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Sigma 24-70/2.8EX DG DF

SOLD AT 2005-03!!!

This is my first lens for Canon EOS system. I chose it because I wanted to have better quality lens than Canon's "consumer"-lenses are. Canon 24-85/3.5-4.5 was my second choice, but since it was one stop slower and wasn't able to give sharp picture wide open, it wasn't good enough to fulfill my needs.

Main concern with Sigma lenses is Sigma's poor quality control; you might get a good copy or a lemon. This is the reason why I bought the lens from local shop. I tested the lens in shop thoroughly before buying.

Sigma 24-70/2.8EX DG DF is as sharp as it gets from F3.5 to F11, F2.8 is usable but sharpness and contrast are little bit compromised. In Canon EOS D30 diffraction decreases sharpness in smaller apertures than F11. Generally this lens seems to be little bit sharper on the wide end than in the tele end of the zoom.

Contrast and colors are good. After using lens one month it seems that the Hoya Super HMC Pro 1 decreases contrast considerably. The hood is optimized for full frame cameras (of course) and it seems that the lens is about 1cm deeper than the filter. Filters glass diameter is 82mm when the actual lens diameter is only 55mm. These might affect to the decreased contrast when using UV-filter to protect the lens.

Bokeh of this lens is pretty good for a zoom. Highlights form circular shapes to background. For some reason the bokeh is much better on tele end, in wide end the bokeh is harsh. In tele end the background is nicely blurred, very good for portraits (in D30 70mm lens will be equivalent of 112mm lens in fullframe system).

Build quality of the lens is very good even though it's made of plastic. It's easy to use and the weight stabilizes your camera & lens system. I have taken some handheld photos at 1/8s with this lens at the wide end with great success. The lens becomes longer when zooming to wide end and shorter in tele end. Sigma could have used similar hood, which is used in Canon EOS 24-70L(and 28-70L). This kind of hood is attached to static part of lens and while lens changes it's length while zooming to the tele end the effect of hood increases because the front element is more recessed.

If you want to manual focus you have to switch AF/MF selector to MF and then pull the focus clutch to MF. The manual focus is very good, even better than in my Pentax SMC-M lenses, the resistance is just right and range is long enough. Sadly D30's viewfinder is so small and it doesn't have any focusing aids.

Autofocus is pretty fast but very noisy. The noise isn't very big if focus changes just a little bit but when the focus goes from 0.4m to 3m it makes terrible noise. Sometimes I manual focus to near correct distance and the autofocus for accurate focus, just to avoid the noise. I wish Sigma would have used HSM in this lens.

Macro performance is pretty good. Lens can focus to 40cm in all focal lengths.

Soft case was also delivered with the lens. It's very good quality and can be attached to your belt. Also hood, lens cap and cap to the another end were included. I newer understood why Canon haven't included hood, tripod collars etc. accessories to their lenses and you have to buy them separately.

- Sharp
- Good value for your money
- Nice bokeh
- Macro performance (for a normal zoom)

- Flare is problem while using filter
- Enormous 82mm filter size (expensive filters)
- Sigma quality control, test before buying
- Noisy AF

Photos in my picturebank taken with this lens

Huuhaakuukausi 2nd, 2009