Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DN Image Gallery
February 24th, 2021
Sometimes lens makers surprise you. Most “connected” photographers have their own ideas of what a lens maker should do, and, as a gear reviewer, I typically hear most of those suggestions. But clearly lens makers often have a different roadmap, and Sigma’s latest lens release is clearly one that no one expected. I hear a lot of clamor for Sigma to release a 50mm F1.4 DN lens in the vein of their excellent 85mm F1.4 DN that I reviewed last year. Sigma has already released a 14-24mm F2.8 DN lens (my review here), a 24-70mm F2.8 DN lens (my review here), so the logical lens that most have expected is a 70-200mm F2.8 DN lens…but that’s not what we’ve got here. Sigma has instead chosen to release a second standard zoom for Sony FE (full frame E-mount) and Leica L – the Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN. Sigma asked if I wanted to test a new lens without telling me what it was, so, when the 28-70DN (as we’ll call it for brevity) arrived, my surprised expression looked pretty much like this:
I spent my first little while after opening the lens trying to wrap my mind around Sigma’s logic in releasing this particular lens…now. It’s only been 13 months since the release of the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DN, a lens I felt was a strong alternative in both performance and price ($1099 USD) to the much more expensive Sony G Master version ($2198 USD). The 28-70DN comes with a Contemporary badge rather than an ART designation, has a smaller size and zoom range, and also comes with a smaller price ($899 USD). We all like a lower price, sure, but it feels like you are giving up a lot for that $200 in price difference, including losing a significant 4mm off the wide end (24mm vs 28mm), trading a full dust and splash proof design for a one with minimal weather sealing (a gasket at the lens mount), and the loss of a focus hold button and zoom lock. Sigma is obviously banking on successfully addressing two different markets, and there’s no question that they have Tamron’s wildly successful 28-75mm F2.8 RXD in their sites (my review here). The Tamron has been the best selling lens in the world since its release a couple of years ago, and it is different enough in kind from Sigma’s 24-70mm F2.8 DN that Sigma clearly felt a more direct competitor was warranted.
I’ll bear this in mind in my review, and, since I own the Tamron (I use it regularly for my channel and also for its general purpose flexibility), I have the luxury of being able to do a number of direct comparisons to help you make an informed decision if you are deciding between the two lenses. You can see from the photo above that the Sigma manages to be smaller even than the Tamron (though it does give up 5mm of focal length on the zoom end), so that helps open up another potential angle of Sigma’s logic. We’ve seen Sigma dive into the more compact lens market in the past year with the i-Series (24mm F3.5, 35mm F2, 45mm F2.8, and 65mm F2 lenses, all of which I’ve reviewed and you can find in this playlist). These lenses addressed the reality that most of Sigma’s recent lenses have largely been well, large. Certain people love Sigma’s large aperture ART series lenses and their highly corrected optical performance, but others find them unnecessarily large and heavy. Sigma’s focus recently seems to be on addressing the secondary market of those who want good optical and build quality but want smaller, more compact lenses to pair with smaller cameras like the Sony a7C, the Sigma FP, or Leica SL2-S . The 28-70DN seems to be a zoom lens to compliment the compact prime lenses of the i-Series.
While the 28-70mm F2.8 DN has a smaller zoom ratio than competitors, there’s no question that this is still an incredibly useful zoom range…particularly in such a compact lens. You can shoot wide angle landscape shots like this:
…but you can also zoom in to short telephoto range to isolate subjects and create shallow depth of field photos like this:
That versatility is what makes such a lens so useful for so many things, and helps explain why the Tamron has sold so well at this same price point. Sigma clearly wants a piece of that success…but they’ll need to provide some compelling reasons to the choose the 28-70DN over the Tamron or their own 24-70mm F2.8. You can read my text review or watch the video reviews of the lens…or just check out the photos below.
Photos of the Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DN
Photos taken with the Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DN
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