Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review

Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

A standard zoom lens is typically the most required lens in the kit. That lens oft being the most used means selecting the right lens in this class is critical. In this crowded lens class, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens lures your vote with compact size, light weight, good image quality, and a reasonable price.

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

Focal Length Range

The focal length range (or individual focal lengths for prime lenses) is a primary consideration for a lens purchase or selection for use. Focal length matters greatly because it drives focus distance choices, and those distances determine perspective. Most subjects can be photographed with any focal length, but not all angles of view provided by those focal lengths are practical from a working distance perspective, and they do not all provide the ideal relational perspective when the desired subject framing is obtained. For example, photographing a group of 15 people with a 600mm lens requires a working distance that might need a large sports field to keep all group members in the frame, and a phone may be required to communicate with the group.

The moderately wide-angle through short telephoto 28-70mm focal length range covers a vast range of general-purpose needs, making it an ideal option for photographing a wide range of subjects. This is the type of lens that you can take when you are not sure which focal lengths you will need, and usually, it will be found to be the right choice.

The 28-70mm range is great for photographing people, and it is ideal for portraits, weddings, parties, events, documentaries, interviews, lifestyle, theater, fashion, studio portraiture, candids, and even some sports. Use 70mm for head and shoulders portraits and the wider end for groups and environmental imagery.

This lens is a good choice for media and photojournalistic needs as well as for street photography.

This lens is a good option for landscape and cityscape photography, with compositions being ideally captured using every focal length available in this lens. It is not difficult to create compelling landscape compositions using the 28mm perspective while still providing emphasis on a foreground subject against an in-focus background, providing the viewer a sense of presence in the scene. At the other end of the range, 70mm works great for mildly compressed landscapes featuring distant subjects such as mountains.

With a wide aperture, this lens is attractive for photographing the night sky, with the 28mm end being of most interest in that regard.

This lens is well-suited for commercial photography, and the wide end of the range is ready to capture exterior architecture and interior spaces availing longer working distances. This lens's capabilities list includes cityscapes, countrysides, flowers, medium and large products, and much more. If you like to photograph your food, 28-70mm covers that need.

Here is an example of what this focal length range looks like:

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Focal Length Range Example

28mm | 35mm | 40mm | 50mm | 55mm | 60mm | 60mm

The focal length range of every zoom camera lens in existence is a compromise. Size, weight, and price are often the limiting factors. Within its class, this lens's focal length range is abbreviated at the wide end, with many alternative standard zoom lenses offering 24mm.

Do I miss having the extra 4mm on my general-purpose zooms lens? For landscapes, yes. For event shooting, no.

Here is a 24mm vs. 28mm comparison (captured with a different lens):

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens Focal Length Range Example

A shorter focal length range reduces the optical design complexity. That advantage can be translated into a lower price, improved image quality, smaller size, and lighter weight.

The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens and I spent a considerable amount of time together in a variety of locations, including along the stream and at the beach. Here are some sample pictures.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Beach Scene Sample Picture

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens One of a Kind Sample Picture

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Old Cabin Sample Picture

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Amusement Park at Night Sample Picture

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Fence Into the Dunes Sample Picture

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Kid on the Beach Sample Picture

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Candy Store Sample Picture

Note that all of the above images were captured without a tripod, with only the amusement park image capture taking advantage of an alternative rest.

On an APS-C (1.5x FOVCF) camera, the full-frame angle of view equivalency will be 42-105mm. This APS-C range is lacking from a wide-angle perspective, and that aspect impacts landscape use. Still, the standard focal lengths are covered, and the telephoto end becomes considerably more attractive, especially for portraiture.

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

Max Aperture

As of review time, very few zoom lenses have a maximum aperture opening wider than this one, and none of those cover this lens's focal length range in a Sony mount. So the relatively wide f/2.8 aperture is a strong feature advantage this lens holds.

Wide apertures are useful for stopping action, both that of the subject and that of the camera, in low light levels while keeping ISO settings low and noise levels quiet. Additionally, wide apertures benefit AF systems, enabling them to work better in low-light environments. Even when photographing under bright light conditions, wide apertures are useful for creating a strong background blur that makes a subject stand out, isolated from an even highly distracting background.

These examples illustrate the maximum blur this lens can create:

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Maximum Blur Example

28mm | 40mm | 70mm

A disadvantage of a wide aperture is the required increased physical size of the lens elements. Larger lens elements come with heavier weight and higher costs. This lens nicely side-steps those disadvantages.

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

Image Stabilization

This lens does not feature image stabilization. While image stabilization adds greatly to the versatility of a lens, it also adds size, weight, and cost and can compromise image quality and lens durability. With Sony's mirrorless cameras featuring IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization), the need for a lens to provide this feature is diminished.

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

Image Quality

One aspect we never want to be compromised is image quality. Still, those cost, weight, and size issues into play in this regard. How does the small, light, affordable Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens perform optically? Let's find out.

In the wider half of the focal length range, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens produces a sharp image wide open at f/2.8, with little improvement seen or needed at f/4. As the focal length increases, the center of the frame sharpness declines slightly. At 50mm, f/4 brings on a noticeable improvement, and f/5.6 does the same at 70mm.

In general, lenses are not as sharp in the periphery, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center. This lens is moderately softer in the periphery at f/2.8. As the aperture is narrowed, the area of sharpness pushes out from the center. The difference at f/4 is quite noticeable and minor at f/5.6.

Taking the testing outdoors, we next look at a series of center-of-the-frame 100% resolution crop examples. These images were captured in RAW format using a Sony Alpha a1 and processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method. The sharpening amount was set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

28mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   40mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0 |
70mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6 | f/8.0

Little discussion is required for the 28mm and 40mm results. These look great.

The 70mm results, however, need some explanation. The f/2.8 sample appears slightly soft, and the f/4 result is noticeably sharper. That is as expected.

Next, as the aperture is further narrowed, watch the image area with the conjunction of branches as f/5.6 and f/8 are selected. The branch conjunction becomes softer, while the needles closer to the camera become very sharp.

The plane of sharp focus moving forward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA), is often made apparent in such a comparison. That focus shift is what we are see here. I find this defect annoying, and AF did not resolve the issue. Interesting is that this problem was absent in some test result sets. I don't have an answer for that anomaly.

Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme-top-left-corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

28mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   40mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0
70mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0

Only f/2.8 and f/4 samples were needed to show the entire picture. The 28mm and 40mm extreme corners look quite nice, and the 70mm corners remain modestly soft.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. At 28mm, f/2.8, this lens shows just under 4 stops of corner shading, a relatively strong amount. The shading diminishes quickly as the focal length is increased, with about 2.5 stops of f/2.8 corner shading at the marked longer focal lengths. At f/4, the 28mm corner shading drops to about 2.5 stops, and the rest of the range drops to about 1.5 stops. At f/11, the 28mm corner shading drops to just over 1 stop, with the amount progressively decreasing until just over 0.5 stops at 70mm.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the just under one stop of shading showing wide open at 28mm will seldom be visible.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern showing in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.

Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) refers to the unequal magnification of all colors in the spectrum. Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better to avoid this aberration in the first place.

Color misalignment can be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a set of worst-case examples. The images below are 100% crops from the extreme top left corner of Sony Alpha 1 images showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

28mm | 35mm | 50mm | 70mm

Only black and white colors should appear in these images, with the additional colors indicating the presence of lateral CA. At 28mm, the color separation is modest. Lateral CA gradually increases with the focal length increase until a moderate amount is present at 70mm. Overall, this performance is good for a lens in this class.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light. More simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation, with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

The examples below look at the defocused specular highlights' fringing colors in the foreground vs. the background. The lens has introduced any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

28mm | 35mm | 50mm | 70mm

At 28mm, the color separation is mild. The separation increases with focal length until becoming strong at 50mm and 70mm.

Bright light reflecting off of lens elements' surfaces may cause flare and ghosting, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes interesting, usually destructive visual artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare in an image are variable, dependant on the position and nature of the light source (or sources), selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades, and quantity and quality of the lens elements and their coatings. Sigma utilizes Super Multi-Layer and Nano Porous coatings to combat flare. This lens produced practically no flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test, reflecting excellent performance.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality. High flare resistance is a welcomed advantage of this lens.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident when shooting images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The images below are 100% crops taken from the top-left corner of Sony Alpha 1 frames.

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

28mm | 40mm | 70mm

Obvious is that some complications are showing in these stars. Despite the stars being noticeably stretched, results such as these are not unusual for this lens class.

This is a standard zoom lens, and the usual standard zoom lens geometric distortion description holds true, with the amounts being relatively strong in this case. This lens has barrel distortion at the wide end (a noticeable bulge showing in the center of the frame), transitions into negligible distortion around 35mm, and shows strong pincushion distortion at the long end. The example below shows the ocean horizon rendered as a curve at about 55mm.

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

Most modern lenses have correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced.

As seen earlier in the review, it is easy to illustrate the amount of blur a lens can create. Due to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes, assessing the bokeh quality is considerably more challenging. Here are some f/11 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

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

28mm | 40mm | 70mm | 28mm | 40mm | 70mm

The first three examples show defocused highlights being moderately smoothly filled, and the shapes are nicely rounded. The second set of examples are full images reduced in size and looking normal.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round, and that is the shape seen here.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

28mm | 35mm | 50mm | 70mm

As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder.

The 9-blade count diaphragm renders point light sources captured with a narrow aperture setting as a sunstar with 18 points. In general, the more a lens diaphragm is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, and this lens can produce nice stars, as illustrated by a 35mm sample image below.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sunstar Effect Example

Aperture is measured as a ratio of lens opening to focal length. This lens has a fixed max aperture yet does not become larger in diameter as the focal length is increased. Therefore, maintaining the fixed max aperture (the ratio) on a zoom lens requires the aperture to narrow at the wide end of the focal length range. Therefore, this lens's aperture is closed more at the wider focal lengths than at the longer, and thus, the 28mm sunstars appear slightly nicer than the 70mm stars.

"The optical design of the SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary is based on the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Art, which is renowned for its outstanding optical performance throughout its zoom range. True to the Contemporary line's core concept, the 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary was developed to offer the right balance of performance and portability, and as such, this large-aperture standard zoom delivers outstanding image quality that rivals Art line lenses in a body light enough for day-to-day use. Building on state-of-the-art technology, the 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary has an advanced optical design that includes three aspherical, two FLD, and two SLD elements. Despite using fewer elements in total than the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Art, the design results in a thorough correction of axial chromatic aberration and sagittal coma aberration, which cannot be corrected in-camera, allowing users to create images that are uniformly sharp from the center to the edges of the frame." [Sigma]

When comparing to an Art series lens, a "based on" reference is generally a positive aspect. Let's take a closer look at these two designs.

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

Obviously, there are differences. The Contemporary lens features 16 elements in 12 groups vs. 19 in 15 for the Art lens. Not to be forgotten is the Contemporary's reduced focal length range, certainly impacting the optical design.

Overall, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens delivers very respectable image quality. While numerous image quality components of this lens did not test perfectly, including 70mm f/2.8 sharpness, 70mm focus shift, long end color blur, and 28mm vignetting, all other lens options in this class also have imperfections. The 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary competes strongly against the alternatives.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Extended Top View with Hood

Focusing

Driven by a stepping motor, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens autofocuses quite fast and practically silently.

Remember that (at least some) cameras, including the Sony a1, defocus the image slightly before final focusing in AF-S mode, even if the subject was initially in focus. This process adds significantly to the focus lock time. Usually, switching to AF-C continuous focusing mode resolves the refocusing issue, but that is not the case with this lens.

With adequate contrast on the subject, the 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary focuses in very dark environments, though the focus speed becomes very slow under such conditions. I found this lens to consistently focus accurately, the most important requirement of an AF system.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) mode with the shutter release half-pressed or the AF-ON button pressed.

Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as the focus is pulled from one extent to the other, referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing negatively impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone critically framing while adjusting focus. At the wide end, this lens produces a strong change in subject size through a full extent focus distance adjustment. That change decreases to very little at the 70mm end.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Focus Magnification Example

28mm: Far | Close   40mm: Far | Close
70mm: Far | Close

The review lens does not exhibit complete parfocal-like behavior, though it comes close. As illustrated in the 100% crops below, 50mm is the only marked focal length going blurry from the 70mm-established focus.

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

70mm | 50mm | 35mm | 28mm

This lens has an AF/MF switch, providing quick access to this frequently used camera setting without accessing the menu system.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View with Hood

Ideally positioned toward the front of the lens, the ribbed plastic (not rubberized) focus ring is relatively large and easy to find for the size of the lens. This ring turns very smooth and has a nice resistance. At 28mm, about 150° of MF rotation for a full extent change linearly adjusts focusing at an ideal rate, though the distance change occurs in tiny steps. At 70mm, about 330° of MF rotation linearly and smoothly adjusts focus the full extent, again at an ideal rate.

With a minimum focus distance of 7.5" (190mm), this lens has mid-level 0.22x maximum magnification spec.

ModelMFDMM
Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens8.3"(210mm)0.30x
Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM Lens15.4"(390mm)0.18x
Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens15.0"(380mm)0.22x
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens7.1"(180mm)0.34x
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens7.5"(190mm)0.22x
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Lens13.0"(330mm)x
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens15.0"(380mm)0.24x
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens15.0"(381mm)0.20x
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens7.5"(190mm)0.34x

At 28mm, a subject measuring approximately 4.5 x 3" (114 x 76mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum focus distance.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Maximum Magnification Example

Obvious in the f/2.8 example above, despite the significantly reduced image size, is that the periphery of the image becomes extremely blurred and strongly barrel distorted at maximum magnification.

At 70mm, the longer minimum focus distance does not provide nearly as much magnification as at 28mm:

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Maximum Magnification Example

In the 70mm example, the distortion appears normal for this lens, though the image periphery remains blurred.

The minimum focus distance is measured from the imaging sensor plane with the camera, lens, and lens hood length taking their space out of the number to create the working distance. At 70mm, without the hood installed, there is about 5.6" (142mm) of working distance at the minimum focus distance. At 28mm, the working distance is only about 2.1" (53mm) in front of the lens. At this distance, the lens itself will impact the subject lighting even without the additional 1.25" (38mm) consumed by the installed hood.

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? Mount an extension tube behind this lens to significantly decrease and increase those respective numbers. Of course, reducing the 28mm minimum focus distance quickly becomes problematic.

Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, allowing shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function as normal. As of review time, Sigma and Sony do not publish extension tube specs or manufacture these items, but third-party Sony compatible extension tubes are available.

This lens is not compatible with Sigma teleconverters.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle View Extended with Hood

Build Quality & Features

"With priority given to optimal portability, the body of the SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary consists primarily of lightweight parts. While conventional wisdom states that it is more difficult to ensure processing accuracy for plastic parts than metal parts, there has been no compromise whatsoever on build quality for the 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary. One reason for this is that it uses a type of polycarbonate called TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), which has a comparable level of thermal shrinkage to aluminum. This helps reduce differences between the thermal shrinkage of the metal and non-metal parts, ensuring stable levels of performance even in an environment with extreme temperature changes. The use of polycarbonates in the construction of zoom and focus rings can make their operation feel less premium, but with careful treatment to the precision of these parts and adjusting the movement with the lubricant appropriately, the rings offer a precise action with an exceptionally high-quality feel." [Sigma]

Below is a visual comparison of the retracted and extended Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary (center two lenses) and 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art (outer lenses) Lenses.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens

That comparison clearly illustrates a targeted difference between these models, and the Contemporary lens looks like a smaller Art lens.

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

MFD |    MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    MFD |    Rotated   Compare »

As usual for standard/normal zoom lenses, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary has an extending design, increasing by 0.9" (22.8mm) at 70mm.

The rubber-ribbed zoom ring features a short rotation, making focal length changes fast.

The flush-mounted AF/MF switch is easy to use and clicks firmly into position, with a white background indicating the AF selection.

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

Sigma specifies this lens as having a "Dust and splash proof structure." However, the further clarification "Applied to the mount only" reveals that most of the lens is not weather sealed. Use a rain cover if wet can happen.

A water and oil repellant coating has been applied to the front lens element, facilitating cleaning as well as avoiding the need for cleaning.

Compact size and light weight are foundational to the design of this lens. When carrying a lens for long periods, this one makes life better. Those attributes come to life in a table comparing these specifications.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens31.8(900)3.5 x 4.9(88.5 x 125.7)822019
Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM Lens50.5(1430)4.1 x 5.5(103.8 x 139.8)952018
Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens28.4(805)3.5 x 5.0(89.0 x 126.0)822019
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens29.5(835)3.5 x 4.8(87.8 x 122.9)822019
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens16.6(470)2.8 x 4.0(72.2 x 101.5)672021
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens31.3(886)3.4 x 5.4(87.6 x 136.0)822016
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens19.4(550)2.9 x 4.6(73.0 x 117.8)672018

Making the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens appear heavy is a remarkable feat.

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

Here is a visual comparison:

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens to other lenses.

This lens uses 67mm filters. This filter size is relatively small and affordable. Especially in recent years, the 67mm size has become very common, facilitating effects filter sharing.

Sigma includes the LH706-01 lens hood in the box. This semi-rigid, plastic hood has a ribbed interior designed to avoid reflections. The hood has adequate size to protect from impact and bright light, though as usual, it is optimized for the wide end of the zoom range. The petal shape makes visual installation alignment easy, but it does not provide the most stable base for the lens to sit upright on. A release button is not included, but a mold-ribbed ring is provided to enhance grasp for installation and removal.

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

No lens case is included in the box, but finding a case for a common lens form factor is not difficult. Consider a Lowepro Lens Case or Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo for a quality, affordable single-lens storage, transport, and carry solution.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Extended Top View

Price, Value, Wrap Up

Having a price at the bottom of its class makes the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens good value declaration justification easier. The entire package provided by this lens also strongly supports that claim.

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

The "DG" refers to full-frame camera compatibility, and the "DN" indicates that this lens was designed for short flange mirrorless cameras. The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including APS-C sensor format models. It is also available in the Leica L mount.

"What allows us to achieve these precisely produced parts and such premium aesthetics is the impressive standard of manufacturing technology and rigorous quality control we have at the SIGMA Aizu Factory." [Sigma] In regards to the Sony E-mount version of this lens, Sigma develops, manufactures, and sells lenses based on the specifications of E-mount, disclosed by Sony Corporation under license agreement.

Sigma provides a 1-year limited warranty, and Sigma USA provides a limited 3-year warranty extension.

The reviewed Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens was online-retail sourced.

Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View with Hood

Alternatives to the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

Going into this review, I expected the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens's biggest problem to be the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens. Tamron's compact, lightweight standard zoom lens is priced right, and it performs well. Thus, we have our first comparison.

In the image quality comparison, the two lenses perform similarly in the wider half of the range, and the Tamron lens is sharper in the center of the frame over the longer half of the range. The Sigma lens has more color blur at the longer half of the range, which is likely the cause of the noted sharpness difference. The Tamron lens has less geometric distortion and less peripheral shading at wide apertures, but it produced more flare effects in our standard test.

The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens comparison shows the Sigma lens slightly lighter and slightly shorter. The Tamron lens has the higher maximum magnification, 0.34x vs. 0.22x, and better image quality at very short focus distances. The Tamron lens provides an extra 5mm of focal length range on the long end. I prefer the Sigma lens's rear-positioned zoom ring, and the Sigma lens has an AF/MF switch. The Tamron lens is more fully weather-sealed. These two lenses have a similar street price without incentives in place.

Let's continue the comparisons with the sibling Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens.

As previously discussed, the Contemporary lens's optical design is based on the Art lens design. However, "based on" is not the same as "the same as". We know that the Art lens has three additional lens elements and groups and includes 6 SD lens elements vs. 2.

In the image quality comparison, the two lenses perform similarly in the wider half of the range, the Art lens is sharper in the center of the frame at 50mm, and the Art lens is still slightly sharper in the center at 70mm. The Art lens has less peripheral shading at wide apertures and less geometric distortion at the long end, but it produced slightly more flare effects in our standard test.

The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens comparison shows the Art lens considerably larger and 50% heavier. With the Art lens's larger size comes wider filter threads, 82mm vs. 67mm. The Art lens has 11 aperture blades (vs. 9) for more smoothly rounded bokeh, and it has a higher maximum magnification, 0.34x vs. 0.22x. The Art lens features an AFL button, a zoom lock switch, and a lens hood release button. The Art lens is more fully weather-sealed and has a moderately higher price tag hanging from it.

Sony's review time current entry in this f/2.8 lens class is the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens.

In the image quality comparison, the Sigma lens proved itself sharper in the center of the frame at the wider half of the focal length range and also sharper in the periphery at 70mm. The Sony lens has less vignetting at wide apertures, but it produced stronger flare effects in our standard test, especially at the longer focal lengths.

The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens comparison shows the Sony lens considerably larger and over 50% heavier. The Sony lens is more fully weather-sealed and has a focus hold button. The over 100% higher price tag on the Sony lens will be the deciding factor in more than a few decisions.

Use the site's lens tools to create additional comparisons.

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

Summary

Because you use it so much, a high-quality general-purpose zoom lens is probably a requirement in your kit. Fortunately, as just explored, there are numerous models producing good image quality to choose from.

Those looking for the lightest weight, smallest size, and lowest cost need to look no further. The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is that choice. Fortunately, little was sacrificed to deliver those attributes.

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Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Bryan Carnathan
by Bryan Carnathan
$100.00 Savings!
Manufacturer ID:
592965

Review Date: 2021-08-28
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