Here's our review of the versatile Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | Art zoom lens...
For many photographers, the most coveted walkabout focal length is 24-70mm, with most major manufacturers offering lenses at this range due to its extreme versatility. While own-brand lenses have often been the go-to for anybody looking for premium quality, Sigma has just released its own 24-70mm f/2.8 in the widely acclaimed Art range.
Featuring the excellent build quality found throughout the Art collection, this new lens comes with Sigma’s traditional quality, housing 19 elements in 14 groups, including 3 SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and 4 aspherical elements for optimum results, as well as 9 rounded diaphragm blades that result in beautifully rounded bokeh in the out of focus areas. This also impacts the chromatic aberration, which is virtually non-existent in even the highest contrast scenes, as well as vignetting, which is faint but disappears by f/5.6.
The body itself, weighing in at a rather chunky 1kg (heavier than Canon and Nikon’s alternatives) offers Sigma’s OS image stabilisation (which puts it a step beyond its own-brand contemporaries), which can be selected on the side of the barrel. This adds an extra level of value to the Sigma, which is already retailing at slightly less than both Nikon and Canon versions. It also includes the newly modified HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which works amazingly well, offering fast and accurate autofocus. Even in low light the hunting was kept to a minimum.
At the wider focal lengths, the centre of the image is sharp at f/2.8, with the corners being slightly softer (though still impressive) until f/5.6. This level of sharpness does start to decline when you get towards the minimum aperture, with defraction setting in quite noticeably at f/22. However, when you’re using this at 70mm, the corners are noticeably softer than the centre throughout the range, though still perfectly usable. We also found that 24mm was susceptible to noticeable barrel-distortion when used close to your subject. The same is true at 70mm, with some light pin-cushioning being visible.
Apart from a couple of minor qualms, this lens is excellent value and offers a versatile bit of glass, with the image stabilisation giving it a clear advantage in low-light performance over its rivals.
- Versatile focal length
- Wide maximum aperture
- Build quality
- Image stabilisation
- Heavier than its main competition
- Suffers from slight barrel and pin-cushion distortion
Find out more at the Sigma website