Sigma AF 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro (Canon) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2007

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Sander Grootjes!


The Sigma AF 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro is the 5th and latest of the current macro lenses made by Sigma. The local length of 70mm is a bit off the mainstream but it actually makes sense. The Sigma is a full format lens but it is safe to state it will be mostly used on APS-C DSLRs where its field-of-view is equivalent to ~105mm and this is actually a quite classic perspective and it's also in the hot spot of portrait photography. Another interesting aspect of the lens is the optical design. Unlike most other moderate macro lenses it uses 3 SLD elements to correct optical flaws. This ambitious approach has one obvious side effect - the lens is quite a bit more expensive than the 50mm f/2.8 macro and roughly on par here with the 105mm f/2.8 macro. Size- and weight-wise it is also more comparable to its longer cousin.

The 70mm f/2.8 is part of Sigma's professional grade EX ("Excellence") lineup and consequently the build quality is very good thanks to high quality materials and quite tight tolerances. The focus ring operates pretty smooth. Unfortunately it rotates in AF mode which is a slightly dated behavior on Canon DSLRs. As you can see below the Sigma extends quite a bit towards close focus distances. The metal lens hood is of the screw-in type which is a bit unusual but you can continue to use a polarizer with attached hood. The front element does not rotate.

The Sigma has a conventional AF micro-motor which is very slow and quite noisy. Unless you use the lens for macro photography it is a good idea to take advantage of the focus limiter in order to avoid excessive AF hunting. The AF accuracy of the tested sample was generally very good.

Equiv. focal length112 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.5 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction10 elements in 9 groups inc. 3 SLD elements
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.257m (max. magnification ratio 1:1, ~6.5cm min. working distance)
Filter size62mm (non-rotating)
HoodBarrel shaped, screw-in type, supplied
Other featuresfocus limiter