose and moved around when AF is not on.

This is the first macro lens bought and so far quite satisfied with the results. Although the lens is not an award winner as the newer Sigma 70 & the 150, it is a trade off between price, minimum focus distance & weight.

Will be trying some flower and insect pics later in the year...

Customer Service

Not required yet

Similar Products Used: Nikon 60 & 105, Sigma 70 & 105, Tamron 90.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Justin   Beginner [Jun 30, 2007]
Strength:

Unbelievably clear shots at 24" or as little as 2". Awesome magnification. Auto focus works very well at 3"+. Great price tag! I see such great detail that I see things in the photos that I don't even see with my eyes.

Weakness:

None that I have found.

This lens is well worth the price! I decided to get this lens because of all the rave reviews I saw online. I have an Olympus E-500 so it was very tricky finding this lens in a four-thirds mount but I finally found it on amazon.com (only 3 left) and paid $409.00 for it. This lens far exceeded my expectations in every way! My mother has a 90mm Tamron macro lens that she paid $550+ for and this lens blows it out of the water! You can get incredibly sharp detail of the smallest insects and flowers. I see things in the photos that I couldn't even see with my naked eye. It is also very nice because you don't necessarily have to be right on top of whatever you want to take pictures of, you can be up to 2 feet away and still fill up the whole frame. AWESOME! Don't hesitate, but it today!

Here are some shots I took with this lens:
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303875.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-22-07_Macro2/P6223639.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303831.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303837.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303848.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303855.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303882.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303908.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303805.jpg
http://www.djphina.com/pictures/albums/2007/06-30-07_Macro/P6303871.jpg

You can also go to www.djphina.com to view more pictures.

Customer Service

No need.

Similar Products Used: Tamron 90mm
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
VinnyP!   Intermediate [Jul 05, 2006]
Strength:

Image quality, build quality large manual focusing ring, value for money.

Weakness:

Auto focus, lens hood is awkward, extends a long way when focusing close up.

First up I am not a macro photographer, but occasionally I had wished I had a Macro lens. I looked at the reviews like you are doing here and thought this would fit the ticket in bangs per buck. I am not disappointed. It's good where it counts. Picture quality is very good, sharp across the image especially once it's stopped down. (In a macro that's where you will be anyway most of the time I'd suggest). There are upteen lens charts about taken with this you can find and it's a good performer optically. It has a good operating distance for me but the length it extends could be disconserting. It's not an HSM lens and AF can be pretty slow, it improves a lot if you lock it either in Macro or as a short tele with the body mounted switch. I wouldn't use it like that unless it was a grab whilst shooting macro. I am a fan of Sigma but this one seems a little odd, there is no AF/manual switch just pull push on the (very large) focusing ring to engage it. It does handle well and manual focus is well catered for. It is well built with the love it loath it EX finish. The lens hood is screw in, non reversible, and round. It also prevents the lens cap being in place when the hood is attched. The good news is that the hood is threaded for fiters so you can just get a 67mm cap to keep on there.

I can't compare this to any other macro lenses because it's the first one I have owned in years of photography. All I can say is any deficiencies in my pictures would not be down to the image quality. I am sure the 150 and 180 HSM lenses are better for many users, but if like me you want an occasional macro this is a good choice. Like most people with a macro I tend to pre-focus manually for the magnification I want then move back and forth until it snaps into focus. Used like this it performs very well. It would also double as short tele in a pinch but it's far from ideal for that. It's well made and comes with the odd (for Sigma) hood and a good quality pouch.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
QDB   Professional [Nov 10, 2005]
Strength:

Optical quality, which is first class, as good as any "marque" lens

Weakness:

None,but I'm not a fan of Sigma's EX finish.

Great lens, pity about the EX finish! To be more specific, Sigma macro lenses are very high quality. I already own the 180mm HSM macro, but its a little long for some studio work. The 105 is a useful focal legthm and F2.8 is usefully fast. Mine is an F-mount, and its used on a Kodak 14nx full-frame DSLR, plus a Kodak 760 1.3 crop DSLR. The lens is well made, and feels solid. It's a personal thing, but I don't like Sigma's EX finish. It cheapens the lens, in my view, but it is a minor cosmetic gripe. Results are first class. Sharp, contrasty, etc. It's not an HSM lens which is a pity, but not really an issue becsue I always focus manually in macro mode. Its also sharp at infinity, so it is a handy all-round short telephoto lens.

Customer Service

not tried

Similar Products Used: Many and varied, including Tamron's non Di 90mm macro (the Sigma is slightly better on a digital camera, being "DG" designated).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Roisin   Intermediate [Jul 28, 2005]
Strength:

Lightweight and sturdy build. Outstanding sharpness. Very nice contrast and colour balance. Included metal hood and case. Price.

Weakness:

AF/MF clutch is a little odd, but you quickly get used to it.

I am really happy with this lens - I have the later EX DG version of this lens, and no issues have occured with this lens and my EOS 20D. As mentioned, AF can sometimes hunt - but generally I find the AF is just a little on the slow side, yet super-accurate. The motor noise is slightly louder than USM, but really, the noise is just different. AF hunt and motor noise don't bother me at all. The AF/MF clutch is a bit fussy, but a little bit of fussing during the operation of this lens is made up for by it's incredibly sharp and contrasty images. The metal hood is nifty, but you can't cap the lens while the hood is attached. No bother - you get a Sigma brand, or one of many other brands of 77mm cap to fit over the attached hood. I like the matte EX finish a lot. It feels very nice and provides a subtle grip. I would very happily buy this great little lens again. :)

Customer Service

Not needed.

Similar Products Used: 100mm f/4.0 Canon FD Macro Lens.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
CLJohnson   Expert [Jun 11, 2005]
Strength:

- sharp - contrasty - focusing range limiter helps prevent hunting - light weight - consistent top notch results

Weakness:

- threaded hood - 2 steps to put into manual focus

I've been using this lens since 2000 and I still love it. I'm in the midst of upgrading all my lenses - except I'm holding onto this one. It is bright, sharp, reliable. I consistently get hight quality results from this macro lens. It has a very pleasing bokeh, too. My only complaints about it are: 1. The hood screws in, making it a bit of a pain to use - especially in conjunction with a polarizer. 2. In order to put it into manual focus, you have to do two steps: change the switch on the lens to MF and pull the barrel towards you to engage the focus collar. Other than these two concerns, I have to say that after 5 years of use, I continue to love it.

Customer Service

I had to send this lens in to have the chip upgraded to work with new Canon bodies. It was done fast and free. (I'm sure the newer versions of this must be compatable off the shelf.)

Similar Products Used: This is the only 1:1 macro I've used.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
rboggio1   Intermediate [May 11, 2005]
Strength:

The first thing I noticed was the all-metal construction. It has a nice weight to it and feels comfortable when shooting. The next thing that really impressed me was the focus ring, its huge! If you have big hands you will really appreciate this one feature. Also you can switch the lens from AF to MF with just a small back and forth movement of the focus ring as well. It has a threaded sunshade that at first annoyed me. After a few trips to the park it has grown on me. The polarizer goes on the shade so when you transition indoors and take the shade off you loose the filter as well. It’s a handy feature once you get used to it. I read many reviews that listed the focus as slow and cumbersome. I found the focus very responsive and for a lens at 105mm with Macro it’s more then enough. I have shot about 300 pictures so far and I cannot get over the incredible clarity the lens produces. No matter what range, what light it is just outstanding. I cannot emphasis enough how sweat of an image this will produce. Now that I have actually used the lens I would not have a problem plunking down the retail price for this lens. If you are looking for a quality-constructed lens with consistently suburb results regardless of where you place yourself be it beginner or pro this is a quality lens. You will want to have this Sigma in your bag.

Weakness:

My one complaint that is consistent with other reviews I have read is the “hunting” for focus. In low light or marginal contrast images it hunts. When it starts the hunt it goes through the entire process, in out then attempts to focus on the subject. This part is slow and laborious. In these situations I have just surrendered to the idea of MF. If you’re one of the people that use your gear at the extreme you would have mixed feeling about this lens. The hunting issue would be problematic for you I think. It is very frustrating when you are in good light you think you have the shot and the lens goes into reset. I have found that this will happen in that marginal contrast shot. If you’re a shooter that requires AF it would get a little maddening.

I was looking for a good 105MM lens for portraits. After a lot of research I was going to go the way of the 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor. It was not my prime choice but I had never really used anything else. I had read many reviews of the Sigma but they all seemed to contradictory. Slow focus, hunting for a focus point, good clarity bad clarity etc etc. The price tag of 350 to 400 bucks was more then I was willing to gamble with. I did pick one up on Ebay in excellent condition (like new) for $251.00.

Customer Service

Unknown---NA

Similar Products Used: I have used the 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor in the past. I feel that the Sigma lens is superior to that lens in all respect even taking into account the hunting issue. The Nikkor has a plastic outer shell that just feels like a toy. Also the Nikkor aperture ring rotation is less than smooth. The Nikkor at 105mm is not the best portrait lens because of its macro function; the focus priority is given more over to focusing at about 4ft or less. The Sigma does not appear to do this and has very sharp focus all through the ranges of about 1ft to Infinity.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
SF Rebeldude   Beginner [Nov 26, 2004]
Strength:

1:1 Macro, EX Lens Build Quality, Manual Locking Focus Ring. Price, 4 Year Sigma USA Warranty, 105mm

Weakness:

Slow Auto Focus

I purchased this lens used, but in perfect condition on EBAY. I like to take close up macro photographs of Flowers. For my use this has been an excellent lens. I feel I made the right chioce by purchasing this lens. This is a EX lens (manufactured for Professional). It has an extra sturdy build. The Manual Focus ring is large and easy to use. Plus it has a lock for locking the focus in place. Auto Focus is a little slow and sometimes you will have to go through the entire focusing range before it comes back to being in focus. However, for Macro work I am not interested in a fast Auto Focus. I normally use a tripod with this lens. The 105mm Focal Length is very useful

Customer Service

I have spoken to Sigma Customer Service via email and their support has been excellent.

Similar Products Used: Sigma 50mm AF EX Macro, Sigma 28-80mm AF Mini Zoom Macro.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 90  
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