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Keywords: Sigma Canon Nikon Sony Pentax Tele Prime Macro 35mm DG Tested


Registered: May 2014
Posts: 2
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by AndyF
Review Date: 1/25/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Ultra sharp sharpness, scary sharp.
Cons: Tedious AF.

Wow! I just tried this out on my new 36MP D810 - an awesome combination.

Registered: February 2014
Posts: 2
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by spressa777
Review Date: 2/27/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpest lens corner to corner
Cons: tube extension ,1/2 stop over exposes

I have Sigma 70mm 2.8 Macro and it is as sharp as Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art in the center and sharper on the corners. I have 3 other sharp lenses (Nikon 135mm DC F2, Nikon 85mm 1.8G and Nikon 50mm 1.8G) , but they are nowhere near these 2 Sigmas in sharpness. I compared all lenses at F5.6 in 3 occasions and results are consistent. Other macro I tried was Nikon 105mm VR Micro , but it was softer than 85mm 1.8G unfortunately.

Registered: May 2013
Posts: 4
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by TomE
Review Date: 5/30/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, bokeh
Cons: nothing really

Perfect macro lens on Nikon dx. Sharp wide open, with dreamy out of focus areas. Also does well for portraits. Highly recomended!
Prime Minister

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 39
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by Prime Minister
Review Date: 7/30/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Extraordinary sharpness and contrast at every aperture, accurate autofocus
Cons: Lens hood is screw in type

Often I am slightly disappointed by third party lenses, but this one is a pleasant exception and definitely a keeper. Sharpness and contrast are outstanding at all apertures straight from f/2.8. Really, I can't find anything to whine about. The bokeh is nice and smooth. Auto focus is not lightning fast, but I don't find it too slow. It's accurate and that's important. The lens itself is not very big and heavy, but it does feel solid and well constructed. Not sure about the 'rubbery' coating on the lens barrel though. Apart from being a nice macro lens, it can serve as a high quality portrait lens as well. Some photographers probably start to feel depressed when I say this, but I think you can never have enough detail. You can always easily remove some of it later, but you can never get more. If you love sharpness and good contrast and don't need super fast action tracking auto focus, this surely is a winner.

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 13
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by dda
Review Date: 7/18/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp - sharp - sharp
Cons: autofocus is slooooow

Got lucky and found a cheap one.

Bought it based on the reviews I found. Was thinking of the Nikon 85 as a portrait lens, but decided to go for this one.

Apart from the sloooww focus (it is slow), a killer lens !

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 4
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by dbpaule
Review Date: 4/27/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $419.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness, AF limiter switch, 9 aperture blades, smooth MF
Cons: AF is noisy and not quite accurate, AF also slow if not limiting AF via switch, lens hood

Well, this lens is tack sharp and makes a lot of fun. For macros I use the MF, so the AF is just disturbing if you will focus from infinity to macro distance. You really will need a lot of patience. And after that time, it is not said, that the AF is accurate... Another point is the lenshood, which will be screwed in the front. So, in the other direction, you can't mount it e.g. for transportation.

Most of that points are not quite nerving me, 'cause I just use it for outdoor macros and portraits, where this lens has superb qualities because of the nice bokeh and the sharpness. Price, weight and build are good!

So, if you always use the AF limiter, you will get a really sharp and useful lens.

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 9
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by jt354
Review Date: 5/21/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, high-quality construction, inexpensive
Cons: Extending barrel, AF performance, not full-time manual

The Sigma 100mm macro is a suitable alternative for Canon and Nikon photographers on a budget, and probably the best macro option for Pentax and Sony users. The lens is nearly tack-sharp wide open, though my copy did suffer from a "slanted" line of best focus at macro distances. Build quality is great, not as refined as a Canon L lens but not nearly as expensive, either. Focus is slow, somewhat loud, and inconvenient (no full-time manual override, barrel extends when focusing.) The price is right, though I consider the Canon 100mm macro well worth the premium.

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by viorel_iulian
Review Date: 4/14/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpest lens ever, very good construction, solid feel
Cons: no HSM, some CA, slight overexposure

On a Nikon DX overexposes slightly (no problem, I just leave the body -2 f-stops =0,7eV) in a sunny atmosphere. It has critical sharpness from f/2.8 to f/16. As oposed to other macro lenses, it has a good working distance at 1:1. Very good for portraits, maybe a little too sharp. The construction is top notch, with the mount and the extending front tube made from metal. It does have some CA in contrasting places but that can easily be corrected. In the hands of a macro shooter, this lens can performe alongside the best of the best. Overall, if you're looking for the best macro lens in the business, look no further. This is the sharpest lens ever made!

Registered: February 2010
Posts: 3
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by mark
Review Date: 2/5/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Critical sharpness, accurate focus, bokeh, solid build
Cons: slow focus, chromatic abberation

This is a special tool. Under controlled settings, the sharpness and image quality is unbeatable at this focal length for macro shots, portraits or other photos showing high level of detail. I have only compared this to Canon and Nikon macros and primes between 50 and 105 mm, and this lens is sharper. High praise indeed as those are also excellent lenses. Near infinity focus is also excellent compared to similar macro lenses. AF was found to be slow but spot on, and it is also extremely accurate when used on cameras in Live View modes. Build quality does inspire confidence- solid but not sexy. All of these comments apply to both cropped and full frame sensors.

What do I mean by controlled settings? Take time to make sure exposure is correct. Near blown-out highlights results in purple fringing. Also, AF, while accurate is slow, so this lens is not a quick portrait tool or a modest telephoto for sports or performances. For those purposes, 50 and 85 mm primes and 70-200 2.8 zooms respectively are better.

So, if you have just a little time to exercise control, you will get the sharpest photo at this focal length that any product can offer. This is one of the few third party lenses that can truly compete with the major brand names.

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 7
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by titi_elsass
Review Date: 12/23/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp lens for macro and portrait. Good colors rendition.
Cons: AF a bit slow (but accurate)

Used on full frame Canon 5D.

I've exchanged my Canon 100mm macro against this one (the 70mm focal in studio was more useful for me, the 100mm was too short, or too long) and I've no regrets. This lens is a gem! Very sharp at 2.8 at medium distance (so for portraits outside it's a winner) and very good in macro, too.

Yes, the AF is not a high-speed one but I found it very accurate on my Canon 5D. The lens is well constructed, only the "AF-MF" button seems a bit hard to activate.

Registered: September 2009
Posts: 1
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by autograph
Review Date: 9/19/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $365.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, very accurate AF
Cons: Slow AF

Excellent sharpness starting from f2.8. Very good color and contrast. Pleasing bokeh.
Slow but very accurate AF.
105mm with APSC sensors.

Registered: May 2009
Posts: 1
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by bogdanmoisuc
Review Date: 5/20/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $240.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: superb sharpness and contrast, smart AF implementation, perfect FL for crop portraits
Cons: (nitpicking) MWD could be a little better

Great lens, optically and mechanically.

Optically, the test at slrgear says it all, it's possibly the sharpesst lens tested here, sharper than the Zeiss 100mm or the Canon 100mm macro.

Mechanically, it's well built and it has a very smart implementation of focusing path + focus limiter. Let me explain : the lens has a very long focusing path (around 270°, so it sticks out some 5.5 centimeters for 1:1 macro). The AF motor is non HSM, so watching the lens going through all this path is very slow and noisy. But the focusing path is implemented in such a way that normal focusing distances (between infinityt and 0.5m) take up only 40° or about 1cm of lens protruding. So if you use the focus limiter, the lens is very fast and responsive at normal focusing distances. For macro, you can go in manual mode and the long focusing path will let you make very precise focusing. It's really a very well thought out lens.

The only disadvantages are that it has a minimum working distance of only 7cm at 1:1 (decent, but more is usually better here) and that it partially blocks the popup flash for 1:1 macro, so you can use the built in flash for macro photos only until 1:1.5 maginification (that's still very well for crop camera users who don't want to buy a dedicated ring macro flash).

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 6
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by Simen1
Review Date: 5/19/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $550.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Fantastic sharp, all-in-one focal length, build quality
Cons: Slow focus, cant reverse hood for storage

This is the sharpest lens i ever tested. I guess it deserves 15-20 mega pixels to match its optical performance. Its a shame i only have 6 on the Canon. I moved to Pentax and planed to buy this lens with Pentax mount, but got a used Tamron 90mm very cheap so i bought that instead. In my opinion the build quality of Sigma 70mm is excellent.

I use this lens for flowers and insects, and for portraits. (f/2,8 gives short enough DOF for "headshots")

The downsides of this lens is slow focus for portraits. The limiter makes it less painfull. For macro work i use manual focus so lack of AF speed doesn't matter there.

The hood is tube-shaped, not flower shaped. Its made of metal and is not reversible. Sigma should replace the hood with a plastic flower shaped, reversible hood.

Soft lens case is included in the price.

Bokeh is a little sharp edged, but decently round at f/2.8

I would choose this over Tamron 90mm f/2,8 macro if the price was more or less the same.

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 10
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by Nikola_Konsulov
Review Date: 8/3/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $389.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Sharp, Sharp! AF is swift. Focus limiter switch. Pretty good build. f2.8 aperture. 9 aperture blades.
Cons: Aperture blades not circular. Focus ring could have been slightly larger and have a clutch as to not rotate during AF.

This lens is truely sharp from f2.8 and onward through f11. f16 is good, but I do not know beyond that since I have not bothered to try. The aperture does not have round blades. So I am not sure what effect that will have on the quality of the bokeh when stopped down past f4 or f5.6. I would have liked a slightly larger focus ring. Its size is okay, but a 1/4 inch more of rubber would have been nice. I don't mind that it does not have a clutch in the focus ring, but for a macro lens it would have been a nice feature. Others say that the focus is not fast. That's not true. When using it as a "normal" 70mm telephoto lens with the focus limiter enabled for the "normal" range focus is really fast. However, using this lens in the macro range with or without the limiter it seems to take forever. It is a dedicated macro lens afterall. It needs to extend quite a bit to get the 1:1 ratio when you need it.

This lens is what all the reviews have stated it too be optically......Sharp! from f2.8 and from corner to corner. If you need a macro lens between the range of 50mm and 100mm this is one you should heavily consider.

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by Mixu
Review Date: 6/19/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $460.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, build quality, price
Cons: Cannot reverse the lens hood for storage, no HSM

After reading a lot of reviews I bought this lens and I have been very happy with it. It suits for macros (although I could use longer working distance some times) and also for portraits. Bokeh is quite good for macro, although some times the background can get a little busy. But better than most (if not all) macros around this focal length. And this lens is brutally sharp from corner to corner - even on full frame.

Even though the focus is fast enough for my needs 95% of times, I would prefer to have a HSM version.

I can highly recommend this lens. Price/performance ratio is excellent!

Registered: March 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by Berk
Review Date: 3/28/2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $406.00| Rating: 3 

Pros: Build quality seemed OK
Cons: Below par focus in macro, outright mediocre as a normal lens!

I did a lot of research prior to purchasing this lens. Went to numerous review sites and found that most had very favorable reviews, but there was this constant thread mentioning the fact that Sigma was inconsistent with their product control and to not be surprised if you got a bum one.
Well, I got the bum one!! Right out of the box I noticed that the rear lens cap was not securely fastened. No big deal. I was however impressed with the build quality. Nice and solid, good hood.
Then came the picture taking. My first few prints were so surprisingly poor that I re-checked the lens and its functions, as well as my Nikon D200. Photographed some more, printed them on another printer, same results!! Macro was marginal, which was disappointing because of the reviews. As a normal lens it was very poor. I repeated my re-check of camera and lens because I just couldn't believe the poor results. I even took it over to a friend who is a pro wedding photog, she took some shots, printed them on her printer, and the results were equally as poor at both macro and especially at normal. Shipped back to Amazon that same day!!

Most of the review sites had very favorable responses with only a few negatives, so I am sure that this is a good lens. I guess it is up to the luck of the draw that you get one that was assembled on a good day at Sigma! I have never drifted from the Nikon lens line so maybe this was just bad karma. However, my next macro will be the new Nikon 60mm 2.8 with silent wave technology.

Registered: July 2007
Posts: 20
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by EF-S10-22
Review Date: 9/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpest lens in the world , AF ok when not using in macro range
Cons: build is not as good as that of the EF-S60 , it extends itself while focusing

As for serious macro work , it is unbeatable but I prefer the EF-S60 since I mostly use them for street photography , I need super fast AF of the Canon.......

But, as I said ,for most of others , it is the best macro lens , sharper than all others , I was shcoked to see this lens actually was sharper than my EF-S60 ,EF100 macro , Sigma 150 EX and Tamorn 90 have to know those are all super sharp lenses and non of them are bad choice at all , though this Sigma 70 is a scary , really painfully sharp , insanely sharp .........

With that said, if I had to choose one lens over all other macros I have had , I'd choose the EF-S60 ; it is a great lens , very sharp (a bit sharper than my 100 macro and 150 EX) , it produces perfect color , it has no distortion and focuses super fast , especially when I use it as a walk around lens on my XTI , I put my 17-55IS on my 40D and the 60 on my XTI .............

But we are lucky that we do not have to choose one lens over all others , we can have all , so I use this Sigma along with my EF-S60 and Tamorn 90 macro , I think I will sell the 100 macro and Sigma 150 , since I do not really like them , the Sigma is too long for me and the Canon 100 is not as sharp as my 60 and this 70 , and I prefer the Tamorn 90 as for portrait because of the beautiful Tmaorn bokeh.

Any way , this Sigma is , in my humble opinion , one of the best Sigma lenses you can buy now.

If this lens had had the USM AF , would have been an almost perfect lens , I dont know why Sigma missed it .

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 24
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by rainerknappe
Review Date: 5/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: fantastic sharp, very contrasty and good construccion and colours
Cons: none

This lense is a real champ! No weakness and brilliant performence - extremly sharp and very good handlings - in this days may be the No.1 in macro, only the Canon MP-E 65 is even better but playing in a different category - the TIPA- price for the best semi-professional lens of 2007 says everything. The 1:1 and 1:2 magnification is outstandingly good. If you love macros, buy this one - a good alternative are the Tamron DI 90 and Sigma EX DG 50.
1000% recommended!

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 17
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro review by adobo
Review Date: 1/11/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $410.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpest Macro I've seen.. Sigma Coating...
Cons: Sigma Coating...

A Very SHARP lens.. well.. something that is expected in a macro lens..

Regarding the focal length.. it has its pros and cons..

of course the longer the length, the better the working distance, but it also requires a faster shutter..

I guess if you are going to use this to for walk-around macro shooting or portrait then this would definitely fit into your gear..

But with its sharpness, it shouldn't stop you from using this with product shoots...


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