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 in a position to 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 notice: The next analysis is supposed to be considered after studying the full review of the Leica 24-70mm f/2.8, as a lot of the data under focuses on displaying how the Sigma lens performs compared to these outcomes and is written from the belief that readers have familiarized themselves with the identical evaluation of the Leica lens.

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


Facet by facet, 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 seem like virtually an identical. The primary 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 change that’s solely discovered on the Sigma, and the strong steel materials that’s distinctive to the Leica.

As talked about within the Leica 24-70mm evaluate, 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 change. 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 steel housing, however that makes it barely heavier than the Sigma model consequently.

The Sigma lens weighs about 100 grams lower than the Leica model, and whereas this isn’t actually a big distinction, it does at the least appear noticeable when hand-holding the digital camera, because the 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 an identical 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. Though the digital camera was at all times the Leica SL-2, the system as an entire felt much less flashy after I used the Sigma Artwork lens. There’s simply one thing about seeing the yellow textual content on the facet of the lens that stands out.

Earlier than We Take a look at…

To check these lenses, I used a Leica SL-2 and located that, successfully, the pictures from each of those lenses have been extremely just 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. Additionally it is price noting that for the aim of this comparability, no lens-profile changes have been made to the pictures proven on this put up, 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 photos look practically an identical to at least one one other.

Efficiency & Bokeh

So far as picture high quality, colours, and sharpness are involved, each lenses carry out extremely effectively with practically an identical photos 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 important efficiency distinction between every of those lenses on a Leica digital camera.

For example, if for instance, an autofocus activity have been to take 0.5 to at least one second to lock on to an object with the Leica lens, the Sigma lens would take 1.5 to 2.5 seconds within the an identical state of affairs. This conduct was constant whatever the setting or lighting.

The pictures all got here out sharp and clear in each instances, however the time to autofocus with the Sigma lens at all times took noticeably longer. On a Leica SL-2, this delay made utilizing the Sigma model virtually unusable after I tried to shoot a shifting topic huge 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 observed that the digital camera was slower besides up after I used the Sigma lens versus the Leica lens, which leads me to imagine these points are attributable to 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 huge focal lengths) within the RAW recordsdata when in comparison with the identical pictures utilizing the Leica lens. These points are shortly and simply eliminated with the built-in lens profiles in modifying functions like Seize One and Adobe Lightroom, however the situation undoubtedly stands out if you evaluate the RAW recordsdata facet by facet.

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

Whereas the bokeh patterns seem very related 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. Under 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 point of interest. 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 record of variations, as famous the lenses are in any other case fairly related.

Further Pattern Pictures

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 effectively within the total picture high quality division for my part. Nevertheless, the Leica outperforms the Sigma lens considerably in autofocus pace on the Leica SL-2 system. That is most likely not a problem that extends past Leica digital camera our bodies, although. Though each lenses have “slower” autofocus efficiency than different full-frame mirrorless techniques in the marketplace, if pace 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.

In case you use these lenses on an L-mount system apart from Leica, the flexibility to shortly 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 method 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 an identical, there are different components 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/avenue images
  • AF/MF, Lock, and programmable button accessible on the Sigma lens

Leica Strengths

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

The Identical, However Completely different

Over the course of testing these lenses, apart from the bodily variations (since we are able to compensate for the vignetting in put up shortly), the one actual variations between these lenses appear to be the costs and the autofocus pace 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. In case you’re taking pictures on Leica, that is perhaps price it for superior autofocus pace. Everybody else will discover only a few causes to pick out 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 a couple of further options with the AF/MF change and button, the lenses have mainly the identical efficiency. Optically talking, the pictures are practically an identical with solely very refined variations when shot on the lens’s respective focal and aperture extremes, so that you gained’t be making a foul selection both approach. Ultimately, you’ll simply must make your choices primarily based on private desire, the meant use of the lens, and the way a lot you wish to spend.



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