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

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; 61MP61 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
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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 48
  • sharpness: 4.47
  • color: 4.56
  • build: 4.85
  • distortion: 4.73
  • flare control: 4.44
  • overall: 4.61 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania