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Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM

Reviews Views Date of last review
7 63,686 Mon December 24, 2012
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $739.83 8.86
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM

Weight: 790 g / 27.9 oz
Length: 94.7 mm / 3.7 in
Filter Diameter: 82 mm
Min Focus: 38 cm / 15 in
Max Magnification: 1:5.3
Horizontal FOV: 84.1 - 34.3 degrees
Horizontal FOV on Digital: 56.1 22.9 degrees
Max Aperture: F2.8
Min Aperture: F22
Optical Construction: 14 Elements in 12 Groups

Note: When HSM equipped models of Pentax lenses are attached to camera bodies that do not support HSM, AF will not function.
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM
Price: $899
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-7 of 7

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,668
Lens Review Date: December 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Significantly better than Pentax 16-50
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

Compare this lens side by side with items such as the Pentax 16-50. The Sigma wins on most every count.

Pentax has major quality and construction issues with both the sdm and zooming mechanisms of what is one of their flagship lens. Yet Sigma outdoes the Pentax; at a better price and considerably more reliable (and faster) hsm.
New Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: London
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: July 29, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $395.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid Build Quality & Sharp at F.2.
Cons: Weight, Price & Bokeh.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Autofocus: 7    New Or Used: New   

This is my first lens after my initial kit lens, of course it is a massive difference but that don't mean I have to kiss it's ass, there are negatives to this lens too.

Firstly I did get this lens for a steal $395, the cheapest from the rest of the reviews and I am sure plenty of other people before me! Brand new of course, but that was a one off steal in general the price is a negative, still can't get hold of it under $400!

The vignetting and CAs are very low. The only real issue of the lens aside from it's weight is it's bokeh, it is just not nice! The speed and reliable autofocus is a positive, and the build quality is amazing, feels great to hold.

Although it is not weather sealed my GX20 is now only half water proof so to speak with this lens .

Sharp at F2, top lens! But you have been warned bokeh is ugly!
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 274

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $824.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharp from f/4, great zoom range, fast and accurate focus, good color saturation
Cons: not so sharp at f/2.8 (maybe I am too strict), bad IQ at 70mm,resell value
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 7    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

I mainly shoot with primes, but I find it inconvenient sometimes when I shoot indoor. Therefore, I have been looking for a good zoom lens. The lenses on my consideration are Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Pentax 17-70mm f/4.0, and this lens, Sigma HSM 24-70mm f.2.8.

I prefer using flash indoor, so I do not mind to shoot with a slow zoom such as Sigma 17-70mm, anyway, I always keep f values about 5.6 to 8.0. IQ is good, but not yet meet make me satisfied. Trying out Tamron 17-50mm, which gives worse IQ than Sigma 17-70mm does, makes me so disappointed. Maybe I got a bad copy of Tamron 17-50mm lens.

I owned Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Macro (no HSM version) before, but I sold it because it is too big, not comparable with my Pentax K-x. I recently bought Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 HSM from BH. The lens is great built, making the solid feeling, and looking really cool on my K-5, especially with battery grip attached. The lens focuses extremely fast and accurate on K-5. I currently own Sigma 50mm f/1.4 with HSM, so the focusing speed of Sigma 24-70mm does not amaze me, just as fast as Sigma 50mm prime.

In the previous reviews, they stated that images taken with this zoom were sharp at wide open. Yes, maybe it is true. I did some test shots in order to compare its IQ to those of DA 35mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 primes. The zoom lens was set at 35mm and 50mm to take pictures at f/ 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, and 8.0. At 35mm, IQ @2.8 was good, but not as good as DA 35mm. I found DA 35mm @f/2.8, gave image with more details, greater contrast, and as well as better color saturation. At 50mm, Sigma 50mm prime @2.8, also gave better IQ than zoom lens does, with the same setting.
However, the great things were that IQ at 35mm and 50mm @ f/4, 5.6, and 8.0 was comparable to those of DA 35mm and Sigma 50mm, in term of sharpness, color saturation, and contrast.
FYI, please take a look at pictures of my test at 50mm

I tested the lens further @70mm vs Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @70mm. This is where Sigma HSM shows its weakness. The sharpness of Sigma at this focal length is bad at f/2.8, and does not become comparable to that of Tamron @f/2.8, until I stop it down to f/8.0. Sharpness at f/8.0 of Sigma versus that of f/2.8 of Tamron at 70mm, has made changed my decision and rating on this lens.

I would say the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 is a good zoom lens at focal range of 24-50mm or 60mm, but not 70mm, if stopped down to f/4.0 or slower. I did not test the lens in the sun to see aberrations and bokek, so please just ignore my rating on those. For the value, I would rate it at 7 only because it should be a price of a good zoom such as Tamron 17-50mm or Tamron 28-75mm, and a DA prime, but its performance is not great at the whole zoom range and wide open.

updated 5/26/12:
I have bought DA 17-70mm f/4. Compared IQ at f/4, 5.6, and 8.0 at focal lengths of 24, 35, 50, and 70mm, I see that IQ of DA 17-70mm is not as sharp as that of Sigma 24-70mm HSM at f/4, but it become in-differentiable at f5/6 or slower. I would definitely return the lens because it seems so ridiculous that I have to pay more than $800 for a fast zoom but just cannot shoot fast @2.8, and I should stick to prime lens for now.

I would recommend this lens for shooters who do not shoot wide open and portrait at 70mm.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 801
Lens Review Date: May 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $770.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, Solid build, silent and accurate AF, Sharp at F2.8 throughout range
Cons: A big lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

I really like this lens.
24-70mm is a fantastic range for street shooting. This lens might be usable of an FF body if Pentax ever extracts their digit.

AF via HSM is silent and fast, and performs very very well in low light.

Bokeh can be "busy", need care when selecting aperture for some shots.
Sharp at F2.8, Razor sharp by F4, F5.6 is as sharp as any prime I have.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: The Canadian WetCoast
Posts: 372
Lens Review Date: February 21, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great IQ across the whole range. DG lenses can be use on full frame.
Cons: Size. Weight. Price.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 7    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

The major criticism I have with this lens is the recent price increase. It cost ~$1,000 in Canada now.

Given the DA 18-55 kit lenses cost ~$100 and have IQ that rival prime lens at f/5.6 and above, I am unsure about the value of the 2 f-stop gain in this zoom. It is also considerable larger (82mm filter!) and heavier. The DA* 16-50/2.8 seems to be a better alternative, sans the notorious SDM.

I have not handled the previous "Macro" version, the close up IQ of this lens is outstanding nevertheless. However, the Bokeh is very "nervous" as many reviewers already mentioned. I would not recommend this zoom for portrait work on artistic merit.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 2,950

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $630.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid, quiet, good output wide-open from 24 to 70mm
Cons: Big, heavy and expensive compared to the Tamron 28-75/2.8
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: Used   

I recently picked up like-new copies of both the Sigma 24-70/2.8 HSM and the Tamron 28-75/2.8 from two of our longtime members. The Sigma had just returned from getting re-chipped for the k-5 and calibrated. I sent the Tamron back to get it calibrated also so that my AF micro-adjustment corrected the same at 28mm as well as 75mm. As an aside, Tamron did a great warranty job and it came back perfect. So I had two, minty, calibrated lenses to compare and keep the one I liked most. I could not quite get around to creating the data and writing a true comparison of the two lenses but I will refer to the Tamron throughout this review of the Sigma.

The Sigma has an 82mm front element (vs 77mm on the Tamron). If you are an outdoor shooter that new CPL is going to be pricey However If that 82mm is what is required to produce the 24mm short end versus 28mm then I am all for it. I just shot Thanksgiving with this lens and knew that 28mm would be tough to get the big rooms and dining room tables full of people in the frame. The difference in 24mm and 28mm is significant whereas the 70mm versus 75mm long end made little difference to me when composing.

The lens is very heavy and solid feeling (still plastic though) versus the light feel of the Tamron. I am hard pressed to distinguish the two lenses' output at identical settings without a big monitor and 100% least. However the silent and solid feel of the Sigma seemed to increase its value every time I swapped lenses for testing. With the calibrating and chipping I am happy with the output at all settings with the Sigma even though it is not the absolute sharpest lens in the cabinet. A recently purchased Tamron 70-200/2.8 is even sharper at 70mm by a little. Overall, I am happy with the Sigma's sharpness and other attributes when wide-open for my primary use - people.

The bokeh is pleasing but with a little bit of nervousness compared to my A50/1.4 @f2.8. I think only a true bokeh geek would have any concern as its pretty muted.

I have not always liked the Sigma EX lens build and cosmetics but this one is my favorite so far. In spite of its weight which I attribute to the HSM as well as the huge elements, there is absolutely no zoom creep in it even while walking with it pointed down. It does not have a zoom lock on it as the Tamron does but also does not seem to need.

The MF ring has about a 90 deg rotation; significantly more than the Tamron, and feels accurate and comfortable in manual mode. The focus ring also has no hard stop like the Tamron does.

The zoom ring works in the opposite direction from a Pentax DA lens, not something I ever worry about but some do. The Tamron is the same as Pentax lenses in that area.

Last, a small gig but meaningful for some applications; there is no aperture ring on the Sigma as there is on the Tamron. I list this as my only disappointment with the lens.

Recommendation: If you need a fast zoom in this range and budget is about $400 then the Tamron should be at the top of your list. If the budget is less constrained and you appreciate the silent focus, solid feel and wider view, I highly recommend the Sigma 24-70/2.8 HSM

Both lenses perform very well and I kept the silent, solid one over the high-value, screw-drive option. Having finished the comparison I can now put the Tamron up for sale. Meanwhile I shall shoot the holidays with a solid and silent 24-70/2.8 on the end of my k-5.
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Aachen
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $820.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Top sharp at 2.8, Fast AF, HSM, Build quality
Cons: Nothing, price? not realy for the performance, bokeh could a little bit softer
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Autofocus: 8   

Previously I have got the Sigma's 24-70 2,8 EX DG non HSM, it was a good lens. But this one is breath taking, It has an accurate AF, great IQ even wide open, it is lighter and has a compacter size then the previous one.
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