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Sigma 24-60mm F2.8 EX DG

Sharpness 
 9.5
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 9.5
Handling 
 8.0
Value 
 8.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
23 53,872 Tue December 9, 2014
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $264.86 8.74
Sigma 24-60mm F2.8 EX DG
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Description:
Full Frame DG lens
Filter thread: 77mm, non-rotating
Aperture Ring: no
Focus Ring: coupled permanently in AF, 60 degrees MFD to infinity
MFD: 0.38 m /1.25 ft
Aperture: Circular, 9 blades
Zoom lock at 24mm
Mount Type:
Price History:



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Senior Member

Registered: August, 2013
Location: Prague
Posts: 272
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sturdy, accurate, good quickness, good rendering, dependable
Cons: A bit heavy

I have used this lens now since April 2014 and it has not let me down. No whether inside or outside in varying temperatures and light conditions. It is responsive and dependable. Love the images I get from this tank like lens! You should be aware there is a lot of glass in this lens so it makes it heavy to carry in hand, however it is well balanced when come shooting time.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 38

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp, excellent bokeh, sturdy
Cons: none from my perspective
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax   

This excellent lens is my "standard", and is on my K10 almost all of the time.

In the Jurassic Era when I was a budding virtuoso, I shot Nikon, and used basically two lenses - a 35mm and 85mm f1.4. I've basically only used wides and teles when I needed them, and mostly stayed within the "normal" focal lengths. When I switched to Pentax (size, weight . . . I was using mostly medium format by then and my 35mm priorities changed), I used a 35mm, 50mm and 100mm, and little else, although I had just about everything under the sun. I never really liked zooms. I always felt that I got pictures that were better by walking around to get the best angle, rather than "framing" with a varifocal. So I never grew fond of zooms, though as I said, I had buckets of them.

95% of my shooting is landscapes and people, and thus, I don't need anything extreme very often - I'm a "normal" lens guy. When I went digital, I went Pentax because it was backwards compatible, and I could use my old lenses.

This Sigma was a revelation. It fits on my film Pentaxes, and is sharp as blazes because on the CMOS sensor, it is used in the sharpest central area. It covered the "normal" ranges I prefer, and its solidity and heft makes it easy to handhold. It is an f2.8, so it's going to be larger than your kit lens. It's an f2.8, so it's also going to be more useful in low light and indoors than your kit lens. It's sensible focal range means you don't have to deal with distortion or the perspective problems associated with wider lenses.

It is really (on the CMOS sensor) a 35-90mm constant f2.8. For me, perfect. It is exactly what I use AND IS THE ONLY ZOOM LENS I'VE EVER OWNED THAT I TRULY LIKE. If you are a "normal" lens person and want a great lens, this is about as close to an all round performer you'll ever get.

When I'm travelling, this lens is on the camera, and I carry a 17mm Tamron adaptall and a 100mm f2.8 Pentax macro in a small belt pouch. I don't need anything else. I highly recommend this lens.

Addenda: I thought I'd add a few shots taken with this lens to my review

The first one is in the Icefield Parkway in Alberta, at 40mm, 1/250th at f16 ISO 400, Pentax K10



The second shot is also i the Icefield Parkway in Alberta, same exposure at 24mm, Pentax K10





In Vanderhoof, British Columbia, 1/180th at f11, 55mm, ISO 400, Pentax K10




Some trout for the smoker, 1/125th at f8, 29mm, ISO 400, Pentax K10

   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 81
Lens Review Date: July 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $275.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp enough; good size; seems tight and well built
Cons: horrible lens cap; bit quirky focus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

Sharp from f4 and beyond.

Nice heft and compact size.

Zoom ring seems tight and snug.

Fast enough focus in simple situation but it sometimes seems to go with funny options.

Lens cap is ghastly - hard to use with hood off and impossible to reach the fiddly edge buttons with hood on.

I'd like the hood to have a removable bit for cpf.

Likely this lens will nearly live on k5ii for indoor glamour and outdoor walk around until Pentax release the 20-80 DA* :-)

Edit - after 3 months becoming very happy with this lens. Appreciate it relatively modest size for what it offers. Upped for 7 to 8. :-)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,407
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, saturated, well-built
Cons: could go wider

This is one of the few lenses I've sold that I regret selling. Frankly, it's a better lens than the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 I have now for a short zoom. Better sharpness, better color, and perhaps a better zoom range for my shooting.

If you can find it, I highly recommend it.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 1,235

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 16, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Constant f2.8 aperture, sharp at MTF
Cons: Sigma matte paint finish, extending zoom, big, 24mm not too wide

What I like about the lens:
- Nice wide aperture lens allows it to be effective in many situations.
- Sharp when set to the optimal aperture size and toward the wide angle (MTF, around f5.6).
- While Iím a bit critical of Sigmaís EX build quality (no idea what their newer lenses are likeÖ), It is nice for the most part. I remember being impressed back when my experience mostly consisted of kit lenses. It is solid and should last a long time compared to the basic plastic stuff.
- Provides the convenience of a standard zoom lens.

What Iím not too fond of:
- The lens isnít very strong at f2.8 compared to smaller apertures.
- It is pretty big and heavy for a standard lens if you are use to kit lenses.
- Not very wide angle.
- Build quality isnít even close to the metal Pentax lenses.

Conclusion:
This lens is not available new anymore, but can still be bought used occasionally. Depending on the price, Iíd say itís a strong performer as long as you try to stay within the sweet spot aperture and toward the middle of the zoom. Outside of that range, itís serviceable and will most likely still provide higher quality results than most kit lenses. The constant aperture is its biggest selling, but overall build quality and optics help complete the package. Not much else to say, but if the price is right and you want something better than standard cheap throw-away kit lenses, this might be the ticket.

Pictures and more info on my blog post about the lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 542

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $299.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Construction, sharp at most apertures and lengths, price value
Cons: Auto-focus noise, poor quality control, useless zoom lock

Introduction: I first acquainted myself with the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG when I became slightly disenchanted with my Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8 lens. The Pentax lens required some service to the SDM motor and needed calibration to achieve proper focus at infinity-distances. Could the Sigma serve as a viable substitute? My testing revealed some pleasing results and, while not a total replacement for the Pentax, definitely performed well in most rolls necessary for a "walk-around" lens.

At a Glance: The Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG has very nice "crinkle" finish that produces a matte-black tone on the surfaces of the lens and included lens hood. This is typical for EX-series Sigmas.

The zoom and focus rings have basic gripping ridges which are adequately textured for their purpose. It should also be noted that the zoom ring is significantly broader than the focus ring on the Sigma, whereas the opposite is the case for the Pentax DA* 16-50mm. I will touch on this subject again momentarily and how it impacts handling.

The Sigma is certainly larger than a typical kit lens, yet is not so large that it is intimidating. Aiming a Pentax 16-50mm can sometimes feel as if you are wielding a small howitzer. The Sigma is about 15% shorter in length than the Pentax (83.6mm versus 99mm) but still gives the impression of being a "serious" lens. Like the DA* 16-50mm, the Sigma uses 77mm filters.

Unlike the DA* Pentax, the Sigma's lens hood does not have a pull-out window for the purpose of making adjustments to polarizing filters. For most this will have no impact on deciding to buy a lens, but it is an absent feature if the lens were meant to be a replacement for Pentax glass.

Finally, the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG comes with a square, zippered lens bag for travel. My first thought was, "Why square?" Even with the hood reversed on the lens there is a lot of empty space unused in the bag. Still, the bag is well made and rigid enough so that it does not collapse. There is also a useful belt loop on the bag. Attaching the bag to the hip provides a sort of holster to use when swapping lenses in the field, assuming one of the lenses is not some kind of super-telephoto variety.

Handling: Perhaps the single most notable characteristic when using this Sigma lens is that its zoom and focus rings function with the opposite effects found in Pentax counterparts. Turning the zoom ring clockwise zooms in to the subject. Turning the focus ring clockwise focuses towards longer distances. Turning these rings clockwise on the Pentax DA* 16-50mm zooms away from the subject and focuses at shorter distances. While not really a strike against the Sigma, it is notable if the photographer has used all Pentax glass up to this point and then needs to pause to get used to the contrary operation. Other Sigma lenses function in the same way.

For me, the proportioning of the zoom and focus rings were just right. The zoom ring had a broader, rubberized gripping area on the lens body, making it easier to operate. Using middle and index fingers, along with my thumb, turning the zoom ring was easy. With my DA* 16-50mm and a relatively narrower zoom ring, I would frequently touch the focus ring first by accident before re-positioning my fingers on the lens body, often throwing the lens out of focus, even if just by a bit. This is also partly due to the fact that the Pentax lens has a freely moving focus ring, even when used in auto-focus mode. The Sigma, on the other hand, solidifies the movement of the focus ring, making it much harder to "bump" the focus out of alignment. In any event, photographers with large hands or gloved fingers should not find handling the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG difficult. Everything is properly spaced.

Dampening on the zoom ring is sufficient without being too stiff. My copy of this lens makes a soft squeak during operation, but the movement is smooth and even across the full zoom range. The focus ring could use more dampening, but does not feel uncomfortably loose.

I was perplexed by the small zoom locking switch found at the 11:00 o'clock position on the base of the lens. The switch can only be enabled when the lens is set to the 24mm position. I have never found myself wanting to lock a lens in a particular zoom setting, and since the zoom ring is so well damped the lens does not exhibit any detectable zoom creep. Perhaps such an issue may arise with further use, but that has yet to be determined. If the lens could be locked at various zoom intervals, say 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, then maybe I could see the point. It seems Sigma wants this lens to be either free-range all the time or limited at its widest angle.

Image Quality: Of course, the lens is worth nothing if it can't render decent images. The Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG, like any modest-zoom range lens, has its strengths and weaknesses. In the end, however, the Sigma represents good performance and very good value considering its low average price tag circa 2010. At the time of this review, the lens has been available since mid-2004, but was discontinued about four years later.

Like many "standard" zoom lenses, the Sigma produced somewhat soft images at its widest aperture, f/2.8, when zoomed to its longest length, being 60mm. Center resolution was fair, but corner sharpness left something to be desired. The center and corner sharpness were also found to be slightly soft at shorter lengths, though it is not as noticeable. The primary strike against Sigma's image quality at f/2.8 is a sort of "mushing" of the details when viewed on a pixel-peeping level. Black-on-white shapes in test charts give the viewer an impression of looking at something through misty eyes.

The good news is that using the Sigma 24-60mm lens at any aperture from f/4 on drastically improves image quality at seemingly any zoom length. Even at its longest length using f/4 produces good center resolution and fair-to-good corner sharpness. The "misty eye" effect completely abates by f/5.6, yielding quite excellent sharpness from edge to edge of the frame.

Most lenses demonstrate a certain level of barrel distortion at their widest end, and in this case, Sigma does not break from the pack. At 24mm the distortion is rather mild. A typical sequence of brick-wall images at the various focal lengths demonstrates this. From around 35mm on there is virtually no distortion, not even perceptible pincushioning at the long end. I can see this lens being used for most situations with the exception of perhaps architecture in which the absolute minimum distortion is desired. Of course, one might also conclude that, more importantly, such a lens should not even be considered for architecture because of its limited wide angle.

Chromatic aberrations also need to be considered when choosing a lens. Luckily, the 24-60mm Sigma performs well. The weakest performance is seen at the widest angle of the lens, which is standard for most zooms. High-contrast, contra-lighting in scenes are always the culprit here. Fortunately, the levels of red/cyan fringing can be well controlled with most image editing software for this lens. Longer focal lengths set one or two stops down from the maximum produce images that practically free most distracting aberrations.

Nine rounded aperture blades produce a pleasant, smooth bokeh effect in images with limited depth-of-field. Out-of-focus highlights do not appear to have any distracting, hard-edged "rimming", which can be an effect found in images made by other lenses.

In my humble opinion, Pentax's lens coating for combating flare is second-to-none, though Sigma's own formula does a fair job against stiff competition. Yes, including strongly angled sun light or brightly back-lit objects softened the overall image contrast in tests. However, this is not a disaster for most lenses in the same class as the Sigma EX.

Other Thoughts: Throughout this review I have regularly compared the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG to the Pentax DA* 16-50mm as a possible replacement. While I can not say the Sigma is an outright doppelgšnger for the Pentax, I will give it high marks as a very fine walk-around lens. A small still-life test using both lenses at the same settings demonstrates the Pentax lens has a slight edge in local contrast, but the Sigma performs admirably well.

In some ways I would describe the two lenses as cousins. The Sigma shares Pentax's generally high construction quality and feels "just right" in the hand. Both lenses are moderately bulky, though the Sigma is slightly lighter and shorter. The Sigma feels properly balanced mounted to Pentax's larger camera bodies like the K-7. On a light body such as the K-x it may seem slightly end-heavy.

Maybe the biggest disappointment with the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG in my experience was a moderate back-focusing issue. This echoed the very frustration I had with the DA* Pentax it was meant to replace. Making some modest changes to my DSLR's AF Adjustment settings allowed for some very nice test images.

The speed of the auto-focus mechanism is certainly no slouch, although it's definitely audible. Because the auto-focus is driven by the screw-type connection on the DSLR body it produces a somewhat unpleasant whine. Sigma's HSM technology is not present in the Pentax-iteration of the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG. For most this fact is no deal breaker, but if you are spoiled on Pentax's silent USM drive you may wince the first few times you use the lens.

Finally, it is my opinion that the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG can not really be judged based on its focal range. For years I got by using a 35-80mm lens mounted on my film SLR and this lens exceeds that equivalent length on my APS-cropped DSLR. The range is useful, even giving its user a little extra zoom than most kit lenses. This can be nice for portraits.

Conclusion: Considering the out-of-production status of the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG, the lens can be hard to locate at times, but the 2010 resale value is rather affordable for a "fast" lens in this class. The original MSRP hovered around $500-$600, but today one can be had for about 50-60% of that price. Because the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG does not have silent auto-focus or weather sealing it might not have demonstrated stratospheric value at its original price tag. However, this optically-good lens with an unusual focal range (by current standards) earns very good marks as a worthwhile and capable foundation to any photographer's glass collection.

Ratings:
8.0 - Sharpness
8.0 - Aberrations
9.0 - Bokeh
7.5 - Autofocus
9.0 - Handling
8.5 - Value
8.3 - Overall

Below are some thumbnails linked to a gallery with a few images made in downtown Lancaster, PA along with some test images, all of which were made using the Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG. The first few images are shots of the lens itself and lens bag.

   
New Member

Registered: June, 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, good colors, usually easy to find cheaper than most 2.8 zooms
Cons: off-focuses @ wide, difficult to manual focus like most zooms

After using a Pentax DA* 16-50/2.8 for so long, I eventually found that the lens needed to be sent in for repairs. Looking for something even remotely equivalent in my budget, I had the chance to find KEH selling this model for what I would consider a song. Considering its zoom ratio to be much more respectable compared to most fast standard zooms, I figured it would be difficult to believe it would be bad.

The 24-60mm/2.8 lives up to its EX name by being fast and sharp at all ranges. With an equivalence of 36-90mm on an APS-C sensor, itís not a perfect range, but is usable for most of the press work I have been involved in and some concerts. While not entirely capable of the borderline closeness of some zooms, the lens has a comfortable range that makes it usable for many different things. There is no real notable distortion with the lens and the colors that are rendered from it are brilliant, if a tiny bit cold at times (which works perfectly with the already slightly-warm cast of the K20Dís sensors).

One notable issue I find in using the lens comes in the autofocus, which is snappy, but I think slightly inaccurate when used wide. The viewfinder is not bright enough to make manual correction easy, but using it stopped down at any point beyond wide dramatically improves results regardless. People may also remark on the weight, but I find it to be slightly lighter than the 16-50mm and despite this, it still feels balanced on any of Pentaxís midgrade bodies.

I donít normally use the lens at this moment, mostly because the wideness of the 16-50mm has much more utility for my normal work, but if I can find a proper adapter for it, I would gladly use it with a NEX-5 as a backup for shooting under available light. I am still keeping the lens as a handy backup regardless.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Posts: 44
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp everywhere
Cons: Range is limited a little

Better all around sharpness than my Sigma 24-70/2.8 and lighter also. Got it to eventually pair it with the Pentax 60-250/4. AF is decent but not great. one of my prime walk-around lenses, as I don't do too much WA work. Smaller filter size than the 24-70 a bonus.
Kent Gittings
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Posts: 1,291
Lens Review Date: March 26, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Extremely well priced, fast, size for a fast lens, pretty well built, overall sharpness
Cons: Body sucks in a little dust, not great at 24mm (still OK), chromatic aberrations at f/2.8, zoom creep

This has been by far my most used lens for about a year. I got it as a standard fast zoom. Some people maybe prefer a 16,17 or 18-50mm range instead. I probably would too, but this lens was amazingly well priced compared to later 24-70 and the 18-50 models. It was literally 1/3 price of the latest 24-70. I chose it over the now 2nd generation 24-70, as it was meant to outperform it.

Compared to other f/2.8 zooms in this range it's decently compact. Not sealed or HSM but seems pretty well built. However, over a year of use I've found that the lens has sucked in a bit on dust I can see behind the front element, and it can exhibit some small front/back-focusing at different focal lengths. Zoom creeps, if you point it down it will go straight out to 60mm. Has a lock but only at 24mm. Have found focus speed pretty decent.

Bokeh is usually pretty good for a zoom too, but can get a bit average and busy, especially at 60mm. Quite a bit of chromatic aberration at f/2.8, mostly gone half a stop down. Lens is overall very sharp. Not so good at 24mm or f/2.8, but still pretty good. Still seems good at 60mm. Extremely sharp at its peak.

Overall a pretty damn good lens. Price to performance ratio is unmatched from any fast zoom I know of. Can outperform much more expensive options, although the best zooms in the range will probably outperform this one optically to a small degree.

Very useful lens with overall very good performance. Highly recommended.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 915
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, sharpness, colors, contrast
Cons: big and heavy

I really wanted to give it a 10, but I think 9 is more appropriate.

The lens feels substantial when attached to the camera, which can be both a positive and a negative. It feels like quality, but it's pretty heavy. From my test shots I saw nice crisp contrast and great color, and very good sharpness even wide open.

I now am using this as my go to lens for everything off the tripod. I don't use it on the tripod since mine isn't very good and the weight of this lens causes some issues.

Overall image quality from this lens has been fantastic, and at $190, it has been a fantastic value and I feel it's worth much more than that. If you see one in the marketplace...do not hesitate...it's worth every penny.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2007
Location: steel city / rust belt
Posts: 2,042
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: n/a
Cons: n/a

not a review - some pictures of the lens, just in case





gallery w/ some "brick walls" (shoot wide open)

http://foto.ixbt.com/?id=album:19697

   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 206
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, contrasty, decent bokeh, IF
Cons: focus ring rotates during AF, and short throw

This is a great zoom lens. It has pretty fast AF, and I think it's pretty sharp even wide open. Considering its f2.8, it's not too heavy either.

I only have a few gripes. Compared to my 28mm f1.8, the focus ring and distance scales are a big step down; it rotates during AF, and the distance scale isn't in a window (this is just nitpicking).
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
Posts: 168
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $239.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: warm colors, sharp, large constant aperture. well balanced with my K100D
Cons: none i can think of yet

very happy with it. would recommend it to anyone. i'm glad i chose it instead of getting a kit lens. it is much more vivid than my other lens which is a tokina 20-35/3.5-4.5
   
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, Big constant aperture, good build quality
Cons: heavy

Great lens for low light use, and also with studio light. 24mm may not be too wide on a dslr but it is good enough for me
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,704
Lens Review Date: December 7, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, price price; wide-open performance; price!
Cons: None that I can think of

I've been touting this lens since the day I got it. This is my most used lens and probably my favorite, even though I have a few highly regarded lenses in my kit.

It very sharp wide-open and extremely sharp when stopped down a bit. It compares favorably to the DA*50-135 which I use as the companion lens to the Sigma. The transition between the two lenses is seamless. Although not a macro, it focuses closely enough to shoot flowers as well as any lens I own. This is a very good lens which yields images that hold up very well to heavy cropping.

Here's a link to a thread with some early images from this lens:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/35721-sigma-ex...-60mm-wow.html
Add Review of Sigma 24-60mm F2.8 EX DG



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