A long time has passed since I last wrote and since then a few things have changed. One of them was that I decided to buy the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art to replace my "old" Canon 24-105mm F4.0 L.
I have been waiting to get a "standard" zoom lens with a bigger aperture for a while. The Canon version is too expensive for me, on the website I was looking it is currently 2000€ and the Sigma is "only" 1300€. With that said I was able to pay 600€ for this lens after a few discounts and selling the Canon 24-105mm. Being able to get it for less than half the price was also one of the main reasons I bought it.
Why did I decide to buy a new lens?
The main reason was the aperture. I know is only one stop difference but on a job at a dark place, it makes a big difference. I was noticing this on my last jobs when I was changing between the 70-200mm F2.8 and the 24-105 F4.0.
I always felt that there was something missing in the photos with the 24-105 and it didn't help that sometimes I had to get the ISO above 3200 to get a decent exposure even with flash. More on flash photography in the future.
I haven't had any night jobs since I bought the lens and the ones I had I noticed I need to get used to this lens.
The first thing I noticed was how heavy and well build this lens is. The second was how tight the zoom ring is. I have to apply some strength for the thing to turn. Lastly, the zoom and focus ring are in opposite places compared to the old lens which means there is a little adaptation needed.
What do I look for when I get a new lens?
I could go online and get some complicated chart about colors and chromatic aberrations and whatever but the things I am concerned the most is the focus accuracy and sharpness. Also vignetting but not that much.
I was lucky to start testing this camera a few minutes after getting it since I had a photo session scheduled. It was a very chilled and relaxed session and it was perfect to start testing it.
I am an autofocus user. Unless I am doing landscapes or filming I always use auto-focus and I am always changing the focus point. I rarely keep the focus in the center and reframe. I always change the focus point to the closest point to the subject eye or to whatever I need to get in focus and then reframe. In good light conditions the lens is fast and, if I don't mess up, accurate. As for the sharpness, again if I don't mess up the focus, is sharp as hell. Notice that, for now, I am only using it at F2.8.
I owned some sigma lenses before and I always found that they have a little warmer color than the Canon ones. Maybe is just me but either way, i don't mind it.
Even with the sharpness at zero in Lightroom, I could have a nice sharp print with this lens. To be honest I don't see much difference in this kind of situations to the old lens. The main thing here is that I can lower the ISO and have a higher shutter speed which leads me to the next feature, the Image Stabilization. The Canon version of this lens, although is more expensive, does not have it.
So far I have not had the need to shoot at speeds lower than 1/80. Usually, i am getting sharp images if the subject isn't moving fast. For the sake of this review, i made a few photos with the street lights illuminating some cars outside my place.
In this conditions, the image stabilization works amazingly well. I don't see any shaking or dragging on the photo. I am very surprised with the results.
You can see for yourself the difference when On and Off. I am surprised how well it works. On the old lens, I had it always On and I knew that I went below 1/20 I was going to have a blurry image. I was able to get to 1/5 but this is a static situation. I am wondering how it will work when I am photographing people dancing in a disco party.
Meanwhile, i was lucky to have another photo session schedule and it was the perfect opportunity to test again the speed and accuracy of the autofocus.
I didn't make things easy for the lens because I was shooting backlit and I was struggling to get something decent with the Canon 70-200mm even when the model was static or moving slowly.
To solve this problem I decided to try the Sigma 24-70 on Servo mode and continuous shooting. There were times I missed a few shots but to be fair I am not a big servo mode user. Still, I was able to get more and better results compared with the 70-200mm.
Even at 100% zoom, i can't tell if the images are sharp. I do have a few where I missed the focus but most of them I can work with.
Up until now, with the exception of the cars, all my photos have been with models and I was looking for a specific look in these photos.
I had some time to do some landscapes shots.
At 24mm at F2.8, as expected the vignette is quite visible but stopping it down to 4.0 or 5.6 it goes away and at F8 there is none.
At 70mm the same happens.
Overall I am enjoying playing around with the Sigma 24-70. It is a lens that I felt it was missing on my kit.
I liked the Canon 24-105mm and I do recommend the lens. Not only I felt the need to have the ability to capture more light, I wanted a 24-70mm F2.8.
I only have it for one week and besides one job, two photo shootings and a few landscapes I haven't been in the mood to try anything else so it may take some time until I start finding all the little things that this lens is all about.
I will never be the best gear reviewer because I don't like to be very technical. If I like something or how it works I am good with it. I am not analyzing every pixel. Still, here is one website I usually go to get some information about lenses. I usually jump right away to the conclusion part.
Although I am enjoying it, my main lens will still be the 70-200mm F2.8. Is the lens I shoot more with when I am working and the one I like to work with the most.
But is good to know that if I need to change for a wider lens I won't lose light doing so.
With that said, here are all the photos edited.