Sony Alpha Rumors indicates Sigma has been attempting to put out to market a 105mm F/2.8 macro, but is not quite satisfied with the autofocus performance. We may see this lens at the end of the month. Sigma now makes an impressively gargantuan 105mm F/1.4, which is thought by some to be the best portrait lens available currently, for those strong enough to lift it.
Macros are infamous for having difficulty with autofocus due to the nature of the depth of field available when autofocusing at maximum aperture to provide enough light. Most vendors are OK with sort-of-adequate autofocus because serious macro users generally usually use manual focus, or special focusing rails, etc.
But the Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS L Macro that came out a decade ago changed some expectations. That lens autofocuses decently, and as a result is a popular – and quite good – portrait lens. Sigma’s extra time in figuring out the focus mechanics may indicate they are going after this hybrid market.
A great deal of macro competition has joined the market in the past two years, led by Chinese maker Venus/Laowa, which has introduced some innovative designs, like super wide angle macros and underwater probe macros; none of which have autofocus.