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

reviews found: 48    << 1 2
reviewer#5974 date: Sep-4-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-105, Sony DT 18-250
Sig 70/2.8 Mac, Sig 170/500 DG
price paid:729 USD
positive:Image Quality
negative:None
comment:Experience level: Beginner

I think this is a great lens. Image quality is excellent, focus is fast an accurate and at 40% of the price of the Sony, I’m completely satisfied.
reviewer#5969 date: Sep-3-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-50 2.8
Tamron 70-300 di ld
Minolta 50mm 2.8 macro
price paid:799 USD
positive:So so so so sharp!
I like how its not white!
Great background blur!!
negative:No limiter like the Sony
Expensive!
comment:I love how its not white! Some concerts you cant get in with a white "pro" lens! they let me right in!!!...BUT DIDNT let my friend in with his WHITE canon lens! I am curious how the 2X converter works on it!
I seen my Bro with the lens on his A350..I was sold!
reviewer#5965 date: Sep-3-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70mm,70mm 2.8 macro,70-300mm dg apo
price paid:789 USD NEW
positive:Build
Internal/focus zoom
Sharp sharp sharp!
Boken!
negative:Heavy!
comment:This is the sharpest lens i have! Well, besides the macro! But its a close one at F4 and on!
Very usable @ 2,8, @3.5 all the sharpness you could want! I love Sigma!
reviewer#5962 date: Sep-3-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Big Beercan
Sony 55-200
KM 28-75 2.8
price paid:750
positive:Great build
Great boken
Very sharp!
My first HSM!!!
Black!
Super fast focusing!
Weight
negative:
missing
comment:Just got the lens! Looks and feels great! Compared against my Km 28-75 2.8. The Sigma is sharper! It evens out @ F9
Its no contest compared to the beercan. I have a pretty dam good copy of a beercan and it just doesnt stand up to the sharpness of the Sigma. I will be keeping my beercan for a lighter option!
So far, Im very impressed with this lens! I cant wait till the weekend to get out and go shoot!
I will say that this lens looks great on my camera! Ive never had a silent focusing lens, its kind of weird! I feel like my cameras broke! The focusing is lightning fast! I have been told that this lens work GREAT with the 1.4x tele. So that will be my next lens purchase!


UPDATE:My focusing speed slowed down today....it hasnt sped back up either....ive tried everything....its still silent....but im pretty sure my beercan it faster then what its focusing at! Going to send it to sigma to see what they can do!

Updated update: I have tested the Sigma VS all lenses listed that i compared it to...The Sigma is sharper 70-200 @F3.5 then all lenses at there sharpest point. THIS IS THE SHARPEST ZOOM THAT I OWN.
I am going to have to send it to Sigma for slight front focusing @ 2.8 throughout the range...Its alot less noticable @ F4 due to the wider DOF. I was prepared for this though.

ALSO, this Sigma really doesnt weigh THAT much at all! Its weighs around what my Big beercan weighs. its just more noticeable do to the APO element at the front.


If anything bad happens! Ill let you know! But you gotta love the Sigma 4 year warranty!
reviewer#5886 date: Aug-21-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20 EX
Sigma 18-250 HSM
Tokina ATX 28-70 2.8
Minolta 24mm 2.8
Minolta 100mm 2.8 Macro
Tamron 200-400
price paid:Ł532 (new)
positive:HSM motor is superb; super quiet for use close in at concerts. Build quality and finish of EX lenses. Optical quality is fantastic. Nice balance on A700.
negative:None so far.
comment:I had read reviews on both Tamron and Sigma possibilities. I ruled Sony out because of cost. I also talked to other owners. The Photoclub Alpha review by David Kilpatrick was the clincher, and I am delighted with my decision. The results are excellent and the HSM motor is a joy to use.
reviewer#5650 date: Jul-5-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300/4.5-5.6 G
Minolta 75-300 4.5-5.6 D
Tamron 200-400 5.6 LD
price paid:700 USD
positive:Balance, cost, performance and ergonomics and build.
negative:Total IQ from end to end
comment:I had been debating for some time on what lens to purchase for, but not limited to sports - and low-light late outdoor evening events. Something that would still be current if I upgraded from my a200. After inquiring at the Dyxum site on the advice on many members, I decided to take the plunge on this lens.

So far, I have been quite happy. For my first Sigma, I didn't know what to expect other than the tank-like reputation that is commonly known and the quality issues associated with Sigma now and again. This is a very well balanced lens. Yes it is heavy but the build is definitely a positive. I demand a lot from my lenses - as my current projects are on the go shooting outdoor sports so much of the time. No worries about little bumps or bruises on the hood. The finish is spectacular. I love the way it handles, especially with the vertical grip. Yes, it can be heavy, but in no way overly so. It does keep my arm muscles toned - but is that a negative? Definitely not! Although a monopod does help in lower light situations, in most other venues it can be hand held with exceptional results. The tripod collar is easily removable and very solid and convenient. The focus and zoom rings are well placed and perfectly designed in my opinion. This lens is not a magnet for dust, which is a big bonus. The build of this lens is better than my Tamron and better than my new Sony 70-300 G lens.

I also love the way this lens looks on the camera. There is no doubt that the person carrying this lens looks like a photographer! But, it is not intimidating and can be somewhat concealed or blended in for street shooting depending on the situation. The photos are sharp and colors robust and nicely saturated. PP aids when you sometimes may need a bit more in that area, as well. The bokeh is very pleasant. But the more I put my Sony 70-300 SSM G lens to use, the color differences become more obvious, but again, this can easily be corrected.

The only real negative that cannot be easily corrected is the bit of softness that exists as 200mm is approached. One can only sharpen so much in PP. That combined with noise at high ISO in lower light makes for un-usable shots at times. This would be the only real negative of this lens. But, for the price of this lens - it is worth it's weight - and that's a lot in bargain sense.

One additional negative: *as of this writing* - Sigma, please make the teleconverter available for your HSM lenses! I don't believe that I can really challenge this lens until it's limits are tested! This is of course not a negative towards the lens but towards Sigma.

Buy this lens if you want a great deal. a very good performer and a build to last.

I have my a700 on order and will visit back here to update as I form additional opinions.

*edit on 9/25/09
I have since received and put into use my a700 which really aids this lens. Focus is quite a lot quicker and more precise. I have been shooting with this lens and camera combination for a few months and have learned numerous tips to help performance, especially in low light/high shutter speed combination.

I am keeping my review numbers the same as I originally posted. An all around great performer. I'm happy.
reviewer#5567 date: Jun-21-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200mm 2.8 g lens
minolta beercan
sigma 70mm macro 2.8
sigma 400 5.6
sigma 24-70mm 2.8
sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6
sony kit lens 18-70mm
sony 75-300mm
price paid:719 usd
positive:less than half the cost of the sony 70-200mm ssm
great focusing speed
Great IQ
HSM
negative:focusing is a little spotty (may just be me)
Big- won't easily fit in my carry bag.
tripod mount is in the way of the zoom ring (possible fix)
comment:I just got this lens last week, I was working toward the Sony g version, but at less than half the cost and very good reviews, I went for this lens. Also I have had good luck in getting good copies of sigma lens. I will say that with the savings I am up grading to an a700 in the next week. The focusing speed on this lens is Amazing, as fast a the Minolta 200 g and silent. Soon We will see how it works with a 1.4x sigma teleconverter. IQ of this lens is very very good, That is comparing it to the 200 which is at the top of the food chain. The colors aren't as good as the Minolta but close. It tracks birds very well so far. the only negative so far is that it seems to miss a little on the focusing, It could be my skills at aiming the lens, as it seems to recover very fast and accurately.

Update 6-23-09
I discovered one problem, older Sigma Teleconverters do not AF with this lens due to the HSM not being supported. The New updated Teleconverters work. Though through searching the forum section it seems to be up for debate if the new converters are out yet.

day 5 with lens and a major problem, HSM focusing died today! I took it out to shoot some and bam dead HSM AF, it is also messing with the camaera's system, Won't take a picture and so on. Checked body with another lens and it work fine.

Update 8-23-09
I have had the lens back from sigma for a while, I love this lens. IQ is very close to the 200 2.8 HS I had with out the CA. Love the HSM. Everything works perfectly, focusing is fast and very rarely hunts. I will post a few pictures that I took at my company's fun day.
reviewer#5555 date: Jun-19-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 70-210 f4
price paid:750 usd
positive:Fast focus
Nice color and bokeh
HSM is so quiet when taking nature shot.
negative:bulky, heavy
A little soft @ f2.8
comment:I bought this lens to take hockey picture, ie fast action in low light. For this application it is vastly superior to the beercan. At f 3.2 and above the lens is very sharp.

It's so darn heavy that you need a tripod or monopod if you shoot a long time.
reviewer#5485 date: Jun-1-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 f/4
minolta 100-300
price paid:650 EUR
positive:build like a tank
nice finish
fast and silent zoom
sharp
bokeh
negative:sometimes hunting
Af not always accurate
tripod mount to close to the lens
comment:i like this lens a lot, it is indeed somewhat heavy, but i don't mind, as it gives me somewhat more stability when shooting. very well build, sometimes AF is not always accurate, and in lowlight it sometimes starts to hunt a bit, but nevertheless, it is great value for money, i wouldn't hesitate to buy it again!
reviewer#5175 date: Apr-6-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Big Beercan
135/2.8
Sig 70-200 EX (non-DG)
price paid:729 USD (new)
positive:Build, excellent build on this lens. I really love the feel and finish of the EX line
Color, a very nice neutral to warm color
Sharpness excellent on my copy all the way through, it is a touch soft at 200/2.8, but plenty usable and not as bad as it may seem by the way we talk about it
HSM @ $729 shipped to me??? How do you beat that!
negative:For the money, I really can't find any.
Great street photography lens, EXCEPT it's size. It's kinda hard not to notice this lens when it's pointing at you. The 135/2.8 is probably the best street lens on aps-c.
comment:Great lens, buy one if you are thinking of it. The HSM is a great addition to this lens, quiet, fast, and quite accurate. Bokeh on this lens is excellent, too. It compares with my 135/2.8 which is an awesome lens, with excellent Bokeh.

I find the sharpness excellent, and very usable from 2.8 on. I live a mile from an arboretum, and there are a lot of dog walkers. I sit with my back to a tree, and shoot away. I get a lot of keepers with this lens. I used to fire off 3 - 6 shots when I would hit the shutter, now I only need 1 or 2. I'm going to post a couple to the sample images.

This lens is very hard to beat at the price, everything about it is top notch. I'm sure the Sony is better in some ways, but twice the cost? I just can't justify that much money. Maybe in my future I'll get one, but this is great to have right now. It doesn't leave me wanting for more.

Also, Sigma finally listened and put a center pinch cap on this lens. Now you can remove or place the cap with the hood on!

I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.
reviewer#4881 date: Feb-19-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Excellent build quality.
negative:QC of Sigma lenses;
Does not look optically good enough for a teleconverter.
comment:SHARPNESS - not very good from 150-200mm wide open. Stopped down to f4 at 200mm is usable, but not better than a "Beercan" at 200mm and same aperture. Tamron is just a tad better than Sigma, but not sharp enough for a teleconverter..

ABERRATIONS - visible at longer end wide open. Easy to remove with software. Worse than the Tamron.

AF - somewhat mixed feelings. I hoped for a much better tracking AF, but might be a camera (A700) limitation as well. With horses running at ~ 40mph towards me I could take ~ 50% less shots than with a comparable non-HSM lens. The difference is that the ones in-focus are sharper than the "in-focus" ones with a non-HSM lens IF shallow dept-of-field used.
Both Sigma and Tamron were tested - shooting dogs, running towards me - in same conditions and at f4 Tamron did not have a single shot (out of ~ 200) with focus at the first half of the body length. The Sigma was able to shoot 30% less pictures (hunting) but almost all were with sharp focus at the head..

BUILD QUALITY and appearance - excellent! Better than the Tamron 70-200mm. The zoom is much smoother than the Tamron one.
reviewer#4877 date: Feb-18-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:lots of Minolta, Sony, and Sigma glass
price paid:700USD new
positive:Sharp!
Fast!
Lightning focus!
negative:Just a tad soft at 2.8
comment:I bought this lens based on the reviews in this forum. I was not dissappointed! This lens is super sharp at all focal lengths. At f2.8 it is a little soft (but very acceptable), but this is based on "in the field" use where the DOF is very thin. Stepped to 3.5 - 4 and it is razor sharp everywhere. The HSM is great, lightning fast, quite, and accurate. I had no FF or BF issues right out of the box. The build is great. I tend to be a little hard on my equipment, and this thing will stand the punishment. I don't mind the weight at all. Slight flare, but nothing to disqualify the lens. I can't compare with the Sony 70-200, but I would be amazed if it is $1000.00 worth better. If you're looking for a "pro" alternative to the G lens, buy this one!
reviewer#4876 date: Feb-18-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
price paid:€ 630 [new]
positive:Zoomrange
Speed
Usable on small sensor and film/FF sensor
Stability by weight [weight could also be a disadvantage]
negative:Accuracy
Weight [could also be an advantage]
comment:In the first place : a very nice lens to work with.
Took it with me a few days in the zoo [Blijdorp, Rotterdam]. Althoug the lens focusses very fast, it's not always accurate because of moving animals.

It weighs a ton carriyng around in your shoulder bag but, together with the Dicain vertical grip, it is very stabil using it without pod, because of it's weight.

With a monopod it is almost perfect for shooting in a zoo.

IQ is very good, not perfect, and much better than the old Tamron 70-300. Less CA, almost none.

Edit 20 febr '09 : Forgot to mention the Bokeh that I like very much.
reviewer#4634 date: Jan-5-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 80-200/2.8 ATX Pro
Beercan
price paid:799 USD( new )
positive:Fast, accurate and silent AF
Robust and well designed
Optics
negative:Lack of focus lock
Some softness at 200mm/2.8 - Revision: corrected
A bit of flare
comment:I was about to buy the Tamron and saw the announcement for this lens. I always liked Sigma's EX finishing better than Tamron's and the Sigma being HSM was the decisive factor.
I am very satisfied with this lens, it's everything I expected. Sharpness is excellent and although a slight softness at 200mm/2.8 is present, it's no big deal and can be easily overcome either by closing to f4 or zooming back to 180mm. Revision: I corrected a slight front focus at 200mm/2.8 by small adjustment of the famous three screws at the botom of my A700!
The AF is fantastic, very silent, quick and precise. The design with "all inside" - zoom and focus - makes the lens very comfortable and smooth to use.
I gave a 4 to flare ( because there's no 4.5 ) due to a bit of flare present at wide open.
In general, I feel I did the right choice for the price!
reviewer#4448 date: Nov-29-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200 2.8 G HS
Sigma 100 300 F4 EX DG
price paid:649€ New
positive:Silent AF
AF speed like my Minolta 200 2.8 G HS
Length does not change during zooming or focusing
Very sharp from F4 onwards
Circular aperture
Price
negative:A little soft at 2.8 especially at the long end
No focus hold button
No focus limiter
Requires +15 MF adjustment on my A900
comment:The screw driven focus system of the larger Sigma 100 300 F4 consumes less power from the battery then the HSM
The build quality of the lens is very good. The internal focus and zoom in combination with HSM and F2.8 lead to a impressive usability and a bright view finder.Out of focus spot lights are rendered circular - very nicely. I use the Min 200 2.8 G only for weight reasons. If weight is not so important that day the more versatile Sigma 70 200 stays on the A900 - same image quality.
Macro performance of the lens can be found here:

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=38817&PID=420650#420650
reviewer#4440 date: Nov-28-2008
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:Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 "New"
price paid:1275 AUSD (new)
positive:Build
F2.8
Focus
Cost (Value for Money)
negative:Weight
Zoom Ring too close to Monopod mount
comment:This is the lens I have been waiting all year for. I looked at the Tamron version and also the Sony, but chose this for AF performance and Price.

As others have said, yes, there is a bit of softness below F4, but in real terms (I.E., when NOT pixel peeping), it is hardly worth writing home about.

The AF performance is excellent. In good light, it is rocket quick and pin point accurate. In lower light, it is still more then adequate.

I did notice a bit of CA on the worse of worse contrast situations, but even then, its 10x's better then the beercan.

I did also get a bit of flare when shooting cars with headlights, when straight on, but far less then the beercan.

I can't comment on the Macro performance, as this is not why I bought this lens.

My biggest grip is the positioning of the Zoom ring. The monopod bracket is very much in the way, but this is easily fixed by removing the bracket(if you were using a 'pod, you would hold the lens differently, so therefore not an issue). For better balance when panning, I wouldn't mind the zoom ring being a bit further down the lens.

For me, the only alternative is the Sony 70-200G. For the price of the Sigma, I would say that this is far better value for money and definately worth the purchase price.
reviewer#4434 date: Nov-26-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 80-200 2.8
Tamron 70-300
Minolta 100-300
price paid:540 GBP (new)
positive:Sharp
Fast focussing
Build quality
negative:Weight
Size
comment:I was considering this lens and the Tamron 20-210 2.8 recently and decided in favour of the Sigma.

On balance the Tamron is reputed to be optically better but my investigations indicate that the difference is minimal, nothing that would be realised outside of laboratory test conditions. I certainly have no complaints with the Sigma.

I have found it to be pin sharp at all apertures, including 2.8 (after all, if it's no good at 2.8, why buy it if you can get cheaper and lighter alternatives?).

The HSM is virtually silent - which is a great boon if you want to do candid or wildlife photography. I got it to do candid shots at weddings, primarily. The Tamron is quite noisy by comparison and this proved to be a deciding factor.

The build quality is wonderful - "bullet proof", but the flip side of the coin is the weight! It's quite a hefty piece of glass, certainly not for any light-weight photographers. I'm quite a big guy, no weakling, but I would have liked to have given my wrists and back an easier time! It should be said that all such 2.8 tele-zooms are heavy - so I probably shouldn't complain.

This lens is definitely a keeper, I have no hesitation recommending it to anyone needing a top quality 70-200 2.8 at a decent price. The next one to investigate is the Sigma 24-70 2.8 HSM when it arrives.

Update: I have sold this lens and got the Minolta 200/2.8 G instead. I would like to have kept the Sigma as it is a superb lens, but budget and space in camera bag forbid it!
reviewer#4430 date: Nov-25-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 70-210 f4
Sony 70-200 2.8
Tam 17-50 2.8
Min 50 1.7
Sony 18-70 DT
Tam 28-300
price paid:800 USD (new)
positive:-Focusing performance is excellent
-Very sharp at wide end
-Good performance wide open
- Built like a brick
negative:- Zoom ring too close to camera body
- Not as sharp at long end
-"Macro" performance not great
comment:I had intended to purchase the Tamron, but its lack of availability led me to the Sigma. That turned out to be a very lucky break for me, because I'm really happy with this lens. I am using it to shoot football, at night, with bad lights, and it performed wonderfully, exceeding my expectations. Samples:

http://beatarmy.smugmug.com/gallery/6622055_uSKkf#422225635_DLg9T

Indoors,at night,it occasionally struggled to focus. So I was surprised at how effectively it managed to focus on moving targets in bad stadium lights. It focuses far more quickly, and far more accurately than my beercan ever did. And the silence is golden. I also noticed that it did not, as I had feared, eat up battery power. Four-hundred plus shots and I still had more than half of my battery charge.

I was a little worried about the alleged softness at 200mm. In the real word it has turned out to be a non-issue. Photos look great, admirably sharp, at 200mm and f2.8.

On the other hand, at 200mm f2.8 and pushing the minimum focusing distance, there is a noticeable fall-off in image quality. This won't be my lens of choice for things like snails and flowers.

I have rented the Sony 70-200 2.8. Comparing the two, the Sony is sharper at the long end, but the Sigma competes well up to around 150mm. The Sigma loses a touch more sharpness when going from f4 to f 2.8, but maintains contrast better than the Sony did. I think the Sigma might focus even better than the Sony.

The Sigma's focusing ring is wonderfully smooth and perfectly damped. In fact I think it's the best of any lens I've ever owned. The DMF is great for those indoor-bad-lighting situations where the lens needs a little help to find focus.

The zoom ring is a bit stiffer but still very nice. I expect over time it will ease a bit.

The zoom ring is practically in line with the tripod mount, which is uncomfortable, but I got used to it pretty quickly.


The lens is beautifully finished. If the internals are as good as the external appearance, it should last a very long time.

It sounds crazy, but the lens just seems more than one stop brighter than the beercan. It is beautifully bright in the A700 viewfinder.

I would recommend this lens unhesitatingly for anyone shooting sports, or for general use. It wouldn't be my choice if I used it for "macro" type shots.

Edit Oct 2016: The HSM motor died when the lens was about a year old. Sent to Sigma, fixed under warrantee. Another year passes, same thing. Repeated the process, again under warrantee. Since then, it's been running flawlessly for 4 or 5 years. Apparently they sorted out their HSM motor problems. Really still love this lens!
reviews found: 48    << 1 2

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

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