I am a person who likes to have my cake and eat it, when it comes to lenses. I’m looking for a versatile lens that can produce beautiful bokeh and is light enough to take with me anywhere. An f/2.8 zoom lens is what I love. These lenses are not as sharp or effective in low light as primes but they are my favourite one-lens solution to most types of photography. That’s why I was so excited about the Sigma 28-70mm F/2.8 Contemporary lens.

Sigma 28-70mm

The perfect opportunity to capture NYC’s new, gritty persona since the outbreak of the pandemic was the Sigma 28-70mm. Street photography is easy with f/2.8 zoom lenses. They are heavy, which is why they have been so popular until now.

NYC Street Graffiti
NYC Oculus

The Sigma 28-70 Contemporary f/2.8 f/2.8 Contemporary, despite its metal construction is the lightest and most compact full-frame f/2.8 zoom lens for mirrorless cameras. It weighs in at 16.6 ounces and is almost one pound less than Sigma’s 24-70 Art f/2.8 Art lens. The Contemporary is smaller than its larger brother but it does lose a few millimeters at the wide end. I find that the compact size of the lens makes it a worthwhile choice.

Stellar Image Quality

Image quality is something you don’t need to compromise on. This lens is Sigma’s Contemporary model, but it still delivers Sigma Art-level performance throughout the focal range. Even at 28mm wide, I didn’t notice any vignetting and minimal distortion.

Sigma 28-70mm image samples

Autofocus is precise, fast, and silent

The stepping AF motor is another great feature of this lens that makes it ideal for street photography. It was quiet and performed faster than any other autofocus device I have used. It was able to quickly pick focus on both video and photo modes.

This lens has a surprising advantage: it can do amazing macro work. The minimum focus distance at 28mm is just seven centimeters. This means you won’t have any trouble getting in close to your subject. Sigma includes a manual focus button on the side of its lens, which is quite different from other zooms I’ve used. Although this feature is standard on most lenses, it was something I found extremely useful until I had to leave without it.

Manual focusing aside, I was pleasantly surprised by the lens’ focus ring. This lens is perfect for manual focusing, unlike many mirrorless cameras lenses. It’s perfectly dampened and you won’t need to constantly search for focus.

NYC Street Scenes with Sigma 28-70mm
NYC street scenes
Photos of NYC

A compact and precise all-in-one lens that is portable

The big question for anyone looking for a full frame 2.8 standard zoom lens is whether to choose this or Sigma’s 24-70 Art series. The latter is beautiful and I have used it many times. However, it is a little too large for everyday use. This Sigma 28-70, 2.8 Contemporary may be right for you if you are on a tight budget and want to have a versatile lens that you can carry around with you.