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Hands-on: Sigma's World First 1:1 180mm F2.8 Macro Lens

Hands-on: Sigma's World First 1:1 180mm F2.8 Macro Lens



Hands-on: Sigma's World First 1:1 180mm F2.8 Macro Lens

At CES this week, Sigma announced their new Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, which is the world’s first 180mm macro lens that offers a magnification ratio of 1:1 and a large maximum aperture of F2.8.

It's the successor to Sigma’s earlier 180mm F3.5 EX DG macro lens. The new 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. The OS feature is touted to enable users to use shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, enabling handheld close-up photography. Three “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements are included to provide correction for color aberrations, and an inner focusing system minimizes aberrations that occur as shooting distances change.

As with most of Sigma's lenses, it's equipped with the Super Multi-Layer Coating feature which helps reduce flare and ghosting. It is also incorporated with Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) which 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 insects.


 

Specification for the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens
Lens Construction 19 Elements in 14 Groups
Angle of View 13.7° (For SD1 : 9.0°)
Number of blades 9 pcs (Rounded diaphragm)
Minimum Aperture F22
Minimum Focusing Distance 47 cm / 18.5 in.
Maximum Magnification 1:1
Filter Size Diameter 86 mm
Dimensions Diameter 95 mm × Length 203.9 mm / 3.7 in. × 8.0 in.

At Sigma's booth, we managed to pick up the prototype lens for a brief round of tests on a Canon 5D Mark II. 

The lens construction itself feels sturdy and it's pretty heavy, likely weighing over 1kg. However, thanks to its optical stabilization feature, most shots would still end up sharp even if you have to shoot without a tripod.

Here's a random shot of a visitor at Sigma's booth as well as a macro shot.

There's still no indication of pricing and availability at this point of time.