A new macro lens is highly requested it seems, in spite of Sigma already covering all relevant focal lengths and price points with the EX lineup.
Sigma macro lenses
|50mm f/2.8||70mm f/2.8||105mm f/2.8||150mm f/2.8||180mm f/2.8|
|Dimensions (mm)||71.5 × 64||76 × 95||78.7 × 126.4||79.6 × 150||95 × 203.9|
|Weight||320 g||525 g||725 g||1,150 g||1,638 g|
|Min. Focusing Distance||13.5 cm||25.7 cm||31.2 cm||38 cm||47 cm|
|Working Distance||7.1 cm||16.2 cm||18.56 cm||23 cm||26.61 cm|
|Special Glass*||None||3 SLD||2 SLD||3 SLD||3 FLD|
|Diaphragm Blades||7||9||9 (rounded)||9 (rounded)||9 (rounded)|
|Status||Discontinued||Discontinued||In Production||In Production||In Production|
“Minimum focusing distance”: from the sensor plane. “Working distance”: from the front of the lens, w/o lens shade.
* From Sigma: FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass is the highest level low dispersion glass available with extremely high light transmission. This glass has a performance equal to fluorite glass which has a low refractive index and low dispersion compared to current optical glass. FLD glass offers superior optical performance, equal to fluorite, at an affordable price. ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass has lower dispersion characteristics than SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass, which Sigma has been using in its APO lenses (and some non-APO lenses as well) for many years now. It has other advantageous properties as well.
So what’s possibly coming?
When a manufacturer starts a lens line for a given type of shooting, the most used focal length usually comes first. For macro, it is around 100mm. This alone makes a 105mm DG OS HSM Art (Sigma is from the 105mm “consortium”) a likely opener.
But with no less than 8 options to choose from, the 100mm macro segment is one of the most crowded of the market, so Sigma has to come up with a perfect package to stand out. That means top-notch optical performance at all apertures and distances, and an effective stabilization.
An original but not-too-niche design would help. How about a 120 or 125mm? The longer focal length enables more working distance and diffused out-of-focus areas, without making the lens overly large and hard to maneuver. Make it as good as Voigtländer’s superb 125mm Macro APO-Lanthar, and have a winner that everyone will refer to as the Sigländer.
More seriously, in terms of focal length coverage, this is probably not the best choice – a 120-150-180mm offering would be too dense, not to mention that prospective (non-macro) 135mm f/2.
Something Sigma could do to differentiate and garner attention is a 2:1-capable macro lens. We can see that the newly released Venus 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra-Macro lens picks the interest of macro enthusiasts.
Another idea is to keep the glass but update everything else, just like Sigma did with the 120-300mm f/2.8 EX OS HSM. The 70mm f/2.8 EX and 180mm f/2.8 EX Macro would be suitable candidates. They really don’t need any optical modification, just the usual Global Vision refinements. Given the reasons why the 70mm was discontinued, I don’t see this happen with that lens though.
In the end – reasonably – I’d wager on a regular 105mm with 1:1 magnification.
What do you think, or want?