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Leica 24-70mm f/2.8 Versus Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8: Is There a Distinction?


Whereas reviewing the Leica 24-70mm f/2.8, I used to be capable of spend a while with a lens from Sigma that has been accused of being the precise same lens in a rehoused body. However is it?


Editor’s be aware: The next analysis is supposed to be seen after studying the full review of the Leica 24-70mm f/2.8, as a lot of the info under focuses on displaying how the Sigma lens performs compared to these outcomes and is written from the idea that readers have familiarized themselves with the identical evaluation of the Leica lens.

Particular because of LensRentals for offering the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN for the needs of this comparability.


Facet by aspect, the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm f/2.8 ASPH lens is similar to the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art Lens: the main target and zoom rings look like virtually similar. The principle seen variations lie within the form and materials of the lens hoods, the form of the barrel close to the lens mount, the presence of an AF/MF swap that’s solely discovered on the Sigma, and the strong metallic materials that’s distinctive to the Leica.

As talked about within the Leica 24-70mm evaluation, when utilizing the Leica lens on a Leica system, you’ll be able to merely override the autofocus by adjusting the guide focus ring which arguably removes the necessity for the AF/MF toggle swap. Even when the optics are the identical as each lenses, the Leica model does have a slight benefit within the sturdiness division that comes from having a metallic housing, however that makes it barely heavier than the Sigma model because of this.

The Sigma lens weighs about 100 grams lower than the Leica model, and whereas this isn’t actually a major distinction, it does not less than appear noticeable when hand-holding the digital camera, for the reason that system is simply that a lot much less front-heavy. As for the consolation and ergonomics, each really feel very a lot the identical. Modern, responsive, easy to the contact, with each variations of the lenses focus and zoom rings responding at practically similar speeds.

Visually, it does really feel like extra of the “standing image” when taking pictures with the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL model mounted versus the extra refined Sigma lens. Although the digital camera was all the time the Leica SL-2, the system as a complete felt much less flashy once I used the Sigma Artwork lens. There’s simply one thing about seeing the yellow textual content on the aspect of the lens that stands out.

Earlier than We Check…

To check these lenses, I used a Leica SL-2 and located that, successfully, the pictures from each of those lenses have been extremely much like one different, however there have been some noticeable efficiency variations when utilizing the Sigma lens on the Leica SL-2 physique that I’ll get to in a second. It is usually value noting that for the aim of this comparability, no lens-profile changes have been made to the pictures proven on this publish, so the nook conduct may be plainly seen from lens to lens. I additionally wish to point out that in my testing, merely making use of the lens profile for the Sigma lens in post-production makes the RAW pictures look practically similar to 1 one other.

Efficiency & Bokeh

So far as picture high quality, colours, and sharpness are involved, each lenses carry out extremely properly with practically similar pictures popping out of every lens. The place they differ, nevertheless, is most noticeable whereas really taking pictures. Whereas the autofocus on the SL-2 is nowhere close to as quick as the brand new era of mirrorless techniques From Nikon, Sony, or Canon, there’s a vital efficiency distinction between every of those lenses on a Leica digital camera.

For example, if for instance, an autofocus job have been to take 0.5 to 1 second to lock on to an object with the Leica lens, the Sigma lens would take 1.5 to 2.5 seconds within the similar scenario. This conduct was constant whatever the surroundings or lighting.

The photographs all got here out sharp and clear in each circumstances, however the time to autofocus with the Sigma lens all the time took noticeably longer. On a Leica SL-2, this delay made utilizing the Sigma model nearly unusable once I tried to shoot a shifting topic vast open.

Sigma 24-70mm DG DN Artwork at 24mm and f/8
Leica Vario 24-70mm f/2.8 at 24mm and f/8

I additionally seen that the digital camera was slower in addition up once I used the Sigma lens versus the Leica lens, which leads me to imagine these points are brought on by firmware that would, theoretically, be adjusted by Leica sooner or later. Moreover, the Sigma lens does have very noticeable distortion and vignetting current (on the vast focal lengths) within the RAW information when in comparison with the identical pictures utilizing the Leica lens. These points are rapidly and simply eliminated with the built-in lens profiles in enhancing functions like Seize One and Adobe Lightroom, however the difficulty positively stands out once you examine the RAW information aspect by aspect.

Leica Vario 24mm at f/2.8
Sigma Artwork 24mm at f/2.8

Whereas the bokeh patterns seem very comparable between the Leica and Sigma lenses, what can also be obvious is that there’s a distinction within the “bokeh zone” between these two lenses. Beneath is an instance of a photograph shot on the minimal focus distance at f/2.8 with each lenses with the (digital camera left) eye as the focus. You could discover the Sigma lens is a bit more front-focused.

Sigma 70mm at f/2.8
Leica 70mm at f/2.8

Past this brief checklist of variations, as famous the lenses are in any other case fairly comparable.

Extra Pattern Photographs

Leica 70mm at f/2.8
Sigma 70mm at f/2.8
Leica 70mm at f/8
Sigma 70mm at f/8
Leica 24mm at f/8
Sigma 24mm at f/8
Sigma 70mm at f/2.8
Leica 70mm at f/2.8
Leica 70mm at f/8
Sigma 70mm at f/8

Strengths and Weaknesses

Each of the lenses rating properly within the general picture high quality division in my view. Nonetheless, the Leica outperforms the Sigma lens considerably in autofocus velocity on the Leica SL-2 system. That is in all probability not a problem that extends past Leica digital camera our bodies, although. Although each lenses have “slower” autofocus efficiency than different full-frame mirrorless techniques available on the market, if velocity is necessary to you, then the Leica model is certainly the winner right here in the event you plan to apply it to a Leica digital camera.

If you happen to use these lenses on an L-mount system aside from Leica, the flexibility to rapidly change the AF/MF mode utilizing the button(s) on the Sigma lens is a particular benefit.

One factor is obvious although: as a lot because the optical system seems to be the identical on each lenses, they actually have some notable variations that make it tough to label the Leica only a “rehoused” Sigma. Whereas optically similar, there are different elements to think about.

Sigma Strengths

  • Barely much less weight
  • Prices considerably much less cash than the Leica lens
  • Extra refined than the Leica lens for journey/road images
  • AF/MF, Lock, and programmable button obtainable on the Sigma lens

Leica Strengths

  • Leica’s metallic lens seems to be and feels higher than the Sigma plastic model
  • “Lens Profile” appears to be utilized routinely with the Leica system
  • Seems and feels extra skilled than Sigma model
  • Works higher on Leica cameras

The Similar, However Totally different

Over the course of testing these lenses, aside from the bodily variations (since we will compensate for the vignetting in publish rapidly), the one actual variations between these lenses appear to be the costs and the autofocus velocity efficiency on Leica cameras. One other large distinction is the worth: the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art Lens for Leica L is accessible for simply $1,099 whereas the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70 f/2.8 ASPH Lens is $2,795. If you happen to’re taking pictures on Leica, that is perhaps value it for superior autofocus velocity. Everybody else will discover only a few causes to pick the Leica over the Sigma, particularly when the latter is accessible for nearly 3 times much less.

The Verdict

Whereas the Sigma lens might have just a few extra options with the AF/MF swap and button, the lenses have principally the identical efficiency. Optically talking, the pictures are practically similar with solely very refined variations when shot on the lens’s respective focal and aperture extremes, so that you gained’t be making a nasty selection both manner. In the long run, you’ll simply must make your selections based mostly on private choice, the meant use of the lens, and the way a lot you wish to spend.



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