Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HS M Macro £330, $620
High-end features, bargain UK price
Despite being inexpensive to buy (in the UK, at least), this Sigma lens is packed with high-end features. It has fast and quiet ring-type ultrasonic autofocus, a dual-mode optical stabiliser with both static and panning modes, and an autofocus range limiter that can lock out either the short or the long range. It’s supplied with a hood adaptor for increased efficiency in DX shooting, and a padded soft case.
Optical highlights include two SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements, similar to Nikon’s ED glass, and Super Multi-Layer Coatings to reduce ghosting. The aperture is well-rounded thanks to a nine-blade diaphragm. For full 1.0x macro shooting, the working distance between the front of the lens and the subject is 15cm, which is much more convenient than in the Nikon 40mm and 60mm lenses.
Performance is excellent in all respects. Our only slight criticism is that sharpness could be better in the extreme corners of the image frame. Even so, the Sigma produces stunning macro images and is a joy to use.