Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

Lens Reviews / Sigma Lenses i Not yet tested
24-70mm $465
average price
image of Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

(From Sigma lens literature) The large aperture standard zoom lens provides superior performance both for Digital SLR Cameras and 35mm Film SLR Cameras. To achieve an f/2.8 aperture at all focal lengths, it employs three aspherical lenses to provide optimum aberration compensation. Two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements are provided for color aberration compensation, to assure high image quality.

It incorporates "Super Multi Layer Coating" to reduce the influence of harmful light caused by reflections from the digital image sensor.

Two SLD elements, one Glass Mold Aspherical plus two Hybrid Aspherical lenses provide excellent correction of various aberrations and a high level of optical performance.

The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 40cm (15.7 inches) at all focal lengths and is capable of macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8.

This lens incorporates a Dual Focus (DF) system that is designed to make the lens easy to hold during autofocusing, and yet provides a large focus ring for easy manual focusing. Since the front of the lens does not rotate, a Petal-type hood and circular polarizing filters can be easily used.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro User Reviews

7.4/10 average of 15 review(s) Build Quality 7.8/10 Image Quality 7.8/10
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by dugong5pm (52 reviews)
    usable (wide open), smooth bokeh, fast AF, cheap!
    lens creep, finishing paint, takes 82mm filter

    for the price.. it really does worth your money. IQ is nice.. not as good as Canon's or Nikon's 24-70 but it's really ok considering the 1/3 price. Mechanics & build quality are also nice. It feels solid in your hand. AF is somewhat quite fast & silent, that's a good thing.

    Now the bad thing are.. it's big & heavy.. so big that it won't take your usual 77mm filter. Front glass is quite heavy, the lens creeps down when facing downward. For me, the worst of all is..the Sigma's finishing paint! it easily worn off in no time.duh.. thank God they have fixed this issue on their newer version.

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by hackmann (5 reviews)
    Cheap, high performance with correct exposure, aperture and ammount of light
    Bad performance at night

    I bought a used copy of this piece to use in my nikon D90. The lens is 3 years old and it is perfect, no problems due age, except to the rubber focus ring that is a little "dry". No front or back focus.

    English is not my mother language, I will try to be "understandable" Smile.

    Well, first of all is a big, heavy and bulky leans and it uses a big filter. People get intimidated by that lens, its nice!

    About IQ I can tell you I like when used at day, despite being a f 2.8. Its a little soft at wide open and you need to step down a little bit. Center shows a very high quality image and borders are a little soft. I found some distortion CA and purple fringe wich is 100% correctable (at least with the lens profile in Lightroom 3). So, if you are shooting landscape, or buildings at wide open, I can tell you, with the correct exposure, you have a very high picture quality. I can tell also, in this scenario, it perform better than D90 18-105mm lens kit. It produces a warmer tone than 18-105mm lens, I love it, and 90% of shots I do only need to apply lens profile, because image is very well balanced (colors and the exposure) already. This is the kind of lens that dont give work to you on the post processing. AF works great and it is not as noisy like people complain. To be honest it produce less noise than my nikkor 50mm 1.8D.

    But, here comes the bad part.

    I am disapointed by lens performance at night. When you shoot, the darken part of the image get blurry, like a out of focus blurry noisy image. In this case, the darken area of the image have a very poor quality and it is not sharp. I know you are thinking "that´s is normal, it is the dark problem", but it is not. I can tell that because the 18-105 kit lens, in same scenario, perform 200% better, and even with the noise, the image is focused in dark area, not blurry or out of focus..... I found this problem in every aperture range. In other hand, noise in dark area is better than the 18-105mm, because somehow does not show purple dots, only black ones.

    The bottom of line is, it is a very good lens for the price charged and the performance to shoot landscapes or portraits with the correct exposure, aperture and with the right ammount of light, do a high quality sharp image. It captures a very good skin tone also.

    The zoom ring is not smooth in all range, maybe because the front element is heavy.

    If you have a nikon and want to have a lens that suit FX and DX sensor and you want to save some cash this is the lens for you.

    Here you can see some samples about its image quality:

    reviewed September 25th, 2010 (purchased for $400)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by MrAdventure (6 reviews)
    Build Quality, Smooth Zoom without creep, Finish Texture is nice, good general purpose range
    Slightly soft wide open, extends to go to wide angle, loud AF

    I've used this lens for over a year now and it's certainly true what is generally said about it; soft wide open at 70mm and f/2.8. It get's much sharper on the wide end, even at f/2.8 but even better from f/3.5 onwards. You don;t realize the softness until you actually use a sharp lens by comparison. My 70-200 F4L is sharp wide open from corner to corner. My 50 1.4 is much sharper from f/2 onwards. I would say the optimal sharpness is reached somewhere around f/5.6 or so.

    Aside from that I've found this lens extremely useful. The images are very close to Canon's 24-70 glass with slightly muted colors and contrast as compared to the Canon.

    It's a perfect lens for studio work which I do. At small apertures from f/8 down to f/11 this thing rocks. The fun continues even for hi-iso applications when stopped down.

    It's also a good piece of glass to have in your gear bag when travelling. My copy has been to several countries in all kinds of conditions from snow, rain to hot. It's never failed at the only reason to own it - it's wide focal range. The build is rugged and you pay for it in the weight. I'm not complaining though...I was hiking on Baffin Island and dropped it and my 1D when I lost my footing. The lens had minor scuffs but the camera had to be sent in for repair.

    It's much better than the average kit lens, but if wide open performance is important, look elsewhere. It's passable but if sharpness is critical, you have to stop down or use something else.

    NOTE: I had mine calibrated when I discovered it was out of tolerance to my crop body. Since then it's been fine.

    Many of the images on my Flickr and Blog were taken with this glass.

    reviewed October 7th, 2009 (purchased for $350)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by BPederson (3 reviews)
    Fast apeture, Solid Construction
    HUGE and HEAVY

    This lens was a gift a while back.

    The Zoom runs counter-intuitive. The barrel extends at the wide end and shrinks at the tele end.

    I'm using this on a SD14. So, I find the wide end not quite wide enough most of the time. I usually only bring this behemouth out when I need a fast aperture. Otherwise, it's heavy, big, and takes FREAKIN' HUGE filters.

    The zoom and focus rings work really well. I like how the focus ring slides back and forth to engage or disengage the auto focus motor.

    reviewed September 24th, 2009 (purchased for $525)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by Keyroo (8 reviews)
    sharp especially when stopped down abit, solid construction
    jerky and annoying zoom, filter size too large, lens creep, flaring

    Value for money it's a good lens, and once you get used to the wacky functionality ti's not that bad to use, but when you first stick it on the camera, ti's weird, i found the zoom ring too small and too far back, ti's stiff between 24 and 40 mm and then loose up to 70,

    filter size is huge and expensive if you want to use good quality filters,

    if you shoot any other way than the sun being behind you lens flare is a major issue

    lens creep sucks, it has a lock for when ti's wide but doesnt' really seem to do anything

    even though i'm slandering this lens, i still think ti's very good value for money, 850ish australian compared to the 2400 aussie for the nikon equivelent (yeah i know it's go a focusing motor) there is a big difference in price and not THAT much difference in quality, so value for money i'd recommend it.

    reviewed April 24th, 2009 (purchased for $600)
  • 1 out of 10 points and not recommended by levicki (2 reviews)
    large aperture
    slow focus, on 40D at 24mm casts shadow when flash used, you have to hunt for a good copy, manual focus ring too coarse, two switches required to engage/disengage manual focus

    I just purchased this lens two days ago and got a bad copy. First it had front-focusing issues missing for as much as 9cm from the focus point. I sent it to calibration, they calibrated it to my 40D so it didn't front-focus that much anymore but it still kept missing the focus in 9 out of 10 shots. When it misses the focus that is clearly visible in viewfinder -- it tries to hunt it rapidly moving the elements as if the the seek step is too large to hit the correct spot in the middle and it ends up missing it in either direction. It is totally unusable except in manual focus mode and even then the manual focus ring is too coarse. I have sent it back for a replacement, will get the new one by the end of the month.

    Needless to say I am extremely pissed off by this, because I bought it specifically for my trip to San Francisco tomorrow, I got severely inconvenienced by having to bring it to the service center and I spent at least an additional $50 on cab and phone calls to camera dealers and service center not to mention the time and nerves wasted in the process.

    To summarize, I paid what I believe is a fair amount of cash for a lens and I expected it to be at least acceptable right from the start.

    Instead, it ended up giving poorer results than a plastic 3mpix fixed focus point and shoot camera which goes for less than $100.

    When I get the new one I will post another review here, but until then I advise everyone not to buy this lens unless they can test it in the store before purchasing it.


    I have given up on this lens because I couldn't wait another 20 days for new shipment.

    If you are seriously considering it then you have to ask for at least three pieces and test them thoroughly in the store to pick the one that works reliably and is sharp.

    Another thing to consider is that on Canon 40D when you zoom out (24mm) and the lens goes fully out you can't use flash because it casts the shadow. You have to zoom in to ~35mm to get rid of the shadow. On APS-C sensor that is actually 56mm and you will find yourself hitting your back against the wall very quickly.

    Overall build quality doesn't seem too bad, but when you zoom in fast you can feel that the lens is pumping air out. At least the copy I had did that.

    Conclusion : Sigma really has to work on quality control. Releasing an updated version of this lens with smaller diameter and HSM motor would be a plus as well.

    reviewed August 16th, 2008 (purchased for $535)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by blackrex (2 reviews)
    Weight, speed, sensor coverage, accessories included

    Excellent general purpose lens, great for "casual" photography, as well as being fast enough for low light/fast action shots.

    No visible CA in this lens.

    I like the weight and solid feel of this lens on my Nikon D3, it makes the camera unit feel very well balanced.

    Works really well with the Nikon Speedlight system as well.

    reviewed June 2nd, 2008 (purchased for $650)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by rapier84 (2 reviews)
    Sharp at most apertures, cheap!!!, buttery bokeh, warm colour rendition
    Heavy, Need to try samples to get a sharp copy

    Sharp lens thats very much cheaper than the equivilent Canon or Nikon version(I'm using the Canon mount one). Colour rendition is slightly warm but I see that as a plus. Most shooters might use this focal length for people photography and I find that slight warmth can be advantageous (easily corrected in PS if you don't like that). Bokeh is nice and smooth. Solidly built but the price is weight and that huge 82mm filter size that makes polarizers a real pain to purchase.

    reviewed January 6th, 2008 (purchased for $300)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by alberto (8 reviews)
    large aperture, cheap
    soft wide open

    i bought this lens(nikon mount) used and it works very well.

    On digital bodies the focal range is very interesting, and whit 3 zoom lens(12-24, 24-70,70-200) you can have everything you need.

    Mine is a little soft wide open(but still usable) with increasing sharpness stopped down.

    Anyway, colors are better with nikon lenses.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $250)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by six100 (10 reviews)
    Inexpensive for a 24-70 F/2.8. Sigma EX = Great build quality. When the AF works fine you can achieve impressive results. 82mm hood included.
    If you have a bad copy you will ocassionaly have front focus problems. No HSM. 82mm filter thread. A bit big and heavy.

    (Canon mount)

    Bought this one second hand. After using it for portrait photography for a while I realized that about 35% of the pics I took with the lens where out of focus! In my case there was not a defined pattern for this behavior, some times it was obviously front focused while some others it was back focused.

    That seems to be the Aquiles Heel of this particular lens from Sigma, everything else is great for the price paid. It`s a deal as far as you get a good copy.

    On that 65% of perfectly focused pictures the quality was impressive.

    +: EX finish is great. Lens pouch and hood are included.

    -: Autofocus is very noisy. 82mm filter thread (makes good filters very-very expensive and hard to find)

    Sold the lens half a year ago. After analizing the different options I decided to switch to primes for portrait photography. Got a Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC right now, very happy with it & the 30D.

    reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $510)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by samo (4 reviews)
    Great IQ, fast, not-so-expensive.
    A bit noisy, weird MF setup.

    Great image quality, good contrast and color. I used this lens on a Rebel XT when I first bought it, and I was really disapointed with the AF performance. Then I got a 5D, and it's showing it's capabilities. It hunts occasionally, but overall, it works great.

    On the downside, it's filter size is bigger than expected (82mm), I can't seem to get used to the manual focus system, and since I shoot weddings, i wish it was a bit less noisy.

    Great performance- price ratio.

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $600)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by gadgetguy (62 reviews)
    good build and image quality, great value for money; f/2.8
    AF not comparable to USM in speed, silence, and accuracy

    This is an awesome lens for the price. Not quite Canon's 24-70/2.8L (although some will argue that if you get a really good copy then you might be in that league) but almost there.

    Colors are good and photos show good contrast, but a little soft on the corners (again, compared to the Canon L).

    Build and feel is great, but you have to get used to the zoom (it goes the "other way" from Canons) and the dual switch AF/MF.

    reviewed December 30th, 2006
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by rrf (4 reviews)
    F2.8 and good zoom range
    flash shadow at 24 mm; heavy

    Sigma seems to make several versions of this lens. Mine is labelled in various places: DG EX ASpherical. It is not labelled Macro anywhere and, although it looks the same, it may not be the same lens others have reviewed here.
    The lens covers a nice range for photographing kids indoors with a Canon 20D crop factor. The down side is that at short focal lengths, the lens is extended, which casts a shadow in the picture. The lens also occasionally hunts in low light focusing and is not quiet, but it is pretty fast, which is more important for getting pictures of kids.

    Later I got the Tamron 28-75 because it is lighter and a bit longer. the Tamron has similar focus characteristics. It stays on the camera more because it is lighter, but sometimes the difference between 28 and 24 matters (close quaters indoors or outdoor garden shows for instance) and Sigma handles that well.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by cazza132 (2 reviews)
    Sharp. Great bokeh
    Heavy - to be expected at f2.8 zoom

    First lens after buying eos 350D with kit 18-55 + 90 -300. Took a little while to adjust to the AF/MF mechanism. Once sorted, this lens justified my move to the dSLR realm after owning an Oly C8080WZ - which was a kick ass for it's class as a prosumer camera (esp. for tripod mounted landscape stuff) before it got stolen.
    This lens has a slightly noisy mechanism, which doesn't affect wildlife except for the fury varieties. It is very sharp and the wide apeture makes for great portait stuff.

    reviewed January 9th, 2006
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by fstopjojo (8 reviews)
    Very sharp wide open (for a FF standard zoom), Renders nice contrast, Bokeh is pleasing enough, Good focal range (especially on FF), Very slight lateral CA, Good flare resistance, Robust EX build, FF compatibile, Fast AF.
    Edge performance could be better (though very good stopped down), Lacks HSM so buzzy/noisy AF, "DF" clutch mechanism can be clunky to handle, Filters expensive due to 82mm thread.

    It's well-known that I've been a strong supporter of this "EX DG Macro" lens. And while I no longer own it, I could easily see myself getting another one down the road. I found it optically equal to or better than several copies of the Canon 24-70L and at a fraction of the price. It certainly doesn't have the refinement of the L or the silent focusing, but in terms of optical performance per se, it's hard to beat in the standard zoom category. It's a beautful lens that can produce extremely high quality images. I can't recommend this lens enough.

    reviewed November 2nd, 2005