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Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro

Sharpness 
 10.0
Aberrations 
 9.5
Bokeh 
 9.3
Handling 
 8.7
Value 
 9.3
Autofocus 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
28 91,749 Wed March 13, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $444.00 9.71
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro
supersize


Description:
Weight: 525g / 18.5 oz
Length: 95mm/3.7 in
Filter Diameter: 62mm
Min. Focus: 25.7cm/10.1 in
Max. Magnification: 1:1
Diagonal FOV:
Horizontal FOV: 34.3 degrees
Horizontal FOV on Digital: 22.9 degrees
Min. Aperture: F22
Optical Construction: 10 Elements in 9 Groups
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro
Price: $499
Mount Type:
Price History:



Add Review of Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Buy the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro
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Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 74
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp, Awesome bokeh
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: KS-2    New Or Used: Used    Autofocus: 9   

I bought it here on this forum and it's a really great lens. The only cons I can think of may be the weight and the screw on metal hood. Most people won't consider them cons either and therefore I haven't listed them as such. It is great for macro photography and portraits.
   
amateur dirt farmer / mod

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 15,653

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 1, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, color rendition, clarity, bokeh
Cons: lens hood, no longer available new
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3    New Or Used: Used    Autofocus: 9   

I've read in several different blogs/reviews that this is supposed to be the 2nd best macro that Sigma has ever produced - better than the 50mm, better than the 105mm (but not the 180mm), so when a used copy came up for sale here on the Marketplace, I inquired about it.... and glad I did...

the short of it: this lens is amazing - it rivals the D FA 50 Macro I have for stupendous resolution, color, and clarity....

the Sigma 70 is a native 1:1 macro lens, with no quickshift, no WR, and a pain-in-the-ass hood that makes you choose between it and the standard lens cap, since you cannot use both... I put a 67mm lens cap on the end of the hood all month and called it good.... additionally, the hood does not reverse for storage, because it's a screw-in hood, rather than a bayonet.... who thought of this?

aside from that, this lens is a stunner... it's versatile, reasonably quick at f2.8, has a focus limiter, and the manual focus even has a decent tactile feedback to it...

but the photos:

spider by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

quilted by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

cosmos by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

hay meadow by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

Finnegan by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

to me, this is a viable alternative to the D FA 100/2.8 Macro and it's a shame that Sigma no longer offers it in a k-mount...


if you can find a good copy at a decent price, buy it - it is a worthy addition to your collection...

the rest of my flickr album for this lens:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157700519962604/page1
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2016
Posts: 119

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 31, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp images
Cons: focus hunting at times
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3   

I purchased this lens from a forum member because I wanted a decent macro lens. I was also hoping that it would double as a portrait lens, given its wide aperture and focal length. I cannot be more pleased! My initial practice shoot was spent primarily taking photos of the various flowers in bloom around my yard just to see how the lens handled. I did have some focus hunting issues, and although the lens has a focus limiter, it didn't help much. I prefer using the lens on manual for macro anyway. There was no hunting with subjects far afield. There is a learning curve on many lenses, but with patience, by the end of the weekend I was making excellent shots. The DOF on a lens like this, wide open at close distance, is microscopic--practice is needed.

Honestly, this is my favorite lens now! The image quality is spectacular, even wide open, which I cannot say about all of my faster lenses. I took some portraits and actions shots that were equal in quality and clarity, and I will admit, I was doing some serious pixel peeping, which I normally avoid but couldn't resist because the results were so amazing with this lens!

No adjustments were made to these pics except cropping:

,


   
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Could be the sharpest lens available for Pentax
Cons: Short for insects when used on its own, but pairs well with TC's to address this. Really nothing else.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

The optical quality of this lens puts it in the league of Zeiss and Voigtlander macros that go for many times more money. Tack sharp across the whole frame from f/2.8 to f/11 with a slight drop off (but still great) at f/16. Lab tests that one can find online suggest that this holds for full frame as well, though I have only used it on APS-C.

I do not notice a difference in sharpness between f/5.6 - f/10 with/without the Sigma APO 2x EX or Tamron-F 1.4X Pz-AF MC4 attached, both of which I have used to get closer than 1:1 macro. Aberrations and softness get amplified by even the best TC, but the baseline is so good here that there are no practical consequences at optimal aperture settings. As such, I almost always use this with the Sigma 2x for bugs due to the reach advantage of the 140mm effective focal length.

70mm is nice for portraits on APS-C, but there is a certain clinical sharpness that doesn't look quite right, even at f/2.8. Resolution can always be reduced in post (but never added) so this is hardly a negative.

Sigma 70mm EX DG Macro + Sigma APO 2x EX Teleconverter + Sunpak Auto DX 8R Ring Light at 1/8 power
f/10, 1/160, ISO 100, handheld


The original image is sharper than it appears here, the upload to Pentax Forums seems to compress all my images and make them look worse, even when I stay within the file size and resolution restrictions.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 370
Lens Review Date: June 22, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have had this lens for less than a month. It is already proving wonderful for certain types of portrait work, macro and a certain type of landscape I like to take.

The DOF can be tricky, but also beautiful. I would love to see how this works on my K3 and if I can find an adaptor (no luck so far) to use it on the K3.
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Galway - Ireland
Posts: 213

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: amazing sharpness, micro contrast rendering, build quality
Cons: None ?

WHO IS IT FOR ?
The 70mm is a great multipurpose focal length if you are on the close up side. Portraits, street photography, gastronomy and macro... It is just perfect for all.
I also use a lot this lens for video because of it is so sharp and so cinematic.


HANDLING
This lens has almost the same size and weight than the 105mm macro from sigma, which is well sized on an Pentax camera.
It extends a lot in macro 1:1 position (almost double) but I don't think it is a real issue.
The focus ring is very smooth and it is nice to use it manually (for video for instance it is a reaaaaal pleasure).


AUTOFOCUS
The autofocus is very precise. Even if it is not the fastest AF I have experienced, it is great for most purpose and specialy great for macro !


IMAGE QUALITY

>SHARPNESS
This lens is VERY sharp from wide open. Honnestly it is the sharpest lens I have in my bag and the sharpest I have tested so far (cf. comparison below). This lens delivers amazing micro-contrast and this look great even in low scale. The overall image rendering is on a top level.

>MACRO
Top sharp, with 1:1 ratio. Well, it is not possible to have a better combo for macro purpose. This lens is a must !
With enough light the result is crispy like hell...

>BOKEH
Bokehs are really great and reasonably soft, in macro pictures the result is pleasing.

>CHROMA ABERRATIONS
Not flawless but not a real issue ! There can be little fringing (purple) but it is not problematic in field conditions.

>FLARE
I did not notice any flare issue for this lens.

>COLOR RENDITION
Neutral ! It is not warm in the asahi style, but not blue. Perfect for me at least.

>DISTORSION
There is no distorsion (maybe 0,01%, who cares ? )

>VIGNETING
Not an issue as the largest aperture is f/2.8. Nothing to care about !


COMPARING TO SIMILAR LENSES

>105mm macro Sigma f/2.8 EX
This lens is in the same family than the 105mm macro EX f/2.8 from Sigma. It is clear that these two lenses delivers similar kind of results. But I believe the 70mm is realy a better lens : it is sharper (I sometimes discover contrast through this lens that I didn't see with my eyes ) and the 70mm focal length is better if you want to use it handhold (you can have top sharp results from 1/100 instead of 1/160).
I have both lenses, but if I was to choose only one of them I would definitly take my 70mm macro.

>70mm Pentax f/2.4 limited
The 70mm lens from Pentax is very sharp too ! Honnestly for portraits, you can use the Pentax lens (more discret and the AF is slightly faster on K3). But for macro you can't. The Pentax lens is really interesting, and if you don't really need macro it can be a great buy !


CONCLUSION
If you can afford this lens and if you love Macro, buy it right now because it is a gem. I guess it is the sharpest lens you can buy for less than 1000-1500$ and you will never regret it.
I am not sure that this lens is still produced for K mount, but there are still some of them available and my advice is that you should not wait much longer


SAMPLE PICTURES
The pictures inserted here comes from my 500px gallery and have been processed to taste from RAW files through DxO OP. However there is no local sharpening through JPEG edition.





A few more on Flickr (not processed)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124013107@N08/16141832236/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124013107@N08/15981972317/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124013107@N08/16272612491/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124013107@N08/17053598361/ (this one was shot during a movie scene)
Even if it is hard to believe, there is not micro contrast added numerically in these pictures...
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: ridiculously sharp, 1:1 macro
Cons: constantly hunting AF

A pretty high quality 1:1 macro lens; sharp. Really sharp.

The only downside is that the AF tends to hunt, like it was in continuous focus mode instead of focusing a single time; the af is also getting slower and slower as you're reaching towards the 1:1 magnification.

The focus ring moves a little too lightly for me, but this is a taste thing, I believe.

1:1 magnification, f2.8, iso100 with a K-5 IIs:



bokeh test, f2.8, with a K-5 IIs:
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: January 3, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Sharpest lens I've ever used in 45 years ' work with Nikon, Pentax, Rollei and 4x5 gear. Autofocus is slow, but more than half the shots I take with this are and always would be manually focused anyway.

As for the widely-ridiculed screw-in hood, it's a perfect handle for the polarizer I keep on this lens at all times. A bayonet-mount hood would just be in the way, even with the removable (and easily lost) sliding insert that Pentax thoughtfully provides on some of its hoods.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 205
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $348.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp!
Cons: Auto Focus searches a lot
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3   

This is a sharp lens wide open and then gets better (not that it matters since it is sharp wide open). I never used this over f/10, and it is certainly sharp there. The lens seems sharp corner to corner. It is much heavier than the Pentax 70mm and 77mm lenses, but it does double as a portrait lens and as a macro. Bokeh is fine...no complaints. Auto focusing is a pain unless you use the limiter on the lens. The focus is slow but accurate once it stops hunting. The few times I used this outside for portraits/headshots, I took a few photos of tree branches against the bright sky to see if there is noticeable CA or PF. I saw nothing to be concerned with. I don't bother with correcting for distortion with this lens in Light Room any more because there is usually nothing to correct. Therefore, I assume there is no distortion.

This is a full frame lens, and that is all I am trying to collect now (except for the D* 60-250) in the hopes Pentax will come out with a full frame some time this decade. Next year would be nice. I was lucky with this used copy. It functions as new and needs no front or back focusing adjustment.

Update June 2016: I use this lens a lot for headshots/portraits and for shooting theatrical productions (one son is an actor) with the K-3 and K-5. Lighting is usually terrible and/or inconsistent in theaters. There is an advantage of being able to shoot at f/2.8 all night long without sacrificing much sharpness. It is so sharp there is little noticeable gain by stopping down.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/photo-imgp8067-jpg-50237/
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Bolivia, NC
Posts: 54
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, Sharpness
Cons: None

I purchased this lens from another member on this forum. The overall quality of the lens blew me away.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 100
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $310.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: holy sharpness. geat buil, fine AF, very good range
Cons: no HSM

Bought it like new from Japan.
Men, supper sharpness.
Good color and great build.
It's better than 70 lmt.


_IJP9943 by Chrome Vanadium, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 34

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 2, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $390.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Sharpness across the board
Cons: Hood, but not important

I had researched enough that the bizarre hood was no surprise and the autofocus - well, it is a macro lens after all and I knew that manual focusing when doing macro was critical anyway. I was down to this, the older Sigma 105mm macro and the Pentax DA 100 WR, but leaned towards this because the 70mm length has more flexibility for me as a general lens. So I bought this used from another forum member about 3 weeks ago and have been very happy!

From the first shots I knew that I was going to have plenty to learn to maximize DOF, focus and lighting. Lighting, in particular, is critical if you are going to use a smaller aperture for better DOF. Still working on the lighting, but I built a crude bounce card that helps my Metz flash do the job pretty well by bouncing the light down right near the extended length of the lens. I still have a ton to learn and may buy an inexpensive ring light, but I have to say that I have never had as much fun playing with a lens and at the same time, it helping me learn more about controlling my camera manually.

While these are not the best, they are a bit representative of some early shots.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/100143780@N03/9647691248/ < This was shot through a (dirty!) dual pane window, manual focus.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/100143780@N03/9583835605/ < Not quite 1:1, but close
http://www.flickr.com/photos/100143780@N03/9549411669/ < The very first shot I took with the lens! Flower is about 1/4"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/100143780@N03/9596086078/in/photostream/ < Same flowers but using my crude bounce card. More light, better DOF, but not necessarily better - just different. This is what the lens allows you to experiment with.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/100143780@N03/9585051904/in/photostream/ < Not a macro shot, but just to show this is capable 70mm lens in its own right!

I cannot say this is better than other good macro lenses like the Siggy 105 or Pentax FA or DA WR 100mm since I have not used them, but I can say this is a wonderful lens and a great addition to the kit!
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Newark, Delaware
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp
Cons: size, lens hood

This lens definitely has a learning curve, but the images are truly amazing when one learns the proper way to utilize it.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 368

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 15, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb colors, contrast and sharpness
Cons: Big


This photo has been shot at f2.8 and probably describes the lens better than what I would have written. I love this lens.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/39293-momotazur/albums/6390-toys/picture56175.html
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 157
Lens Review Date: January 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, superb bokeh, price
Cons: nothing

A very sharp lens at f2.8 which gets razor sharp at f4. It is comparable in size and weight to the Pentax 17-70 f4. It is very well built and the autofocus is good with the limiter, but slightly slow at the macro end, about the same as the Tamron 90mm macro. It's also a very well priced lens.
Add Review of Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Buy the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro



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