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  1. #1
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Sigma 105mm Macro... makeshift review if anyone is considering it...

    My friend wants to get the Sigma 105 macro for his Nikon, so I wrote him this email that turned out to be alot longer than I thought it would. So since a few weeks ago I was asking about the lens, I figure it's time to post my experience since you all helped me decide on it. This is unedited...

    I have no problem reccommending the 105mm, that's the exact one I have. It is a supreme MACRO MACRO lense, just be sure you expect it to be good for 0-7 feet working distance... and portraits. That's about it. The reason it's not good for normal use is it's designed to focus in tiny increments from 0-7 feet, not to focus on landscapes.

    Another thing I feel I need to add about focusing, is that it's kinda a bitch. It's VERY slow when you are close, if it can't lock on a focus it might cycle all the way through the focus range...which takes about 6-8 seconds, and that sucks. So, given that I usually use manual focusing on it, because too many times it skips the focus I want and cycles all the way out, and then back in, taking up alot of time. I don't mind manual focusing at all, so if you don't either, don't worry about it. This isn't the lenses or Sigmas fault, it's just that the amout of travel needed to focus at such a macro level is so big, that no matter what it's gonna be slow since the front of the lense travels almost 3 inches JUST for focusing.

    Also, it works a little different from your Sigma. This has 3 things on it... a focus ring that moves up and down for manual/auto (like yours), but also a manual and focus switch that HAS to be switched... so switching focus is a 2 stage deal. You set the focus switch to Manual or AF, then you can switch the ring from manual or AF. What this does is allow you to manual focus, then disengage the focus ring so that the lens is LOCKED into focus, the focus ring just spins around with no effect. And, when the camera is in AF mode, the focus ring also just spins with no effect.

    Also also, there is another switch called "Full/Limit", which basically is a barrier at the 1.3 foot mark. You can either restrict the AF to stay above 1.3 feet, or below 1.3 feet. btw,,, below 1.3 feet takes up half the focus travel. That is nice if you KNOW you're gonna be doing really close ****, you can set it to the Limit mode and it will only seek Auto Focus within that limit, above or below. Btw btw... the 1.3 foot mark is the 1:2 ratio, which means at this focus length, a 35mm coin would take up half the frame, at the 1:1 focus it would take up the whole frame.

    Also, the hood is metal and screw in only. I have a Hoya UV filter, and the hood screws into the filter. Which means you have to pack the hood somewhere as it does not bayonette or collapse. Nor can you attach a filter TO THE hood, but you can attach the hood to a filter (which is a big deal since the hood is a screw-in, not a clip on).

    That being said, I love the lens and its results. I would still buy it knowing it's quirks. Maybe you should take my camera for like 15 minutes on friday and use the lens and see what you think. If you want a macro in the 100mm range, I vote the sigma. the F/stop is really really nice, I'd get it again just for that.

    So to summarize:
    Pro's: Super images, low F, high quality, some intuituve features with focusing
    Con's: less than ideal Auto focusing seek, slow auto focus motor
    A good craftsman never blames his tools.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Charles Hess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Good should put this in PR's review section so others who don't stop by here might see it.

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States


    Post it in the reviews! That way it will have a permanent home, be easy to find, and add to data we already have for this lens. Please, if you want to share, post reviews in the review section!


    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

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