Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS A-mount lens review by Shield

reviewer#10581 date: Oct-12-2012
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAL70200G
Sigma 70-200 HSM II (NON OS, version 3)
Tamron 70-200 F/2.8
price paid:899 used
positive:Extremely sharp even beginning at F/3.2
It's not white
Quick focusing
Quiet focusing
Built-in OS might even be better than the in-body
Smooth zoom ring
Focus ring on the inner part of the lens towards the sensor (unlike the 24-70z)
negative:Zoom turns the opposite from all my other lenses.
comment:The proof is in the pudding - I'm getting far better shots with this than either Sony 70-200g I owned or the last iteration of this lens from Sigma. Or the Tamron 70-200 F/2.8.
I don't use either supplied lens hood (one for APS-C and one for full frame) nor do I use the tripod collar, and to me this lens isn't overly heavy or tiring after a day of shooting. But I'm still fairly young (39) and I could see my wife perhaps having a problem with the weight.
Anyway, I have owned 2 Sony 70-200's that both weren't sharp wide open (one was brand new from Sony and the 2nd one used) at any focal length. Even F/3.5 was soft on the Sony. The 3rd Sigma 70-200, the one before this, was kind of the same way, and perhaps even softer than the Sony @ 200mm.
Bought the Tamron, but I hated the noisy slow focusing, the annoying 2 step process to switch to MF mode, and the way it hunted in the shadows.
Found the Sigma OS Sony used and initially it wouldn't AF on my A77 - sent it to Sigma and they fixed it for free (total turnaround time from Ohio about a week and a half). This lens is really sharp beginning @ F/3.2 (I'm talking pixel peeping sharp) and perhaps needs F/3.5 @ 200mm, but I have some great shots at F/3.2 @ 200mm.
Anyway the HSM motor is silent (great for video), focuses quickly and accurately. I don't see any purple fringing unless I shoot @ F/2.8 in very bright light, which is why I stop it down just a smidgen.
IMO, other than the 50mm F/1.4, this is Sigma's best lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 16
  • sharpness: 4.81
  • color: 4.56
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.81
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.74 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania