Sigma launches the 70mm f/2.8 Macro – their first Art series macro lens

Feb 27, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Feb 27, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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This is the first of a number of new announcements from Sigma today. They’ve finally added a macro lens to their Global Vision Art series lenses. That lens is the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art. With an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22 and offering up to 1:1 magnification, this lens is likely going to be a big hit with macro fans.

While this is a full frame lens, it may be of particular interest to APS-C shooters. On Sony crop bodies, for example, it will offer the same field of view as the popular Nikon 105mm f/2.8VR Micro-Nikkor does on full frame. But it does it with a little more of that depth of field which is oh so scarce at macro distances. Unlike previous Sigma Art series lenses, this one’s available for native Sony E-Mount, too. Although, surprisingly, not Nikon, according to the press release.

As we’ve come to expect from Sigma’s recent lenses, the 70mm f/2.8 Macro is compatible with Canon’s Lens Aberration Correction and all Sigma teleconverters. It’s also compatible with Sigma’s EM-140 DG electronic macro flash, although you will need an adapter.

So, full specs…

  • Focal length: 70mm
  • Mount: Sigma, Canon, Sony E-Mount
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Minimum focus distance: 25.8cm (10.2″)
  • Magnification ratio: 1.1
  • Diaphragm: 9 blades, rounded
  • Optics: 13 elements in 10 groups
  • Weather sealing: Dust and splash-proof mount design (except for Sigma version where it’s on the body anyway)
  • Dimensions: 70.8mm x 105.8mm (2.8 x 4.2″)
  • Weight: 515g (18.2oz)

So, a couple of things. First, a minor one. In various places throughout the press release, the filter thread diameter is shown as both 49mm and 72mm. 72mm would be kind of tricky, though, given that the lens itself is 70.8mm in diameter at its widest point. So, one has to assume that the filter thread is 49mm. Although looking at the images, it’s entirely possible that it may contain both, to cover multiple uses.

The other is the rather obvious omission of Nikon in the mount list. This may come as something of a blow to Nikon DX shooters who were hoping to get 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor-like field of view & performance on their 1.5x crop bodies. Of course, it could simply be a typo.

Overall, it seems like a nice looking macro. A little short for my own tastes, but nice nonetheless. And it should be, it’s an update to the rather legendary (for pre-Art Sigma) Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG. The new update should hopefully see it shine even more, especially given that you can fine tune this one with the Sigma USB dock.

This is also one of nine lenses announced today in a native Sony E-Mount flavour. No longer do you need to get Canon EF mount lenses and use them with the MC-11 adapter. You can just throw it right on your Sony body. More on those other 8 lenses later.

As with Sigma’s other Art series lenses, the 70mm f/2.8 Macro is compatible with the TC-1401 1.4x and TC-2001 2.0x teleconverters, offering 98mm and 140mm full frame equivalent field of view respectively.

So, if you’ve been hankering for an update Sigma Art series macro, you shouldn’t have long to wait. While no official pricing or release date for the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art has been announced yet, Sigma are calling it part of their “Spring Lens Series”, so hopefully it won’t take too long.

Hopefully, Sigma’s next macro will be 200mm, and available for Nikon, too.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Sigma launches the 70mm f/2.8 Macro – their first Art series macro lens”

  1. steven_nc Avatar
    steven_nc

    I use the the 60mm 2.8 micro as my go to portrait lens on DX. There really wasn’t a Sony alternative until now. I wish it was faster, but this might be the beginning of an a6500 system.