Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DN Art - All the lens at half the price?

Last month Sigma officially announced the 24-70mm f/2.8 DN for Sony FE and L-mount cameras. The lens is the 2nd zoom from Sigma’s DN line for mirrorless cameras (Sony/Panasonic/Sigma/Leica). While this was an expected release, the price wasn’t - just $1,099. Not only is it $200 less than Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 Art for Canon/Nikon mount, but it’s also half the price of the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Sigma sent us a sample copy of the 24-70mm f/2.8 for Sony FE for a few days to try out.


The Sigma 24-70mm DN Art for FE is designed from the ground up to be a mirrorless lens (DN), just like the recently released 14-24mm DN f/2.8 Art. Unlike the 14-24mm, which resembles its EF/F-mount brother, the 24-70mm DN more closely resembles the Sony 24-70mm GM than the 24-70mm Art for EF/F-mount. The zoom ring (with an opposite throw direction to the Sony) is located near the lens mount, and the focusing ring is towards the front element, and much larger than on the Sigma 24-70mm Art for EF/F. Unlike the G Master, which has the AF/MF switch near the mount and the AFL button in between the 2 rings, the Sigma 24-70mm Art DN has the AF/MF switch and the AFL button located on a raised panel in between the two rings, with the zoom lock switch just below it. The placement is perfect, and my thumb would naturally rest on the AFL button when not using the zoom ring.

The feel of the lens is typical Sigma Art design - solid and of high quality. It also features a dust and splash-proof design for shooting in all seasons and situations. On top of that, the 24-70mm Art DN uses a push-button release locking lens hood for a secure fit. 


The lens is composed of SLD and FLD elements for quality optical performance, minimal chromatic aberration, and resistance to lens flaring. The autofocus uses a stepping motor for fast and silent performance. It is also compatible with Sony/Panasonic/Sigma’s eye-AF. Sigma says that the minimum focusing distance is just over 7” on the wide end, and at 70mm, it’s almost exactly the same as the Sony G Master. 


Lens Performance

Having used the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art on DSLR’s and on Sony bodies with the Sigma MC-11, the autofocus and sharpness are greatly improved on the DN. When shooting wide open, and at close focus distances, the DSLR version of the 24-70mm Art was a bit soft, but on the DN it’s a noticeable improvement. When compared to the 24-70mm G Master - the Sigma’s AF performance seemed to be a bit better in fast-action tracking situations. The 70mm focal length tends to be the weak point of the 24-70mm G Master, and the Sigma seems to be sharper at 70mm throughout the aperture range. The weak spot of Sigma is the wide end, but even then, it’s hard to notice any softness unless you really punch in when reviewing photos. 


Chromatic aberration and flares are well controlled, and not noticeable under most shooting situations, unless you’re shooting right into the sun. Flaring was a bit more prominent when shooting into sunlight at 70mm, and less noticeable in the 24-50mm range. While there is a bit of distortion at the wide end, the in-camera correction does a great job of correcting it, and Adobe should have a Lightroom profile for the lens soon.


Sample Photos (taken w/ Sony A7r III)


Final Thoughts


Sigma didn’t hold back when creating this lens. Instead of simply “building in” the MC-11/21 like they did on many of their Art primes, they started from the ground up and created a lens that was an improvement over their own 24-70mm Art, and at a lower price point. The lens has no major downfalls to it, and even its minor weaknesses aren’t very noticeable. If you consistently shoot between 24-35mm, the G Master has a slight advantage, but at twice the price, it’s hard to justify.

 Even though the lens has just started shipping, Sigma has already announced that they have been overwhelmed by pre-orders for the FE mount, and there will be delays. The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DN Art for Sony FE can be pre-ordered here. 

For full size images, click here.