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16 185042 7/28/2008
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Keywords: Sigma Canon Nikon Minolta Pentax Tele Zoom 35mm DG HSM APO Tested


Rover

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 13
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by Rover
Review Date: 7/28/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: a well balanced telephoto optic
Cons: slightly yellow tint, not really sharp at 2.8

I had an old sample of this on a KonicaMinolta body (therefore, the version was non-HSM). It was still much faster than an old Minolta "beercan" (70-210/4), contrast was also better. Sharpness was about the same (read: very good a little stopped down). I liked it a lot, and I've heard that the new version for the Sony/Minolta mount even has HSM. With Sony having their built-in stabilizer system, this Sigma a very good purchase (as the native 70-200/2.8 costs 2.5 times more). For Canon and Nikon, it depends on whether you need stabilization.
EdgyPhoto

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 3
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by EdgyPhoto
Review Date: 12/29/2007 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
Pros: Cheaper than the Nikon
Cons: Watch your fingers!@

I actually DIDN'T buy this lens. I have been looking at the pro 2.8 lenses in this zoom range. Had the opportunity to mount this lens on my D200 and take some test shots.


Neutral on the sample shots after looking at them at home.


What REALLY turned me off about the lens was the tripod foot. Within the first minute of having it on the camera, I had painfully pinched a finger between the body and foot. Reason? The foot is less than a half inch away from the body. What's it so close to? The zoom ring... Seriously, try it before you buy it. I'm sure it takes good pictures but if it's ergonomically not practical, I don't like it and wouldn't enjoy using it. Maybe the offer an alternative foot that is further from the lens, not sure. And of course it IS removeable, but...


EricB
sivrajbm

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 12
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by sivrajbm
Review Date: 11/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast HSM, sharp @ 2.8, solid construction, smooth, beautiful bokem, black body
Cons: None

Absolutely wonderful lens. I had this as my main long zoom for almost two years now. I can't say enough good things about it, fast, sharp @ 2.8, beautiful IQ, Black body, balanced well on my 1-series. Alas the King is dead.


I finally found a Canon 70-200/2.8is sharper than my Sigma ( I had to pixel peep to see the difference ). I only needed the IS for low light wedding and event shooting. I kept hoping Sigma would give this lens their OS, oh well.


If you're not making money this is the lens to get unless you have to have IS. I've got large steady hands so I could shoot down to 1/50-60 with this lens ( I'm a excellent pistol and rifle marksman former USMC ). So bottom line don't be afraid to get this lens, you wont be sorry.
adobo

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 17
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by adobo
Review Date: 1/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheaper than Canon offering, Slightly cheaper, Black color? :)
Cons: Zoom rotation is inverted, Poor maximum magnification

I would still prefer the 70-200 4L because of better IQ and built quality (and the fact that it's not a third-party).. Plus its cheaper..


Why? Well, The Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 only gets competitive when you stop it down.. so.. most of the time you'll be using it as a f/4 lens..


I'm still trying to see if I can try the Macro version of this lens.. (and see the improvements made)
rupa13

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 8
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by rupa13
Review Date: 12/31/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: excellent sharpness,solid construction, f.2,8 , tripod collar included.
Cons: very very heavy.

It's a solid, heavy lens. It gives the same optical results you can get from a Canon 70-200 f.4 (I had them both). Probably one of the best Sigma lenses. I own the first version, the new one should be even better!
Matthew Saville

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 21
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by Matthew Saville
Review Date: 12/29/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Affordability, build quality, speed, sharpness @ f/4
Cons: slightly soft @ f/2.8 and close distances

I purchased this lens just because it was on sale, so I could compare it with the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 DC and the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro that I already have.


Stopped down, this lens is truly as sharp as lenses can get. Rumor has it that it's even sharper than the Nikon 70-200 VR at f/8.


Wide open though, the Nikon definitely takes a lead, and at close distances, the Sigma definitely takes a hit. Of course if you want to do macro work then you should be on a tripod at f/4 or f/5.6 anyway, but I'm just stating the facts. Awesome lens, half the price of the Nikon. That's a fact.


-Matt-
Zinger

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 8
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by Zinger
Review Date: 12/23/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Value, Image quality, Build quality
Cons: Minimum focus distance, Lack of image stabilization

This is one of those great lens values that comes along and makes you re-think the amount of money you've sunk into "L" glass.


I love this lens, and use it mostly for "people" shots (weddings, headshots, and sports). The bokeh is pretty smooth, the focus speed is *just* slightly slower than the Canon version (but still very fast & accurate), and the colors are very true-to-scene.


I wish (like a previous poster) that I could trade this version in for the new one with better close focus, but oh well. Additionally, image stabilization would be nice (but how much would the price increase?)


Overall, highly recommended.
warrensteiner

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by warrensteiner
Review Date: 12/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: price, range
Cons: weight, minimal focus distance

I have owned this lens for the past two years and continue to be pleasantly surprised by the sharpness and quality of the images. It is true that it is less sharp shooting wide open at f/2.8, but once you stop down to f/4 it is tack sharp. Some people have also complained about variations in quality, but that wasn't my experience.
When I first received this lens I was convinced that it was too large and heavy to be useful. It took about one month before I really felt comfortable with it and I haven't looked back since. I also found the zoom ring to be quite stiff at first but it loosened up just enough. The lens is very rugged.
I often use it with the 1.4x teleconverter which does not detract from sharpness, but of course you lose one stop. Don't go for the 2x teleconverter, it seems to make the lens too soft.
The only downside is really the minimal focusing distance. The newest version of this lens incorporates a "macro" which solves this problem. If I could I would trade this in for this newer version just for the improved versatility in close-in work.
All-in-all, if you don't need VR or IS, this is a great lens.
Fahza

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 3
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by Fahza
Review Date: 11/28/2006 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $790.00| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Build quality, HSM focus motor, tripod mount,
Cons: Not very sharp wide open

There was really one thing only that made me sell the Sigma 70-200 after only two weeks and that was the poor sharpness at f2.8. I feel it was more so at both ends of focusing range. It also displayed a faint halo around brighter objects that were just out of focus.
From f4.0 and upwards everything was much better.
The handling and the quality feel of it was excellent. The sturdy tripod mount was also very good, easy to detach if you needed to.
Maybe I got a bad copy of it, I don't know.


Hans
henris

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by henris
Review Date: 11/25/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: cheaper than canon version, comes with a good case, black
Cons: mine was soft wide open, even after recalibration

I had a bum copy after purchasing new, so I sent it into Sigma to have it repaired. It came back a little better, but was still bad (Not sharp at all at 2.8. It was great at f/4 and above). I found that many people had this problem with several types of sigma lenses (I also had problems with a sigma 30 1.4). I sold it on ebay.


The only reason I recommend this lens is because of the number of peopl who have received good copies. I have just not had good luck with Sigma Corporation.
xavier

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 12
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by xavier
Review Date: 11/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, cheap for the optical characteristics, not too heavy, good contrast, good build quality.
Cons: no stabilized version, AF slower than USM.

I got the Canon mount version of this lens as a good quality mid-tele for my Canon 10D. I am mostly interested in nature photography (landscape, wildlife, closeups) and travel photography (landscape, architecture, portraits). If I except the fact that this range is a little short for wildlife, this lens turned out quite good for all applications I am interested in.


The most striking characteristic of this lens compared to the great number of 70-200 zooms is its price: at least 30 % less than most comparable offerings (70-200 with constant aperture 2.8). Despite its reasonable price, this lens is very good.


First, the build quality is great, but the weight is still reasonable. Without collar and hood, the weight and size are even more reasonable (I could fit this lens with my 10D and 17-40 in a rather small shoulder bag "Lowepro Nova 2 AW"). It seems to be built like a tank; it does not extend while zooming or focusing, so that this lens is very nice to use. The hood works very well and protects the lens both in use and reversed, in the bag. The tripod colar is very good too, and can be removed without unmounting the lens from the camera (which Canon collars do not make possible).


Most importantly, the optical quality is very good. The lens is very sharp throughout the range from f/4. At f/2.8 and at both ends, there is a noticeable decrease in sharpness, but it is still good. Contrast is good. Colors look a bit cooler than with my Canon "L" lenses. Overall, I like the optical quality of this lens pretty well. I could get very nice prints (mostly 12x8 inches) with it, even with some cropping (body used: Canon 10D).


Autofocus speed is a little on the slow side, compared to Canon USM lenses. This lens could also benefit from a focus limiter (which many 70-200 zooms have). But this is a reasonable issue, given the price of the lens.
Another point is that there is no stabilized version as of today, even though Sigma has at least two "OS" lenses. An OS version of this lens would be a winner (and I would probably consider the upgrade, since a 70-200/2.8 zoom without stabilization requires rather fast shutter speeds, especially on 1.5x or 1.6x cameras).


I can recommend this lens strongly, since it is a very decent performer at a reasonable price.
julioalperi

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by julioalperi
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $861.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Resolution,distortions,vignetting,CAs,bokeh.Good tripod collar.Price.
Cons: Softer at the long end.

This is a very good lens. Resolution at 70mm is excellent ,very high at 135-150 mm, a little worse at 200 mm. Distortions are very low. Vignetting is very low too. Nice bokeh.The construction quality is very high. CAs are really low. AF is silent and fast. Good tripod collar.
vienna

Registered: July 2006
Posts: 5
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by vienna
Review Date: 7/14/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb image quality, build quality, AF speed at a dirt cheap price
Cons: None

In the words of Charlton Heston, "from my cold dead hands". I shoot auto racing with the 1.4X converter and it has never misfocused a shot. The zoom was stiff as hell out of the box but it is now very smooth. This lens is so good it's better than my 6mpixel camera. Sharpness and contrast equal to my Nikon 300 f4. Even the tripod mount is a work of art. Best investment I ever made!!
hellofacanon

Registered: February 2006
Posts: 3
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by hellofacanon
Review Date: 2/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, Acceptably fast AF.Internal Zoom.Price
Cons: Not as contrasty as the L.Slower AF than USM

I've used this lens on my 20D.No focussing problems at all.This lens, if you get a good copy, is as sharp as the L at all f-stops.
maypo

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by maypo
Review Date: 1/25/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great sports/action lens even at night under the stadium lights
Cons: Yes, it is heavy and bulky, monopod is a must

A great lens for sports photography. I use it primarily for soccer and basketball action shots. Images are sharp with good contrast. I also shoot with the lens hood at all times. A perfect lens for soccer and football size fields. You will need a monopod as it gets heavy over the span of a couple of hours of lugging it around. Focus times are fantastic. I never miss shots because of focus lag.
bbg

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO review by bbg
Review Date: 1/11/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: constant f/2.8; HSM is fast on D70; nice bokeh
Cons: big, heavy, always needs the hood, and it's heavy :)

Pros:


I have the newer -DG model of this lens and use it with a Nikon D70. Images (portraits & outdoor sports) are tack sharp -- even at f/2.8. The lens seems to be very sturdy & very well built. From what I can tell, the HSM on this lens keeps up quite well with the Nikkor 70-200 AF-S.


When using this lens for portraits, I love the bokeh -- my wife thinks it is a bit harsh, though. I will agree that it's no 85 f/1.4 ...


Downsides: Minor issues. I would love to have VR, but this lens was half the price -- and this lens meets my needs. It _is_ heavy, but that's the "price" you pay for a constant f/2.8. Since US$750 was my limit, I also considered the Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D, but the focusing speed was too slow for my tastes.


Minimum focus distance of 2m/6ft can be an annoyance -- but it's average for this type of lens. I've used the non-DG version before and can say that the -DG version significantly reduces flare/ghosting -- as advertised. You still have to use the hood outside, though. However, most folks I know with the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR don't go out without the hood either...


 






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