Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX APO IF A-mount lens review by halrui

reviewer#9093 date: Jun-6-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200 2.8 HS APO
Minolta 70-210 f4 beercan
Sony 70-200 SSM 2.8
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 DG HSM II
price paid:used
positive:EX Build and appearance (black)
Fast Aperture and AF
Second hand price
Sharp, contrast and colours
negative:No silent HSM/ SSM
Minimum Focus Distance
A bit heavy
comment:Mine is the first version called EX APO. Being a non DG i prefer it to the second APO DG version. Though heavy it is still lighter than the latest versions of HSM II Macro and OS HSM.

The AF of this lens is fast and precise on my A700. A bit soft on the wide end of the apertures and 200mm zoom . Probably i need to practice more with this lens. The minimum focus distance is around 5 feet but with a little lens playing you get used to it. f4 beyond this lens is razor sharp. This lens produces great colours and some awesome photos especially at night photography.

I compared this to the G glass of Minolta 80-200 HS APO & Sony 70-200 SSM. For price/ performance this lens comes closely behind. Compared to the overated "beercan" well just forget the beercan this lens is in a different league. Try the Sigma and you'll know what i am saying.

Given the price of USD $1-2K for a new 3rd party or Sony 70-200 f2.8 this lens is a steal. I was lucky to get a very good copy. This lens is very rarely available in the used market. For those on budget and looking for a super lens to improve their Sports, Wildlife, Night, Indoor & Wedding photography i would suggest to grab one asap if available.Worth every penny.

Edit- Yesterday i went to the Sony showroom and tried this lens on the new A77. Worked perfect without any error. On the A55 i used to get an error. I now own the A77 and this lens performs even better with a77 24mp sensor

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 26
  • sharpness: 4.56
  • color: 4.62
  • build: 4.81
  • distortion: 4.92
  • flare control: 4.65
  • overall: 4.71 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania