Lens Guides

First Look: SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II Art Lens for Sony E-Mount

I’ve shot with a 24-70mm lens for most of my career and as of May 2024, regularly use the SIGMA 24-70mm Art (Nikon F mount) on my Nikon Z7 II camera. It has always been my “go to” lens for portraits and most naturescapes. Along with a telephoto lens, it is always in my gear bag. So, when I was able to work with SIGMA’s new 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II | Art lens, I was beyond excited to get my hands on it!

Meeting the new SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II | Art lens

My first thoughts when receiving it was how small, light, and compact it was, especially compared to my 24-70 for DSLR. I could seriously fit this lens anywhere and in any bag alongside all my other lenses. Plus, the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II | Art feels great in my hands and the craftsmanship is hands down the best. Its sleek, smooth barrel movement makes it a joy to operate, and the lens hood clicks and locks easily into place.

Compared to my old SIGMA 24-70mm Art, this beast of a lens is actually a lot smaller, less chunky and is easier to handle. Not just due to its compactness, but its all-over clean design and integration of physical controls, such as the manual aperture ring.

Field testing the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II | Art lens

During my first few days with the new lens, I shot exclusively with a Sony A7R IV camera, although the E-mount version of this lens can be used on any mirrorless Sony camera body (and even Nikon mirrorless cameras with a third-party adapter). Overall, the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II | Art was very easy to use, has incredibly fast and accurate focusing thanks to the upgraded HLA (high-response linear actuator) motor, with flare being of little concern. I decided to put it up to the test and shoot in extreme lighting situations and it held up time and time again.

Of course, when it comes to versatility, this lens is an excellent option. The zoom capabilities are not only great for portraits, but also works incredibly well for all things nature! The maximum aperture of F2.8 makes it a dream for portraits with amazing bokeh, which is easily achieved. The large aperture also works amazingly well in the deep woods, low light, and dappled sunlight conditions.

My work is usually shot outdoors, in all weather conditions and sometimes under rougher than normal circumstances. The lenses I use need to keep up with me, and this rugged lens is up to the task. Not only does it take my bumps (trees, embankments, occasionally the ground), it never fails and takes it all in stride. I roam large areas and venture through swamps, fog, and rain, and its weather-resistant construction makes sure it keeps performing at its peak no matter the conditions.

During a model shoot, purposely scheduled during dreaded high-noon full sun, this lens’s aperture range, quick focusing and ability to not flare, even when the model was lit heavily from behind or above, was nothing short of astounding. I shot in direct light, bright shade, and darker alleyways, and it never let me down. I was pleasantly surprised how beautifully this lens produced the images I saw in my mind’s eye. It’s an absolute dream to work with and makes working in hard lighting situations easy and effortless.

I also wanted to push the lenses’ ability and tried macro shots. This is where I was FLOORED by how close I was able to get to my subject and keep focus sharp, with quick autofocus too! With macro work, I often override the AF and manually focus, but this lens blew me away with how quickly it autofocused, even when I was extremely close to the subject.

I came across a baby garter snake on a hike and was able to get closeup and personal with it. Snakes are quite fast and this lens allowed me to get close, fast, sharp focus and grab a bunch of shots, all within seconds before the snake darted off.

Useful lens details

One of the features that I enjoyed was the aperture ring directly on the barrel. With an easy turn you can click into the aperture you like. It also has a click / de-click switch on the side. You can switch it to either hear/feel the aperture clicking into place or not. A cute little extra feature you didn’t think you needed until you have it.

One of my favorite features on any zoom lens is the zoom lock switch. I love this feature, as I absolutely hate when a lens creeps. This switch locks the lens into place and prevents unwanted creeping. It does override easily as soon as you start to turn the barrel without having to push the switch. Which is a handy tiny bonus in itself. I’ve many times had my lens locked, go to zoom into a subject, forgot it was locked and had to remember to switch the lock off. A teeny nuisance this lens took care of.

The AFL (autofocus lock) is a wonderful tool. This lens has 2 buttons, located right on the barrel, allowing you to keep the exact same focusing distance as your previous shots. Perfect for a subject that stays in the same focal plane, but you may have to change your camera positioning from horizontal to vertical and do not want to have to refocus again. These buttons are also customizable, so depending on your camera body, you can assign them different useful functions.

Overall thoughts on the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN II | Art

The SIGMA 24-70mm will always be a continued favorite of mine, and the new design takes the features of a familiar favorite and brings them to the next level. The compact, lightweight, incredibly durable craftsmanship with weather-resistant construction, and all-around improved functionality will make the SIGMA 24-70m F2.8 DG DN II | Art lens your new best friend!

You will NOT want to leave the house without it. I know I won’t!

Get yours now at sigmaphoto.com

Browse all SIGMA F2.8 zoom lenses:

Comments (2)
  1. Beautiful lens! Can’t wait to get mine!

  2. Troy Phillips says:

    The colors and image rendering is beautiful.
    Nice job Sigma

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