Does this standard zoom succeed at offering top-level performance for today’s era of high-resolution cameras? Michael Topham finds out
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art review: Features
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art is designed as a go-to lens for many different photographic applications. To maximise its appeal with a wide range of users it has an optical design that’s optimised for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras boasting a resolution of up to 50-million-pixels.
The lens construction consists of 19 elements in 14 groups with 9 rounded aperture blades. As part of this design, three special low dispersion (SLD) glass elements and four aspherical elements are used to curtail optical aberrations. To keep flare and ghosting under control the front element benefits from Sigma’s super multi-layer coating that also contributes to sharp, high-contrast images in backlit conditions.
Users will find that the lens also incorporates an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism, allowing it to receive the appropriate signals from the camera body for a reliable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting. It’s worth pointing out that Nikon DSLRs that do not have an autofocus motor built-in the camera body (D5600, D5500, D5300, D5200, D5100, D5000, D3400, D3300, D3200, D3100, D3000, D60, D40X, and D40) won’t be able to take advantage of autofocus.
Sigma has once again used its hypersonic motor (HSM) to keep focusing fast and quiet, but this has been refined since previous versions to deliver 1.3x more torque and provide a more stable performance across its 37cm-infinity focus distance range.
Unlike the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, this Sigma zoom features an optical stabiliser that allows you to shoot up to 4-stops slower than would otherwise be possible. This doesn’t trump another of its close rivals – the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (£1,249) however, which has the highest vibration compensation level of its class and is effective to 5-stops.
Other noteworthy features include full-time manual focus, which allows the lens to be switched to manual focus simply by rotating the focus ring, an 82mm filter thread, and full compatibility with Sigma’s USB dock to update firmware and adjust focusing parameters using the company’s Optimization Pro software.
As things stand at the time of writing the lens can be purchased in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, but isn’t offered in Sony E-mount. Anyone wishing to pair a Sigma SA mount or Sigma EF mount version of this lens with a Sony A7-series camera will require Sigma’s MC-11 adapter (£199) to do.