Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG APO MACRO HSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 46    1 2 >>
reviewer#22453 date: Dec-14-2015
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Nikon AF-D 80-200/2.8 (push-pull variant)
price paid:$650
positive:Inexpensive entry in the 70-200/2.8 territory
Surface feels great in hand, easy to zoom with one finger
HSM is quiet and reacts fast
Little CA (purple fringing), corner IQ is very good for APS-C
negative:Not calibrated well at all, back focussing (A77ii had to be set for -9 at 200mm)
AF tends to hunt terribly, usually too near, regardless of in-camera focus limiter controls
No built-in focus limiter on lens
Does not nail focus reliably
comment:I waited a long time to review this lens because I really wanted to put it through it's paces and ultimately find out how/if it shines. The Minolta-Sony Alpha system cameras and lenses are unique in that they focus fast and are relatively inexpensive entries into sports photography, which is why I invested in a set of four A57s to shoot indoor sports with strobe. I dedicated this lens to one A57 body and shot it for about 9 events, each time trying to improve my hit rate of roller derby skaters, using the AF-C mode and zone focusing (the A57 has 15 points covering 3 zones across the center of the viewfinder). At first, it seemed like my images shot at f2.8 were softer around faces, possibly due to motion blur, but that improved greatly once I could shoot at f4.5. However, even at those considerably smaller working apertures the out-of-focus areas seemed kind of mushy, almost watery, and distinctly lacking in contrast. The sharp areas of frames that AF nailed, even at f4.5 seemed acceptably sharp, but it was rare that I could capture a sequence of in-focus images. Once I purchased the A77Mii, I could test the lens in the studio to see how much micro-adjust was needed and had to dial in a whopping -9 at 200mm. Once micro-focus was adjusted, I could see that the lens tended to undershoot focus regularly causing me to miss shots that the AF system should have little trouble tracking, even with the built-in camera focus limiter constraining to a narrow focus area. That's when I knew I had a dog of a lens and decided to send it back onto ebay, where I bought it. Other than the AF issues, the lens build is very nice and images I have created that are in focus are pleasing, though far from exceptional, technically.
reviewer#12028 date: Nov-9-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 100-300 f4
price paid:450 EUR
positive:HSM
Constant f2.8
Weight
negative:Sample variation
CA if not calibrated
comment:This can be a really good lens if you either get a good sample or you get it calibrated well. My lens suffered from a decentered element, was not calibrated properly and as a result suffered from massive CA, was quite soft and had an unreliable focusing. I was desperate enough to stop using this lens and almost considered it a total loss. I assume that I was not the only one given the low rating of this lens here on Dyxum.

Once calibrated I have to admit that it became my favorite lens. It is fairly sharp at f2.8 already and gets very sharp from f4 onwards. Focusing is silent and accurate despite the shallow DOF. Color is great, much better than the one of Sigma 100-300 of some other Sigma lenses I owned.
reviewer#11884 date: Jun-27-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:I don't have any long lenses to compare this to except a Sigma 18-250. It wouldn't be fair to compare the general use lens to the specialist 70-200....
price paid:500GBP (in 2010.)
positive:Accurate AF (now factory calibrated by Sigma)
Pretty decent sharpness
I like the bokeh
Well built - very solid feeling
negative:AF-C stalls in 12FPS mode on my A77ii.
comment:One of my favourite lenses, despite the obvious size/weight concerns. I have always been pleased by the general sharpness wide and near wide open and the bokeh keeps me happy enough. It's a tiny bit soft at 200mm wide open but that's fine for the price I paid :-)

The AF speed is quick enough for me. Originally, I needed a +7 micro adjust at the 200mm end and 0 at 70mm. Sigma have fixed this and it now focuses evenly across the range. Brilliant! The AF is accurate and decisive.

IQ is decent on my A99 with the matched Sigma 2xTC but the AF begins to hunt a bit. On APS-C, the 2xTC shows its limitations and I think its probably better to just crop.
However I discovered it will not AF properly in AF-C mode and 12fps with my A77ii. Or T8/T10 mode on my A99. The AF locks on for the first shot then hangs during the burst, resulting in OOF shots. Don't worry - AF-C is fine in 'normal' PASM modes with AF-C and any drive mode (Continuous Hi/lo/single etc) Sigma has aknowledged this as a problem but don't expect a lens firmware update :-(
reviewer#10932 date: Feb-20-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-200
price paid:7990 SEK
positive:- Fast AF
- Fast apareture
- Silent AF
- Solid build
- Good image quality
negative:- Heavy
- Works badly with tele converters (tested Kenko 2x had no apareture nor AF and tested Sigma 1.4x could not focus)
comment:I've owned this lens for 2 years, used it outside in the forest, indoors for portaits, shooting sports... and I'm very happy it since day 1. I can really recommend it and I believe it's
reviewer#10621 date: Oct-26-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200 2.8
Tamron 90 2.8
Minolta 80-200 G
price paid:730 € mint
positive:silent
hood
build
negative:heavy
HSM died
comment:Got this lens after being frustrated with the Tamrons focusing.

The lens is sharp. On FF it's usable from 3.2 upwards. A bit soft at 2.8 but still usable. Colors are ok.

THe lens is heavy and solidly built.

HSM is a wonderful thing. As long as it works. It worked exactly 3 months and then the HSM motor died. Fixing it costs 200€. It must be a serial problem as I heard from other people this may happen. Unfortunately, the back-engineering seems to cause problems, the a900*s electronic can make the HSM die slowly. Happened to me, too, HSM death comes slowly, sometimes it fells like HSM is awkwardly slow, the lens start focusing like a macro lens. Few days later HSM is dead completely. Manual focusing is not my thing. Unfortuantely I won't give the lens a 2nd chance, returned it for the Minolta 80-200G, what a masterpiece!

EDIT: It was the HSM motor indeed. Turns out, as Sigma is not paying any license fees to Sony, that they use different generations of HSM motors in the same lens generation. As time goes by, Sigma develops the HSM motors further. Now, if you happen to get an early stage 70-200 HSM ii the motor will likely die, the models later produced have improved motors.
reviewer#10530 date: Sep-21-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 HSM
price paid:699 € (new)
positive:Very easy in use, silent, fast
negative:I would like to have that the handle which is under the lens for tripod/monopod attachment was bigger, so I could get my hands around
comment:I love this lens. I use it a lot in different circumstances.
It has rich colours, tacksharp and is very silent.
reviewer#10164 date: May-2-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 55-200mm
Sigma 70-300mm APO
price paid:700€
positive:Build quality
Constant 2.8
Fast AF
negative:Soft image (200mm/f2.8)
Not weather sealed
Heavy weight
comment:Very nice lens, my main "workhorse" for motorsport events. Counting with the wide apertures allows for even more creative shooting and this lens delivers all the good stuff that you would need in the field.

Sharp on the center and a little less on the corners, this lens is the ideal partner for the A77 that i recently bought. With the A200, the heavy weight of the lens makes this a tricky combo, but nothing a good photographer would argue about.

Fast AF (with the A77 and the A200, without any chipping), the only drawback is the soft images at 200mm, with f/2.8 apertures (stopping down to 3.5 solves the problem).

Highly recommended for any Alpha user, if you don´t have the cash for the Sony 70-200 SSM f/2.8.
reviewer#10096 date: Apr-9-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm
Minolta 70-210mm f3.5-4.5
price paid:
missing
positive:AF - HSM
Removable tripod collar
Bokeh
Colour
Not white!
negative:CA
Heavy
comment:My first 70-200mm f2.8 lens! Was debating whether or not to get the Tamron version but I have Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro and was concerned about the AF speed (yes I know it is a macro). I was able to try out the Sony 70-200mm in a Sony store in Edinburgh and loved the SSM. The Sigma competes pretty well with it, focus speed, sharpness and colour. However, the only drawback is the CA in high contrast situations, although from f4.5/f5 it is ok, only noticable when pixel peeping. Lightroom present does a really good job of correcting the CA.

Really like the images I get from this lens compared to my Minolta of the same range. Sigma's images have a depth to them whereas the Minolta's are a bit flat.

The Bokeh is great, very smooth, lovely in fact.

The lens is quite heavy but what do you expect for a f2.8 zoom lens? I need to find a good way to carry out around whilst shooting. Not as heavy as the superb Sony 70-400mm. Tried that out at the Tokyo Sony center - cured my lens lust instantly!

reviewer#9736 date: Dec-31-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast A/F
negative:
missing
comment:I bought this lens for sports use. It was between the Tamron and the Sigma I chose the sigma for the A/F speed. the HSM will not dissapoint you and it is a very sharp lens
reviewer#9446 date: Sep-25-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
price paid:750 $Australian
positive:Sharp
Fast Focus
Bokeh
Build
Non rotating front element
negative:Colour fringing with very high contrast (not as much as beercan)
comment:Very good lens. Reviews talk about the variable quality control. I got a good one - I doubt if the Sony 70-200 is significantly better
reviewer#9130 date: Jun-14-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Mi 80-200/2.8 HS G
Mi 200/2.8 HS G
Canon 70-200/2.8 USM L
price paid:649 EUR new
positive:build quality
touch and feel, zooming
tripod collar rotatable
f/2.8
negative:color fringing
bad contrast
sharpness not perfect
comment:Okay, I have a Sigma, the 50/1.4 HSM and I was really ikmpressed, that I wanted to give the 649€ 70-200/2.8 a try.
Unpacking from the box gave me the wow, solid build feeling; the tripod collar makes it easy to mount it on a tripod for optical comparison shots and in real life you'll need a monopod at least, as this lens is heavy, but that's not a bad thing.
First object is my wife, I took pictures of her eyelashes; the Sigma at 200mm was smudgy, not really sharp; I took my 200 prime and WOW, that's sharp and yes, there is contrast, I can see makeup details around my wife's eye; the Sigma was not that impressive; I give the Sigma always a second and third chance, inviting a Canon buddy with his 5DII and a 70-200 USM L lens; I organized a 80-200 from Minolta as white HS G for the comparison; object: an orchid, light straight from the back, identical optical axis.
Sigma 70-200 vs Minolta 80-200:
Sigma tends to blueish colours, Minolta look warmer, more pleasing. sharpness @70/80: Both are sharp, Minolta with more plasticity / contrast, Sigma looks bad honestly, no detail, flat look. 200mm is the desaster: Minolta: sharp, but not as sharp as the prime (no wonder why) but the Sigma misses the sharpness point by 6 cm; colour is pleasing with the Minolta and not satisfying for the Sigma. Contrast was poor through the total picture.
Test results between Canon and Sigma lens were quite identical, sharpness between Minolta and Canon equal, Canon a tic sharper, Minolta a tic more contrast and nicer colour.

Bottom line:
If you don't care much about contrast, try to get a good Sigma and it will serve you well; if you wat to have sharpness and contrast look for a s/h Minolta - that's what I'll do...

BTW: Flare and distorsion were very good for a zoom, but will never achieve the quality from my prime, that's why I gave a "4" as a rating.
reviewer#8722 date: Mar-1-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina - AT-X PRO AF 80-200 F2.8
price paid:698,90 Euro (new)
positive:+ Sharp
+ Build quality
+ Silent focus
+ f/2.8 from 70 to 200
+ Cheaper than Sony 70-200 f/2.8
negative:- color fringing in some situations
comment:- HSM is quiet, this is very nice. Though I am not really sure if it focuses faster than the Tokina. I have to test them side by side.

- Focusdistance is way better than the Tokina.

- Build quality is pretty good, except the hood. This one is plastic, Tokina is metal.

- Sharpness seems to be very good, but not as good as a prime or a Zeiss of course.


Edit:

- Colorfringing in some situations

- Added a fringing-example to the Sample-Pictures section.
reviewer#8549 date: Jan-21-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 f/4 "beer can"
Minolta 100-400 APO f/4.5-6.7
price paid:799 USD (new)
positive:+ Sharp
+ Very good build quality
+ Fast
+ Silent focus
+ f/2.8 from 70 to 200
+ Cheaper than Sony 70-200 f/2.8
negative:- Heavy
comment:This is the best lens I ever owned. It's incredible sharp, very high build quality. Came with a bag and lens hood. If you attach a filter it won't spin when focusing. The only negative point so far is the weight and the best.. it cost half of Sony's 70-200 f/2.8
reviewer#8384 date: Dec-9-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
price paid:650 euro
positive:Fast, very good bokeh and very quiet. Surprisingly sharp at 2.8.
negative:Occasional fringeing. Won't fit in my pocket.
comment:
missing
reviewer#8218 date: Nov-9-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 700-300G
price paid:799
positive:sharp at 2.8
good versitility with TC
solid build
price
bokeh
negative:heavy, but not relatively speaking
comment:This lens is another good one from sigma. I did have to send back for a front focus issue that was resolved and turned around within a weeks time. Such a good range for kids and the TC adds great flexiblilty- 1.4 tc is sharp one stop down and 2x is still good in good light stopped down to F8. Bokeh is really nice too
reviewer#8159 date: Oct-29-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Sigma 70-300
Minolta 100-300
price paid:600 EUR (new)
positive:AF speed
Quiet!
Sharp from f3.5
Accurate focus
Bokeh
negative:Heavy and large (it cannot be overlooked)
Plastic hood
Purple fringing at f2.8
comment:Great lens for portraits.

Colors are not from Minolta.

The tripod mount clutters for handling the focus ring. It should be possible to remove it.

Edit: I must say that the collar can be removed, just turning the knob and pulling it out. Thanks, Guido.
reviewer#8025 date: Sep-26-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sal75300
Min 50/1.7
price paid:630 USD (used)
positive:AF speed
Sharp
Price
All around usefullness
negative:Heavy
comment:Love this lens for both outdoor portraiture and sports. Although not really a true macro, have been able to get some really nice close shots with short MFD and 200mm. AF is virtually instantaneous on my A500 in any light. Granted I haven't owned a lot of great lenses, but I rent the best quite often and this lens stands up to everything I've used except the superb CZ135 which to my eye is darn near perfect in most regards. Crops of 200mm shots are far superior to full size pics at 300mm with the sal75300, meaning my photos of little league football are greatly improved despite the shorter focal length. Now I'm tempted to pick up the teleconverters knowing that even a slight degradation would give me 400mm shots as good as or better than what I was used to at 300mm in equal or worse light. Highly recommended.
reviewer#7955 date: Sep-8-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200 f2.8
Sony 70-300 f4.5-5.6
price paid:699 UKP (new)
positive:- Quiet AF
- Great tripod mount
- Build
- Price vs Sony 70-200G
negative:- IQ nowhere near as good as Tammy
- Price vs Tammy
comment:Everywhere online is the debate of Tammy or Sigma 70-200mm, so I bought both and can safely say; get the Tammy. All the reviews say the Tamron is slow noisy AF. Yes the AF is the normal noise you'd get from a non-HSM lens, but it is bloody fast on Alpha mounts and accurate with it.

The only things going for the Sigma are it's build quality, near silent AF and a clever tripod mount. Against; not as good quality pictures, AF not much - if at all - faster than Tammy, and it's more expensive.

No brainer - get the Tammy

================================
EDIT AS AT 22ND NOVEMBER 2010...
================================
I wrote the above a few months ago after buying both and comparing both in the comforts of my frontroom (in hindsight not a fair test centre). Everything above is true, but the tamron just doesn't handle real life well enough. I used the lens at a party in a church hall and it hunted so bad to be irritatingly slow. When you get the shot it will be the best quality but if you intend to shoot in low light - and especially any action in low light - don't even consider the tammy. The sigma isn't as great IQ, but it will get whatever you point it at in focus. In good light, the tammy matches the Sigma for AF, but anything less than great light and you will get frustrated.
reviewer#7870 date: Aug-26-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200 Xi
Minolta 100-300 Xi
price paid:€ 599 new
positive:Overall sharpness on APS-C. Extreme quick focussing (with A700). Even faster with my A77
negative:Quite heavy, but what can you expect...
comment:The first time I used this lens on my A700 was on the beach during stormy weather with about 20 running dogs. What a positive suprise to see how quickly the HSM focussing reacts.

It gives a nice, clear and bright view and sharp images. On 200mm slightly purple fringing in extreme lightconditions.
That's why I give it a 4 for color rating.

Use it with a 2x TC and you have a 140-400 / 5.6! Impressive combination on my A700. (Bought me a 135-400mm Sigma)

Still very enthusiast about this one even with my A77 and A900
reviewer#7820 date: Aug-16-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50 1.4 Sony
85 1.4 Ziess
Kits 18-55, 55-200
Minolta 100 2.8 Macro
16-80 Ziess
price paid:799
positive:Sharpness, Build Quality, Fast AF, Great IQ
negative:Hunts a little in low light, heavy(but expected)
comment:I choose this lens on price. I really wanted to get the Sony version but couldn't swallow the extra 1000 to get it. I think for what you are carrying around, it's not overly heavy, but compared to a kit lens it's a ton!! I use it on a a500, the AF is lightning, and its so quiet that I some times double and triple check the focusing. I find in certain lighting situations it's tack sharp, bright mixed light. Though in darker light it some times washes the shot out. I haven't had a real chance to play with it all that much, but I would highly recommend those who are in the market to buy this if price is an issue.
reviewer#7716 date: Jul-23-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200 F2.8
price paid:€ 690
positive:AF / MF overide (HSM)
negative:AF problem
comment:I bought and returned this lens on the same day. About 50% of the pictures i took were unsharp. This was even clearly visible on the camera's lcd-screen.
The shop's assistent also tested this lens en we compared it to the Tamron 70-200 F2.8. All shots with the Tamron were sharp.
The copy i tried had an AF problem and they returned it to Sigma. I took a Sony 70-300G home instead of it.

After reading all the positive review's on Dyxum i'm thinking about bying another copy and giving it another try, because i still want a fast(er) telezoom and didn't like the way you had to switch from AF to MF with the Tamrom. The Sony 70-200 F2.8 would be nice but is in another price-range.
reviewer#7673 date: Jul-10-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 100-300mm f4
beercan
minolta 80-200 f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:great smooth bokeh
shorter MDF range
HSM motor
build
negative:colour fringing
no AF limiter
no focus hold
comment:This is a pretty sharp lens sharper than the beercan but not quite as sharp as the sigma 100-300mm f4. It should be plenty sharp for all but the most obsessive togs however if you're pixel peeping you'll notice it does have a slight weakness in that CA control could be better but thankfully it is small enough not to be distracting (unlike most copies of the beercan i've come across where heavy CA renders it a f5.6 lens for me).

In the sigma's favour is nice colour and wonderfully smooth bokeh.

AF speed is a bit bi-polar, if you let it run from one end to the other it seems quite slow (trade off for having a closer MFD?), but in real life use it locks on really fast on your subject as if it's got a 6th sense (much faster than the beercan in real life use).

As a A500 user it's nice to benefit from always being able to use MF overide on the HSM when in liveview MF check mode.

I've gone for this one over the tamron 70-200 f2.8 as i felt the better AF would benefit me more in real life then the extra IQ in the tamron.

Update:

Since getting hold of a minolta 80-200mm f2.8 (original black version) I've been able to compare the two. The sigma is marginally sharper in the centre while the minolta is sharper in the corners. The Minolta definitely has more vibrant colours and that gives the images an x factor over the sigma. However the sigma is a far more practical lens, the MFD is far more usable and the AF is both faster and more accurate. The Minolta isn't slow at AF but it doesn't always get it spot on and thus is more prone to hunting.
reviewer#7601 date: Jun-24-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 50 1.4, Sony 11-18, Minolta 28-80
price paid:€640 (new)
positive:-F2.8
-HSM accuracy and speed
-AF override
-build like a tank
-Optically really good
-Amazing value for money
negative:-Heavy
comment:What a great lens!
Even though I was spoiled with the sharpness of the Sigma 50/1.4 I find this piece of glass really sharp.
Build quality is from the same high standard, and with 50% of the price and having 90% of what the Sony lens has to offer it's a true bargain.

Disadvantages are its large weight (1300g) and size, both are normal for 70-200 lenses (the Sigma even is 1cm shorter than most 70-200s).
reviewer#7429 date: May-12-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Beer can
Sony 75-300
Sony DT 18-250mm
price paid:749 USD (new)
positive:Good price for what you get
HSM
negative:Heavy
Macro?
comment:I've had this lense for just over a year now. It performs well at pro sporting events and in the back yard with the kids equally.

My copy was soft at 200. It's only something I noticed when getting really close to flowers and such at the long end. Shoot a little wider and the sharpness returns. I don't see this with any other lense on my a700.

reviewer#7318 date: Apr-19-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:200/2.8, 70-210/4, 85/1.4, 100/2.8, 100/2
price paid:~Ł500 new
positive:-Great price:performance ratio
-Quick and accurate focus
-Discrete colour
-Close MFD
-Excellent bokeh throughout the range, remarkable
-Excellent manual focus ring
-Full time direct manual focus
negative:-Large
-Heavy
-Had to send it for service to get AF correct
-Hood is plastic
comment:Bought this lens over a year ago as wanted to get into wedding photography and was told a 70-200/2.8 would be a good investment. I had shot with the 200/2.8 for a couple of years before hand, but it was sold 3-4 months after the purchase of the zoom.

Mine had to be sent into be calibrated to focus correctly with my A700 - something to bear in mind if buying second hand. Focus wasn't majorly off, but it was off and needs to be spot on.

It does what I wanted of it. Tele range, 2.8, quick and accurate focus. If I'd got that for the price I'd paid, I would have been happy, but there were pleasant suprises along the way. Firstly, the manual focus ring. Probably as good as I've felt, on any lens... that's including manual focus lenses! A joy to use... even if I'm not that great at manual focusing these days. Detail rendering... really good, another surprise. If you're looking at this lens you've probably read a few reviews that say it's not 'as sharp as the Tamron, but has better focusing... so it's a difficult choice'. Well, like most things that are scrutinized in reviews, it's BS. I've used this lens across the entire zoom range, at wide apertures and medium aperture and small apertures.. not against a test chart, but in real life, creating photographs and art. I've never had questionable 'sharpness'. If i have, it's because of sloppy technique. It's a modern lens, most modern lenses have a higher micro contrast, it shows. If your lens seems 'soft' it's because of a focusing error or it's been put together by a monkey, the latter is very, very unlikely! One of a the reasons i chose this over the other options was also because of the MFD, most don't mention it but being able to fill the frame at 70mm makes it even more versitile. I should also mention the bokeh, which is excellent, across the range. Very useful for neutralising backgrounds and making your subject stand out. Other lenses will make you work harder for a background or you may have to PP it softer layer, but this just gives you a beautifully smooth defocused background in almost any situation... handles specular highlights really well.

I should mention colour. Like a lot of Sigma lenses, it leans towards the slightly warm and slightly less saturated colours. I wasn't too keen on this at first, but found it works pretty well in the end. I much prefer it over the overly punchy colours i get from my Tamron 17-50/2.8. The Sigma is great for skin tones, I just won't use the Tamron for skin tones anymore.

So pretty happy with it a year on. I hope it keeps going and going!
reviewer#7135 date: Mar-22-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:70-200G
price paid:800
positive:-77mm filter
-Body feels solid
-Amazing colours
-Really renders OOF well
-Quiet, Fast Focusing
negative:-No focus limiter
-No focus hold buttons
-Hunts in low light
comment: It's an amazing glass! Worthy of you purchasing it as your substitute for the G, if you cant justify the +1000 price. But its not a G, It just cant perform on that level. What really Kills it is that it doesn't have a focus hold button, the G has Three! Why a Focus Hold? So that you can better focus when you shoot events and subjects that are moving! Without that it hunts in low light! It performs admirably, and really does a great job. I guess I wanted the G more.
reviewer#7130 date: Mar-22-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:28-135,ZA 135,Sigma 70/2.8,
Sigma 180/3.5
price paid:600 USD (new)
positive:HSM,Colors,Focus Range,77mm filters are same as ZA lenses.
negative:No focus limiter, difficult manual focus with hood reversed.
comment:I got my first real use from this lense during the last 3 weeks while on vacation. I spent 10 days at Disneyworld, and this lense was glued to my camera often. I am a novice at photography, but I am finding that a few of my lenses make my photos appear as if I actually know what I am doing. The focusing was fast and accurate and the focus range was within use 75% of the time. The weight was no problem and this is for someone brand new to DSLR photography. I tested the Sony SSM and for my level of photography the Sigma was perfectly acceptable.
reviewer#6702 date: Jan-5-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200
Sony 70-200
price paid:949$ C (new)
positive:Image quality
Reach
Auto focus (HSM)
Build
Price
negative:Flare
Auto focus
comment:If I lost that one, I would have to go buy another one right away. It's the second lens I use the most for macro and wildlife. I got the sigma for two main reasons : the IQ vs price and the build quality. Half the price of the Sony and better built than the Tam. That was a no brainer.

I must explain though the auto focus part. Lately, after a year or so of use, the Auto focus has been acting strangely, focusing only when it feels like it. So nowadays it's MF.
reviewer#5974 date: Sep-4-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-105, Sony DT 18-250
Sig 70/2.8 Mac, Sig 170/500 DG
price paid:729 USD
positive:Image Quality
negative:None
comment:Experience level: Beginner

I think this is a great lens. Image quality is excellent, focus is fast an accurate and at 40% of the price of the Sony, I’m completely satisfied.
reviewer#5969 date: Sep-3-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-50 2.8
Tamron 70-300 di ld
Minolta 50mm 2.8 macro
price paid:799 USD
positive:So so so so sharp!
I like how its not white!
Great background blur!!
negative:No limiter like the Sony
Expensive!
comment:I love how its not white! Some concerts you cant get in with a white "pro" lens! they let me right in!!!...BUT DIDNT let my friend in with his WHITE canon lens! I am curious how the 2X converter works on it!
I seen my Bro with the lens on his A350..I was sold!
reviews found: 46    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 46
  • sharpness: 4.47
  • color: 4.57
  • build: 4.87
  • distortion: 4.74
  • flare control: 4.43
  • overall: 4.62

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