Sigma 70-210mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#11377 date: Oct-8-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO DG
Sigma 18-50 DG EX
price paid:400 CDN
positive:Well Built
Cheap 2.8 throughout
Internal zoom
Good results
negative:Heavy
Soft at 2.8 and max focus
Achromatic aberration present in most pics
comment:Great lens for the price. Used mainly on my A700 but also works great on my A100. Large heavy lens so fits better on the A700.

This is also a Vivitar Series 1 10th anniversary edition. Same build from what I'm told as the Sigma. Unfortunately soft at 2.8 and at the end of the focal length, if stepped down, very sharp but still quite usable at 2.8. Chromatic aberration is much worse than my Sigma 70-300 APO DG, expected and accepted. Took some Autumn wedding pics last weekend with overcast skies, dropped the lens to f4, f5.6 and the results were spectacular. Capable of cropping with very good detail. Well worth the money spent. This lens did not come with a flare cover, having a very hard time finding one online. Overall, great lens, very impressed.
reviewer#11150 date: May-31-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-125mm F3.5
Sigma 70-300mm F4
Minolta 75-300mm F4.5
price paid:£299 Second Hand
positive:Relatively cheap F2.8. Sturdy, Internal focusing, Sharp, Nice colours. Great for low light. While the focusing was slow there was very little hunting. In fact very rarely.
negative:Heavy, Slow focusing.
comment:Lens was advertised as an used Vivitar Series 1, 70-210mm F2.8 APO Zoom Lens. I did a little bit of research, but I couldn't find any details or mention anywhere.

But I decided to buy it anyway, because in the distant past I used Vivitar lenses and accessories and always was impressed with them. They never let me down. (I still have my "old" Konica 35mm SLR kits with its collection of Konica and Vivitar lens, etc.).
Along with this lens I bought a Vivitar 2x Converter.

This was the time between KonicaMinolta leaving the photographic market and Sony entering the DSLR market. Prices couldn't be lower. Bargains were to be had.

The first thing about this lens was the size and the weight. Anyway, I tried it on my KM 5D and everything seemed to function. The next step was to carry out some field work.
I found that if the extreme long length of the lens was used, passed 180mm the quality dropped off. Provided I kept to this limit, it does the job for me. (Earlier I had given my Sigma 70-300mm lens to my daughter), so I was stuck at 180mm, but I had the 2x Converter to fall back on. Funny enough, the focusing didn't seem to be affected with the converter, the same slow rate.

This lens is the Sigma 70-210mm F2.8 APO lens (the pictures and illustrations are identical).
It also works fully with my A450 and A37. There would appear to be some problems with some STL cameras and some Sigma lenses, but in this case there were none. Perhaps, I was lucky.

I don't use this lens with the A37 as the camera body is rather small and light, and it is rather difficult to hold.

Last year, while on holiday, I purchased an old style Minolta 75-300mm lens to compliment the KM 5D.
I use the 70-200mm lens mainly with the A450. They make a nice piece of kit together.
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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
positive:Cheap
f/2.8
Well built
negative:Heavy
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.
reviewer#9917 date: Feb-11-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:under 400 USD
positive:I love this lens for indoor rodeo. Bad lighting, dirt, dust and dark livestock makes shooting a challange. However I can get them coming out of the shoot. f2.8 and high ISO.

Sony A65, AF & MF smooth
negative:Sony A200, the AF & MF were sticky
comment:Has been quite the workhorse for Rodeo's and Weddings. Not quite ready to upgrade.
reviewer#5282 date: Apr-23-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAL 70-300 G
price paid:Ł500
positive:Good value
Easy focusing in low light
Shallow DOF very useful
Good sharpness stopped down
negative:Heavy
sluggish AF
AF prone to hunting
comment:This has been my 'long zoom' since I bought it new in 1998. It exhbits very good PQ when stopped down to f4.5 and below. Inevitably wide open the results are a little soft but it does a superb job at isolating your subject from the background at the longer focal lengths and f2.8.

Recently I bought a Sony 70-300 G and planned to sell the big Sigma on ebay but decided to keep it as it nicely complements the smaller Sony.

AF performance depends on the body it's attached to, works well on my Dynax 7 though not so good on my old Dynax 800.
reviewer#4930 date: Feb-27-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Beercan 70-210 1:4
Minolta 75-300 mmm (new)
price paid:170 € (used)
positive:Excellent build, tripod ring
negative:not sharp at all, heavy, not usable wide open
comment:I think this lens is overrated. I compared it to the Beercan. The Beercan was sharper in every aspect and the colors of the Sigma were terrible. What is the use of a fast lens if you have to stop it down for reasonable quality. And even then the pictures were dull. I sold it and kept the Beercan. Even the Minolta 75-300mm performed better. Now, I ended up with the Minolta 100-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 APO D lens, which I consider the best of these. Beercan is a great lens but too long and heavy for my taste.
reviewer#4300 date: Oct-29-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:beer can
sigma 70-210 f4-5.6
tamron 28-105 f2.8
price paid:425 usd used
positive:inexpensive fast lens
great range
durrable
internal focus
negative:heavy
slower focus
hunts in low light/contrast
bit soft wide open
comment:the fastest lens in this range I own. colors on this lens are OK not as rich as the beercan but can be bumped up in PP. Hunts quite a bit in low light and in low contrast. a bit soft wide open, but acceptable in most situations I've used it stopped down to f4-5.6 is great. fantastic with good light. AF is slow on a100 but the a700 brought this up to a great fast action lens. May not be the lens for catching birds on the wing but for subjects that move slow or still, it works good. When I purchased this lens the barrell was loose, had it repaired and it has taken the abuse of being carried none to politely in my bag since with no problems. will post some pictures to show what it can do.

PS> my version is labeled as a vivitar series 1...only one I have ever seen with this labeling.
reviewer#3404 date: Mar-26-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł200
positive:price
Build
negative:a little soft wide open
comment:OK so its not a G lens but at around 1/8th of the cost of a new G lens that isn't a surprise

A little soft wide open but that isn't a problem with candid portraits or on stage shots which I use it for

Coupled with in body stabilisation it's a great low light lens for a reasonable price
reviewer#3403 date: Mar-25-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:2,8 / 100 Macro RS
1,8 / 135 Zeiss
1,4 / 85 G
2,8 / 80-200 G
price paid:
missing
positive:Price
negative:Image Quality, Slow AF
comment:You get what you pay for. This is a cheap 2,8 Telezoom. But you can´t compare it with the quality of the lenses mentioned above. There are worlds between them.....
reviewer#2692 date: Sep-3-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta beercan, minolta 80-200hs, 85/1.4, tamron 90/2.8, sigma 70-200ex, sigma 100-300/4
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp losing just a bit at 200 wide open. Great build quality
negative:Autofocus is slower compared to the EX versions. Colors and contrast not quite as good as the minolta G lenses.
comment:Great cheap alternative to the later models or minolta 2.8's. Autofocus does not have a switch/clutch so it turns the ring -- makes it louder and a touch slower than the later models.
reviewer#2661 date: Aug-27-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 100-300/4.0 ATX
Minolta 75-300/4.5-5.6 D
price paid:Traded gear for it
positive:- Constant f/2.8
- When focus is correct, very usable wide-open, sharp from f/4.0 and on.
- Looks nice
negative:- AF is hit or miss
- Focusing ring gets in the way
- Zoom ring placed too far to the back of the lens
- Sigma says the lens isn't supposed to support my 7D and that re-chipping is no longer offered. It turns out it works just fine (except for the AF misses)
- ZEN coating is sticky rubbish
- Slow AF on the 7D
- Heavy
comment:Very nice lens. Well worth the Benbo 2 tripod and Sigma 75-300 APO lens I traded for it (the latter isn't compatible on Minolta DSLR's).

This Sigma is a far better lens than Minolta 75-300/4.5-5.6 D, but I'd say it trails the Tokina 100-300/4.0 ATX - both optically, and in terms of build quality. Both lenses are on the heavy side though.
reviewer#2387 date: May-28-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 2,8/80-200 AT-X
price paid:
missing
positive:non
negative:can't say anything good about this lens - checked it against the Tokina 2,8/80-200 AT-X and the Sigma was worst !
comment:can't say anything good about this lens
reviewer#1070 date: Aug-7-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300APO
price paid:
missing
positive:Good image quality, smooth zoom action, solid/heavy but a good balance with 7D.
negative:Very slow focusing on 7 and 7D, noisy focusing. Lacking a little "punch" in images. Rechipping needed for 7.
comment:I like using it as much as possible on the 7D except on fast moving subjects (slow focus) but gives very sharp images but they lack that certain wow factor.
Good second hand purchase but check it works with 7 and 7D as they use the old chip. Mine was rechipped free of charge by Sigma.
reviewer#272 date: Dec-10-2005
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 Super Macro 2 APO
Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG
Sigma 18-125
Canon 24-70L
Canon 70-200 f/4 L
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp on the 5D. AF is accurate, build quality
negative:Heavy, large but its f/2.8
comment:I cant believe how beatiful this lens works on my new 5D. I bought this lens off EBAY and I am in utter amazement. Its so sharp and AF is accurate. I am also happy to report that AF is not as slow as people report at least on the 5D. Its built like a tank and is 7.5" long but its beautifully crafted. This has to be one of the best bargain zooms out there. I can confirm sharpness at f/2.8 all the way down. Compared to my Sigma 70-300 APO, they are worlds apart in every way except price. I recently shot a musical in the dark mostly at 210mm, f/2.8, 800-1600 ISO with Anti Shake and the combination is formidable.
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.21
  • color: 4.21
  • build: 4.71
  • distortion: 4.71
  • flare control: 4.43
  • overall: 4.46

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