Big and beautiful
THE LOW-DOWN: This f2.8 lens is one of a number of Sigma macro lenses and sits between the 105mm and 180mm units. It is image stabilised and focuses internally so the lens barrel does not extend. It has full frame coverage and on an APS sensor camera has a focal length equivalent of 225mm. Construction and finish are outstanding, with a metal barrel and rubberised finish on the focusing ring. This ring is broad and the operation is super smooth with just the right damping. Being a macro lens it can be used for close-up work with a minimum lens to subject distance of 20cm. There is a focus range limiter switch to speed up auto-focus. The optical image stabiliser can be switched off for tripod mounting. A detachable tripod mount collar is supplied. It comes in Nikon, Canon and Sigma mounts.
LIKE: This is a very sharp lens that is optically outstanding. The quality of the construction is up to the standard we now expect from the top Sigma lenses.
DISLIKE: Auto focus is just a tad slow — a common enough issue with long macro lenses — and there is some focus hunting in low contrast light. The lens is very heavy — but it is the mass of quality.
VERDICT: Sigma has raised the bar for third party optics and demonstrates its confidence in its products by pricing them near the alternatives from the camera makers. If you think that third party means cheap and cheerful, think again. This particular lens is optically and mechanically superb — big and beautiful! It strikes us as being an odd focal length, but if 150mm doesn’t get you excited there is always the 105 or the 180 from the Sigma catalogue.