Reviews and Problems with Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG
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Average for the price. 2.8 ONLY at 28mm. Soft w/Cool Colors
3 October 2011
Summary: I haven't gotten this lens upgraded by Sigma yet but I hope they will do it. On Canon digitals this lens may not let you step down the aperture unless the firmware is refreshed. In terms of performance, the lens only does F2.8 at the widest setting. After that you can do f3.5 at 35mm and F4 the rest of the way down. Lens isn't too sharp and the colors are classic Sigma dead colors. Its not a bad range and beats out the kit lens but not much else.
Summary: The 28-105 is extremely soft wide open (softer than the kit lens). This was supposed to be the new walkaround lens, but with it being so soft, and not that sharp when stopped down, I think it will probably end up being sold sometime in the future. Further testing is still needed on this particular lens... so I might end up keeping it. Since it is used, it may be that I just got a bad unit, and the softness is not general to the whole production run.
Summary: This lens is pretty sharp and performs decent. It's focus is quite slow and does not feel like it is made at a high quality level as is experienced with many Sigma lenses. I did notice slight chromatic aberration at wide apertures which can easily be corrected digitally. There was also some vignetting at F4.0 and less, and this did happen on my DX lens although it was pretty mild and could also be corrected easily.
Summary: This item was received on March 2nd in good condition. After two weeks of use, however, the autofocus was unable to focus on any object consistently. It would sometimes be able to do so and other times it could not. Mostly this seems to occur with the lens is extended and the object to focus on requires the lens to retract. The retraction motor seems week and unable to pull the lens back in all the way.
Summary: The Sigma 105mm has received praises for many systems, and in some instances these rave remarks are rightly due. The lens is an excellent value with a good build and super sharp optics. However there are many quirks with the lens that often get overlooked. The auto-focus performance is worse than lackluster and switching from auto to manual focus is a bit tiresome.
Summary: I am sure this is an excellent lense - jus be aware that if you use it in AP mode on your nice new D300 etc you will need to set the aperture manually on the lens... It is not full auto like a Nikon AF lens... I was disapointed when I learnt this... Oh well...
Conclusion: I am chalking this one up to a bad copy of this lens. Although I have gotten some good images from this lens, I can't believe how much it errors, especially at macro focal lengths. I have owned it for a month, and its going back today. I marked that I wouldn't recommend this product to others, but if you had a good sharp copy, that didn't error out its probably worth it.
Pros: Sorry, can't think of any.
Cons: Error 99 about 50% of the time, manual/auto focus ring takes some getting use to. Center of image tends to be sharp, but edges aren't.
Conclusion: 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 !
Pros: Seems decent piece of equipment for its quoted cost ! Surely OK as a macro alternative
Conclusion: 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.
Pros: Good construction and manual focus action.
Cons: Optics are not as good as other offerings in this range, AF is slow.
Excerpt: This sigma lens is often a favourite starting point for digital SLR users (single lens reflex) looking to upgrade the 'kit' package they bought on impulse in the January sales. "I know, I've got a million pix of my children and cat, now I'll photograph flowers and insects with a macro lens, whatever that is". Don't kid yourself; the whole idea of this lens is to get close-up and personel with your subject matter (insects and flowers being two of my favs).
Pros: value for money (compared to pro level), build quality,
Cons: makes you think your a pro, but by its nature, proves you otherwise .