The New Sigma 24-70mm Arrives!

Hello. My name is Kari and I'm a prime-a-holic. Prime lenses are light, fast, great in low light and, let's face it: cheap. They've been my go-to for years now, shooting weddings and portraits.

As a professional wedding and portrait photographer who's not much of a “gear-head” or “tech-geek,” I've been shooting weddings for the past 9 years with equipment that would make many pros squirm in disbelief. I don't have a bag full of 5D Mark-whatevers or a bag full of white, storm-trooper-resembling lenses. In fact, I'm a Nikon shooter. I recently upgraded from my Nikon D200 & D300 to a Nikon D7000. Sure, it's not full-frame (or even considered a pro camera), but its low-light performance has astonished me after only a handful of uses and I'm in love.

Last week, as I was packing for a journey to California from Oregon for not one, but two weddings . I didn't want to struggle with carry-ons and holding up the security line for ages, only to smuggle in my fleet of prime lenses. So, I decided to rent an all-in-one. Soon, the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 found itself in my bag, snuggled among my cameras, on its way to the California sun.

Once this lens attached itself to my D7000, it did not come off. The versatility, ease of use and low-light performance of this hot little number really hooked me. As a wedding shooter, it now seems quite silly to be reaching in my bag, switching out primes when I could simply leave this powerhouse on and be good to go in almost every situation. I eased through family portraits, detail and ring shots (leaving my poor macro in the depths of my suitcase), bridal close-ups, wide ocean-side landscapes, dancing in the dark, and some fun bouquet and garter toss action shots. This lens only left my camera body once, and that was to feed my prime addiction and give my 85mm a chance to redeem itself.

On the semi-techy side, this lens is built excellently, focuses quickly and operates as smoothly as silk. It's not heavy or clunky, but light and easy to handle. The image is a little bit soft at f.2/8, but as a wedding and portrait photographer, that's just fine with me. Although I haven't experienced the Nikon version of this lens, I can assume that it would offer a bit more sharpness. But, I'd rather not drop the extra $1,000.

My Amazon cart is now holding this wonderful little gem. My primes might just need to get comfortable on the shelf this wedding season, as a new addiction takes their place.

Lens Specifications:

Retail Price: $899

Guest Post By:
Kari R. Badley
Kari Renee Photography


  1. We rented both the Sigma and the Canon version for a wedding and I liked the Sigma better. I did some controlled side by side test shots and could not really tell the difference except on the Sigma at F2.8 it is a little soft. I have a Sigma on order also!

  2. Have you had any warranty experience with Sigma? Are they responsive? I have been looking to get the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM, but I am concerned about there customer service.

  3. Thanks for your writup Kari. I’ve been feeling primes also as a Nikon photographer too. But not sure if my next lens should be a zoom or yet another prime. Your writeup on this Sigma lens (which I’ve been eying in the Shutterbug magazines of late) was convincing enough to place it in my Amazon cart too. Thanks!

  4. No doubt the Sigma is a great lens at a very good value price point. But there is possibly an even better value out there – a good condition, second hand Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8 AF Zoom-Nikkor ( [manufactured 1987-2007). These compact lenses are built like tanks, have a decent micro function, and can be picked up in excellent condition for $450 or so. Though the lenses look puny compared to today’s Big Glass, they were the professional workhorse zoom lens only a half dozen or so years ago. Some pros still prefer them since they are smaller and lighter compared to today’s Goliaths.

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