Lens review

Sigma 28 mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

2 April 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The first encounter with the Sigma 1.8/28 is literally hugely impressive. For 28 mm class it is a big, solid chunk of optics. Small wonder – a lens consisting of 10 elements and giving you a 75-degree field of view with the maximum aperture of 1.8 must weight a lot. The picture below shows a comparison between the physical dimensions of the Sigma 1.8/28 and other 30-35 mm class instruments; the tested lens is positioned between smaller format’s lenses : a Sigma 1.4/30 and a Nikkor 1.8/35. As you can notice next to the Sigma other instruments look like younger siblings.

Sigma 28 mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro - Build quality

A big front element is partially responsible for the size of the lens; after it we see another one, also significantly large, and an aspherical element, situated as the third.

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Sigma 28 mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro - Build quality

The next aspherical element is positioned right before the aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be stopped down to f/22. The task of two aspherical elements is to eliminate distortion, spherical aberration and astigmatism. Sigma additionally boasts anti-reflection coatings of the newest class, optimized to cooperate also with digital cameras.

A huge, wide manual focus ring is a feature that sticks out the moment you take the tested lens into your hand. Unfortunately it works in a way I personally can’t stand – you must move the whole ring along the barrel in order to change from AF to MF mode. I hate such a solution for two reasons. Firstly, I have to struggle with the lens a lot. Secondly, from time to time it happens that after setting the focus automatically I would like to fine-tune it manually. Regrettably the struggle with the ring when changing from AF to MF mode is often so violent that it thwarts the previous AF settings and moves the focal length to another place…

Sigma 28 mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro - Build quality

Apart from that the Sigma is difficult to fault. The housing is very solid, the mount – made of metal, the ring works properly. Additionally you get a clear distance scale behind a window and a non-rotating filter thread with a diameter of 77 mm. For this price point you could hardly demand more.

As it is usual for other Sigma equipment the buyer gets a box, a hood and a tasteful case included.

Sigma 28 mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro - Build quality