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Sigma Macro 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 Review RSS Feed

Sigma Macro 28-80mm F3.5-5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
22 67,994 Wed March 2, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
86% of reviewers $24.14 7.55
Sigma Macro 28-80mm F3.5-5.6

Lens Construction
7 Elements in 7 Groups

Angle of View 30.3 - 75.4 degrees
Number of Diaphragm Blades 6 Blades
Minimum Aperture F22
Minimum Focusing Distance 50cm / 19.7 in.
Maximum Magnification 1:2
Filter Size Diameter 55mm
Dimensions Diameter 67.5mm X Length 67.5mm
2.7 in. x 2.7 in.
Weight 255g / 9 oz.

More info here:
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:

Add Review of Sigma Macro 28-80mm F3.5-5.6
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 22
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2020
Posts: 58
Lens Review Date: March 2, 2022 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Cheap, light and compact, 1:2 macro with snappy AF, can be sharp when stopped down, few CAs
Cons: Plastic-fantastic construction, lack of resolution on APS-C, soft wide open, random-ish loss of contrast, bokeh highlights are just distracting, lens hood useless in macro mode
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: APS-C, FF    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

Iím reviewing the Mini Zoom Macro Aspherical, not the later Mk II. In the mid-1990s, this was one, if not the cheapest third-party kit lens available. And it shows in the materials used: very light, very cheap and some versions even have plastic mounts. But donít let that dissuade you, because this tiny little Sigma can be tons of fun!

Attached to a small body, itís great for casual photo walks in a nearby park or forest. You know, just taking snapshots of flowers and other subjects that may draw oneís attention. And for that purpose itís good enough, really. My copy was too soft wide open, but Iíve had many keepers once stopped down to at least F6.3 --- well, at least on a camera with low pixel density such as ancient (6 MP) or FF. Even 16 MP APS-C seemed to be too much for my Sigma to handle. Itís not an issue of front or back focus.

AF was fast, reliable and snappy on all bodies. Couldnít complain, but F5.6 with a need to stop down is of course not much use indoors or in low light.

Donít understand previous complaints about fringing, as Iíve found them well-controlled. Really had to look for fringing to see any. Biggest problem for me was the loss of contrast without any apparent cause or pattern both in normal as well as macro use. Perhaps the consequence of using a cheapo film era lens in front of a reflective sensor? Thankfully, itís easy to fix in post.

The (reversible) hood attaches to the barrel and not the lens assembly, which means it can and will extend past in macro mode. So of no real benefit there.

There was some vignetting at the wide end and in macro mode, but only really noticeable on FF. Corner vs. center sharpness was quite even in my opinion. In terms of bokeh, Iíd judge it to be smooth, inoffensive and rather plain with one exception: the highlights were strictly octagonal! Can be used for creative purposes, but usually itís just downright distracting. Made for good sun stars, though.

I did not specifically watch for geometric distortions, but given that I didnít notice any significant amount, they couldnít have been too severe.

Conclusion time then. In case youíre looking an affordable way to get into macro photography, or simply want something cheap and light to throw onto a dated APS-C body, this Sigma could fit the bill. Just donít expect to find the performance or IQ of a dedicated macro lens here, or even a modern kit lens for that matter. But how could I possibly not recommend decently sharp 1:2 macro with usable AF for around 20 bucks?
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Southern England
Posts: 579
Lens Review Date: November 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Looks like a modern Sigma
Cons: Performs like an old-school Sigma
Sharpness: 2    Handling: 8    Value: 3    Camera Used: K-50    Autofocus: 4    New Or Used: Used   

Lens looks great - like a modern-day Sigma.

Performance is dire. A handsome paperweight.

Maybe mine is a particularly bad copy?

Definitely can't recommend on this experience.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2017
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 497
Lens Review Date: September 5, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, easy to replace
Cons: A consumer lens (budget lens)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon N70 and Pentax KP. K10D    Autofocus: 7    New Or Used: Used   

The Sigma 28-80 Aspherical (macro) lens has been around for some time. This cheap alternative to name brand kit lenses made this lens extremely popular back in the later era of the film days. I bought this lens for my Nikon N70 simply due to price point. I saved a bundle with the Sigma when compared to the cheapest Nikon alternative at the time (Nikon 35-70 3.3 AF). I found the Sigma usable for most applications. I may have gave up a bit of sharpness when compared to the Nikon, but not enough to concern me. I found the Sigma contrasty enough, sharp enough, light weight, small, and easy to handle. This lens didn't set the world on fire by any means, but it was far from being a down-right dog. This lens has found itís way onto my Pentax KP, and I find I still have the same feelings about this lens as I did when using it back in the film days. The price point canít be beat, this lens will give you a fair amount of keepers, and the lens is extremely easy to find on eBay. Will this lens blow you away? NO! Will this lens prove to be sharp as a tack? NO! But it will be sharp enough and you can do wonders with most images in post-processing.

This lens is for those on a budget looking to grab some keepers on the cheap. You donít have to be overly protective of this lens due to the price point. This Sigma is easily replaceable. This lens was produced by the thousands, probably one of the highest selling Sigma lenses they ever produced.

Bottom line: Good enough for those on a budget

Some samples from Pentax KP at 50mm:

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,137
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $17.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Light weight, fast AF, macro
Cons: Color rendition, bokeh, contrast
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 9    Value: 7    Camera Used: Pentax K-30    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

I received this lens bundled with a used KS-2 so my $17 cost is an estimate.
The other reviewers must have received a much better copy of this lens than I did.
Other than light weight, decent build quality and fast autofocus, I canít find much to like here.

The lens I have looks like new and is clean inside and out. Surprising contrast, color rendition and sharpness are not good at 28mm. Some improvement is visible by 35mm to around 70mm, then it goes bad again. The macro mode at 85mm gets you in close, but the sharpness and contrast delivered by my sample makes me glad I own other options.

I definitely do not recommend this lens.
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 27, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light weight, Very sharp, nice colors, fast and fairely quiet AF, inexpensive, good macro
Cons: None, for that price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon D600    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: New   

Picked up a used one in eccellent conditions on ebay, for $9.99, wasn't expect much for that price, but i was wrong.
Boy this lens is sharp! Has a fast and fairely quiet AF, the color rendering is slightly off, but in a nice way (saturated a d on the dark side).
Very versatile zoom range, the macro function is pretty good.
Overall, in my modest opinion, a great lens, expecially for the value.
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2018
Posts: 46

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: price, image quality
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

I bought this lens a number of years ago, to test if it was my camera or my only lens which was broken. This was the cheapest autofocus lens I could find on eBay. It turned out that the camera's autofocus was broken. I occasionally used this lens with different crop cameras until I kind of forgot it for a couple of years (as the focal length range is not ideal for APS-C sensor). When using it, I always thought the pictures were rather okay.

Now, come 2018, I decided to test this with K-1. Surprisingly, it turns out this lens is actually pretty good. I did not do any systematical testing with different apertures etc. and it is very much possible, even likely, that it is not very sharp wide open etc. Last weekend, I went for a hike with this lens + K-1 and I am extremely surprised at the images it produces. Based on this half day of shooting, I am ready to give a rather positive feedback to this lens. It may be cheap, but that is probably because there are so many of these around. Again, it is maybe not super sharp, but the results are okay. IMHO, the difference to DFA 24-70 is not nearly as big as the price difference would suggest.

I will definitely try to take out this lens in some better light some day to see if my impression holds.

1/25s f/7.1 ISO 4000 @63mm

1/20s f/10 ISO 800 @70mm
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 663

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 27, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Lightweight, nice handling
Cons: Macro/Normal switch sticks sometimes
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: K2000, K100D, K10D, K30    Autofocus: 7    New Or Used: New   

I've had this lens for about a year and a half and I mainly use it to photograph small items for eBay listings. It works okay for that purpose but it's not my all-time favorite lens. It has recently developed an annoying habit of not wanting to switch out of Macro mode. The little switch sticks, which locks the zoom at 80mm. To fix it, I have to remove the lens from the camera and jiggle the aperture tab on the base. It will then release, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Fortunately, I have a couple of other lenses that cover the same focal range, so it's no biggie to leave this one in Macro mode.

UPDATE: I have discovered that quirk with the Normal/Macro switch only manifested itself on my K100D. I have not had that problem at all using this lens on my K10D and K30.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The sticky switch has gotten worse recently so I've stopped using it into macro mode and the lens overall sees increasingly less time on a camera.
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Far North Qld, Australia
Posts: 184

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 22, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: metal mount, solid construction, sharp, fast to focus
Cons: none
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I really enjoy this lens. I find it to be sharp and well made. I have the metal mount so i think this makes it more sturdy. Its fast to focus and produces sharp images. Macro mode is useful. Used on my Kx.
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 91
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Macro, Decent Sharpness
Cons: Plastic Mount
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I have the version II lens with the plastic mount. For me the best thing about this lens is the macro feature. I've taken some images I am very pleased with using this feature. It is ok as a normal lens if stopped down to f/8 or more. See an example at the link below.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2011
Posts: 262
Lens Review Date: June 3, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Metal Mount, 1:2 Macro, cheap, sturdy
Cons: difficult to access the pin to move from A to using the Aperture ring with lens on the camera but you would rarely want to - leave it on A.

I haven't had much time to play with this lens but, so far, for the price it is a bargain.
This is an older style of lens with an Aperture ring and DOF scale around the focusing ring but works great when set on A and has Auto-Focus (unlike much older M or A lenses).
The lens is sturdy and has a great feel.
Manual focusing can be a bit touchy.
The range makes it a good walk-around lens with a handy Macro function at 80 mm depending on what type of shots you usually take.
Make sure it's set to 80 mm before trying to flick the Macro button. Leave it on A when using M mode unless you want to use stop-down metering.
For the price you can pick these up they are great value over many older M or A lenses.
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Macedon Ranges, Victoria
Posts: 300
Lens Review Date: December 11, 2010 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Metal mount, relatively cheap, lightweight, very good Macro
Cons: Poor focusing at distance, rotates when focusing,

I used this lense in a PF challenge (SiS), and found it to be an excellent macro lense, but for normal portrait use, very difficult to use.

There is little room for error when focusing, as there is only ... say, 15 degrees to play with, which in lower apertures led to some "not pretty stuff!". However Macro mode was quite crisp, and produced fine results.

The lense I'm reviewing here is almost identical to this in every respect, except that the rubber focusing ring has shorter grips (S/N 3429160) , not the wider version shown here.

In short, a good lense close up, but not a good general purpose I would think. If you want a Macro with other abilities, it's OK, but otherwise, buy a purpose built lense!

Cheers Paddy
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Gold Coast, QLD
Posts: 32

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Metal lens mount, 28mm wide angle, great for macro photography
Cons: None

I have the version of this lens with the metal mount and mine is in a gold like color. I'm a big fan of wide-angle lenses and 28-80mm is a nice zoom range.

What I like best is it's great for doing macro shots at 80mm (there's a dedicated macro switch on the lens)-it is nice and sharp at 80mm and in between, plus I find the zoom ring has a nice feel to it and focusing is quite easy .

Build quality is quite nice for one that's made out of plastic.

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp , Fast autofocus , Light
Cons: F3.5-5.6 a bit slow

I own the version with a metal mount , but without the macro mode. In my opinion it is sharper than the FA 28-70. I like it a lot , and for the price you can find it there is no alternative which would be that good.

Here is an example of how sharp this lens can be. Only White balance correction has been applied.
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 15,603
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharp for cheap zoom, well built
Cons: color not as good as later version

This is not as much of a review as it is a clarification of different Sigma 28-80 f3.5-5.6 lens versions.

A couple of reviews above this, Steve mentions that he has the II version, I do to and have added a separate listing for it. BUT, I also have another version of this one, which came with another package I bought on ebay. The one I have does have a metal mount and it has 8 blades, just like the II. The "grips" on the barrel are like the II. Here is the strange part that I just noticed, this one focuses in the opposite rotation of the one pictured above and the II. I have posted a picture here for comparison, notice the focus ring markings going the opposite direction.

The lens is not a bad lens, but it's not as good as the II, at least in my copies.
New Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 19, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Cheap Price, Fast Focus, Sharp within limits
Cons: CA is hit/miss, feels cheap, plastic mount.

I liked this lens so much as a cheap, "who cares," walk-around that I purchased another when the first met with an unfortunate accident. I've gotten some great images from this lens, even indoors with an AF500FTZ flash mounted on a GX-10 (now that's improvising).

I think this is one of the last Asphericals Sigma made for film and despite that, it seems to make the digital transition quite well.
Add Review of Sigma Macro 28-80mm F3.5-5.6

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