Originally published March 2005.

Sigma’s first from-the-ground-up digitally optimized macro lens (i.e., not retrofitted for digital application) throws a full-frame image circle. Result? On a 35mm SLR, it delivers 1:1 magnification, but on a DSLR with an APSsized sensor, it delivers 1:5:1-1:6:1 overlife- size magnification. It’s also the shortest fixed-focal-length that will mount Sigma’s 1.4X and 2X teleconverters (although AF isn’t possible with the 2X).


At almost 5.5 inches long and 2 pounds (with tripod collar), this lens will strike many as big. Compared with similar macro optics, such as Sigma’s 2.5-pound, 180mm f/3.5, however, it’s svelte. The barrel is finished with Sigma’s matte black “Pro” surface, and features distance and magnification scales. A focus limiter has settings for full, 1.7 feet to infinity, and 1.1-1.7 feet; the latter comprising the range from 1:1 to 1:2. The broad, ribbed rubber manual-focusing collar’s action is well-damped through a long turning radius — well-suited to precise focusing. AF is quiet and accurate, if somewhat slow.


SQF data were across the board excellent, with virtually no discernible distortion as determined by DxO Analyzer 2.0 tests (minimal 0.34% pincushioning). Light falloff was gone by f/4. At the close-focusing distance of 15 inches (1:1), center sharpness was very good at f/2.8 and otherwise excellent. Corner sharpness was identical, except for f/22, which was very good. Optimum performance at f/8.


Unusually fast for a macro tele (most macros longer than 105mm are f/3.5 or f/4), this lens will please nature photographers who will reap edge-to-edge sharpness for their close-ups and faster shutter speeds that help freeze wind-blown flora and squirrelly fauna.


150mm (149.82mm tested), f/2.8 (f/3.04 tested), 16 elements in 12 groups. Focusing turns 260 degrees counterclockwise.
• Diagonal view angle: 16 degrees.
• Weight: 1.71 lb.
• Filter size: 72mm.
• Mounts: Canon AF, Nikon AF, Pentax AF, Sigma AF.
• Included: Lenshood, tripod collar, softcase.
• Street price: Approx. $629.