24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art Impression
When “standard zoom lenses” were first introduced, their zoom ratios used to be around 2X and F-numbers were high. And, they were much narrower than 24mm. At a certain point in time, they became wider to be 35mm and 28mm while their F-number decreased to be F2.8 throughout the zoom range. Now, most standard zoom lenses have become as wide as 24mm and are even equipped with built-in image stabilization just like this new one.
It’s not easy to develop a F2.8 constant standard zoom lens. It has to be compact for regular use, but it’s difficult because of the large zoom ratio, large diameter, and image stabilization. The length of this lens, however, is adequately short though the barrel feels a little thick presumably because of the image stabilization. It’s amazingly compact for what’s inside.
Significance of image stabilization increases as cameras have more pixels. To take advantage of it, I left my tripod in the car to shoot it handheld with a camera featuring more than 50 megapixels.
Benefits of compactness and image stabilization
Large F2.8 constant zoom lenses don’t always appeal to photographers regularly using compact fixed-focal length standard lenses. But if they have image stabilization, it’s a different story as it increases opportunities for handheld shooting. And most importantly, it stabilizes the viewfinder image while shooting. At a festival, for instance, there’s no space for a tripod. So, I prefer a slower compact zoom lens with image stabilization to a prime standard zoom lens without it. In other words, we sometimes hesitate to use a prime standard zoom lens even though we understand the benefits of the large diameter. This lens, on the other hand, has built-in image stabilization and is compact enough. This lens meets a primary prerequisite for photographic equipment: it’s inviting.
With a 50-megapixel camera, chances for camera shake increase surprisingly and even 1/250sec shutter isn’t safe. But of course, the image stabilization of this lens freezes the image powerfully. This makes a lot of difference because it changes the mental state while looking into the viewfinder.
Very sharp at wide open. The image looks voluminous as if it had compressed everything at the scene including the air, sunshine, heat, music, and cheers.
Bokeh taste is “well-disciplined.” This lens is unlike many other lenses that exhibit notable differences of bokeh taste and the amount between the center and corners. It’s natural, circular, and easy to deal with. From the focal peak, it loses sharpness gradually to emphasize the subject and this is what makes us want to use a large-diameter lens.
Men at festivals are always cool. They just don’t carry the portable shrine. They carry the whole town.
Can it replace fixed-focal length lenses?
Most fixed-focal length lenses between around 24mm and 70mm are not surprisingly large, while there’re some exceptions in the case of SIGMA. So if we know what to shoot, we can use several fixed-focal length lenses taking advantage of their superior image quality realized by simple lens construction. However, photographers also want to be free from the limitations of angle of view and they want to use zoom lens for fine-tuned composition. Even though I had no room to move on the unstable ground, I could get this high quality output thanks to the great handling because of the compactness.
The ground had moss. Zooming to the wide-end, I bent myself forward to shoot at 1/4sec. Even considering the wideness of 24mm, the power of image stabilization is still amazing. Just think about the number of pixels the sensor has.
The air at the mountain was clear despite the intense sunshine. This lens preserved the atmosphere very realistically. I stopped it down slightly, but this image proves that this lens never loses against the high-resolution camera. Yet that makes perfect sense because SIGMA uses their Foveon cameras as a benchmark for testing. The precise and delicate rendition demonstrates that the lens fully utilized the power of the sensor.
Wisteria flowers are difficult to shoot because their small petals form clusters. Also, it’s hard to determine the amount of overexposure due to the significant luminance gap. And, what makes things even more complicated is that I still want to shoot under the sunshine. However, this lens solved the issue with a wide tonal range. The image looks delicate and sweet. This is a great lens for portraits as well.
Professional and everyday workhorse to provide superior optical performance
If you enjoy taking pictures then it is likely you also enjoy using a variety of lenses. At a certain point in time, you switch from a zoom lens to a fixed-focal length lens to be overjoyed with their unique rendition and sharpness. Your days become exciting just by carrying the camera. Sounds familiar?
This lens is a collection of fixed-focal length lenses including the 24mm F2.8, 35mm F2.8, 50mm F2.8, and 70mm F2.8. Of course, this is what it means to be a “zoom lens” and I only broke the common catch copy “a zoom lens that rivals the image quality of fixed-focal length lenses” into pieces. But, I want to add one more thing to describe this lens. The rendition is “tasteful.”
After trying many lenses, I am often surprised by the rendition of slower fixed-focal length lenses. It’s not as flashy as the one of high-speed lenses. It’s tasteful because of its high basic performance naturally achieved by the easiness of lens design. The rendition of this lens is just that.
It’s compact, has built-in image stabilization, and delivers high-quality images. Professional photographers want a lens to have a “tractability” that helps them imagine what the final output will look like. In this sense, this lens is appealing. If it’s easy to use in professional situations, it’s easy to use in everyday situations, too. This lens takes care of entire standard focal length range and you will enjoy the tasteful rendition.
While ideally I want to use a 200mm to zoom into the car, clouds, and reflection, I still like this image shot at 70mm because it expresses the feeling of gazing blankly at the scene.
I often prefer a zoom lens to a fixed-focal length lens when shooting something on the table. This scene was hard to ignore. It may also be interesting to overexpose utilizing the good bokeh taste.
Through the viewfinder, I looked at my children playing at the ocean to feel their growth. During the sunset, I grabbed the camera again to shoot them with a fisherman. Then, I zoomed in to the tele-end to shoot them at the water’s edge. And finally, I tilted the camera up a little and zoomed out. This is literally a “standard zoom lens” because it conveniently covers most scenes.