In the city this winter is gray. Everything’s gray, the tall buildings, the sky and even sometimes the people appear somewhat gray to me because of the murky atmosphere. The snow never remains and that’s why there’s never a real winter feeling, except for our cold fingers and a red nose.
That’s also the reason why I grabbed my camera (a Canon EOS 5D Mark III) and my new SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM lens to go out of town. However, unfortunately I still wasn’t able to find a real winter. 😉
Of course, I still had the chance to test the lens. The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM is a popular and powerful standard zoom lens. Being suitable for both studio photography and for documentary, portrait and travel photography it really is an all-rounder. Because of a light intensity of 2.8 good photos can even be taken under hard lighting conditions. But the 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM is also perfect for portraits as it combines typical fixed focal lengths ranging from 50mm to 70mm which are used in portrait photography. The wide open aperture allows you to play with the depth of field and thus separate the subjects from the background.
The first thing that will catch your eye when holding this lens is its solid top build quality. The lens weighs about 800 grams, which surely is normal and okay for the range of focal lengths it covers. Still it can become a bit heavy when you keep using it for a longer time, especially on a heavy camera (like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III). The lens consists of 14 elements in 12 groups and the smallest aperture is 22. One advantage of this lens certainly is its close-up limit. Focusing is possible for a distance of up to 38cm, which is very good for a lens of this kind. The image scale of 0.19 is also fair. The lens has useful internal focusing and works noiselessly and fast thanks to its integrated ultrasound motor. I faced some minor problems with focusing, but by and large I was quite satisfied. With extreme backlight conditions and little contrast using it turned out a bit difficult.
One thing that is, unfortunately, striking with this lens is its really strong vignetting in wide-angle areas in particular. However, in the post-editing phase you can easily remove these flaws with the right programs. The image quality at the margins and corners unfortunately didn’t fully convince me, either. In the center the level of sharpness is all right, but in the higher and lower focal length ranges sharpness decreases from the center of the image to the margins.
Finally, I consider the SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM a solid all-round lens with which you can take good pictures in many different situations.