Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro for Canon & Nikon mounts measurements and review

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lens Review
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro for Canon & Nikon mounts measurements and review

With it true 1:1 macro reproduction and its floating auto-focus system for high optical quality on its very broad range of focus, this Sigma macro lens looks like ideal for a wide variety of photographers, from nature to sport and portraits.

Let’s review its image quality.

The Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro is available for many mounts: Nikon,Canon, Sony, Minolta, Pentax, FourThirds. So, we will first have a closer look at the Nikon and Canon versions:

Sigma for Canon vs Sigma for Nikon

If you look at the detailed measurements, you will see how similar these 2 versions of the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro (Nikon and Canon) feature:

  • An equal overall DxOMark score: good from f/2.8 to f/5.6 but deteriorating at f/8 to become really bad from f/11 to f/36
  • Almost identical resolution metrics: 58 lp/mm for the Canon version and 57 lp/mm for the Nikon one
  • The Distortion, Vignetting and Chromatic Aberration are the same and pretty good
  • This give identical Use case scores : 4 stars for portrait and 3 stars for Sport

So, we can conclude that these 2 versions of the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro are good lenses on the f/2.8 to f/5.6 range, especially for portrait and sport photography.

Sigma vs Canon

We compared the Canon version of the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro with 2 of its main competitors: the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.

  • In term of resolution, even if the L series lens of Canon is slightly better, the difference is almost invisible above F/4. And, the Sigma lens resolution is also a bit more homogenous across the field.
  • The Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro has less vignetting even at F/2.8 and the Chromatic Aberration is better controlled.
  • In term of distortion, both less are very good.
  • Overall, the Sigma lens scores a bit lower than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, it is better than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.

To conclude, the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro is a good lens which comes close to the high end Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM for a price closer to the mid-range Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.

Sigma vs Nikon

We did a similar comparison of the Nikon version of the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro with its main Nikon competitor: the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

  • The key difference between these two lenses is their sharpness. The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED  offers a much better resolution with 65 lp/mm where the Sigma only reaches 57 lp/mm.
  • For both the distortion can be neglected.
  • The vignetting and chromatic aberration are both in favor of the Sigma.
  • Overall, the Use Case scores of these lenses are excellent in Portrait (4 stars) and the Sigma has a slight advantage in Sport photography (3 stars vs 2.5 stars)

So, even compared with the excellent Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro still offers a good alternative by compensating its limited sharpness with pretty limited vignetting, distortion et chromatic aberration.