Sigma Lenses, etc

I’m still relatively new to camera scanning, but am getting good results with a Sigma Art 70mm, minus the need for vignetting correction. I read on that close up lens review site that the 105mm Sigma is supposed to be better, but I’m wondering if it is noticeable? They did not actually do a direct comparison of the two. Another site had resolution tests of each, but taken on different cameras with a disclaimer that you cannot compare the results from different cameras (???).

If one were to be super-obsessed with the best possible quality, but would stop short of adapting a process lens, what is the best lens out there for scanning (Sony mount)? I’ve read nice things about some Voigtlaenders as well, so where do those fit?

Lens tests are hard to evaluate because we rarely get all the details about how the lens was set.
Changing magnification can change quality and not many manufacturers or testers publish figures like the MTF charts shown on this site:

Will differences show? Depends on whether you use 12 Mpixels or 60 Mpixels and how much of these you waste because the negative’s aspect ratio might not match your camera’s. Some preprocessing might help improve the looks, try e.g. DxO PureRaw.

I have a decent number of macro lenses:

  • Sigma 150mm f/2.8 1:1
  • Sigma 70mm Art f/2.8 1:1
  • Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 1:1
  • Canon RF 85mm f/2 1:2
  • Olympus Zuiko 80mm f/4 1:1 Auto
  • Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/3.5 1:2
  • Olympus Zuiko 135mm f/4.5 (forget the mag)

And I can tell you, the Sigma 70mm Art is so extremely good that it is basically pointless to lust after the 105 for image quality only. Such an “upgrade” will only get you a sharper view of individual film grains. It may indeed be sharper, but my point is that the 70mm is already superbly sharp. In fact I more often use a vintage Zuiko 80mm for film scanning on a 45MP sensor (Canon R5) and it is not as good as the Sigma, but even that is still more than enough for scanning IMHO (I like it because Oly made a nice film copy bellows attachment for it). I would have to make huge prints for the sharpness difference to be perceivable.

One big advantage of shorter lenses for copy work is that any vibration at all in your setup becomes magnified at longer working distances. So long as all else is held equal and you are backlighting your film, a shorter lens is better when it comes to scanning. Of course the difference between 70mm and 105mm is not massive, but just pointing out that the 70mm is well suited for copy work.

All that being said, by all accounts the Sigma 105mm is a top notch lens, so if you want it, don’t let me stop you! I’d be more interested in it for its increased working distance and better autofocus.

1 Like

The 70 is definitely impressive, and has this nice micro-contrast “pop” to it. I’m in no hurry to upgrade, but if I found a deal on the 105, curiosity might get the better of me.