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Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art for the Sony E mount by the product photographer

It's been almost three months since I use the Sigma A 24-70 mm f / 2.8 DG DN lens for the Sony E mount. It's time to answer how the new "workhorse" works under full Sony frames.

If you came across this text looking for the answer to the question: is it worth it? I answer now: it's worth it. So I recommend you go to the store as soon as possible and order a lens while it is available.

It turns out that from December Sigma A 24-70 mm f / 2.8 DG DN Sony E is constantly unavailable in most photo stores. At the time of writing, it can only be purchased at the official store of the Polish distributor - and given the demand and the raging coronavirus , this situation can change quickly.

I am very happy that I did not hesitate and bought this glass as soon as possible. After three months of work with the Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 and Sony A7rIII body, I have to say that I have not encountered such a clear lens in a long time.

For the record, let's look at what we are talking about. Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art. This is a universal zoom lens, with constant light f / 2.8 and focal lengths from 24 to 70 mm - the journalistic standard and the third such construction designed for the Sony E bayonet; thus joins the Sony 24-70 mm f / 2.8 GM and Tamron 28-75 mm f / 2.8 lens. It is worth noting that this is a completely new design dedicated to Sony E and L-Mount bayonets; this is not the same lens that we can buy for full frame Nikon and Canon mounts. Both lenses, despite the same name, are radically different in appearance, construction and even optical quality.

The lens is made of 19 elements in 15 groups, enclosed in a durable, sealed housing, which we expect from a Sigma lens from the Art line.

The whole weighs 835 g, the diameter of the filter is 82 mm, and the lens has been designed in such a way that after removing the sun housing lies perfectly flush with the base of full-frame Sony bodies.

Price: PLN 4990

Before I get to how the lens performed on a daily basis, let's talk about some of the disadvantages of this lens.

Sigma A 24-70 mm f / 2.8 DG DN Sony E is not an ideal glass.

Colleagues from subjected him to thorough testing and confirmed in laboratory conditions what I could observe with the naked eye. There are three basic problems with this glass:

  • Powerful distortion, especially at focal lengths from 24-35 mm
  • Distinct chromatic aberration at the longest focal length
  • Clear vignetting across the entire focal range

These three disadvantages are revealed not only when shooting under controlled conditions, but also can be seen in everyday work. But are they important enough to worry about at all? To be honest ... not at all.

Vignetting will be removed in Lightroom with one click, as will distortion. Some problems are caused by chromatic aberration, although a lot depends on the photographed objects here - I deal mainly with product photography and only when shooting against the light aberration was so important that I had to remove it in post-production.

Optical defects did not hurt me a bit, unlike two design features, which still irritate after three months.

The first is the sun visor, which was covered with rubberized material. The cover does the job, but it gets dirty mercilessly. In addition, after barely three months of carrying in the bag, you can already see the first scratches and abrasions (the lens itself still looks like new).

The second irritation results from the location of the focal length ring. This one is so close to the body of the camera that to rotate it it is necessary to put the base of the palm under the body itself, otherwise it is difficult to reach with your fingers to the ring.

It is even more difficult to operate the lens when a grip with an additional battery is mounted on the body. Then the change of focal length requires good gymnastics and in practice it is easiest to do it with a grip instead of a grip, which I personally don't like very much.

This is of course a matter of habit. In a journalistic lens I would prefer to have a zoom ring farther from the body, as in the Sony 24-70 mm f / 2.8 GM lens, or even closer to the front element, as in the Tamron 28-75 mm f / 2.8.

Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 ART Sony

The last but minor problem I noticed with this glass is quite a soft image with the minimum focusing distance at the longest focal length.

Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art blades from 18 cm, which I used diligently when photographing the equipment. And although the lens actually sharpened from this distance at 70 mm, the image obtained was relatively soft. It was enough, however, to retreat a few cm to make the shots razor sharp again.

A small thing, but with product photography it can be a bit disturbing.

This is the end of complaining. After three months with Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art I don't regret the money spent.

I have deliberately refrained from describing my impressions for so long because I wanted to use the lens in every scenario I may come across. During these three months I made several commercial product sessions, took hundreds of photos for Spider's Web, photographed a business conference and made materials from the Samsung Galaxy S20 launch.

The results are really amazing.

The most important from the utilitarian side is the accuracy and quality of the autofocus. The one in Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art works simply perfectly. Even in combination with the fastest Sony A7rIII body, the Sigma almost always goes, as befits a journalistic zoom. Autofocus also works instantly and is practically silent, which will be appreciated primarily by filmmakers.

Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art I recorded all prints for material about Samsung Galaxy S20. Everything was recorded "on hand", on autofocus (some shots additionally stabilized in post-production). The lens did not disappoint either in terms of focus settings or in terms of cooperation with matrix stabilization.

Sigma also has no problem working with the automatic eye recognition modes in Sony bodies. I checked it on Sony A7rIII and Sony A7III , and on both cameras the lens behaved perfectly, recognizing the eyes of both people and animals.

I will also say that subjectively, I like the image produced by Sigma and Sony's body in the world. Photos even before processing have saturated colors, are contrasting and very plastic.

I also don't know if it's just my feeling or the physical property of the lens, but the Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art has the shallowest depth of field that I encountered in this type of zoom at f / 2.8. Many times I found myself that I had to close the aperture slightly to get the desired effect, which I did not have to do e.g. in the Tamron 28-75 mm f / 2.8 or even the Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art under the Nikon F. bayonet

Background blur is also very nice. Zoom Sigma has this strange feature of the manufacturer's prisms, where the background is literally massacred at the lightest apertures. The "bokehu balls" also look very nice, both on f / 2.8 ...

... and on stopping down to f / 5.

From the perspective of a working photographer, it's hard to fault anything here. The new Sigma zoom does what a universal reporting lens should do: it works reliably and allows you to instantly capture the moment on a digital film. It does not pose any major problems and, for a lens of this caliber, does not cost any assets.

And speaking of it ...

Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art or Tamron 28-75 mm f / 2.8 - which one should you choose?

I can say directly that it is definitely worth choosing Sigma instead of 4,000 more expensive zł. G Master from Sony. In laboratory measurements, Sigma is sharper than a Sony lens, both lenses are equally well made, and Sigma's minimal optical defects are absolutely not worth the additional charge to the G Master.

The comparison with Tamron is a bit more complicated. It costs even 1700 PLN less than Sigma, and offers great image quality ... on matrices with lower resolution.

I bought the Tamron 28-75 mm f / 2.8 myself with the Sony A7rIII body and it turned out very quickly that while the Tamron performed wonderfully with the Sony A7III 24-megapixel matrix, up to 42 megapixels is completely unsuitable. The cheapest bright zoom under the Sony E bayonet could not cope with the resolution of the matrix in Sony A7rIII and all shots came out very soft.

It did not look bad after exporting the photo to the web, but when working with a full-resolution file or preparing photos for printing, lack of sharpness hit the eyes.

Here the Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art simply sweeps the Tamron down, just like it wins with it in terms of sharpening speed, quiet operation and quality of workmanship.

The Tamron is much smaller, much lighter (550 g) and thanks to the zoom ring on the front it is much more convenient to use. Despite the plastic housing, it is also sealed enough to meet the needs of most photographers.

So I would say that if you are photographing a full-frame Sony body with an affordable resolution matrix like Sony A7III, you will not lose much when choosing the Tamron 28-75 mm f / 2.8. This is a great option for enthusiasts or less demanding professionals.

When working on bodies with high resolution matrixes (Sony A7rIII, Sony A7rIV ), Tamron will not pass the exam, just as it will not offer the highest possible optical quality when working with other bodies. For professionals and advanced photo-amateurs it is the Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art that should be the first choice, all the more so that for a lens of this class it does not cost any assets.

Sigma A 24-70 mm f / 2.8 DG DN should be in the bag of every professional working with the Sony system.

The new Sigma zoom is an excellent construction. An absolute workhorse that you can rely on in every situation and which will not disappoint you, regardless of whether you work with reporter or studio corps.

For a working photographer, its price will be negligible. PLN 4,990, deduct VAT, add the tax deduction fee and we get a fantastic work tool that will pay off after the first major order.

While enthusiasts will spend a little more on the lens, they probably won't have a problem to resell such equipment with a small loss after a few years, after all Sigma Art lenses keep their value well and are desirable on the secondary market.

Personally, I am delighted with this purchase. And looking at how good the Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art is, I can't wait to see the 70-200 f / 2.8 for the Sony mount. I hope that this will happen later this year and professionals will finally be able to build the entire lens ecosystem based on Sigma's affordable offer, as photographers working with Canon and Nikon DSLRs today can do.

Sigma 24-70 mm f / 2.8 Art for the Sony E mount in the eyes of a product photographer


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