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172 of 183 people found the following review helpful
I'm currently using a Nikon D90 but the D700 is on the horizon for me. This meant that I am not buying any DX lenses anymore. I have the Tokina 11-16, Nikkor 70-300 VR, Nikkor 50mm 1.8 and the D90 kit lens 18-105 VR (never been happy with the kit lens). So the only focal range I needed was basically 17-70 and the DX Nikkor 17-55 is out. The logical approach was the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 but ugh... I'm not making $$$ from my shots yet and $1999 was a bit much to swallow. I rented the Nikkor and the Sigma to compare side by side and I really loved the Sigma's compact but solid presence compared to the relatively big and long Nikkor (chalk up one point for the Sigma)... I took about 150 shots with both lenses and I really could not find too many differences... Certainly none that stood out. I'll admit that I'm a bit of a pixel peeper and I was truly looking for the lesser priced lens to come up short but honestly only some very minor flare issues (shooting directly into the late evening sun) even showed up. On my crop framed D90 the sharpness was superb on both lenses, color, contrast and focusing accuracy and speed was exactly what I expected. VERY VERY good. One thing that added to the cost of the Sigma though (chalk up a point for Nikkor) is the 82mm filter size. They are not easy to find and are almost always more expensive (high quality Digital UV filter was $100). I now have my FX frame lens lineup set and I'm very happy with it as I purchased this lens right here at Amazon. Now... to save for that D700... *sigh*

Moral of the story is... if you want to save $800 and have a lens that you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference from the venerable Nikkor... get this Sigma 24-70 2.8 HSM.

*UPDATE*
As mentioned in the comments on this original post, if you are going full frame with this lens it is indeed a bit "mushy" from f/2.8 to f/4.0 in terms of acuity. On my D90 I just didn't seem to notice as much more than likely due to the smaller sensor and denser smaller pixels. On the D3s you can really see the limitations of this lens at wide apertures. I would also imagine if you are using a D7000 (purely speculation here) that you might start seeing some of the limitations on that crop sensor too due to its higher resolution. I will be selling my old faithful friend (this is not a bad lens) for the more expensive Nikkor now that I'm full frame. NEW moral of the story... if you are using a D300 or D90 or below this lens is wonderful. If you are using a higher MP sensor or full frame you will see the limitations at wide apertures.
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106 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2010
I had read more positive than negative reviews about this lens, so I ordered it to do wedding photography. The lens quality is very good except when it comes to the lens hood; it's very thin and bends easily. Overall, the lens barrel is sturdy and compact. In terms of focusing, the lens focuses fast & right on target.

Some people say this lens is soft at F/2.8, but that's exactly the effect you want to create with your aperture wide open. The lens is sharp where you focus at F/2.8, and creates a nice soft focus around you focus point. All the images I took, were of excellent quality & sharpness.

The only major issue I had with the lens was not in terms of quality, or image sharpness. My issue was that the lens barrel was very, very stiff when zooming in & out. I had to apply some force to push it all the way in both directions (in and out). Unfortunately, that's a problem with Sigma lenses, and it seems they're not fixing it. This is a major issue because during wedding photo shoots, it would really slow me down some good 2-4 seconds trying to zoom the lens to get a shot, but also lose my scene.

I returned the lens & got me the Canon L lens (which has a zoom smooth as butter). However, if you won't be doing fast-paced photography, this lens is perfect for you, both in terms of price, quality and construction.
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67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2009
I have had the new Sigma 24-7o f2.8 HSM lens for about 3 weeks now, took photos with it the last four weekends. I am happy with the performance of this lens. This lens controls flare very well( but have had a couple of photos shot directly into the sun show small flare). This lens has good contrast and no color shift. I have had no focus issues with this lens on my Nikon D700 (I did use AF Tune to adjust focus at 70mm -10). Once I adjusted the focus setting, focus point was tack sharp at f2.8. This lens is very sharp even in the corners. The one knock I will give it, is that it Vignettes a little at 70mm with f2.8-4.0 (can be removed in post process). Over f5.6 and up no vignette. I am no professional lense reviewer but I feel this is a good value for the money. I'm sure the Nikon 24-70 is a better lens and for the extra money it should be. For my uses I am very satisfied with the lens. If you want to see some photos taken with the Sigma 24-70 lens type bc1963 photos in your search engine and select my flickr photostream.

Review Update 4-15-09:

After using the lens more I wanted to update the review with my observations to date. I have had a couple photos with lens flare but it was small and shot directly into the sun. Also I have seen some vignette at f4.0.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2012
I just purchased this lens. I am a pro photographer. I have Some older Sigma glass that is awesome, I also own Nikon glass. I have been starting to shoot more weddings and really didn't want to spend $1800-$2000 on Nikon's 24-70 2.8 I have rented that lens prior to any weddings I have done. I can tell you this.. It is an awesome lens. It is a tank of a lens, it is heavy and cumbersome. I have read many review on the Sigma 24-70 2.8, I purchased it and it is more than what I expected. If you are a pixel peeker than you may find a small amount of difference between this lens and Nikon's flag ship lens. The build quality of this Sigma lens is spot on, it is built pro quality. At F2.8 it is a little to soft for my taste compared to the Nikon 24-70.. At F3.5 and up it is Tack sharp. Focus speed is faster than my prime Nikor 50mm 1.4, For $1000.00 less than Nikon's over priced version it is so worth it. I have always had great luck with Sigma glass. I did how ever do a little bit of AF calibration on my D700 when I first used it. F2.8 now is very sharp and very pleasing. Don't waste your money on the Nikon unless you just have money to throw away, and in that case I would suggest on donating your $$$ for a worthy cause. God knows there are some people in this world that could use some help. I have bought many of Nikons brand equipment and realized that it is a waste of $$$. Way over priced! Buy this lens.. You wont regret it!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2010
Seems the biggest challenge when buying a Sigma lens is, "Am I getting a good copy?" There is no other manufacturer out there that has this level of production variance in their manufacturing. I took a chance and bought this lens. This is my first Sigma (I have a love affair with Tokina Lenses, but this is my first Sigma) - and I got it because I am doing more and more in low light situations and as much as I wanted the Canon 24-70mm L, I couldn't justify the extra $400 - so I took a shot. Let me tell you its been a blissful time since I have mated this lens to my 5D. I am getting sharp, sharp sharp pictures (even at 2.8) and creamy, buttery bokeh. The subject really pops off the screen with this lens. The colors are perfect and in low light I couldn't be happier.

PROS;

Price
Sharpness (even at 2.8)
Subjects POP
Colors are sharp and accurate
HSM focus - fast and quiet
Wouldn't hesitate to use it at a wedding

CONS:

Hope and pray you get a good one - buy new from someone with a liberal return policy
Low light focus searches a little bit - really low light
82 MM for filters which means if you want a good circular polarizing filter - expect high $$
A Tad on the heavy side, but downright light when compared to the Canon

Hope you get lucky and go for it, if you can't get a good one, you can always get the CanonSigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM AF Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR CamerasSigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM AF Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2009
I have been looking for a high quality lens for about a month now, one that can handle 2.8 of course. I oredered the Tamron 28-75mm and put it to the test. The Tamron is a good lens BUT it does have focusing issues and isn't sharp at 2.8, trust me I did plenty of test shots with two different Tamrons since I sent the first one back because I thought it was the lens that was defective. I have the money to get the Nikon 20-70mm but like all of us I was looking for something as good without paying the 2k that Nikon want's, I personally think Nikon is full of it for charging so much. I ordered this Sigma before giving in and ordering the overpriced Nikon 20-70mm and WOW is this Lens simply quality! NO focus issues, build solid and even looks nice on my D200. You wont go wrong with this lens, don't be cheap and get the $400 Tamron but don't dont be a fool and pay over 2k for the Nikon one either this will satisfy every photographer from amateur to pro.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2009
My objective was to find something fast in a normal zoom range. This lens fits the bill. Build quality is excellent with perfect resistance in zoom and focus rings. A bit more expensive than a Nikon 16-85VR, it cost a lot less than a Nikon 17-55, and much, much less than a Nikon 24-70 f2.8. This Sigma f2.8 HSM is probably the only competition for the big Nikon in FX lenses. After cashback I paid about $750. For me the lens handles exceptionally well. I like the large barrel diameter and the short length. I also like the balance on my D300. As others have said, mine had a slight front focus problem at 70mm, close up. I sent it in for adjustment because in all other respects I really like it. Like another review reports, mine came back exactly as it was when I sent it. However, I decided to work with it because it has amazing potential. I started by manually touching up focus for closeups, and you can do that with this HSM lens. Results are fantastic when focus is correct. I have since learned that all I really need to do is release after focusing and hit the AF again. Pops right into excellent focus. For all other shooting I can't say enough good things about the lens. I really like it, and I really like the range for my camera. For the price, this Sigma is worth the little extra effort to work with that one shortcoming, and as I have used it, the close focus problem has become only a sporadic problem, as if the HSM is loosening up a bit. This is a terrific available light lens, much better than normal range slow VR lenses. My camera handles high ISO well, so I have no problem keeping shutter speed up at f2.8 or f3.2. Nikon VR lenses in this range are excellent, no doubt, but I prefer this Sigma. I cannot comment on performance for FX cameras. I can say this lens is addictive on my D300. I enjoy using it, and I like the photos very much.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2012
The Sigma 24-70 is mediocre at f2.8 - f3.5 but great at f4 or higher. It has a good corner sharpness and an outstanding focus. If your budget allows for the Nikon 24-70, don't bother with this lens. In more detail:

--- Sharpness at f2.8 --- (2 stars)
It is not sharp at any aperture wider than f4. It has some weird unsharpness that looks a little bit as if there was grease on the lens. Somewhat "milky", washed out. A little bit different than other 'soft' lenses, but either way - not sharp.
Is it still usable at f2.8? It depends: For daylight portrait work... forget about it. You will see the shortcomings on high resolution images. For events and other low-light photography, it can be used at f2.8. At the moment I shoot wedding receptions with it and I get good results. It is not that unsharp.

--- Sharpness at f4 and higher --- (5 stars)
Simply great. Starting at f4 this lens is super sharp.

--- Corner Sharpness --- (5 stars)
Pretty good at f4 and higher. At f4 there is some softness at the left 25% of the (landscape) photo, while the right side is very sharp (I can just guess that this may vary from copy to copy). Starting at f5.6 the corner sharpness is amazing for a zoom-lens. At the 24mm end there is of course some fall-off at the very corners, but you can't expect any better results. I had the Sigma 17-50 and the Tamron 17-50 (on DX) before and the Sigma 24-70 is a big step up regarding corner sharpness.
I used it for formals/group photos (at f5.6 to f8) on about a dozen weddings and the results were very good so far (If the location -seldom- allows I rather use my Sigma 70-200 OS though as the corner sharpness is surprisingly even a notch better).

--- Focus --- (4 stars)
The focus is the fastest and most accurate that I ever had on a mid-range zoom (so far never owned the Nikon 24-70 though). Super quiet, working precisely even in very low light and on the spot. With my D300+Tamron 17-50 I regularly had a couple of low-light shots totally out of focus, almost never happens with D700+Sigma 24-70 now.

I would knock this category at least one star down though, because my copy has some very weird micro-focus hunting going on: On (mostly) short focus distances the focus makes "click-click-click-click..." and goes forth and back in micro-steps. It's not a major issue, but it's weird anyway and happens on all of my cameras. Anyway, I'm too lazy/busy to send it in to Sigma for that, but I'm not happy about this anyway.

--- The bokeh --- (2 stars)
The bokeh of this lens is not very pretty. It is not ugly or something but it has some harsh rendering. Unfortunately this is another reason that makes this lens not an ideal portrait lens. I think I could philosophize for hours about the Sigma 24-70 bokeh, but let me just say that it won't stand negatively out in most of your photos. I find that it looks less good than other lenses when there are small light dots in the background - this could be lights or e.g. light shining through leaves or so. Just not very creamy. Sigma did it much better on other lenses. For detail and overall shooting it works well but for portrait work stay away from this lens.

--- other Cons ---

- Annoying filter size: 82mm (more expensive, seldom)

- Lens hood could snap in more tight (easy to unlock, once had a dozen shots with some bad heavy vignetting thanks to the tulip hood being turned halfway)

- M/A focus switch too exposed: I covered it with duct tape after accidentally moving the switch to M without noticing (very bad when this happens during an event because the focus is so silent that chances are you won't immediately notice)

- Zoom turns the wrong way for Nikon users ("Canon Style"). Got used to it and my Sigma 70-200 OS on the second camera does the same.

--- other Pros ---

- Manual focus override is nice (you can adjust/turn the focus ring without switching to M)

- Feels well build

- Kind of stubby, well balanced on heavy Full Frame SLR

--- My personal conclusion ---

I'm quite happy with this lens because it has a good focus and a great corner sharpness. That's what I need for doing a lot of my wedding photos. Since I have other lenses for portrait work with me, I can live with the fact that I better shouldn't use it wide open. F4 is good enough for any daylight work and when I zoom in to 70mm I still get some nice bokeh. However, it is probably the next lens that will be retired because I will definitely upgrade to the Nikon 24-70 anytime soon. But that's just me making money with this equipment. For you I don't know if it's worth paying $2k for the Nikon version. The Sigma 24-70 is the best mid-range zoom I have owned so far and I would gladly pay the $824 again. It is just not the best lens available for money - but there is no better alternative in its price range.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Here are my pros and cons

PRO
----

-Cost
-Very Fast Auto focus
-Accurate Auto Focus
-Sharp at f5.6 and up
-Excellent build quality

CONS
-----

-82mm filter (expensive and not an industry standard)
-No Image Stabilization
-Soft at 2.8

Overall
--------

Overall this is a good to very good lens, If cost is an issue I recommend this. If cost is not an issue buy the Nikon [...]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2013
I bough this lens because my Nikon 24-70mm was being serviced and I was traveling to China and would not receive the lens by the time I went and it was cheaper then renting a lens for 14 days. I was astounded by the quality of the photos. It rivals the Nikon in every way. It's even a bit more compact and less cumbersome. All in all I was very impressed. I read mediocre reviews about this lens but I think it's undeserving. I have a Nikon D600 and it works perfectly with it. The lens is also made in Japan and the workmanship is fantastic the hood and lens cap are fine and build quality is great. If you want the Nikon and really can't afford it - don't bother your self. Get this it's the same quality! I have many photos to prove. [...]
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