Sigma announces pricing and availability for 180mm f/2.8 macro lens

Sigma Corporation, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, has announced that the Sigma APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM will be available in the United States on July 27 for the street price of $1,699.

RONKONKOMA, NY July 13, 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, has announced that the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM will be available in the United States on July 27 for the street price of $1,699.
The new APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens boasts Sigma’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, the 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 excellent correction for color aberrations, and an inner focusing system enables this lens to photograph objects precisely throughout the entire focusing range. Overall length does not change during focusing.
“Macro photography is becoming quite popular and we’ve been growing our lineup of macro lenses as a result,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “We’re filling a gap in the industry by introducing the world’s first 1:1 180mm F2.8 lens to the market. The Optical Stabilizer technology and the larger focusing distance also provide photographers with more control for highly sensitive subjects that are on the move, like butterflies and insects.”
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 in backlit conditions. The incorporation of Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet and high-speed autofocus, as well as full-time manual focus override 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. It is also compatible with Sigma’s 1.4x EX DG APO and 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters.
To locate an authorized Sigma dealer near you, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/where-to-buy-sigma. To use Sigma’s new Lens Finder Tool to find the best glass to suit your needs, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/sigma-lens-finder. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit www.sigmaphoto.com, or follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.
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  • Pablo Ricasso

    Yeaaaa I want it.
    Yeaaaa I need it…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdYvr2QpC3E

    • Harold Ellis

      sigma and leading in one sentence…. PR at its finest

      • Remedy

        Sorry dude but I’d pick any macro Sigma over any macro Canon ANY day.

        • Harold Ellis

          lol

          let me guess, you are not pro and you are not shooting nikon.

          • Remedy

            Let me guess, You are one of those ignorant douches from…. UK (the doucheland) who thinks that only Canon or Nikon make proper glass. 70’s ended over 30 years ago, wake up princess.

            Define pro and I am shooting Nikon.

            Sigma 50 1.4>and 50 from Canon
            Sigma 85 1.4>and 85 from Canon

            Good day Sir.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

            If you’re a pro you should have enough money to buy Nikon or Canon for the build and glass treatment alone. Sigma will never last as long and hold their value, and i’m not from the UK.

          • Michael Laing

            Sigma optically have improved over the last few years and hopefully this will be a very good lens. From what I have heard the 150mm f/2.8 EX IF HSM is very good and I would guess that the 180mm will be similar.

            Unfortunately though, in my experience, Sigma build quality isn’t in the same league as Nikon or Canon. Also their quality control isn’t as great. I have owned 2 Sigma lenses and I have had issues with both.

            As for ‘doucheland’ comment, please grow up.

  • pointshooter

    Looks like a great lens for insects, probably a bit heavy.

  • The Fantastic G

    That’s good and all, but that kind of money I’d be eyeballing the Nikon 200mm f4 AF-S before this one.

    • Global

      You would want no VR, and f/4 instead of f/2.8? This lens replaces TWO Nikon lenses — the 180/2.8 Nikon (which has no VR and is not much great anymore), and the 200/f4 macro Nikon (which has no VR and is f/4, not f/2.8).

      2 lenses — not 1. If this lens is as sharp as Sigma’s other recent macro lenses, then Nikon had better come out with a 200/mm f/2.8 VR macro — and fast.

      • The Fantastic G

        The Nikon 200mm F4 is a very very fine lens. Top quality. There’s not another macro lens available for Nikon that tops it. I’m sure this Sigma will be a fine addition, but until many many samples and shots are online, then it’s just forecasting it’s performance. On the other hand, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of samples of the Nikon 200mm F4 out on the net. I, for one, have browsed many of them on flickr. I use a Sigma 150mm 2.8 EX HSM with a Sigma 1.4x TC on my D7000 for much of my macro shooting, and if this Sigma is at least as good as it, it’ll be worth at least what the Sigma 150mm 2.8 EX HSM OS is worth :D

        VR is moot the closer you get to 1:1 and Nikon tells you that you should not use it at 1:1 because it will most likely cause a degredation in IQ (just like Nikon says turn it off when it’s on a tripod). I shoot a lot of macro, A LOT, and I can tell you me and most of the people I know that shoot macro do NOT shoot at F4 or F2.8. We shoot at F8-F16 in which case a F4 or F2.8 lens is going to be sharp, but that Nikon is cream of the crop. Many of us don’t use the AF either. Personally, I do use AF on my Sigma setup, but I only use it to get close, then I fine tune it manually. The AF never puts focus exactly where I want it, so it always requires manual intrusion, even after it was calibrated for that lens.

        • Sky

          If quality of lens would equal number of samples then Canon kit lens would be the best glass in the galaxy.

          And if you think that VR is moot with 180mm macro lens then obviously you never touched it.

          Sigma proved that it’s capable of building superb lenses outmatching Nikons – whatever you like it or not. So I wouldn’t judge it through typical nikonian fanboyism (nikkors rule everything on any focal lenght – lol Nikon ignorants) and just wait for actual tests.

          • Jonathan

            1:1 and beyond with VR is useless, you really don’t know what you’re talking about if you think otherwise. It’ll be a damn good portrait lens at the range and aperture but these are but fluff when it comes to macro.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

            “Sigma proved that it’s capable of building superb lenses outmatching Nikon” – Hold on there sport, only 2 of their lenses is better than their Nikon counterpart and it’s the
            15mm F2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye and the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro, the rest you can keep. so if you want to swear by Sigma go for it, but as for built quality and glass treatment they will always lose to Nikon / Canon / Zeiss…

            I really don’t know what’s all the hype about f2.8 macro lenses when they excel at smaller aperture. Bokeh? Buy a DC lens :-)

    • nope

      There’s no such lens – the venerable Micro 200/4 is AF but not AF-S; and indeed incredibly slow to focus.

      • The Fantastic G

        Blah blah blah. You know which one I meant. If you didn’t, well, sucks to be you.

        • The Fantastic G

          I love double posts so much… :\

      • The Fantastic G

        Blah blah blah. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/66989-USA/Nikon_1989_Telephoto_AF_Micro_Nikkor.html <– Any macro shooter knows that is the lens I was referring to. If you didn't, sucks to be you :D

        • chris

          i really think you’re the only one who THINKS he knows what he is talking about.

          • The Fantastic G

            Clearly I am the closest to thinking I might know what I might be talking about.

    • Remedy

      Be sure to let me know when this lens will exist. For now all You can roll Your eyes on is 200mm f/4 AF-D not S. Thanks.

  • AM

    This lens will really sell around $1,100 in two or three months.

    • The Fantastic G

      For $1,000 I’d trade up from my current Sigma 150mm macro.

  • Not Surprised

    WOW, if this is a true 1:1 macro, they just slapped Nikon across the face — we’ve been asking — no DEMANDING this from — Nikon for this for a long time!!

    • Not Surprised

      It IS true 1:1 macro — Sigma does it again. Nikon should really step up and make a 200mm version right now.

      • Remedy

        Nikon has more urgent updates to make. 80-400 anyone?

        • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

          Sarcasm i hope? :-) Mikon is too busy having fun developing lenses for the “1” serie that nobody cares about and are losing ground with DSLR lenses.

  • Porkchop

    Good work Sigma, now how about at 24-70 2.8 os with a street price under $1,200

  • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

    Impressive, inddeed.

  • xatnep

    sigma had an awesome, classleading 180mm f3.5
    but discontinued it, probably didn’t like the f3.5 – 2.8 looks of course so much better. ;-)

  • Ken Elliott

    Looks nice. But I’d still lean toward the Nikon 200mm f/4 AF because it has an aperture ring, is super sharp. I don’t use AF on macro, and I shoot at F8 to F16 so there’s not a lot of advantage to the faster aperture. VR is useless on a tripod so that’s just something more to break for me.

    But I can see the bug hunters getting very happy about this lens. They can use VR and AF, so this might be a better choice for them.

    I wonder about re-sale value.

  • Pablo Ricasso

    They had a 180 2.8 a long time ago, not a macro. I saw one come available and then I read about it. Some people said it was better than the Nikon which I couldn’t believe, so I decided to send off for it and it was already gone. They also had a 180 f5.6 plastic macro lens which sells for around 100 bucks and is supposed to be good for the price. The 180 f3.5 is supposed to be really good, but not as much as the 150. This should be an incredible lens, maybe enough to get me to start carrying all primes sometimes again.

    But WAIT!!! I just followed the link and the front filter is 86 mm. Look at the lens and remind yourself of the filter size. That thing is going to be as big as a 70-200 all by itself. By comparison, my AI 200 f4 macro wears a standard 52 filter and really looks cute next to it’s twin 300 f4.5ed lens.

    But then again, macros are generally sharp beyond belief, even wide open. If it is sharp and contrasty wide open and the OS works, then I can use it instead of a 200 f2 which weighs twice as much. My ai copy is sharp wide open, but not very contrasty, and coupled with the narrow depth of field it makes shooting anybody moving much quite a challenge. That lens winds up being used at f2.8 or f4 most often, where it is beyond compare, largely for the quality of the bokeh. If this lens can match the ais 1802.8ed in overall sharpness, the 200 f4 macro in close up performance, and even come close the 200 f2 in bokeh, then it is worth the suggested price. Hopefully it won’t be so expensive in a few months. I wonder if they will have one available at the sigma shoot…

  • Rich in TX

    I dont know… I am a little wary of sigma. I have owned a couple and was not impressed with IQ or build quality. It felt ok for the first 6 months or so, but nikkors feel fantastic forever. I can’t see myself paying this much for a non nikkor…
    Am I missing something?

    • Remedy

      Wow, imagine all those poor idiots paying many times more for Zeiss or Schneider-Kreuznach. Admit that You know very little to none about Sigma macro lenses.

      • Rich in TX

        well, I did admit to that, I think. Your correct, I dont know about Sigma macros. But what I do know, from reading your previous posts as well as your reply to my comment, is that you are a douche.

        The other thing I know from using sigma, nikkor, zeiss and leitz, is that sigma is nowhere near the league of the others mentioned. For you to claim otherwise says all I need to know about you.

        • Pablo Ricasso

          Sigma does indeed make some of the worst lenses that I can think of. They make some that are OK. They make some of the best lenses that I can think of and they make some that other people don’t. I would avoid their wide angle full frame zooms, and most of the standard and short telephoto zooms are redundant with what is commonly available so I really can’t comment on them.
          If you need a wide angle for a dx camera, that is another story. They are as good as any or better. Their real strength is in their macro lenses and in their constant aperture zooms that go longer than 200. Their fast long telephoto primes are close enough to the quality of the best that many people would rather buy them and have some money left to go shooting with.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

        Well it’s not like Sigma is soooo great.

        Only 2 lenses are actual upgrades from Nikon in my case, their Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro and their 15mm F2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye.

        The rest of them you can keep…

  • Tracht

    Many insects and animals will not stay in one place for a photographer using a tripod and manual focusing. Flowers are much more willing to stay put.

    • Paul W

      Tell me about!

      I am very happy that Sigma is serious about macro togs. Nikon’s 200 offering is very dated as well as having a steam powered auto focus making it virtually unusable in many field scenarios. Their 80-170 is better but uses the same steam powered drive. the 105 and 60 are too short for my preferred subjects. Way to go Sigma!

  • Jim

    I’d rather see a Zeiss version – it would be manual focus (who needs AF for macro) and no VR (don’t need VR if you have it on a tripod – which is really mandatory for macro shooting).

    • Paul W

      “who needs AF for macro”

      I do – big time

      • Paul W

        Dont need a tripod though

        • Lcky

          Don’t need a tripod for macro like we don’t need a camera for photographs

      • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

        What kind of macro are you doing is you need AF big time lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

      Zeiss are great but only 1:2 as is :-(

  • Ralph

    Unfortunately Ibought the 150mm version a while back, I really wanted 180 but thought the IQ of the Sigma was better than the Tamron 180. If the 180 is as good as the 150, this will be a brilliant lens. Nikons 200 is similar IQ but the Nikon has physical issues and is really in need of an update. I like the Sigma with the VR and fast AF ( fast compared to Nikon 200 Micro). It works well as a telephoto when I don’t want to lug my 70-200.

    I might sell the 150 and move up.

  • RichMonster

    Looks good. I might just have to replace my trusty Sigma 150 with one of these. After many years of fine service the 150 is beginning to stick a little when trying to focus really close. It now needs a firm, fast flick of the focus barrel to get it to comply! Still as sharp as a tack, although I hear that since the Tour de France entered the Pyrennese, there has been a world shortage…

  • http://www.facebook.com/MarkWhitePhotographyProductions Mark

    Some of you really are unbelievable. If any of you have ever USED a Sigma Macro lens, you’ll know that they are, in every way (besides finish and PERHAPS build quality) equal to that of their Nikon counterparts; or better (AF speed). I’ve owned the following over the years:

    Nikon 105mm F/2.8
    Nikon 200mm F/4.0 (borrowed this one)
    Sigma 50mm F/2.8
    Sigma 70mm F/2.8
    Sigma 105mm F/2.8
    Sigma 180mm F/3.5

    I would take the Sigma 180 over ANY of them, including the Nikons. To charge $1000 more for the Nikon 200/4 is ridiculous. Build quality is better, sure. But, that’s mainly because the 180/3.5 still has Sigma’s Sparkle EX finish. The new line of sleek EX lenses look to be on-par with their Nikon counterparts. The 180/3.5 has Sigma’s HSM motor, which is incredibly fast and silent. Both are great to have for a quick preliminary focus to be fine-tuned with the grab of the focus ring.

    The 200/4 is, well, an F/4. This makes it much darker than an F/2.8 lens through the viewfinder. Add a teleconverter or extension tubes and the darkness is only amplified. Not such a great thing when you’re shooting bugs in the forest with a flash. The 3.5 isn’t much better at all, but the difference with the F/4 and F/2.8 will be noticeable.

    The use of a teleconverter with the F/4 is limited. Even if AF is not a concern, visually, it will be quite dark. Especially at 1:1 distances, in the jungle floor.

    The Sigma macro line really is the best overall group of lenses on the market if you ask me. You get FAR more for your money with them than you will with either of the big names. Should Nikon pop out a 200/2.8/3.5/4 Macro with AF-S and VR, the price will probably be around $2400/2200/2099 respectively, or higher. Not worth the extra dime when compared to the Sigma line.

    Mark

    • http://www.facebook.com/ronaldsanterrephotography Ronald Santerre

      “The 200/4 is, well, an F/4.”

      SO? If you want to use a lens wide open why buy a macro??? That 200 will blow out all sigma out of the water at small aperture (what macro is all about). However i do prefer the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro over the Nikon’s 105 macro big time!

      And yes the 200mm is worth over $1000 like you say and it’s not losing it’s value because it’s a tank and one of the sharpest Nikon lens, however your Sigma 180 you paid almost $2K will not last as long and keep it’s value down the line.

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