Sigma 28-105mm F2.8-4 Aspherical IF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 12   
reviewer#40956 date: Oct-28-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Most of the Minolta 28-80 & 28-100 lenses
Minolta 24-105mm
Sigma 28-70mm
Plus lots of other Minolta and Sony lenses.
price paid:£39.95
positive:Compact and light for a fast zoom
f2.8 at 28mm, f4 at 105mm.
Good zoom range, especially on FF
Mostly quite sharp at full aperture
Brilliant sunstars
Geometry and CA well controlled
Good MFD
non-rotating filter thread
useable with TC
negative:very stiff uneven zoom
slightly weak around 50mm
72mm filter thread
comment:I’m not in general a big fan of Sigma’s film-era lenses as they often seem poor in comparison to Minolta’s, but this rather late one seems very good.
Physically it is a nice size and shape, and feels a bit lighter than the Minolta 24-105 though it is has a larger front element and thus the corners don’t vignette as heavily at full wide as the Minolta. The focus ring is easy to use in MF though the gear noise is off-putting, and the zoom ring is very stiff on my copy (especially if you grip it tightly), not nice at all.
Optically the lens mostly behaves itself well on APS-C with a proviso. Firstly the centres are sharp wide open at all focal lengths, and the corners are very good at 28mm wide open (f2.8), pretty sharp and with only a little CA at 100% crops. At 70-105mm the corners are a little weak wide open (100% crops again) but sharpen up at f5.6-f8. At 50mm corners are soft right the way up to f8 which is disappointing, and this is the weakest focal length. However the good performance at 28mm and f2.8 make this noticeably better than the Minolta 28-80 and 28-100mm lenses, most of which have quite poor corners until you stop down. I would say this sigma beats the 24-105mm in sharpness some of the time, though the Minolta is more consistent – you can take any picture wide open at any focal length and know it will be useably sharp everywhere.
Geometry is very good. Horizontals near the top edge show some complex distortion, especially at the wide end, which won’t be easy to correct in PP but it is small enough not to bother me most of the time.
I would have given it a 4.5 for sharpness if the 50mm corners had been as good as at other focal lengths, but if you use 50mm a lot then you can always carry a prime along too.
It is an internal focus design with no rotating front, and though there is some reduction in focal length at close focus it is only slight and restricted to the closest focus end. Focus also stays pretty constant as you zoom in or out.
One of the attractions of the Sigma range of film-era lenses is their use of a hexagonal iris with straight sides, which gives strong and very clean, sharp 6-sided sunstars on point light sources, which later Minoltas can’t seem to match with their curved 7-sided iris. This one will give decent sunstars from f4.5 onward on streetlights at night, which allows sun-stars hand-held, though if you expose for the dark areas you may get some flare as well.
As a cheap film-era lens I think this is more likely to be chosen by cost-conscious APS-C users than the FF fraternity, though the 28mm wide end isn’t really very wide there (I prefer 18 or 24mm); however the 105mm end can be very useful.
The relatively fast aperture for such a useful zoom range does make it useful on FF and film even into the evening.
On FF the corners look a little worse, but I feel FF users (whether digital or film) are less likely to need heavy cropping in the corners, and those intending to make large commercial prints will probably not be using this lens; even so the corners are not bad at all compared with many lenses.
But at the wide end the corners are pretty good at f4 and overall the lens seems as sharp at 28mm as a 28mm prime.
Bokeh is really rather good, especially on APS-C where the Ff capability ensures that blur circles remain circles (and not cat's eyes) well into the corners. Bokeh is very smooth most of the time, rather like the Minolta 50mm f1.7. Aspheric lenses are reputed to suffer onion-ring bokeh due to micro ridges in the aspheric element but I see no sign of that here, and the fact the lens is about a stop faster than many of the competing lenses means you can get some narrow DOF fun even at wide angle on APS-C, which is rather nice.
So, it looks like this lens could be a regular fit on my cameras, especially if I want some twilight sunstars.
reviewer#29641 date: Jul-27-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon EF 22-55 USM
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Canon EF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 USM
Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 & RS
Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Tamron SP 24-135 F3.5-5.6
Sony FE 28-70 F3.5-5.6 OSS
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD
Sony 28-75 F2.8 SAM
Tamron SP 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di
Tokina 28-80 F2.8 AT-X Pro
Minolta AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta AF 28-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Canon EF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 USM II
Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 & RS & Xi
Minolta AF 28-135 F4-4.5
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5/New
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-200 F4.5-5.6 Xi
Tokina AF 35-200 F4-5.6 SD
price paid:40 USD (used)
positive:Compact size
Light weight
Internal focus/non-rotating filter thread
Very decent performance over entire range
negative:Low Contrast (veiling glare?)
Backward zoom direction
Short throw, stiff, uneven zoom mechanism
Short throw, noisy manual focus
Barrel distortion at 28 mm
72 mm filter thread
comment:This lens was released in 1996 replacing the 28-105mm F4-5.6 UC model. The original suggested retail price was $240 but $200 seems to have been the actual street price. This one is simply marked Aspherical--no "IF" or "D" or "DG" lettering on the barrel. It borrows the lens ID of the Minolta AF 28-135 F4-4.5 lens just like the earlier Sigma 35-135 F3.5-4.5. "Made in Japan"

I purchased a second copy that looks new but has an alignment problem.

It really is quite compact and light for offering a range from 28/2.8 and 105/4. It is lighter than the Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 not to mention the 28-105 F3.5-4.5. The 72 mm filter thread diameter is unnecessarily large.

Optically it is a small improvement over the slightly larger, heavier Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5. The controls and feel however are definitely a step down. The focus plane is similarly curved unlike the Minolta AF 28-135 F4-4.5. It matches the half meter minimum focus distance of Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5. The distortion at 28 mm is very similar to the Minolta AF 28-xx zooms. The aperture blades seem to be straighter than either version of the Minolta.

The 28 mm F2.8 primes have slightly better central sharpness and contrast wide-open and less distortion, but performance across the frame is similar.

Test chart comparison with the Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 and others.
reviewer#9870 date: Jan-31-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-105
Tamron 24-135
price paid:105 EUR
positive:Sharp enough wide open, very sharp stopped down
Cheap considering the performance
Fast autofocus
Internal focus
Beautiful bokeh
negative:Plastic feeling
Fiddly focus ring
comment:Pretty underestimated lens I think. When you get used to the mechanical feeling of it, it is a pretty decent performer. I love the colors and the bokeh. The much used plastic is a plus for me too, since it makes it light. Personally I think it is very sharp, especially when you stop down a to f8.
reviewer#9618 date: Nov-22-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105N
Sony 18-70 kit lens
price paid:80 eur shipped (used)
positive:Cheap, nice range even on aps-c (for me), quite fast, reasonably sharp, nice bokeh
negative:The rubber finish is prone to scratches
Sigma quality construction...
comment:This is a nice and cheap lens, quite fast for its focal range. The lens is also quite sharp, especially when stopped down a bit.

The only real problem is with the contruction, my copy broke the autofocus mechanism after just 3 weeks of use (20 days of very light use and the last day I broke it after taking my 690th pictures of the day... -.-)

Now I'm happily using it on my nex 5 in manual focus mode, but I'm quite disappointed because my minolta lens has endured a lot more work with no fail.
reviewer#8757 date: Mar-7-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80
Minolta 35-70 F4
price paid:100 Eur (used)
positive:- cheap
- 2.8 at 28mm
- lightweight
- very good colours
- Fast AF
negative:None for the price paid
comment:I was mainly using my CZ 16-80 and bought this accidentaly due to 2.8. Compared to CZ this lenses looses the wide open and build quality, but I love the bokeh on 2.8. In the daylight/cloudy daylight is very good performer, but indoors performs not that well, even at 2.8. Definately a keeper due to value vs. price.
reviewer#7995 date: Sep-19-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Similar Mnolta AF lenses
price paid: 40 GBP
positive:Sharp
Colour
Lightweight
negative:Filter size
comment:This lens is a 'sleeper'. Not far behind the original Minolta 35-105 with the obvious exception of build quality. Useable wide open. Very sharp stopped down. Excellent colours. Definite 'keeper'.
reviewer#6600 date: Dec-17-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20mm. f2.8; Sony 18-70 (kitlens), Minolta 35-70 f4, Minolta 35-80 (kitlens)
price paid:130 EUR
positive:Quick AF, weight, sharpness in both ends
negative:f2.8 only at the beginning; not as wide as desirable, flare control, 72mm. filter size
comment:Sometimes my Alpha300 doesn't recognize its electronics, I have to put on another 8-pin lens before the Sigma.

I like its sharpness, very good in both ends. It has lovely colours too.

A good walkabout lens. May be not wide enough... 24mm. would be better... or 20mm. ;-)

IMHO, a good value for money.
reviewer#6275 date: Oct-27-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Many others.
price paid:
missing
positive:Decent IQ for very attractive price. Fast focusing.
negative:2.8 only at short end.
comment:Decent IQ for this aging lens. Surprisingly FAST FOCUS on A700 with hunting only in low light.
reviewer#1476 date: Nov-25-2006
sharpness: 1
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 2.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-105/3.5-4.5
price paid:
missing
positive:Inner focus
negative:Where's the sharpness?
Cheap plastic look and feel
comment:I acquired a used, Non-DG-Version. The one I own is VERY soft open at 105mm, needs to be stopped to 5.6 or 8.0 to get useful pictures. The Minolta 28-105/3.5-4.5 is a much better choice!
reviewer#1250 date: Sep-28-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-85 3.5-4.5, KM 18-70 3.5-5.6.
price paid:$179 USD New
positive:Decent price, F/2.8, useful focal length range, flower hood, internal focus, quick and precise AF.
negative:72mm filters, chintzy focusing ring, F/2.8 only at 28mm, strange flash behavior.
comment:I picked up this SIgma on closeout at a local camera shop and it's a decent sample.

ERGONOMICS:

The lens has a plastic build, rubber zoom ring, plastic focusing ring, and metal lens mount. it feels solid mounted on the 5D. The zoom ring moves well with no hitches, and there is no zoom creep. The focusing ring is another story. It lacks the nice rubber ring of the zoom ring, and though it is ribbed for good feel, it would be much better with some rubber. The ring is a little clicky too, but nothing out of the ordinary for mechanical coupled lenses. The bayonet mount flower hood is easy to use and doesn't interfere with filters. The 72mm filter threads mean expensive filters but you can use polarizers very easily.

The autofocus is surprisingly quick and accurate for a lens of this class. Quieter than the Minolta 28-85 original by far.

Focuses down to about two feet, but no macro capability.

IMAGE QUALITY:

The lens takes acceptable pictures of decent sharpness and color quality. The DOF is incredibly shallow at f/2.8 and the images do not have the best of sharpness. The lens hood does a good job at controlling flare, but this version of the lens lacks the new digital coatings and I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes as far as flare goes. Stopped down, like most lenses, its sharpness is very good. Distortion is another story and is the achilles heel of the lens. 28mm has edge distortion, but not as bad as the 28-85 Minolta. Still, shooting a golf green at 28mm shows a curved pin - not too fun!

Color and contrast seem decent enough. I also haven't really noticed much chromatic aberration. There is some at the tele end, but it's not as bad as the kit lens. That's really the story of this lens - it's an acceptable performer. It doesn't really excel except perhaps at offering f/2.8 at a nice price.

One last word, though - I'm not sure if this is the 5D or the lens, but I'm banking on the latter. When you use it with the flash, its behavior with selecting apertures in either program or shutter priority is kind of borked. Using P or auto mode, it will default to F16. Using S mode, it will always use the widest aperture regardless. This yields some... interesting results with the on-board flash. WIth the 3600HS, the F/16 setting actually produces pleasingly exposed images in close quarters. It may just be the chip on my lens, and Sigma service might fix it. But so far I will use only aperture priority when using the flash.
reviewer#257 date: Dec-4-2005
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:good range for walk-about lens. Perhaps not exactly wide enough.
Good access to manual focusing ring.
negative:I find the sharpness quite disappointing on my 7D. Something I didn't think was the case on my 800si
comment:It is good value for money. It's on my camera most of the time when I shoot indoors.
reviewer#246 date: Nov-27-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-105, 28-135, Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX-DF and Tamron 28-200
price paid:
missing
positive:Good, overall sharpness. Usable wide open, improves as you stop down. Versatile, light lens and easy on the wallet.
negative:Build quality
comment:I traded this lens when I bought my 7D, so I never had the opportunity to try it on digital. I used it primarily on a 600si and I was always pleased with its performance. Sigma zoom tend to take good pictures but have build issues, even EX lenses. This lens is one of those. You will like the results but the feel can be termed "acceptable," certainly no worse (or better) than the 28-100 Minolta. If you can get one at a low price and have 72mm filters already, you should, be happy with it.
reviews found: 12   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 3.92
  • color: 4.42
  • build: 3.42
  • distortion: 4.08
  • flare control: 4.08
  • overall: 3.98

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