Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6 UC A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 1   
reviewer#38857 date: May-12-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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:Minolta 50mm f1.7 (RS & original)
Minolta 24-50mm
Minolta 24-105mm
Minolta 28-80
Minolta 28-85
Minolta 28-100
Minolta 35-70 (f4 & f3.5-4.5)
Minolta 70-210mm f4.5-5.6
Minolta 75-300
Minolta 100-300 (original & APO)
Sony 18-55mm
Sony 30mm f2.8
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.8
Sony 55-200mm
Sony 55-300mm
Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
Sigma & Tamron 28-200mm
Tamron 90mm f2.8
Vivitar 70-210
Tamron Adaptall 70-210mm, 80-210mm, etc.
Various MF lenses
price paid:£4.99
positive:Quite sharp
fairly compact
well built
negative:quite heavy (heavier than the equivalent Minolta)
push-pull zoom
long MFD
odd filter size
comment:An unusual push-pull AF zoom from the film era, this Sigma is fairly short and compact (much more so than the old Tamron Adaptall), and has a narrow focussing ring with focus scale rather like Minolta lenses of the period. My copy, bought for £5 on eBay, looks okay optically but is losing paint from the metal lens mount area and looks a bit second-hand.
It is surprisingly sharp. 100% crops from the 20Mp A58 show corners to be acceptably sharp even wide open, with comparatively little improvement stopping down to f11, though contrast does improve one stop down. 100% crops of distant trees show some CA in the corners at the long end but on less tricky subjects it is not obvious. At the wide end I don’t notice CA at all.
It has a ‘High-Speed AF’ label on the body, and AF is quite quick in normal use though typically slow from the long-travel screw-drive mechanism when heading to or from MFD, but showed no issues. The ‘macro’ label is entirely undeserved from the magnification obtained or MFD, which is neither particularly long nor short (1.5m though, not the 1.2m in the data panel). The aperture range (f4-5.6) won’t win any prizes but at least it is useable wide open. On the whole, it seems to perform better optically than several Minolta lenses in the same category which was a surprise to me given how bad the 28-200mm I tried was. I guess the modest aperture and 3:1 zoom don’t stress the optics much.
Compared with other similar lenses? I don’t think it is as good as the Sony 55-200mm in any respect (the Sony is sharper, lighter, and shorter MFD), but it is FF and for the price I have no complaints. It feels fatter and heavier than the Minolta 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 but the corners are sharper and cleaner than the Minolta wide open, though not at f8-11 where the Minolta sharpens up nicely. It loses out in aperture to the xx-300mm lenses at 200mm and on film I’d often be wishing I had an f2.8-3.5 prime instead, but it is smaller and lighter even than the Sony 55-300mm, and even a bit shorter than the 100-300mm Minoltas, though I’d be more likely to take one of those with me on film or digital unless I needed to cover the 70-100mm range as well.
You will probably either like or hate the push-pull zoom. I got used to it years ago with Tamron Adaptall zooms and it doesn't bother me; unlike most of those this one is stiff enough not to extend on its own while being smooth enough in use.
The odd 52mm filter size is a nuisance but I use a permanent 52:49mm ring so I can use the usual Minolta-size 49mm filters, lens caps, and lens hood.
Not a bad lens, and well worth buying if you like solid old lenses and see one cheap on fleabay or in the junk box at your local camera shop. I usually prefer the later Minolta version (yes, the plastic one!) for its size and weight which make it a more convenient thing to stick in a small gadget bag with a film camera. On APS-C digital I'd probably be using one of the Sony zooms which are lighter, sharper, and have a better MFD, but if you still use film occasionally this one isn't a bad choice, though it is nothing special and rather slow. If you're into retro, perhaps an MF 135mm f2.8 in M42 thread would make more sense?
reviews found: 1   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 1
  • sharpness: 4.00
  • color: 4.00
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.00

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