Lens review

Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

20 September 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII. In the case of that camera the decency level is situated near 30-32 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses can get as high as 44-46 lpmm.

Let’s have a glance at the graph below to asses how the tested Sigma fares here.

Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro - Image resolution

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When it comes to the frame centre, it would be difficult to express any reservations. Already at the maximum relative aperture the image is sharp. The peak of its possibilities the lens reaches by f/5.6, where we have a result of less than 44 lpmm. These values are excellent indeed. There’s just one but…both the Canon 2.8/100L IS and the Nikkor 105 mm VR by every aperture ranging from f/2.8 to f/5.6 seem to be by 1-3 lpmm sharper. On stopping down further the diffraction evens out the results of all lenses.

By and large we can say exactly the same about the performance on the edge of the APS-C and full frame sensors. The Sigma provides a fully useful image even wide open and on stopping down its resolution results can be only described as very good. The problem remains the same – the Canon is still by some small lpmm better. The Sigma rivals with the Nikkor here in a more efficient manner for a change; it is noticeably sharper near the maximum relative aperture and it becomes especially pronounced on the edge of full frame.

To sum up, when it comes to the resolution both in the frame centre and on its edge the Sigma’s performance is sensational. The only snag is that its most serious rivals fare there equally well or even slightly better from time to time…

Below we present our test chart crops taken from the frame centre of JPEG files.

Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro - Image resolution