Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art Review


Introduction

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art is a fast standard zoom lens for full-frame Sony E-Mount and Leica / Panasonic / Sigma L-Mount cameras. 

It will also work with APS-C sensor cameras with an effective increase in focal length to 36-105mm due to the crop factor. 

The Mark II effectively replaces the original version of this lens which was released in early 2020.

The optical formula is comprised of 19 elements in 15 groups, including 6 FLD glass elements, 2 SLD glass elements, and 5 aspherical lens elements to limit distortion and spherical aberrations. It features a rounded 11 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out of focus areas of the image. 

A traditional aperture ring runs from f/2.8 to f/22 in third-stop increments with an Auto setting available for camera-based aperture selection. There is also an aperture ring lock switch, an aperture ring click switch, a zoom lock switch, dedicated AF/MF switch and two customisable AFL buttons. 

The Super Multi-Layer coating helps to ensure that flare and ghosting are well-controlled even in backlit conditions and the lens has a dust and splash resistant structure with special sealing at the mount connection, manual focus ring, zoom ring, and cover connection.

It also offers a linear motor HLA (High-response Linear Actuator) for fast and quiet autofocusing, with a minimum focusing distance of 17cm (at 24mm) and maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.7 (at 24mm). 

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art lens is priced at £1179.99 / $1199.99 in the UK and the USA, respectively. This lens was first announced in April 2024. It is designed and made in Japan.

Ease of Use

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

Weighing in at 745g / 26.3oz. and measuring 12cm in length, the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art is quite a large and heavy lens given its focal length, although it’s actually 85g lighter and slightly shorter than its predecessor.

Its main E-mount rival, the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II, is slightly lighter again at 695g / 24.6oz. and also measures 12cm in length. On the L-mount side, the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 24-70mm F2.8 is much heavier (935g) and significantly longer too (14cm).

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

As seen in the photos below, it complements a full-frame camera like the Panasonic Lumix S5II that we tested it with, although it feels somewhat out of place on a smaller APS-C body.

Build quality is excellent given the comparatively affordable price tag. The lens has a plastic shell with a mixture of metallic parts and a compound material, TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), used inside. It also incorporates a brass bayonet mount that’s supposed to be more durable. The optical elements are made of high-grade glass.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

In terms of features, the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art offers almost everything that you need from a standard zoom lens.

This lens does not feature optical image stabilisation, so it relies on the camera body’s own built-in stabilisation, which is fine unless you’re an owner of an older camera body that doesn’t have this feature.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the Focus switch on the lens barrel. Full-time manual focus override is also available at any time simply by rotating the focus ring.

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art lens has a generously sized focus ring, which is ridged for easier grip. There are no hard stops at the ends of the range, making it harder to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 82mm filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

The Lock function switch is a useful feature that helps protect the lens. Set the focal length to 24mm and move it to the Lock position to prevent the zoom mechanism from creeping when the camera is pointed down or in storage.

There are now two dedicated Auto Focus Lock (AFL) buttons that can also be re-configured to assign various functions to the lens barrel.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

When it comes to auto-focusing, the 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art is noticeably faster than its predecessor – the maximum drive speed is more than three times faster than the previous model – taking less than 0.10 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Panasonic Lumix S5III that we tested it with.

We didn’t experience very much “hunting” at all, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It’s also a very quiet performer, which makes this lens equally well-suited to both video recording and more candid stills shooting.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art ships with a good quality soft case and also a plastic petal-shaped lens hood (LH878-05) with a locking mechanism.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

Focal Range

At the 24mm focal length the angle of view is 84.1 degrees.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

24mm

At the 70mm focal length the angle of view is 34.3 degrees.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

50mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not a problem for the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art, even at the edges of the frame.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

24mm

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

50mm

Vignetting

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, there is some light fall-off in the corners at both ends of the zoom range. Stopping-down to f/5.6 virtually eliminates this.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

24mm

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

50mm

Distortion

There’s some noticeable barrel distortion at the 24mm focal length and slight pincushioning at 70mm which is apparent in both the Raw files and uncorrected JPEGs.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

24mm

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

50mm

Macro

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art isn’t claimed to be a macro lens, but it delivers quite good performance nonetheless if you zoom to 70mm. It has a minimum focusing distance of 17cm at 24mm and 34cm at 70mm, and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.7 when set to the 24mm focal length.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

24mm

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc.

In the 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN II Art lens, Sigma have employed an iris diaphragm with 11 circular blades, which has resulted in very nice bokeh in our view.

We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we’ve included several examples below for your perusal.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.



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