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New Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens with 1:1 magnification

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For the CES show Sigma announced a new APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens:

Sigma Corporation of America announces world’s first 1:1 180mm F2.8 macro lens

New fast and stabilized lens announced at Consumer Electronics Show 2012

Ronkonkoma, NY, Jan. 9, 2012 – Sigma Corporation, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, the world’s first 180mm macro lens that offers a magnification ratio of 1:1 and a large maximum aperture of F2.8.

As the successor to Sigma’s earlier 180mm F3.5 EX DG macro lens, the new APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens now boasts the company’s proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology and a wide F2.8 aperture to allow faster shutter speeds for narrow depth of field. With the OS feature, this lens offers the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, enabling handheld close-up photography. Three “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, which have a performance equal to fluorite glass, are included to provide correction for color aberrations, and an inner focusing system minimizes aberrations that occur as shooting distances change.

“Our first 180mm macro was very popular with macro photographers and we’re certain that discerning photographers will be very impressed with its new technical and performance upgrades. The Optical Stabilizer technology and faster maximum aperture will make it even easier for users to capture the close-up, intricate details in the tiny world around them,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “We’ve released some really incredible products in the past year – there’s truly something in our lineup for every type and level of photographer.”

Equipped with the Super Multi-Layer Coating feature, the APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens reduces flare and ghosting and delivers sharp and high contrast images, even at the maximum aperture. The incorporation of Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet and high-speed autofocus, as well as full-time manual focus capability. The macro lens has a rounded nine-blade diaphragm to create an attractive blur to the image’s out-of-focus areas. At 1:1 magnification, this lens has a focusing distance of 18.5 inches, which is a greater working distance than shorter focal length macro lenses, making it advantageous when taking pictures of highly sensitive subjects like butterflies.

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  • http://blog.nauphotos.com Nau

    that actually looks promising, would love to see some reviews of that one

    • http://blog.nauphotos.com Nau

      just in case some one wondering what all this letters stand for on Sigmas (in a nut shell)

      EX : An abreviation for the “Excellence” range of lenses. These lenses are similar to Canon’s L series, claimed to be superior in build and optical quality to regular lenses. Like the L series they have a distinctive exterior.

      DG : A DG lens can be used with both 35mm SLR and digital SLR cameras. DG refers to additional optical coatings that are meant to minimize reflections of light off the sensor itself.

      HSM: “Hypersonic Motor,” which in the same way as Canon’s USM is used to power the autofocus mechanism and is generally quieter and faster than conventional electromagnetic motors.

      OS (Optical Stabilisation – Sigma).

      • Eric

        Thanks, I always need to google DG/DC for Sigma lenses

        • jfd

          Well, you can use this trick : DC stands fro _C_rop

          • jfd

            I meant :

            The C in DC stands for _C_rop :)

            • bekia

              And the G for… Great!

      • Anton

        Why are you giving Canon-wise explanations?
        This is a Nikon place.

        • stephen

          Because Nikon doesn’t have an “L” type of designation. It’s a camera place. Get over yourself.

          • PhotoGradStudent

            +1

        • antonio

          Anton,

          You should really say ***** like this. In case you are wondering I am referring to the fourth word in your sentence. I don’t even want to say it and am probably going to go take a shower.

          • WoutK89

            Giving, or Nikon? :D

        • Arthur

          Nikon’s USM equivalent is SWM: Silent Wave Motor. Thank god they are not promoting it like Canon/Sigma/Tamron do.

        • http://www.stefansblog.com Stefan

          here you go:

          EX = Gold ring
          DG = FX
          HSM = AF-S
          OS = VR

          • http://www.stefansblog.com Stefan

            ups .. Arthur above just said it better – the equivalent of HSM is SWM … but i guess since all AF-S lenses have SWM in them it’s not a completely wrong answer ;-/

            • Elton

              Nikon lists the crappy 18-55 as AF-S and SWM but it has an A mode and a M mode but no A/M. It’s a bad thing to move the focusing ring with the switch set to A. “Be careful not to touch the focus ring when it is turning during autofocus operation”. Makes you think it’s not really an SWM motor but some other internal motor. I can’t imagine why they created a lens that was AF-S/SWM but strips gears if you use it like any other SWM lens.

            • Mim

              if you own/use any 18-55 you have more issues than the A/M

            • Tom

              What a dumb thing to say Mim. The kit lens is actually quite good. It’s not a low light lens, sure. However, if you need stop down because of bright light or you’re using a flash in many scenarios the kit lens is actually quite fine.

              The photographer makes the shot, not the camera.

    • 120-300 os

      Me too combines nice with my 120-300 os lens i got at 10 december in the netherlands at Cameratools.nl

      • anonymous

        Are commercial comments allowed on NR?

  • Jason

    Funnily enough, I’m sure there was a rumour on here some time back that Nikon were going to develop something similar to replace both 180mm/f2.8 and 200mm/f4 macro lenses. Anyone remember that, or should I stop listening to the voices?

    • WoutK89

      I remember clearly that Nikon was working on a longer new macro yes. But they can only make so much new lenses per year. Hopefully this year is more than just the bodies, I want to see some important lenses refreshed and newly additions to the already stunning line-up.

      • Global

        Yes, we discussed that — in fact, I think we PROPOSED it before it was a rumor and part of that chatter was us wanting an update since other primes were being discussed.

        Seems like Sigma was listening.

        • WoutK89

          Sigma listened, but only announced, in the mean time Nikon can announce and release before Sigma releases.

          • Dr Motmot

            Damn, this is the lens I was waiting for from Nikon! Do I get the Sigma or wait for one from Nikon?

            • http://500px.com/nwcs Neil

              It’s hard to make a bad macro lens. Get the Sigma if it’s available first.

            • http://www.lhp-online.com Leroy

              And the Sigma is likely to be half money of anything Nikon produces in a long macro/micro. I cannot believe that Nikon gets about $2k for the 200mm micro.

            • Dr Motmot

              Good point. The Sigma 150mm seems to be quite highly regarded so if the 180mm is up to the same standard it should be quite a good lens. I mainly want it for a street or sports lens instead of getting the 70-200mm. I wonder what it will retail for?

            • iamlucky13

              Sigma lists the 150mm (with all the same EX DG OS HSM APO Macro designations) at $1600 MSRP.

              However, it seems to actually retail for $1100-1200.

              So a reasonable guess for the 180mm would be MSRP $1800-2000, and actual retail around $1400-1600.

            • Dr Motmot

              OK, so retail price between £900 and £1000, however reading comments further down a lot of people have had autofocus problems with Sigma lenses. The only Sigma lens I have is the 10-20mm but it is hard to tell if that ever misses focus because of the wide angle. I think I would be prepared to pay more for the Nikon equivalent whenever that comes out…

            • preston

              Dr Motmot, keep in mind that macro lenses are usually designed to have the same quality at all apertures (before diffraction sets in) since stopping down is often required to get enough DOF at 1:1, unlike the 70-200 which is optimized to be great at f/2.8 and other large apertures.

            • Mats

              I’m in the same situation.
              I’ve been waiting to see what Nikon may release in the Micro sector but Nikon seems to take a veeeeeeeery long time to upgrade many of their products. Sigma is way faster.
              Sigma’s makro lenses, at least most of them, are as good or better than Nikon’s or Canon’s. The IQ is supberb. Bokeh is great. They also have a fantastic support, at least here in Sweden, and beats any other brand I’ve used/had and I’m as far from a brand geek as you can get. I go for product results, not name on the product.

              I was about to get the new 150mm from Sigma last year but they didn’t start selling it until after summer and that’s when my macro photography period ends so I removed myself from the priority list.
              This is one area of two I know of that Sigma is not at top. They often announce their products very early and then it can take even over half a year for the product to start selling.

              I do NOT agree with a previous person on makro lenses being easy to create with good quality. I see big differences in quality between macro lenses, especially in the bokeh and sometimes even in fringing.

          • Jan

            Talking about announced, their 50-150 DC OS HSM is over a year announced, still no sign of it

            • WoutK89

              My point exactly. Sigma has been doing this more lately, announce only the product, with minimal specs and then 3 months later “announce” again with more specs and a date/price and then 3 months after that release. I am glad Nikon usually doesnt take that long between announce/release.

    • broxibear

      Hi Jason,
      I think once Nikon get the D800 and D400 out of the way this year they’ll be going after all those AFD lenses that need upgraded to AFS models.
      I’m not sure any 180mm will appear before the wideangles like the 24mm and 28mm f/2.8s though.

      • TravellingSwede

        Do you really think it is the same people, machines, materials or factories that produces DSRL bodies and lenses???
        Really?

        • broxibear

          Hi TravellingSwede,
          I meant as a company they’ve got other priorities and due to events in Japan and Thailand they have a massive backlog.
          No I don’t think “it is the same people, machines, materials or factories that produces DSRL bodies and lenses???”

        • Elton

          All the DX bodies and a number of lenses were made in the Thailand plant. They might not have been making the glass there but they were / are doing lens assembly there.

    • http://www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

      Nikon needs to bring back the infamous 70-180 Micro in an updated version.
      Take that old lens and make it go 1:1, add VR II, G, AF-S, and Nano Coatings.
      Nikon should also add a Digital Focus Bracketing (DFB) mode in their camera bodies. You the photographer, manually select the furtherest focus point in the image, hit a button for FocusPoint 1 (FP1), and then select the closest focus point in the image, hit a button for FocusPoint 2 (FP2), set the number of images you want for the Focus Bracketing, and then let the camera body stepper the AF-S motor throughout the range equally between FP1 and FP2 firing the shutter release for the number of images you opted to Focus Bracket!!!

      Then you take your images into PS5, photo stack them and bingo, you get 1:1 macro with increased DoF for new creative possibilities!

      ARE YOU LISTENING NIKON – VERY EASY FEATURE, VERY COOL, WANT MORE IDEAS, CONTACT ME.

      • JohnGG

        Check the site: http://www.controlmynikon.com/
        They have a program which does just that and many-many more, provided you are shooting tethered. For 19.95 USD and with their Risk Free 90-Day Guarantee scheme, it’s a steal…
        PS
        I have the program, and YES I would recommend it to a friend.

        • dave

          John, thanks for the link. Definitely going to try it out. Considering the cost of Nikon’s Control product, this is a steal.

          • Tiger1050Rider

            Windows only (sadly)

        • http://www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

          @JohnGG, excelent link to what appears to be a very good app, for very little money. Thanks for the recommendation.

          @Tiger1050Rider, sorry to see Windows only, but I must admit I was worried that it was MAC only when I saw the interface; it didn’t have that typical Windows look. Maybe next time. If nothing else, you should send an inquiry to them about MAC support. If they get enough requests, they may port it over.

          • John Richardson

            Don’t forget to volunteer for BETA testing too.

  • http://www.bursafotovideo.ro/ Anunturi Foto

    We don’t have to wait for the updated AF-S version of Nikon 180mm f/2.8.
    Valid only if the HSM will be precise.

    • Discontinued

      I shoot the old AIS and I am loving it. But I am obviously neither a sports photographer nor in the need for 1:1 macro, OS or VR. I still can see the benefits of such for others.

    • Jan

      was told VR doesn’t work at macro distances.

  • John Richardson

    Well, that actually might be fun to have.

  • Adamz

    Was expecting 500/4.5 with OS but this one is also a nice lens, especially for Nikon 1 – cheap man 200/2 :)

    • http://blog.nauphotos.com Nau

      more like ~490….. wonder what the result will look like … or even if it will focus ok

  • http://www.del-uks.com Del-Uks

    If this one is a just as good as the Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro, it’s a winner !

  • SDiggity

    @NR: Were you able to get your hands on the lens for some test shots, or was a purely a hands off affair?

  • Fuzz

    Why?
    Sigma are nuts. They already make a 150/2.8 OS Macro. Why do they think people also need a 180mm, it gets you about an extra 8cm of working distance?

    And when is this lens being released 2012, 2013,2023? Where’s the 50-150 OS?

    • John Richardson

      Why? Well, for me all I have is a 100mm Tokina macro 2.8. Sometimes I need something with a bit more reach. Often I have resorted to the 18-200 Nikkor which really doubles quite well when you least expect the need to get up close and have it. But I need a more controlled depth of field than the 18-200 and more reach than the 100, and since 50% of the time I am on a tripod (doing macro) I think I can have use for it. I do not have their 150 and would not pony up for only a 30mm more but will for 80.
      Needless to say that Tonkina is damn good I think I can use the Sigma AFTER I have seen some tests and reviews.

      • John Richardson

        correction .. all I have for dedicated macro in the way of glass.

    • SparkplugAC

      The word is “choice”.

    • Global

      You might consider that since they CAN do 150/2.8, they probably could very easily move to 180/2.8.

      Sigma probably (correctly, in my opinion) identified that 180mm is far more desirable than 150mm — not because 150 is inherently bad, but simply that people are LUSTING for an updated 200mm/4 macro.

      Therefore, anything nearly 200mm is of a higher purchase value and filling a market demand, whereas there was no demand for a 150mm lens (or rather less).

      • Global

        Oops, and forgot to mention that since Nikon already established 180/2.8 as a “brand” (a mark on the mm spectrum) that there is a place to fill. So Sigma is grabbing it.

    • dave

      Kinda like asking why have a 1.4, 1.8 and 2.8 all at 24mm, eh?

  • Joe

    HSM and OS on a macro lens… what a waste, unless of course it doubles as a long tele prime for you. Best of all, NO PEACH FUZZ FINISH, yey!

    • Global

      Is the Nikon 200mm/f2 VR a waste in your definition?

      I don’t see your point. Macros can see past your nose, it should nearly do as well as anything else a 200mm can do + macro. So HSW and OS will be quite welcome, as it is in the hit seller 105 VR/2.8 Nikon.

      • inginerul

        I back his claims up, this is a macro lens not a sport or wildlife lens. Anyone who shoots macro knows that you usually focus manually and OS is not as effective at close up distances, where subject motion is also possible.

        But, if they can do it, why not, nikon an canon shure as hell can’t. The only bad thing about this lens might actually be the price (I expect something like 1500 euros).

        Cheers.

        • Discontinued

          >>not as effective at close up distances<<
          Plain wrong.
          I am not in favor of VR and alike myself (IQ reasons), but there is no difference in benefits depending on a subjects distance. Lenses do not give a shit whether you shoot a butterfly right in front of you or Godzilla on the horizon. It is all about the angle (tele or wide) and how much you move it. Narrow angles (tele) shift/shake/move your image stronger during time of exposure than wide angles for a given shake of the camera. That's all.

          • http://www.horse-photos.biz Manfred Grebler

            > but there is no difference in benefits depending on a subjects distance.

            Wrong.
            With Nikon as well as Sigma macro lenses the VR/OS does not work or does not work effectively at close up distances.

            • Discontinued

              OK, thanks for the info. Didn’t know.

            • Global

              That’s not true. Its a matter of personal control. Quite frankly, Nikon’s VR is EXCELLENT on the 105/2.8 VR Macro and I’ve used it upclose several time with great results (compared to hand-holding without it).

              The working distance is still long enough with longer lenses that VR (OS) can be effective.

              Whether its less or more depends on your movements. VR will always have a slightly random edge to it — and yes, standing further away gives more chances for alignment — but even up close when it nails it, it nails it good.

            • http://bikerglen.smugmug.com/ bikerglen

              I’ll relate my experience macro focus stacking with a D200, 105VR, sturdy tripod, mirror lock up mode, a remote release, and a solid macro rail.

              With VR turned on for a sequence of 10 shots, about 1 out of every 4 would be vertically offset by about 1/10 of a frame. With VR turned off for the same sequence of 10 shots, all shots would be perfectly aligned. In this case manual focus and no VR worked best.

              For hand-held, single-photo macro, I’d still turn on AF-C and VR though.

        • http://www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

          @inginerul, +1
          @Joe, 180mm f/2.8 definitely not for 18.5 inch close focusing 1:1 macro work, unless one is talking about flat copy work. The DoF at those settings is .7mm!!! As you suggested, this lens will probably do double duty. The question is, will it be like an all weather tire and only give acceptable results in both conditions. And as others pointed out, the OS is not for MACRO work. Even hand held macro shots would suffer more from the shallow DoF and the difficulty of preventing focus breathing. Sigma is known for creating lenses that Canon and Nikon won’t even attempt. There is good reason for this, Canon and Nikon don’t do it, because it makes no practical sense, and Sigma does it, to get attention.

    • peterw

      Sometimes the circumstances are not favourable for shooting from tripod. Like with small, but moving animals, or when a slight wind moves your flower back and forwards. Yes you can kill or freeze the animal, or you should have come on a better day, but some people don’t want to kill their favorite subjects, respectively don’t have the opportunity to come back…

      By the way, the manual override of the HSM/AF-S type autofocus is much better for manual focus than the old screwdriver system AF-D :).

      Choose your own gear as you please, off course.

      (I’ll put a convertor on my 105 F2,8 VR AF-S. The Sigma will have more reach, light, and a better image quality, and I’ll have a ligther bag :) )

  • http://www.zhovtenko.net Vsevolod

    I own sigmas non-OS 150 macro, and use it for several years. While new lens looks awesome, I doubt it will be very useful. Such long focal length makes this one best for shooting insects while its size and weight makes it useless for hand-holding close-up to macro shooting.
    On the other hand as an alternative to bright tele lens which can both succeed in sports, portraiture and macro this could be a superb find for some one who neither has macro or bright tele but loves to shoot sports nature and macro. Some one like me, but I do have 150 macro and sigma 100-300 f/4 so this one new lens is of no use for me :)

  • Anonymus Maximus

    hmmm

    first, please please please Sigma US, send the guy who writes the marketing lingo to a two day workshop to use the lens BEFORE he starts writing: “a wide F2.8 aperture to allow faster shutter speeds for narrow depth of field” as if anyone EVER needed that at 1:1.

    Also, I am not soooo convinced about this Macro doubles as Tele thought. Basically a lens is optimised for a cetain shooting distance. Correcting it for all distances would be really expensive and heavy. (that is, why we have macros in the first place.)

    Sarcasm on : recently I have the feeling that some lenses are optimised for exactly the shooting distance of a test target in the lab. Then it does indeed no longer matter whether you use it as macro or tele.

    This feeling is caused by the fact that I see many lens tests where the test pictures are brilliant but the real life examples are much less pleasing.

    • tengris

      >” Basically a lens is optimised for a cetain shooting distance.”
      True for the Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5. Excellent for Macro (maybe a tiny bit better than the Sigma APO 150mm f/2.8), but significantly weaker at long distances.

      Not true for the Sigma Sigma APO 150mm f/2.8, this is head to head with the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 for long distances and also excellent for Macro.

      The dedicated “Tele” and “Macro” lineup ended with the AIs 105mm f/2.5 versus the AIs Micro 105mm f/4. The AIs 105mm f/2.8 was the first Micro Nikkor with Floating Elements to excel over the full range up to 1:2. Not as good as the Kiron 105mm f/2.8, but first tier as well.

      Despite that the new Sigma will not gonna be a friend of mine. 86mm filters and a significant increase in size and presumably price for just 30mm more than the 150mm f/2.8 isn’t what I’m desperately waiting for. Maybe users of the previous 180mm f/3.5 will like to upgrade. The old 180 was quite nice, but not es good as the 150, it was big and it didn’t have OS for telephoto use. Here the upgrade makes sense.

      • Anonymus Maximus

        Admittedly 19 lenses is a lot for prime lens. So they did make an effort to correct over a wide range.

        • tengris

          It’s not only the number that counts. Traditional macro lenses like the mentioned Micro Nikkor 105mm f/4 had their (few) lenses in a fixed block that was shifted forth and back for focusing. So the optics could be optimized either for near or far distance. Floating Elements were the first approach to extend the range of optimum sharpness by moving a lens or group of lenses independant to the rest of the lens. Modern macro lenses with internal focusing move 3 or 4 lens groups in a complex way, so they are built more like zooms than like primes. The disadvantage is, that they decrease their focal length significantly when focused to 1:1. But an estimateable focal length of around 120mm at the near end still should be enough for shy objects.

  • http://blogg.hogbergphotography.com Danonino

    Ok.. but what about a small digital Nikon FMD with FF sensor?

  • Paul Lee

    Can somebody take this lens over to the Nikon stand and hook up to a D4 for a quick test please..

  • Pwsonline

    I own and use (a lot) the “existing” 180mm Sigma MacroEX F3,5, and it is amongst the finest lenses I have, use it on D200 / D700 and Pentax K20d (so with that is have some kind of VR).
    Here samples of the old one:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/show/?q=sigma+180mm&w=24121629%40N08

    The need for F2,8 at these magnification is indeed not so very important, but OS (VR) is, very much welcome too! Optically it is simply stellar, it might be hard to improve this lens, maybe the Sig’s did it?

    • JohnGG

      Very nice pictures you’ve got there Pwsonline. Congratulations.

      • Global

        The problem with Sigma — I have found — is that they often push their technological limit. If Sigma is stuck at f/3.5, they might say /2.8 for marketing reasons — but the reports will show “not good” at f/2.8.

        This is probably an f/4 lens if we are properly skeptical.

        Sigma has done this many times.

        • preston

          @Global
          I’ve noticed that the tests of the more recent (within last 2 years or so) Sigma lens haven’t been nearly as appalling at the max aperture as most of their previous models had. For example, check out the resolution tests at lenstip.com for their newer 85 f/1.4 and you’ll see that it has almost identical results as the new Nikon 85 f/1.4G (same results in frame center but with Nikon beating it on frame edge though). On the other hand if you look at Sigma 28 f/1.8, it isn’t even usable until f/2.8.

    • Analyst

      Wow, great photos, very cool.

      If the new one can perform as a macro as well as the old one, then having OS and f/2.8 for using it as a telephoto prime is just gravy. Two lenses for the price of one. That’s why the Nikon 105 VR Micro is so popular – great macro and a long portrait lens.

  • WoutK89

    Isn’t a lens with a wider aperture performing better closed down. So in general what sigma did is create a lens with better closed down performance, right?

    • Will

      I’m not sure what you mean by “closed down”, but I do know that wider the aperture (smaller the number) the smaller the depth of field and the more light that is let in so you could get a faster shutter speed. The older Sigma 180mm 3.5 would have a larger depth of field at its highest aperture (3.5) while the new one would have a smaller dof at its highest aperture. I hope this helped

      • WoutK89

        Closed down/ stopped down aperture. Usually an f/2.8 lens has a sweet spot between f/4 and f/5.6, it performs better on smaller apertures.

        • Mark

          You’re right in theory, but most 2.8 lenses i know of have an optimal aperture of f/8-11. Having a 2.8 max doesn’t inherently mean it will be better at f/4 than the previous version. We have to wait and see.

    • http://www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

      @WoutK89, +1
      You pay alot more for the f/2.8, just to stop down for macro. At 18.5 inches, f/2.8 and 180mm you get .7mm DoF. That is razor thin! So, you stop down anyway to get reasonable DoF and forgo the f/2.8 you paid for. Maybe this is why we don’t see Canon or Nikon doing this. And like you already pointed out, it is very difficult to make a lens optimized for all distances. I suspect this lens well be a mediocre performer at macro and possibly a bit better for telephoto. Only the images we see will tell the rest of the story. BTW, the most versitile macro is the old Nikon 70-180mm Micro Nikkor. It goes 1:2 natively and 1:1 with a APO lens on the front. I would love to see Nikon refresh that lens! :~)

  • Dweeb

    Someone wake Nikon up.

  • fiatlux

    In fact, prior to the 180 3.5, Sigma used to offer a 180 2.8 APO Macro, although limited to 1:2 ratio.

    It was big and slow, IIRC. I guess most people interested by the speed went for the smaller Nikkor 180 2.8 instead.

    I would guess that, today, most people interested by a fast ~180mm tele would rather go for a stabilised 70-200 2.8, so the rationale for this update is not very clear.

  • neversink

    UGH!!! Sigma…. Have had too much trouble with their lenses, especially auto focus motor conking out… YUCK…. Go on line and search the horror stories.

    Excellent glass though….

    • Zeckson

      Agree. Not only I experienced focus inconsistency, quite a number of times the focus mechanisms won’t even kick off! This happens to my 120-300mm f/2.8. It got me so pissed!

      • neversink

        It happened on my 150-500. Everyone said what a great lens when it came out. I was on Safari in Kenya when the auto-focus went kaput. And I had hardly used the lens. If the electronics on such a lens is inferior, what good is great glass when you need to auto focus and shoot fast.

        Arggggghhhhh!!! (Good thing I can manually focus quickly and had some nice Nikon backup….)

        Never again will I buy Sigma….

        • photo-Jack

          Same with me! Had the 2,8/24-70 and the 2,8 70-200. Auto-focus did break down in the middle of a shooting, hardly a year after purchase. I don’t need such a trouble. Sold both lenses immediately after repair and will never ever get a Sigma again, however good the glass may be.

          • Apollo

            Weird, because I’ve used 120-400mm Sigma over 2 years and I’ve took over 20 000 pictures with it. Only once the motor failed and it went with OS. Latest motors and stabilization in to the lens and it works like a dream. Nikon 80-400 vs. Sigma 120-400, Sigma is clearly the winner, with optics, speed, price and design!

            • photo-Jack

              Latest motors and stabilization in to the lens and it works like a dream…
              Sounds as if you had to send in the lens for repair too. That’s the off right there. So what is your point?

  • Vad
  • Zeckson

    I have had some Sigma lenses before. They included the

    - Sigma AF EX DG 50mm f/1.4 HSM
    - Sigma AF EX DG 85mm f/1.4 HSM
    - Sigma AF EX DG 120-300mm f/2.8 APO OS HSM

    The above 3 lenses from Sigma has very good optics, some of which are even comparable to the Nikkors. However, a lens cannot really show its strength if it has inconsistent focus accuracy. I took a lot of pictures using the lenses and I often get focus inconsistency, a little too much to put it as my own fault. I was using it on a Nikon D7000 body.

    • Jan

      if u have a tripod, it’s easy to test
      if u don’t, you have no right to talk about inconsistency

      in my tests HSM has about double the give of SWM

      • Zeckson

        So with a tripod mounted at a fixed distance from the test chart with the constant lighting and fixing the maximum apertures will yield consistent test results? Under such controlled situation where there is a strong contrast, the intermittent problems of the lenses may not surface.

        Go do some field work please. And please shoot in low light. That’s where the assignments come in. Shoot some faces at different distances to the camera. Even in bright light, sometimes the 85mm f/1.4 fails to get a good focus although I can hear the beep from my camera body. Of course, D7000 could also have focus problems itself. I am guessing I have both.

        What no right to talk about inconsistency? Stop staying on the books man…

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Looks tasty. Sigma is supposed to be working on new versions of fast wide angle primes. That will be very interesting.

  • rich in tx

    Looks great. Too bad it’s Sigma. I used to be a Sigma fan until one by one my lenses started having serious problems, mostly with the focus motors. Then their prices started going up and they seemed to forget they are an off brand.

    • neversink

      I agree with you rich…. See my two comments several posts above yours….

    • Analyst

      Those of you complaining about Sigma’s autofocus, I’m sure you NEVER had a problem with a Nikon or Canon lens, right? Well I sure as hell have. All the lens manufacturer’s have problems with lenses failing.

      You guys should read Roger Cicala’s blog at Lens Rentals on their lens repair data.

      “Fanboys love to misuse the list above, and one of the common things I’ve seen is,“Brand X has the most (or least) lenses on Lensrentals’ high repair rate list.” Let’s keep it in perspective. There were 49 Canon, 39 Nikon, 18 Sigma, 15 Zeiss, 6 Sony, 6 Tamron, and 4 Tokina lenses eligible to make the list. The final makeup was 9 Canon, 6 Nikon, 3 Sony, and 3 Sigma lenses.”

      Percentage-wise, that’s 18% of their Canon lenses, 15% of their Nikon lenses, 50% of their Sony lenses, and 17% of their Sigma lenses making the list this year.

      Fellow Nikonians, note that the beloved Nikon 70-200 makes the “most repaired” list every year, as does the Nikon 80-400.

      • WoutK89

        Because those lenses are rented most often, is there a percentage for that as well Times Rented vs Repairs?

        • paf

          from their blog, one is lead to believe that this piece of data is more or less a constant in this experiment…

          ” But since all of our lenses are subject to roughly the same number of rentals per year, it does provide some comparison about how fragile various lenses are compared to other lenses.”

          interesting read – thanks for the link!

          • neversink

            Such baloney… or is that balogna??? Either way, you CAN NOT derive anything from repairs made on rentals. Do you know how hard pros are on lens, particularly those that aren’t their own. Man, I have had to shoot in riot conditions, tropical jungles, the freezing arctic at lest than minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit, in the desert with blowing sand. even if you stay in NYC the weather and conditions can be severe.

            I try to take good care of my rentals, but I have seen pros who just toss them and drop them. They don’t seem to care. And even though I care about what I rent, the conditions I have been in with the rentals take a toll on the lenses.

            However, i use my own lenses most of the time on shoots, and guess what, i have never had to repair a Nikon lens, except one I banged during a bumpy die in the bush….

      • 120-300 os

        Hey Analist you are totally right every brand has it´s problems one example nikon´s Rubber loses on there lenses and camera´s too d200 D2 D3 D3s D3x lens 70-300 vr i don´t have that with the older still good but slow sigma 170-500 5-6.3

        • neversink

          All I can say is my experience with the lens was awful… Great glass — lousy electronics
          And I am not the only one with the same problems from Sigma…. You can search the internet, as I did, to see the number of similar complaints.

  • kaze kaze

    Macro lens with OS… how efficient I wonder, once you add in the relative aparture to the formula, it sort of cancel it out really. That 86mm filter size, I don’t see a drop in filter slot at all, and I have only seen so many 86mm filter in real life makes my 52/ 62/ 77mm filters looks like a tree in a forest.

    As above had mentioned, Nikon really need to listen and start to roll out the long macro lens again, either the 70-180 zoom or the 200 f4 classic remake. Well, of cause is after they finally start shipping the D800 and D400.

    Hang on a bit longer there, you are doing great.

  • Kon_head

    At 86mm filter size, it is a Big-Mac !!

  • http://slrlounge.com Matthew Saville

    Yeah, I would have just been happy if the 50-150 2.8 OS would ship already!

    On another note, though, I’m definitely interested in this lens, although I’ll probably “settle” for the 150mm 2.8 OS Macro.

    To those who are wondering, it’s not so much about the HSM and OS for macro, but as a replacement to the 70-200 2.8′s as a low-light candid lens. Sigma’s original, un-stabilized 150 2.8 Macro was VERY sharp at portraiture / landscape distances, and I’d expect these newer ones to be even better. Especially for wedding photography, weight and space is always a concern. If I can avoid lugging around a heavy 70-200 2.8 AND a macro, sweet!

    =Matt=

    • http://www.bursafotovideo.ro/ Bursa foto

      I really need a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR equivalent for DX, so anything like 50-135mm, 35-135mm or 50-150mm would be highly appreciated.

      I think Nikon should pay attention to the advanced DX lens market.
      If not, other manufacturers could take advantage.

      I have the impresion that Nikon knows that a lens like that will sell very well, but they only want to protect the expensive FX market.

  • Nik Kor

    Very tempting indeed, but the little critters i shoot prefer Nikon lenses.

    • 120-300 os

      yes right but also iff they don´t see your digital photo but only a good on fotopaper people asked and said oh ofcourse nikon lens but is was made with an 170-500 non vr or os lens

  • Ralph

    I recently bought the 150mm Sigma Macro. I had the AIS 105mm Nikon but that was only 1:2 and weighed a ton. I wanted the Nikon 200mm but they refused to update it, maybe they will one day.

    In any case, the Sigma 150mm is so good in future I will certainly consider Sigmas in place of anything Nikon I buy. All my other lenses are Nikon or Nikkor – perhaps they could decide on one name? I cant fault the Sigma macro lens and it was half the price of teh ancient Nikkor 200mm.

    • neversink

      If it ain’t broke, why fix it????? But if you buy sigma, you will definitely be fixing it!!!!!

  • Rich Lanthier

    Sigma announces, and often releases about a year later… Wonder if it will be the same for this one?

  • CQQC

    MMM Why is this on NikonRumours, i wonder, looks like this lens is Sigma Mount only…:

    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/apo-macro-180mm-f28-ex-dg-os-hsm?link=jan_m_2

    The 50-150 OS version for Nikon was never produced neither, (Nkon started a lawsuit against Sigma last year about OS/VR technology, which might explain why..) .

  • Tony

    sigma may want to actually try to sell their dslr bodies with new releases of good lenses.

  • anonymule

    I don’t really understand why they made this lens. They’ve already got the 150mm f/2.8 macro. At any rate, that sure is a big lens! Almost impractical for macro. I’ve never actually owned an “actual” macro lens. I use an older zoom that already has a close MFD and an extension tube. With a crop frame, that’s macro on the cheap.

  • T.I.M

    Sigma make good lenses but they are sooooooooooooooo ugly !
    :)

    • PJS

      They look better when the photograph is IN FOCUS!

  • AM

    Whatever happened to the 50-150mm f/2.8 OS announced about 1 year ago? It has even been removed from Sigma’s web site.
    I kind of wonder if something similar is going to happen to this macro 180mm f/2.8, just announced but never hit the shelves.

    • Rich L

      Sigma often announces and takes a long time to market. Different strategy than Nik/Can who ann0unce and availability is typically quick to follow… Same with the 150 macro OS, which took forever to get to market after announcement…

      • AM

        What is weird is that during several months the 50-150mm f/2.8 was in the line-up on Sigma’s web page with a “Check back for pricing” tag on it. But, it’s not there anymore.

  • ereg
  • franze
  • broxibear

    Something odd going on with the prices of the Nikon 1 in the UK, over the past two days the price of J1 and V1 cameras has plummeted across all retailers (Jessops, Jacobs, WEX, Amazon, Calumet the list goes on)…
    Nikon 1 J1 + 10-30mm is now £359 it was £549 two months ago, V1 + 10mm is now £671 it was £879, other combinations have had similar price drops.
    The J1 was the best-selling ILC in the week before Christmas in the UK, it would have sold even more if they’d just started at these lower prices…the high price was one of the criticisms about the mirrorless models from Nikon.

    • http://www.domagojkovacic.com Domi

      Perhaps they earnd enough money as they plan so now they will drop prices :)

    • Dr Motmot

      Yep, something definitely odd about camera prices, just looking at the D3100 with 18-55 kit for a friend, was £400 in Nov 2011, now £480. I bought my D7000 in November for under £800, now is £950 on Amazon! What happened?

      • broxibear

        Hi Dr Motmot,
        I think the D3100 and D7000 prices went up because of the Thailand plant being underwater.

        • Dr Motmot

          How very inconvenient.

    • http://www.bursafotovideo.ro/ Anunturi Foto

      I was thinking to buy a Nikon mirrorless camera, but when I saw the prices I changed my mind for ever. I think DX+DX lenses is the the better way, when I want a lightweight setup.

    • CQQC

      the price of J1 and V1 cameras has plummeted across all retailers
      Yup , also here in the Netherlands.. Guess they are scared for the new Fuji X 1 pro ..

      mmm maybe not , this cam is anounced for 1700 US$ initially…

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    86 mm filter??? where do you get those, only from sigma. or is it a typo 85mm.

    • WoutK89

      nope, 86mm is the standard. I think 85mm is the odd number.

  • Jabs

    A little off topic – sorry.

    A reason why the D4 is the new generation Nikon Pro body in stills as well as video!

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/12/nikon-d4-hands-on-video/#continued

  • Gary

    And when was the last time Sigma announced the new 50-150 f2.8 OS HSM for DX cameras? And where is it now? So much for their “annoucements”

  • KitH

    CR guy reports that Sigma’s CES demo 180mm f2.8 macro lens has gone walkies from the Sigma stand.

    Apparently they only have two pre-production examples.

    It’s probably several time zones away by now, on an optical bench somewhere, being very carefully examined.

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