Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 HSM for Nikon review

by Enche Tjin on July 18, 2009

I bought this lens several months ago because I need a wide zoom lens for my full frame DSLr camera, Nikon D700. Previously I use Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 and Nikkor 35mm f/2.8, but I feel I switching lenses all the time is quite cumbersome for type of photography I like to do, event photography.

This lens is regarded as high-end lens, the one usually used by serious photographers such as professionals and advanced amateur photographers.

Nikon does not have many lens optimized for full frame camera. Nikon does offers Nikon 24-70mm AF-S f/2.8, but it is simply too expensive considering I am not full time photographer.

Fortunately, last year, Sigma launched 24-70mm f/2.8 HSM. This lens attracts my attention especially because I can use it in full frame camera or crop frame camera (Nikon D90. D300, D60, etc). Here is the list why this lens is attractive:

  • sigma-24-70mm-hsmPrice: More than half the price compare to Nikon AF-S 24-70mm
  • Size: It is compact, but the diameter is big. It takes 82mm filter.
  • Built Quality: Great built quality, typical of Sigma EX (high-end lens)
  • Image Quality: Sharp, good contrast, consistent result across focal length and aperture. Smooth bokeh but not as good as prime lens such as 85mm f/1.4
  • Focal Length: 24mm is quite wide for many purpose although if you primarily take ultra-wide angle, consider Nikon 17-35mm or 14-24mm. 70mm is decent range, not too long and not too short.
  • Auto Focus: Quiet and fast, tracks well thanks to HSM (hypersonic motor).

Despite all of above, there are couple things that I personally do not like: Sometimes, the auto focus switch automatically switch to manual focus. Until now, I don’t know what trigger it. Although I like the compact size (short), but I feel the lens is not as comfortable to hold as the thinner, 77mm lens.

I highly recommend this lens for anybody who love “affordable” high quality lens. The lens works very well in full frame DSLR cameras, but it also works great in crop sensor camera. You can get a lot of value out of this lens even though you have crop sensor camera.

The only difference of mounting the lens on crop sensor camera will be the focal length. In crop sensor camera, it is equivalent to around 35-105mm. It might not wide enough in tight space, but looking at the positive side, you gain 35mm of extra focal length, which is great for head and shoulder portrait.

Travel and general purpose : ****
Landscape : ***
Portrait/Still Life : ***
Candid/Photojournalism : *****
Sports: *

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