Sigma’s most popular macro lens has been updated, with a new design and the addition of optical stabilisation. Mat Gallagher puts the 105mm f/2.8 lens to the test
While the second-generation Sigma 105mm was very much a budget lens, this new third-generation model demands a current street price higher than its Nikon equivalent and only £20 short of the Canon L-series 100mm macro.
For the extra money the new version offers some impressive refinements, such as stabilisation and internal focusing, but it is image quality that matters most here. The optical performance is a marked improvement and although detail is only a small part of this, the original standard was already very high.
Image: A splash frozen with flash, showing the impressive detail that can be captured with the Sigma 105mm lens. Nikon D700, 1/125sec at f/20, ISO 100
The problem this lens faces is that, instead of being an impressive budget lens, it is priced as a premium optic over the camera brands’ own versions. This is not the first time Sigma has taken this position – the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 was also a higher price than its Canon and Nikon competitors – but it means that the lens has to prove itself far more to win over users.