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Keywords: Sigma Canon Nikon Four-Thirds Pentax Sony Tele Zoom 35mm DG HSM APO


m-ex

Registered: October 2013
Posts: 3
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by m-ex
Review Date: 10/15/2013 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Zoom, 2.8, price
Cons: Heavy, poor AF, soft from 135-200, back/front focus.

Used on D90, D600.


If on D90 i couldn't fix front or backfocus issue, so on D600 i do. But the main problem i got spotted, that @ 70mm i got 100% front focus, and after 135 to 200mm i got slight back focus. So i can't rely on adjustments in camera.


All in all if AF in lens was hitting the target right, than it was surprisingly sharp image until 135mm. After 135mm to 170mm if AF was right image was slightly sharp @ f/3.5, and on 200mm all the way it was little bit soft and blurry all the time Sad


Also on FF camera, sharpnes on the border of the image lacks of sharpnes oll the time. So if you will shoot on that glass on high mpix camera like D600, than use only center of the image.


AF is not so fast as it could be, for example nikons 80-200D, is 2-3 times faster.


All in all used that lens for 2,5 year and moved to fix lenses. And if in future i'll buy some kind of that zoom i'll look to Nikkors 80-200 or 70-200 VR.
littledubbs

Registered: August 2011
Posts: 1
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by littledubbs
Review Date: 8/13/2011 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: fast AF, f/2.8, rounded blades, tripod collar
Cons: soft, front focus, 9 blades

Purchased from B&H 8/16/2010, EF mount. Over 7,300 shots with this lens since then on my T2i.


I was mostly between this lens and the Tamron equivalent. I decided to go with this one because the AF is supposed to be faster. My intent in purchasing this lens was to have a fast zoom for low-light sports without having to pay over $1000 (Canon's 70-200 IS 1&2). The lens is fast, the AF is fast enough, but I am not satisfied enough with the results.


Everyone says that there are front focus problems with this lens. These are more noticeable when taking macro shots as the depth of field is narrower at closer focus distances. Usually switching to MF (the switch itself feels strong, but the plastic sliding piece on the outside doesn't feel like it will survive 10 years of switching between AF/MF) works, though. I've noticed the front focus problems at larger focus distances with AF as well, and at f/2.8 this problem becomes even more noticeable.


Another problem is f/2.8. I find my shots at f/2.8 essentially worthless as they are too soft. I also get some annoying CA at the wider apertures - soft glows with purple fringes from CA on "in-focus" objects are less than ideal, and I find that there is too much. This is most true at 200mm, with the middle of the zoom range being the best. This is not due front focus from the AF - I shoot a fair amount in MF (not action) and I get the same results.


I have even found it difficult at times to use MF. Due to a constant f/2.8 when focusing, I have noticed this softness through the viewfinder. It makes it difficult to focus as nothing is as sharp as it should be when it is in focus. I could, of course, depress the DOF button, but that would increase the DOF and darken the viewfinder, therefore also making it hard to focus. So in the end, there really is no good option for excellent focus for every stopped-down shot.


Another issue I have noticed is the number of aperture blades. With 9 blades, point-source lights become obnoxious 18-point stars at smaller apertures. Of course, the lens does lose what sharpness it does have when you stop it down far enough to notice this effect, but it makes long exposure shots more difficult to achieve.


Maybe I'm just being too picky and I should only shoot with Zeiss lenses, but I am not very pleased with the optics of this lens. Had I paid a hundred or two or three more, I could have bought a used Canon 70-200 f/2.8 (no IS) and presumably had better optics. Or, since I can't use f/2.8, I could have purchased a Canon 70-200 f/4 for less than I paid for this lens.


Also an important note: this lens is a little warm in terms of the color. It took me a while to notice that, but it should be noted.
pixelninja

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by pixelninja
Review Date: 10/27/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive compared to Nikon, good construction
Cons: Soft at f2.8

For the price I would recommend this lens, but it's a bit softer than I was expecting at f2.8. Stop it down to 5.6 and it becomes very sharp.
RadiantLite

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 16
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by RadiantLite
Review Date: 6/13/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality, bokeh, very sharp at center of image, price
Cons: not very sharp edge to edge, lack of stabilization

Sigma 70-200mm is one of important alternative for Nikon shooters, especially for sports photographer. Mounted in Nikon D700, it delivers great image quality, sharpness and a smooth bokeh.


About the sharpness
Sigma 70-200mm meets my expectation, the images are detailed and sharp even pixel peeped. Bokeh is very smooth. For comparison, the sharpness is close to Canon EF 70-200mm f4 is which is regarded as a ultra sharp lens. if f4 has score of 10, the sigma will get score of 9.


Auto Focus performance
Not as quick as USM, but with d700 51 points tracking system. it tracks movement in basketball arena very well. It is quiet, and snap on.


a little bit comment about the D700 shutter, it is very sensitive. only need a little bit pressure to focus/track.


Please check out
http://www.radiantlite.com/2009/01/sigma-70-200mm-f28-ex-dg-macro-hsm-ii.html


for sample photos and other review
kinematic

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 13
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by kinematic
Review Date: 3/31/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Reasonably lightweight and balanced for it's class, Good build quality. Responsive HSM.
Cons: Some noticeable CA at the far end wide open, No OS - would be worth it for the extra $200-$400. Paint finish is a magnet to scuffs.

First off I'm between lenses. My current copy has a front focus issue which I was able to calibrate with my 50D. Gentech (Canada distributor for Sigma) is sending me a brand new unit with it calibrated for my 50D (+1 for good customer service) but I wanted to share an early review as I found it difficult to find anything on this lens.


Second, this lens gets confused with the 3 generations before it. Clearly this generation of this lens has huge improvements over even it's last iteration. So I think it is important to realize that this is not the same lens as the last 3 generations.


Out of the box this lens performed very well. Before I critically analyzed it for calibration, I hardly noticed a problem. That speaks a lot for this lens which is just slightly out. I of course am a little sticky about accurate focus so a new copy is coming my way.


I'm currently using the canon mount, so one of the things as a canon user you'll notice is the backwards (or right way) of using the zoom and focus ring. You get used to that real quick. In looking for MTF comparison charts, I could not find one for this lens in a Canon mount so I had to use a Nikon mount and compared it to the Canon L's n the same class. It out performs both the 70-200 ƒ2.8 in IS and non IS in almost all categories of MTF ratings and at all ranges (which seems to match what some people in other forums have stated as such). The only 70-200 lens that it doesn't outperform is the Canon 70-200mm ƒ/4 lens (but this is a faster lens so it's a good trade-off). Now granted the L series lens has seals that this lens doesn't and I personally like the paint finish better on the Canon. I do not know why Sigma chooses to use a matte finish that attracts scuffs like mad. Personally I like black better than white, but it's something to be aware of if you're hard on your equipment, you'll mark this thing up pretty quickly. For the price you save on this lens compared to the competing Canon's, it's tough to argue. The lack of OS might be the only reason to go to the Canon one over this, but the weight and size of that unit is considerably more than this one. For $60 get a rain jacket for this lens and you can use it in all weathers.


Some people mention the tripod collar as being flimsy. I actually found it very nice. It's the perfect size for this lens. If it was bigger or I had a big 2X teleconverter I might think otherwise, but on my monopod this collar is perfect. It also has a quick release system which the next model does not have which for me is something I like.


IQ on this lens is fantastic. It is by far the sharpest lens I own. Even compared to my 85 ƒ1.8 USM, it outperforms it because that lens suffered from CA badly wide open. Even when I put a teleconverter (1.4 tamron PRO) onto it, there is only a subtle loss of quality and increase of CA. AT 70mm this lens makes a great fast portrait lens and there is no CA and barely any vignetting which is why I'm making the comparison to the 85 prime.


At 200mm this lens performs very well. I got this lens to replace my 18-200mm Canon which I reviewed here and I must say that although I thought the 200mm on the Canon was very good, this is leagues better than that. There is some CA but stopped down to F/4 or more seems to correct this.


As a macro-like lens, this lens is a stellar performer. Wide open at 2.8 can be tricky, but that's more to do with user than the lens. Stopped down to 7.1 or more creates excellent close up images that are very comparable to a true macro lens.


Overall this lens is a big winner as a great walk-around lens. I've even used this for some landscape shots and been very pleased with it. I highly recommend this lens as a lens you stick onto your camera and rarely take off. It's a great way to get into pro level glass without breaking the bank.
pancreas

Registered: April 2008
Posts: 4
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by pancreas
Review Date: 9/6/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $803.77| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: best value, hsm
Cons: no stabilization, cheap tripod collar

I bought this lens in anticipation of one day getting a full-frame camera to fully utilize it with. For now I’ll just have to make do with the excess size and weight as it functions as a 105-300mm on my D80 body.


There’s practically no vignetting of course. Distortion, flare, and chromatic aberration are also non-issues. As you would expect, sharpness drops at F/2.8 especially at longer focal lengths but only to a degree that would be noticeable in pixel-peeping. It’s certainly a small sacrifice for the world of photographic opportunities that open up at faster apertures. The “macro” function is useful from time to time.


The HSM isn’t 100% accurate when used continuously (AF-C mode on my D80) – you’ll still get a few misfocused shots – but is still exponentially faster than consumer-grade AF systems. Panning shots are a delight to do as it can track a subject fluidly with barely any hunting in low light. Like all 3rd-party lenses though, there’s a good chance that your copy will misfocus out of the box. That was the case with mine but thankfully the dealer I bought it from had the necessary calibration equipment and they fixed it in about an hour.


Build quality is commensurate with its intended professional use, though I have seen older ones whose labels were worn out. The zoom ring was a little stiff and uneven initially but this disappeared after a few days of use. With the battery grip attached to my D80 the setup is a little front heavy so mounting a flash actually helps with the balance. The tripod collar does the job of keeping the lens attached to the tripod, but it isn’t very tight so you can actually force the lens to rotate even when it’s supposed to be locked – not really a problem for me.


If you can live without image stabilization this lens is IMHO the best value in its class.
TheHooded_Mike

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by TheHooded_Mike
Review Date: 7/6/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $799.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at f/2.8 and up and at 200mm (link to some pictures below), build quality is great, tripod collar is solid, hood is sturdy, focus & zoom rings are well-damped, fast HSM focusing.
Cons: No VR, slight front-focusing on mine (correctable with my D300), possibly a bit soft at it's minimum focusing distance.

I've only had this a day, but...


IQ is great from f/2.8 and up, but its possible to misfocus at f/2.8 (mainly from user error when hand-holding). My copy also front-focuses a tiny bit, but I was able to compensate for that with my Nikon D300's "AF fine tune" feature.


I REALLY wish it had VR, but that is the most obvious sacrifice you make when choosing this lens over the Nikon version (or Canon's with IS). If Sigma implemented their OS into this lens, it would be pretty much perfect, and they'd be flying off the shelves. Since it doesn't have OS, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to cave in and get the Nikon version eventually.


Aside from VR, I can't ask for much more from this lens, especially at this price. Definitely recommended.


Some sample shots here.


More here, all at f/2.8.


Even more! First three at f/4, the rest at f/2.8.
lextalionis

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM APO review by lextalionis
Review Date: 5/7/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Nice rugged build, fast, sharp.
Cons: Edge softness wide-open and tripod collar weak.

Uriah Baet gave me the reveiw of this lens.


Pros:
- perfect for photographers who need a fast telephoto
zoom but are on a budget
- rugged build quality
- HSM (autofocus) is quick, silent, and accurate
- beautiful buttery smooth bokeh
- excellent color and contrast
- sharp at f/4, very sharp at f/5.6 and above
- performs well as a portrait or wildlife lens


Cons:
- HSM (autofocus) not as fast as AF-S (Nikon) or
USM (Canon)
- size and weight (although it is smaller than Nikon
and Canon's equivalent)
- slightly soft wide open
- tripod collar not the best quality (recommend
upgrading to the Sigma TS-41 collar for tripod
users)


View High Resolution Sample Photos Here


-Lex


 






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