Sigma 70-210mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens review by clockwork247

reviewer#11021 date: Apr-7-2013
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minota 70-210 f/4
Sigma 75-200 f/2.8-3.5
tamron 28-300
canon 55-250 IS Mark 1
price paid:60 used
Well built
not as sharp as it's siblings
comment:I paid very very little for this lens in mint condition (from an online retailer, I think it was a pricing error). Came with tripod collard, but no hood, picked up a rubber hood for 5 bucks and I'm good to go. Mine is a vivitar series 1 version, but it's the exact same lens.

I struggled with this lens, it just wasn't sharp, I figured with all these telephotos I just go at it at full zoom (210mm) and it is a pro lens after all, there's no reason why it's not sharp wide open, at one point I was considering selling it back, because both my beercan and the sigma 70-200 2.8-3.5 was sharper, and this sucka doesn't even get sharp stopped down at 210mm. Then I read a review on here and it said to back the dam thing off 200, well I backed it off and test it, and low and behold, it's sharp at around 180-190 wide open, at full zoom it's just a mess. So I've decided to keep it, 180-190 2.8 for 60 bucks works for me.

There's a teeny tiny bit of CA. The color is a little strong on yellow and doesn't pop like Minolta color, it's very typical of sigma of this age, I got a few sigma, I can confirm on this particular topic. Fixable in PP.

The built is good though, all metal and glass, a real tank.

The focus speed isn't gonna win any contest, but it's fast enough and accurate on my A37.

If you find this for cheap, nab it up, other wise go for the more modern 70-200 2.8, those tend to perform better, and focus faster, they usually go for just around 400-600 for tamron/sigma models.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 15
  • sharpness: 4.23
  • color: 4.20
  • build: 4.73
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.40
  • overall: 4.45 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania