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Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

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Reviews Views Date of last review
25 180715 Jun 23, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $248.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.30
8.84
7.8
28_f1_8_1_

Specifications:
SIGMA 28mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro is one of several EX-Series lenses to be introduced at Photokina 2000 by Sigma Corporation of Japan (2-13-15 Iwado-Mi-nami, Komae-Shi, Tokyo). This lens has a fast F1.8 maximum aperture, with macro-focusing capability. It features minimum focusing, down to 20cm/7.9inches (reproduction ratio 1:2.9). The iris diaphragm has 9 diaphragm blades to obtain beautiful out of focus image. It incorporates the floating focus system and the use of two aspherical lens elements to minimize distortion, spherical aberration and astigmatism. The lens incorporates minimum vignetting optical construction in order to obtain adequate peripheral brightness with open aperture. Internal focus system of the lens eliminates front lens rotation, thus allowing the use of a Perfect Hood and easy use of polarizing filters. The lens also incorporates a dual-focus mechanism. It is easy to hold the lens, since focusing ring does not rotate during auto-focus, and yet provides adequate torque of the focusing ring during manual focusing of the lens. The lens materials used in this new lens are lead and arsenic free ecological glass.


 


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the solitaire
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Registered: Jun 22, 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 627
Review Date: Jun 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Fast aperture, has an aperture ring, fast AF, screwdriver type AF
Cons:
Wonīt focus on motorless Nikon bodies (screwdriver AF), less then solid construction, size, 77mm filters

The Nikon F mount version of the lens does not have a focus motor. Personally I find that a good thing. Less parts that can malfunction is always a good thing, right?

Mechanically the lens is ok. It seems to be made completely of ( high quality ? ) plastics. The inner lens tube is a bit wobbly when fully extended. Otherwise it seems sturdy enough.

My biggest grief with the lens is itīs size. I would have liked it to be smaller then it is. Something like the Nikon AF 85 f1,8D would be perfect. Itīs quite a bit bigger though so it takes up a lot of space in my camera bag.

I found the copy I use to be sharper then the Sigma 30mm f1,4 and sharper at f2,2 then the Nikon 28mm f2,8 wide open.

The center seems to be good throughout the aperture range. The corners are never really completely sharp, but absolutely usable considering what this lens does.

I use it on a crop sensor camera, so I canīt say anything on performance on a full sized sensor camera. Considering the alternatives (this is a good standard prime on crop sensor that can be used on older film cameras as well) I really recommend picking up one of these if you are looking for a fast prime lens in this range.


Jun 23, 2013
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Fr3d
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Registered: Nov 28, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 292
Review Date: May 8, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small and light, sharp wide open (center), MDF, and splendid bokeh
Cons:
Slow focus, soft corners at all aperatures (FF), AF/MF switch mechanism is a 2 step process

I bought this lens used from amazon but will return it because I
find it too expensive for what it delivers. The reason why I bought
it was that it had better bokeh than the Canon 28mm 1.8. But
soon found out that I would not be happy with this lens. The one
and only thing that I hate about this lens is how slow the AF is
and how hard and unpractical the switching from AF to MF is.
You need to hit the AF/MF button on the lens and then you need
to pull back the AF/MF clutch mechanism. It's idiotic because this
makes the lens unusable for any type of shooting where you want
to change from AF to MF quickly or get something into focus fast.
The lens becomes even slower when you are trying to shoot
available light at night. When Sigma decides to update this lens
with a faster AF I would certainly give it another try because I
really like the 28mm perspective.


May 8, 2011
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maxwell1295
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Registered: Jun 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 6206
Review Date: Dec 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp wide open; great for indoor, low-light; close focusing; built like a tank.
Cons:
Clumsy MF switch/clutch mechanisms; no USM/HSM.

I LOVE this lens! It really is my go-to wide lens (using it on Canon 5D). My copy is very sharp wide open. Great for indoor, low-light situations. The fact that is focuses so closely is an added bonus and makes for a very versatile lens. It's built like a tank. The MF switch/clutch mechanism takes some getting used to. I also wish it had USM/HSM for quieter (and quicker) focusing. Given the performance of the lens, these are things I can live with. If they ever update this model, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat.

Dec 16, 2010
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Vandergaze
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Registered: Mar 19, 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp from 1.8 up, Nice EX Finish, Very bulky and strong build, exact focus
Cons:
Weird AF/MF Switch needs getting used to

Seriously. I got this for 160 Euros.

I used it on my Crop D90. Images were always sharp no matter what aperture I used.

The macro feature is great. I could focus on objects that where only 5 cm away from the front lens. That's a whole lot better than any other lenses I have had up to now.

The AF/MF switch is a little weird and takes some getting used to. It was supposed to be Sigma's approach to the USM-full-manual-focus idea, but is basicly an epic fail. But if you've figured it out, it's not a big problem at all.

The filter size of 77mm is a standard among good lenses, especially the professional line-ups of Nikon and Canon. So no problem there.

I did have some focussing issues, as I was simply not aware that 1.8 had such little depth of field. Would be interesting to find out how this lens performs on a full-frame. The center image quality I can assure you, is absolutely outstand


Apr 23, 2010
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dealaddict
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Registered: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 31
Review Date: Jun 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, cheap, good build quality, macro, no turning ring
Cons:
Big and heavy, expensive 77mm filter

This is the first lens I bought, I hesitate a bit reading focusing issue on 3rd party lens. I originally want to buy the Canon 35mm F2.0, but it is out of stock. With budget in mind, I give Sigma a try, and I am happy with it .. maybe I am lucky, my copy focus properly. The image is sharp, and the price is good. I enjoy the macro capability also. Not too many lens has macro.


Jun 11, 2009
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Peradam
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Registered: Jan 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent performance for the price, solid construction, macro capability, comes with shade and case.
Cons:
Heavy and unattractive matte finish.

Put it on a great low light camera like the Nikon D3 or D700 and you have the perfect marriage. I prefer it over my 50mm 1.4 for shallow depth of field shots. I use a 28mm PC lens for buildings and interiors, but this lens for everything else. It is heavy, so for backpacking you might consider the excellent Nikkor prime lenses, especially the manual focus ones. Now if Sigma could design a comparable 35mm f/1.4 lens in this price range...

Feb 26, 2009
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ForestWander
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Registered: Mar 11, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $247.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very solid built. Great focusing at macro range.
Cons:
None at all so far

The description stated that it's closest focusing range is around 7 inches and I have been just playing with this lens and I took some pictures of some news print as close as 2 inches away and it focused perfectly!

I am not having the problems mentioned here with Auto focusing.

I am using a canon 350 XT and it works great.

I like the heavy solid feel compared to the 18-55 mm canon lens that I got with my XT.

I cannot wait to get in the field and take some flower and foliage shots.

So far I am well pleased with this lens and its performance.


Mar 11, 2008
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LeviNeely
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Registered: Oct 31, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $249.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Easily accessible MF, Nice field on DSLR, Well built, Super sharp, and wide open apeture
Cons:
ummmm, On a Pentax I cannot think of any.

This lens is built like a TANK!! It is weighty, but not too bad. I can carry it around all day. Another thing to mention is that this lens is great on a Pentax Body. It focuses fast and produces super sharp images. On my Pentax I have had no focus problems that were the fault of the lens (Pentax cameras sometimes search for focus in odd lighting situation). However, this is minimal because of the HUGE apeture. I am really trying to think of any negatives here, but am finding it hard. On my camera, this lens is just wonderful. I am able to shoot in pretty much any situation.

Oct 31, 2007
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Mardala
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Registered: Jul 12, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 12, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Seems solidly built and I like the petal hood. I give it an 8 on build since that nice finish starts peeling pretty quickly. I bought this wanting a nice prime (for low light) with a usable "all-around" shooting range. I like the 28mm, that is a great range, but I have never been really satisfied with the quality of the shots of this lens. So I give it a 6 for a rating. For the build quality, the price of this lens is really good.
Cons:
Colors come out duller than my other lenses. Most shots I do with it require quite a bit of post processing. I've never been satisfied with it. My gut feeling said to just splurge and get the 35mm Canon L. I should have listened to my gut feeling. I know their is no price comparison between the two, but why shoot with a lens that you can't be 100% happy with? For focusing, it has a tendency to "get lost" and you have to manually get it back on track, then switch back to AF. That is kind of annoying.



Jul 12, 2007
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yido
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Registered: Sep 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 812
Review Date: Jun 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great Price, speed, very short min. focusing distance, bokeh
Cons:
Two step AF/MF switch, noisy AF, Poor low light focusing, hood is extremely tight fitting.

As above. I got this for walking around. Since I've a cropped body, it's about a 45mm lens for me which is nice. The short min. focusing distance really allows for nice bokeh and really creative compositions. Based on experience with the lens, three others have bought the 20/24/28mm primes from Sigma with one more who will order one.

Here is my review of the lens here.
http://tomyi.smugmug.com/gallery/2000895#114325968


Jun 26, 2007
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eddyboy
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Registered: Jun 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 599
Review Date: Mar 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp out to the edges (nikon af). Very bright and a joy to use. Incredibly inexpensive for it's performance.
Cons:
Kinda cheesy looking construction, but very robust

This is my American Express lens "don't leave home without it". I use it all the time on my D200 with really great, sharp results. Sigma is the craziest company in the industry...when they choose to they make world class products. In this case they have..Ask me about my 50mm macro lens and you'll get a different answer..

Mar 6, 2007
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Well built, nice optics when it works.
Cons:
Doesn't like newer canon EOS cameras, mine wouldn't focus properly and would lock up.

I almost bought this lens. There was one going cheap at the local second hand camera store. When I tried it on my 300D it would not focus properly. It would whine back and forth and not lock focus. The few times it would "lock" focus, it would front or back focus like mad, sometimes as much as 50% off. I tried the 30mm f/1.4 at the same store and it worked just fine. Pity, this is a cheap and well made lens, wish it would work on my EOS, I'd have bought it.

Jul 17, 2006
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Aesop
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Registered: Aug 22, 2004
Location: Norway
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jun 27, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Good build quality. Sharp when focused. f1.8
Cons:
Autofocus is not working precisely with Canon digital bodies.

This lens is nice and sharp when focused. The build quality feels very good, however it consistently front-focuses with my Canon 20D.

I've talked to Sigma and been told that only lenses with serial number atarting with 2 or more can be upgraded to work with Canon digital bodies. Too bad I wasn't told when I bought it...


Jun 27, 2006
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Review Date: Jun 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp lens, very sharp. Very nice build. Feels solid.
Cons:
Sigma's achilles heel -- front focusing issues with canon bodies.

Poor Sigma. They make some of the best lenses ... Only to be ruined by hit or miss interoperability with Canon bodies.
This is now my second Sig lens to have front focusing issues. The 30mmf/1.4 was the other.

Understand, that optically, these guys are killer! But if the AF is off, what the hell good is it? Sure I could treat it like a manual focus lens. But jeeez thats just not good enough!


[Sigh] I still have to return mine for focus adjustment.

Im sure I'll be psyched when I get it back.


Jun 16, 2006
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crosstrainer
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Registered: Jan 7, 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $235.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: low light photography, 77mm diameter, macro capability, build quality, price
Cons:
a bit soft, but forgivably so, tokina-like clutch manual-auto focus can be irritating at times

I've been using my nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime exclusively for almost a month, and I decided to experiment a little. A rather expensive experiment.... buy purchasing a nice Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro lens.

Been thinking to myself "if I almost always take food shots while sitting down at the dinner table, will it help if I got a lens that's a bit wider than my 50mm?"

Of course, there are a lot of contenders out there, but I knew what I wanted:

Something between 20-35mm
Definitely faster than f/2.8
Less than Php15,000 (about $300)
and definitely had to be a prime.

The Sigma fit the bill - on paper that is.

Here are my initial findings:

It's not as SHARP as my beloved 50mm f/1.8 at wide open. You'll have to stop it down to about 2-2.2 to get a bit of sharpness.

It doesn't have as much CA as the 50mm in a lot of shots

It's not as bright as the 50mm in almost all shots. Either have a +0.3 or +0.7 EV bias or slow the shutter down a tad to get the proper exposure.

Sample Shots

I took it for a spin last saturday at the First Philippine International Jazz Festival, where my cousin played the drums and here are some shots:

My cousin Dave
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/89722513/

My sister
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/89722514/

a view of the stage
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/89722512/

This ain't pepe smith (a local oldie rock star)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/89743276/


Jan 22, 2006
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gowron300d
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, sharp, sharp Fast 1.8. Macro distance of about 0.04 meter. Comes with hood and carrying belt pouch. A bit heavy (pro or con as you want it!)
Cons:
Bulky, Auto focusing sometimes off. A bit heavy (pro or con as you want it!)

Had it for few weeks now and it is very sharp at any opening.
Fast at 1.8. Great value for the price. Of course comes with hood and carrying belt pouch.
A bit heavy (pro or con as you want it!)
Sigma claims that the macro focusing distance of 0.20 meter, forget it, you can click an object as close as about 4cm close with surprisingly good results.
A nice addition to a collection.

A bit bulky, but understandable for a 1.8 lens, focusing is a bit slow not beeing a USM, seems to have an issue to get the correct focus sometimes. Using manual focusing gives A1 results.
A bit heavy (pro or con as you want it!)
Auto/manual focus is a 2 step job, but you get used to it quickly.


Dec 7, 2005
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Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
25 180715 Jun 23, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $248.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.30
8.84
7.8
28_f1_8_1_


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