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

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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 100-300mm f4
minolta 80-200 f2.8
price paid:
positive:great smooth bokeh
shorter MDF range
HSM motor
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.


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.

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