When I gave the Nikkor 18-105mm lens back to the CEX shop I decided to buy something different. Coming across many lenses and different producers I found one, tailor made for me at first glance. I have ordered through the webuy.com website the used Sigma 17-70mm F2.8 – 4.5 Macro lenses. Unfortunately the lens, that I received was not fully operational, because autofocus was completely broken. I decided to take it back to the CEX shop again. It put me into bad mood however I didn’t want to give up. I ordered another sigma 17-70mm f2.8 – 4.5 Macro on the same evening.
After a few days the delivery has come to me. Once I opened I noticed, that this is not a lens, that I would like. It was a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro (Pic.1,2) rather than Sigma 17-70mm. Moreover It wasn’t working too. Besides the broken autofocus I spotted a few fungus on the bottom glass (Pic. 3). Having a 2 weeks to give this item back I took adventage of this occassion and made some tests. I would like to say you, that photos made by this Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro are not good. I was fighting with manual focus and with fungus also.


Pic. 1,2 Sigma 24-70mm F.2.8 HX DG Macro on the Nikon D5300 body.
Sigma 24-70mm fungus2
Pic. 3 Fungus, that covers the bottom glass of Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro.

Before I start to describe the photo quality provided by Sigma 24-70mm I give you a good advice: Don’t buy items in CEX shop, at least from the website. Is definitely better, when you can go to shop and try!

Using the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro I have focused on a few things. First of all it is a lens with macro officially. Previously I had an ocassion to work with Nikkor 18-55mm macro, that is general not taken into account. I must admit, that it was one the best macro, that I have been fortunate to see, except the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 macro, that I will describe soon. Contrasting both the Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II and Nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 VR this Sigma lens has the best one. The best example of it we can see, when comparing one plant in all lenses, that has been described. My example plant is the moss Polytrichum Commune, that is common in Britain (Pic. 4).

Pic. 4 The Polytrichum Commune moss as an example of macro comparison (all pictures has been cropped).

I have another examples with this plant to show you. See the pictures (Pic.5-8) below:

Sigma macro2

Sigma macro


Pic. 5 – 8 The Polytrochium Communae (5,7 – normal; 6,8 – cropped pictures) captured by Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG.

Let’s take a look on another macro examples, without cropping (Pic. 9-12).

Sigma lime



Pic. 9 – 12 The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro examples: 9 – Lime tree (Tilia) leaf buds, 10 – The Lorus watch, 11 – Cotoneaster Dammeri berries, 12 – Metal pinacle.

In spite of quite big minimal focusing distance, that counts 40 cm, being just a little bit shorter than the Nikkor 18-105mm the macro images are really good. Due to lack of autofucus I can say nothing about the chromatic aberration in the macro pictures. Some of them are not perfectly sharp too.

Another feature of this sigma is the zoom itself. This lens gives us opportunity to take a photo up to 70mm. I have checked the quality of photos done on 70mm focal length. To be said they are really nice. The chromatic aberration almost not exist, what is an excellent atitude (Pic. 13-16).


Sigma 70mm


Pic. 13 – 16 The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro – 70mm photos example: 13,15 normal; 14,16 – cropped, Our Lady and the English Martyrs catholic Church (OLEM), Cambridge.

As you can see there is no light fall on all aforementioned pictures. All photos are clear and sharp.
See the another 70mm examples below, without cropping (Pic. 17,18).

Pic. 17 The Regent’s street in Cambridge, view towards city centre, 70mm, f.9 1/125s, ISO 560.
Pic. 18 The Regent’s street in Cambridge, view towards the Our Lady and the English Martyrs catholic church (OLEM),70mm f.10, 1/200s, ISO 400.
Pic. 19 Cambridge – Park & Piece, 70mm, f.9 1/125s, ISO 400.

Let’s take a look on the another pictures taken by the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro. They are clear and sharp. Nothing to complain about I think.

Pic. 19 Cambridge, Lynewoode Road, 24mm, F.9 1/100s ISO 400.
Pic. 20 Semi-detached house on Lynewoode Road in Cambridge, 24mm, f.9, 1/125s, ISO 400.
Pic. 21 Cambridge – Fairfax Road Allotments, 48mm, f.9 1/160s, ISO 400.

The biggest atitude of the Sigma 24-70mm Macro lenses is definitely (for me) the aperture. This is only f2.8 for a whole range. Thanks to this Sigma 24-70mm is perfect for the night photography. I couldn’t make a sharp photos however I have done my best. I found another adventage of this lens: as the length grows the focus doesn’t change unlike to Nikkor ones. This is great! Setting the manual focus value you can use it for whole range of length offered.
Anyway I took a several photos during the night and low light. The result is really nice. Even, when photos has been taken on maximum length they keeps the good quality and brightness.

Pic. 22 A cherry tree with nest on the top, 24mm f2.8, 1s, ISO 12800.
Pic. 23 Cambridge, 63 Corrie Road house, 24mm, f2.8, 1/2s, ISO 6400.
Pic. 24 Cambridge – Corrie road, 24mm, f2.8, 1/8s ISO 6400.
Pic. 25 Cambridge – Coleridge Road 92,94 semi-detached house, 24mm, f2.8, 1/8s ISO 6400.
Pic. 26 The Christmas decoration around “The Lodge” building, Cherry Hinotn Road, Cambridge, 24mm, f2.8, 1/30s ISO 1600.
Pic. 27 A bright, slightly overexposed night picture of the car, 24mm, f2.8 1s, ISO 12800.

Taking a photos on maximal focal length may be a good pleasure in night conditions too (Pic. 28-29).  I have chosen the sharpest picture as I could gain using manual autofocus.

sigma 24-70mm noc

Sigma 24-70mm night
Pic. 28, 29 The yagi antenna TV at the rooftop on the 55 Corrie Road house in Cambridge: 27 – normal, 28 – cropped, 70mm, f2.8, 1/8s ISO 8000.

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG is to be perfect for amateur astrophotography too. Even when you are in the city center and struggling with a high level of light pollution this lens can help you to gain a decent sky images. I would prefer to use it for constellation photography. Remember, that if you not owe a star adventurer the long time exposure may affect of your image and make the stars noc sharp. Earth rotates, that cause a star movement. As long as you taking a fast exposure photos you can receive a sharp image. During the longer exposures you can see a dash-looking stars.
Unfortunately some of sky photos are not appropriate due to lack of autofucus and tripod. Watch all below:

Pic. 30 The Aries constellation with the Hamal – the brightest star seen from Cambridge, 29mm, f2.8, 1/2s ISO 10000.
Pic. 31 Towering Orion constellation above the 26 Corrie Road house in Cambridge, 24mm, f2.8, 1/2s, ISO 12800.
Pic. 31  The Orion constellation – close up view with accidential lightbow, 70mm, f2.8, 1/2s, ISO 12800.

Pic. 31 shows, that light pollution may affect strongly on the astrophoto quality. The parameters, that has been used to take this photo shows the rough light level balance between a good stars view and overexposed sky section covered by artifical lightning.

At the outcome I can recommend this lens for everyone, who wants to use it for night photography and make a close-up view of the constellations and star clusters or remote objects. The F2.8 aperture is completely tailored for it. Sigma 24-70mm is also good to take another pictures and nice for macro. The one drowback is a lack of the wide angle features, because the minimal focal length is 24mm. I have got used to take a “normal” pictures on 18mm focal length hence using this lens was quite unconfortable for me.

1. Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 Macro EX DG review
2. Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro – dpreview.com
3. Check the lenses photo quality against your camera.