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Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens on the Sony A7R III to find out just how good this general-purpose lens is.

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Sigma 28 70mm F2,8 Dg Dn On Sony A7RIII At 70mm | 1/6 sec | f/16.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 100
 

Having just reviewed the Sigma 16-28mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens it is logical to turn our attention to its twin, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary. Both lenses are available in Sony FE full frame and L mount and the two together offer a very practical focal length range of 16-70mm, all at a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. This could be a powerful duo of two lightweight lenses ideal for travel, so let's put the 28-70mm on the Sony A7R III 42MP body and see how it handles and performs and find out if it is indeed a good match for its wider sibling.

 

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Handling and Features

Sigma 28 70mm F2,8 Dg Dn Front Oblique View | 1/6 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100
The lens uses a lightweight Thermally Stable Composite, with its coefficient of expansion being close to the same as Aluminium, and the two materials together give us a lens that weighs in at a very modest 470g. In fact, the total weight is only 920g, which does suggest an excellent pair for travelling light. However, there is no overlap between the 16-28mm and 28-70mm, which is fine unless we should want to work mostly around the 28mm point and end up constantly wanting to change lenses. Apart from that, which may well not be a problem for most photographers, the duo work well as a team.

Back to the 28-70mm, it is also quite compact, measuring just 72.2mm in diameter and 101.5mm long. There is a provided petal lens hood that bayonets securely into place. There is no locking catch, nor is there any need for one as the hood stays securely in place during use. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a conventional 67mm filter thread.

The manual focusing ring is electronic, and at least on this particular sample of the lens slightly firmer in action than we are used to with Sigma lenses. However, it is smooth enough. The usual Sony focusing options are available, that is AF-S, AF-A, AF-C, DMF and MF. Direct Manual Focus allows teaking of the focus point after AF has been achieved. AF is driven by a stepping motor which is virtually silent, fast and accurate. The closest focusing point varies from wide to tele settings. At 28mm, the closest focus is 19cm (0.59 feet) for a maximum magnification of 1:3.3. At 70mm, the closest focus is 38cm (1.25 feet) for a maximum magnification of 1:4.6. Although not macro distances, these are usefully close for general use.

 

Sigma 28 70mm F2,8 Dg Dn With Hood On Sony A7RIII | 1/5 sec | f/16.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 100
Between the focusing and zoom rings there is just one switch, the AF/MF selector. The zoom ring is wide and easy to grip. It is clearly and accurately marked at 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 70mm. The lens does extend when zooming, but the balance is not unduly disturbed as the construction is so light.

Optical construction is 16 elements in 12 groups, including 2 FLD (Fluorite-like low dispersion), 2 SLD (Super Low Dispersion) and 3 Aspherical. Sigma uses Super Multi-Layer and Nanoporous coatings to suppress flare, plus water and oil repellant coatings on the front element. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades, the aim being to produce pleasant bokeh, the smoothness of the out-of-focus areas in an image.

The solid brass mount has a gasket to help prevent dust and water ingress, but sadly the lens does not have overall weather resistance. This is a shame as it would have rounded out the feature set of this lens very nicely. In all other respects, the lens handles very well and it does make a lovely match with the 16-28mm, so the two together could be a good way to go, making a very compact and light duo, especially for travel.

Time to find out if the performance matches up.

 


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