Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#46907 date: Dec-15-2022
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: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
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Sony FE 24-70 F4 ZA OSS
Sony FE 24-105 F4 G OSS
Tokina 28-70 F2.8 AT-X
Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Di III RXD
Sony 28-75 F2.8 SAM
Tamron SP 28-75 F2.8 XR Di
Tokina 28-80 F2.8 AT-X Pro
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sony FE 28-70 F3.5-5.6 OSS
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
Tamron 28-200 F2.8-5.6 RXD
Tamron 28-200 F3.8-5.6 LD
Tamron 28-300 F3.5-6.3 XR & Di
Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5/New
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Tokina AF 35-200 F4-5.6 SD
Minolta AF 35-200 F4.5-5.6 Xi
price paid:615 USD (used)
positive:Size and weight
Overall image quality
Quiet and quick AF
negative:Backwards zoom direction
MF switch
Lack of seals except at mount
comment:Having been impressed by the Sigma 100-400 DN Contemporary zoom, I decided to try this small, varifocal normal F2.8. The design is similar to the Tamron RXD lenses. I tried the Tamron 28-75 RXD in a store when it was first released. It seemed ok, but I wasn't very interested in it. This lens is smaller and lighter and seems to have more emphasis on rendering. "MADE IN JAPAN"

I picked up the 1980's Tokina 28-70 F2.8 AT-X at the same time. The Tokina has better rendering than most of the normal SLR zooms I've used, especially the late Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 SLR lenses. This Sigma is much better aligned. It is both sharper and has even smoother backgrounds.

It is another varifocal design like the Tamrons, but the electronic focus compensation works pretty well. Varifocal lenses are problematic for tracking action while zooming.

Like most other E-mount lenses with these, the "AF" position of the AF-MF switch is mislabelled. This position merely allows the focus setting on the camera to apply including MF. Meanwhile the "MF" position always overrides the camera. While this switch requires a considerably amount of effort to switch, there is no way to disable it without dissembling the lens.

This has quickly become my favorite casual zoom. It is smaller and lighter than the 24-105 G OSS and 28-200. It feels much nicer to use than those or the 28-60 kit zoom. It does extend to zoom, and the zoom action is not as smooth as the Sony FE 28-70 OSS. It also lacks optical stabilization, but Sony's SteadyShot Inside works fine with it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.45 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania