Sigma 28mm F1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF MACRO A-mount lens review by jimbo

reviewer#2274 date: May-8-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28/2.8, 24/2.8 RS, 24-85 RS, Tokina 28-80/2.8
price paid:100 GBP (used)
positive:I find it usable wide open
Feels good to use
Wide well damped focus ring
Performs well
Pleasing bokeh
Quite sharp wide open
Popular 'large' filter size of 77mm - fits into my lineup.
negative:Large & Weighty for a 28mm
Couple of minor QC gripes
comment:I liked the look of it, so went for one off eBay, despite the lack of info around.
I've not used it much, so will append this as I use it more.

The reason to get a lens of this speed, (as I see it) is to use it wide open for the differential focus effects. Here I've found it performs superbly for what is actually quite a cheap lens.

It can focus very close, 1:2.9 - so your subject is almost touching the front element. If you then shoot wide open, you get a splendid rendering of the defocused areas.
I would go as far as to say it is sharp wide open, much sharper than the Tokina zoom. With a touch of selective SmartSharpening, the subject really pops out.
I've not studied my shots at 'normal' apertures (around f8) in detail, but they look as good as anything to me.
It's a chunky lens and handles well. The MF ring engages by pulling it back in the usual Sigma manner and is well damped allowing accurate control of MF.

Now for the bad: to most it is large and heavy. Personally, I have become accustomed to large pieces of camera equipment, so it seems small in relation!
On my sample the front cell is ever so slightly loose - you can hear it rocking as you walk with it mounted. Doesn't seem to affect images though. Also it front focuses by a few mm, but not severe and I use MF in critical situations anyway. Due to these issues not being severe I don't know if I'll bother sending it to Sigma.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 17
  • sharpness: 4.03
  • color: 4.06
  • build: 4.24
  • distortion: 4.24
  • flare control: 3.94
  • overall: 4.10 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania