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Sigma reveals APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM full-frame 1:1 macro lens

By dpreview staff on Jan 10, 2012 at 00:00 GMT
Buy on GearShopFrom $1,499.00

Pre-CES: Sigma has announced the APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, an image stabilized telephoto macro lens. The company claim it is the first 180mm macro to combine 1:1 reproduction with an F2.8 maximum aperture. It offers a closest focusing distance of 47cm (18.5 inches) and includes the company's optical stabilization and 'FLD' fluorite-like glass elements. An internal focus design and ring-type HSM focus motor allow full-time manual focus override. Pricing and availability will be announced later.

Press Release:

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 and LAS VEGAS, NV 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.

The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas, NV, where Sigma Corporation is exhibiting this week in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall at booth 8960. The company also announced the launch of a new product line and two new lenses that are specifically designed for use with Micro Four Thirds and E-mount mirrorless interchangeable lens camera systems. The pricing and availability of all of these new lenses are pending.

To locate an authorized Sigma dealer near you, visit To use Sigma’s new Lens Finder Tool to find the best glass to suit your needs, visit For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit, or follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.

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Total comments: 27
By frilansfotograferna (Jan 25, 2012)

Would like to compare this with my Nikon 200 f2,0 to see how they differ. Sigma 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM provides a 1:1 scale and features a closest focusing distance of 47cm. Nikon 200mm f2, 0 gives a representation ratio of 0.12 and a focus distance of 1.9 m.

By 3dfx4ever (Jan 12, 2012)

It's important to understand if implemented OS is "normal" or optimized for close distances (like Canon Hybrid Image Stabilizer)...

If it is normal OS (as I believe), Sigma decided to introduce a 180mm for both macro and portraits (also for the f2.8 aperture) with all risks that such kind of compromise has...

By chris_j_l (Jan 10, 2012)

Normally Sigma give a mount compatibility roadmap (eg Nikon, Sigma first, others later) with the announcement. All info on the Sigma site suggests it is Sigma SA only (oh for a K version)

By KingDon (Jan 10, 2012)

20mm F1.7 (40mm eqv) is the most popular lens on M4/3. Sigma 30mm (45mm eqv on APSC) F2.8 will give identical DOF and low-light performance on APSC that M4/3 gets with 20mm F1.7.

How is that crappy? Looks perfectly fine for Nex.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By chris_j_l (Jan 10, 2012)

@KingDon - I'm sure you are very correct, but what has that got to do with anything I wrote and anything to do with the Sigma 180/2.8 Macro this discussion is about?

Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (Jan 11, 2012)

"F2.8 will give identical DOF and low-light performance on APSC that M4/3 gets with 20mm F1.7. "

5mm and 1/2 a stop difference, still close

By J.K.T. (Jan 10, 2012)

I simply can't figure out what is the point of having both this and 150/2.8 OS.

Jan Madsen
By Jan Madsen (Jan 10, 2012)

Just like what's the point of having both a 24 and a 28mm in the catalog. Choice. I have the Sigma 70mm macro, the 150mm would complement it nicely, someone having a 100-105mm might find the 180mm a good second longer macro.

Not the first time Sigma had a 180mm f2.8 macro though, so it's kind of revival, with all the modern additions of course.

1 upvote
By SteB (Jan 10, 2012)

Yes, I thought I remembered a Sigma 180mm f2.8 in the old film days. I think it only went to 1:2 though, and not 1:1. I had the cheaper 180mm f5.6 version which was actually a really good lens, and very compact for a 180mm lens. That definitely only went 1:2, but if I put the 1:1 converter (a close-up lens) from my Sigma 90mm f2.8 macro on it I could get well over 1:1.

Currently I have the 70mm f2.8 and the older non-OS 150mm f2.8. It's very good and with the 1.4x converter you hardly notice any difference. The 70mm f2.8 is a bit sharper wide open, but my copy of the 150mm is not that far behind. I'm tempted by these OS versions and I'm sure that eventually I'll find a way to justify it.

Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Jan 10, 2012)

I have used the old Sigma 180mm f/3.5 and I thought f/3.5 opening was more than enough as I rarely used that lens wide open. So f/2.8 is almost useless unless it is used for taking portraits.

1 upvote
By alexst4 (Jan 10, 2012)

... "wide F2.8 aperture to allow faster shutter speeds for narrow depth of field" ..
Man, how narrow do you want it? at 2.8 and 180mm at macro distances it's got to be razor thin. You need more depth of field, not less. I bet it weighs like a brick too. Quality may be good, but the rest is a total overkill for my needs.

By MPA1 (Jan 10, 2012)

I have a Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar f2.

DOF at F2 in macro is about the thickness of a credit card, I think!

By botw (Jan 11, 2012)

A brighter viewfinder is very useful in macro shooting regardless of whether you are stopped down...

By FritsThomsen (Jan 10, 2012)

There are NO quality issues with Sigmas macrolenses :) You should allways use manual focus anyway so front/back AF with cameras of other brands is a non -issue with macrolenses.

1 upvote
By thx1138 (Jan 10, 2012)

Sigma macros are great, I have the 150 f/2.8 and it's a stellar lens, with fast accurate AF and top notch IQ. This new lens is very appealing. I'm guessing it'll weigh over 1kg, more like 1.2kg though.

1 upvote
By BJN (Jan 10, 2012)

And of course you should only use a macro lens for macro photography because it improves Sigma's quality ranking.

Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 10, 2012)

hopefully sigma get their quality issues sorted one day......

1 upvote
By WildSammy (Jan 10, 2012)

The newer lenses like 85/1.4 or their telephoto lenses and some macro primes are working without issues on Canons/Nikons and are pretty competitive. In general their primes are much better than their zooms :-)

Neil Morgan
By Neil Morgan (Jan 10, 2012)

Sigma lenses are far higher quality than years ago.
They have lots of lens which are as high quality as any of the other companies and indeed some excellent zooms which are unique as well.
Anyone writing off sigma lenses obviously hasnt tried some of their latest lenses.
Their macros have been extremely well received by all users and this will be right up there no doubt.

By MPA1 (Jan 10, 2012)

It will be a long while before they get my dollars. Only Zeiss or Nikkor will do for me.

1 upvote
By Edgar_in_Indy (Jan 10, 2012)

Okay, thanks for letting us know.

By HeezDeadJim (Jan 10, 2012)

I can attest to the quality Sigma has now. I used my Canon 50mm 1.4 till I accidentally dropped it and looked to replace it. I went with the Sigma version instead. The Canon version was wonderful, but I rarely opened it up larger than 2.2. The Sigma version is sharper and usable at 1.8 (should be since I paid more for it than the Canon version)!

With the advent of Sigma's 30, 50, and 85mm....they really started to get on par with their counter 1st party versions (in some cases better than them).

Sigma shouldn't be scoffed at now since they do have good IQ on certain lenses. It doesn't always pay to be brand loyal to your specific camera make.

By motobloat (Jan 10, 2012)

Word up. Sigma's quality has gone way up in recent years.

Read reviews of the 85mm f/1.4, the 50mm f/1.4, and any of the new Macro lenses - pretty incredible.

Sigma also gets big points for innovation - they are actually trying new things instead of releasing slightly newer versions of the same old stuff (I'm looking at you Nikon 85mm f/1.8).

For example, the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS. Nikon STILL hasn't released a lens like this for their system, and the old Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 costs twice as much with no stabilization!

Or what about the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS - read some reviews on that one. Amazing piece of kit for wildlife and sports, and no one else makes anything like it.

Currently I have the Sigma 85mm, 50mm, and 17-50mm. One of their new OS macro lenses is next on my list, unless the 50-150 OS comes out before that.

By AbrasiveReducer (Jan 12, 2012)

Sigma macro lenses are perfectly fine. Of course, so are everybody else's. Other than a 50mm f/1.8 there isn't a much simpler lens than a macro. It's when Sigma gets more ambitious that they get into trouble.

By Ratatosk (Jan 12, 2012)

Edgar_in_Indy said: "Only Zeiss or Nikkor will do for me."
LOL, I just love the thought process of brand geeks. Doesn't matter what the results show.

Like many others have said, Sigma prime lenses are nowadays just as good as any other so called "top brand" name, especially the macro lenses and I would go so far as saying that some of Sigma's macro lenses are better than Canon's and Nikon's.

1 upvote
By dleemans (Jan 10, 2012)

Cool, no doubt it will be a great lens, but I bet the price will be "great" as well, cfr the 150/2.8 OS.

Davethe man
By Davethe man (Apr 8, 2012)

I am keen to see just what the price is and would love to own this Sigma for me really is as good as other brands

Total comments: 27