Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro A-mount lens review by PMacinSeattle

reviewer#3025 date: Dec-3-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-135 4-4.5
Minolta 28 2.8
Minolta 50 1.7
price paid:429 USD (new)
positive:Very sharp center wide open
Edges very sharp by 3.5
Colors are magnificent
Contrast outstanding
Build very solid
Useful macro
negative:Zoom ring too small and to close to body
AF good but HSM would make lens superb
very big for range
comment:I have been using the much loved Minolta 28-135 as my walk around lens since I bought my A100 (my first SLR of any type) in Oct 06. I had a lot of problems with that lens but after an overhaul I fell in love with it.

In my opinion, the Sigma 24-70 is better. Why:

1. for me, the 4mm at the wide end is much more useful than the 65mm at the long end which is better covered by the beercan anyway.

2. the Sigma is as sharp as the Minolta by 4.5 (wide open for most of the minoltas range) but gives the option of over one stop more light is required.

3. the sigma's colours easily match the minolta but its contrast absolutely slaughters it.

4. I can focus on things inside 5 feet! yay!!!!

Just about all these comments apply equally to the two primes, the 50 1.7 and the 28 2.8. The 50 is still useful in being really compact and even faster but thats its only advantage. The minolta 28 2.8 is really a waste of space now and I'd sell it if it was worth anything.

I spent a long, long time agonising over this purchase. Sigmas reputation for dodgy QC, comments over the lenses size, predictions of new Sony glass etc etc all conspired to delay the buy.

Eventually Sony didnt come through with new lenses, I was getting increasingly frustrated with the limitations of the minolta, I got to try this lens on my camera (albeit the older DF version) and sigma came through with another lens I wanted (the 100-300 f4) so I pushed on and bought it.

Since then I have not regretted my decision for an instant. And the minolta is now consigned to my lens bench (possibly to be sold in a few months).

I now have an all Sigma core line-up (20, 24-70, 100-300) and have been over the moon with the build and image quality.

But all that said the lens isnt perfect:

1. I'm a fan of the EX build generally but in this instance the design of the zoom ring could be better.

2. AF is OK but these are big pieces of glass and would really benefit from HSM. I would love to hear how this lens performs ont he A700 BTW.

3. Some people have rated flare control as a problem for this lens, after the minolta 28-135 (which really was poor at dealing with flare), I'd say this lens isnt great, but isnt that bad either. My assessment bounced between a 3 and a 4 for this grade but after a weekend of successful shooting in the first snowfall of the year I decided a 4 was more appropriate.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 46
  • sharpness: 4.36
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.59
  • flare control: 3.83
  • overall: 4.35 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania