© 2009 xiao Sigma 24-70mm

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

Acquired used on eBay

Very beautiful!

Sigma 24-70mm

Sigma 24-70mm

As an EX lens, this lens is solid, very different build than the non-EX Sigma lenses. And it’s huge, and the filter won’t be cheap. Several flaws in the mechanical design though. One, the extended part can never fully retract into the lens body. This makes it easy to get dirty and hard to clean. Two, they’ve made the zoming ring stiffer at the extremes (24 and 70mm) but at 24mm, it’s way too stiff to twist without effort. Three, the auto/manual focus ring system is redundant. To change mode, the entire ring shifts forward and back sort of like the Tokina lenses but the problem is that this is not a HSM lens and the camera body locks the focusing action as well. So either have the ring in the back position (manual) and have the huge ring spin around needlessly during focus and waste battery or have it in the forward position (AF) but to manually focus, you need to pull the ring back and change the focusing setting on the body to manually focus. Again, the design doesn’t compare with Nikon’s AF-S and M/A focusing mode.

Criticisms aside, the lens still solidely built. The cam extends when you zoom wide unconventionally. And the optics are just beautiful. The depth of field is very shallow with f/2.8 at 70mm and the bokeh is brilliant. The metering is an absolute mess but is definitely on the low side and need at least a +0.7EV to be properly exposed on my D200.

And the best selling point? The price! I paid less than 300$ for mine and although mechanical design will be superior, be prepared to dish out 1800$ for a Nikon lens of similar specifications. My 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 costed more and this lens, besides the zoom range, is superior in every way (maybe not the weight). This top notch EX lens is even affordable as a first lens for beginners. Optically, this is my best zoom lens but still trailing behind my fixed 50mm f/1.8.

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