Released in 2011, the Sigma 105mm macro can be snapped up on the used today market from around £250-300. It has a max aperture of f/2.8, with 9 rounded aperture blades, which render a smooth and really aesthetically pleasing bokeh.
Being a DG Lens – It is designed with Full Frame cameras in mind. Although it will work on APSC sized dslr’s just with the added 1.6x crop. Also being a sigma lens does also mean it’s made available for both Canon & Nikon fit cameras.
It comes with an impressive 4 Stops of IS which is really important on a short telephoto lens like this, as even on tripod small adjustments will be visible as camera shake without it.
Finally comes the switchable macro focus abilities of the lens. When enabled it has a minimum focus distance of just 31cm with a 1/1 magnification. It has a clever floating inner focusing mechanism which minimises distortion on those macro shots, rendering a true and distortion free super-close up shot.
So enough of the specs, lets get straight into detail and look at the good bits of the Sigma 105mm F/2.8 Macro.
It is a beautiful lens to use, I truly love every second of using it. With a little bit of set-up time and care you can get stunning results from it, both for macro shooting & also for those shorter telephoto, compressed background looks, that I particularly love for b-cams on interviews & talking head style pieces.
Build quality is superb, it’s a weighty bit of glass, coming in at 725g. But with lenses like this, I feel that that’s often a reassuring quality. The controls, focus rings & switches all feel great & 8 years on from it’s release, it still feels like a modern piece of glass. The only drawback from the build quality is the fact that it isn’t weather sealed; for us, that’s not a real issue, but might be a concern for more outdoor video creators.
Beyond those points are just the general usability of the lens, once you’ve spent some time with, it truly is a great tool for creating some stunning images. With it’s 4 stops of IS, beautiful bokeh & aesthetic, it’s hard to beat for B-Roll, product videography or even as a b-cam lens.
But with all that said, lets take a look at the bad bits of this macro lens.
It is not a versatile piece of glass. For newer filmmakers looking for their first premium lens, this really isn’t a great choice, because it’s built for a very specific purpose. This isn’t going to be a lens for a casual vlogger or YouTube creator, really it’s a tool for a beautiful & very specific look and a tool for those filmmakers with a little more experience.
Beyond the lack of versatility, in truth it’s hard to be overly critical of the Sigma 105 macro. Sure the HSM Auto focus system is loud and the IS, is at times unable to cope with too much hand movement. But all of that is far, far outweighed by the results you can get from this lens, when used correctly.
In summary, given the right conditions and a little care in how you use it, this is a lens that will render some truly stunning results for video. Either as a macro for product videography or as a lens for Broll or interviews, it really offers something unique and in truth is a lens that I have loved every second of using.
🛒 Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
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