This has been a long time coming, but I finally got around to putting together a review of my two newest lenses and to help save time, I thought I would review them together. The new glass from Sigma is definitely giving the competition a run for it’s money. I’m not going to cover all the tech specs of these two lenses here, you can read that on Sigma’s website. I’m going to give you a practical review of what would matter to you if you were considering adding one of these lenses to your camera bag.
Both the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses are from Sigma’s EX line, which means they are built to stand up to use and abuse. The lenses feel very well built and I have no doubt that they will stand up to harsh shooting conditions. The zoom ring on the 24-70mm lens seems a little stiff at first, but once you shoot with it for a few days you feel it relax a little bit… to the point where it gets comfortable. Even still, lens creep is not an issue at all. Both lenses feel right at home on my D90. Even the 24-70mm which requires an 82mm filter!
There were a lot of complaints about Sigma’s previous 24-70mm non-HSM lens and it being very soft when wide open. I haven’t had the chance to compare the two, but the new Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 HSM lens is sharp as a tack at f2.8. I have noticed that it does get soft once you go beyond infinite focus. However, that’s to be expected. All fast lenses exhibit some softness when they are wide open.
The Sigma 70-200mm lens is tack sharp throughout the zoom range at f2.8 and it just keeps getting better as you stop down the lens. The Bokeh is amazing and very soft and creamy. I love it! Both lenses have excellent contrast and color. I’m very impressed with the optical quality of both of these lenses.
Since both the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses feature Sigma’s HyperSonic Motor (HSM), the autofocus is very fast and very quiet. I’m excited to put them side by side with their Nikon equivalents and see how the two compare. I haven’t experienced any autofocus hunting in low light with either lens.
You cannot beat these two lenses for the price. You can pick both of them up from B&H Photo for less than you can buy the Nikon 70-200mm lens. The 24-70mm lens sells for $899 and the 70-200mm lens sells for $799. If you’re a serious amateur or even a pro, both lenses are a viable option.
The 24-70mm lens is a great lens for landscapes or walking around. It serves as a good portrait lens too, but that’s where I really like to use the 70-200mm lens. It compresses the background really well when you’re racked out to 200mm and the perspective for portraits is great! The 70-200mm lens is also great for wildlife (if you’re close enough) and sports.
Features I Like
- I love the fact that you can open the tripod collar on the 70-200mm lens and remove the lens from it. This is VERY convenient if you have the lens mounted on a tripod and want to hand hold your camera on short notice.
- I dig that you don’t have to take out a small loan to get great glass!
Features I Don’t Like
- On the 24-70mm lens, the zoom ring turns the opposite direction of Nikon’s lenses. So to zoom, you turn the ring counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. This bothered me at first a little, but I’m over it now. It’s like second nature to me.
Overall, if you want really great (fast) glass at a reasonable price, these two lenses may just be your ticket. Price, build, optics, and function are just incredible. I think I’ll have these lenses for quite some time and there may be more Sigma lenses in my future!
Now for some examples!