Re: Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens.

Started Sep 16, 2010 | Discussions thread
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EGGE
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Re: Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens.
Sep 16, 2010

My completely "non-pro", user-friendly review of the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens.

THE GOOD:

  • Nice, solid built, good quality, smooth zoom and focus ring operations.

  • Effective Optical Stabilization.

  • Fast autofocus.

  • Autofocus and OS both operates with either the 1.4X or 2X teleconverters

attached.

  • Not particularly heavy, feels lighter than expected.

  • Excellent image quality even at f2.8 wide open, all the way to full 200mm.

  • Great solution for quick release tripod collar.

THE BAD:

  • Price! Way too expensive!

  • 14mm (over half an inch) longer than its predecessor, making it

very-very-very-very hard to fit into backpacks where the previous model fits
easily.

  • Dual lens hood solution is not practical at all, after the very first try

the ring (DX) part went right back to its plastic bag, never to be used
again.

  • Though OS is effective, the officially claimed "4 stops" is questionable.

It is more like 2 f stops, which is nice though.

  • Minimum focus distance grew from the previous model's 1 meter to 1.4

meters -or- about 1,5 feet.

  • Although the HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) is indeed fast, it is not

"super-fast".

My indoor test images under low and very-very low light came out very good
considering they were taken at ISO 1600 and above with no flash. The
functional OS with the teleconverters was a nice surprise also. Though the
image quality with the 2X teleconverter degrades, the softness does not
render the images useless for normal or medium size prints.

Though I would not recommend doing it, I have also tested the lens with BOTH
1.4X AND 2X converters attached at the same time, converting the lens into a
196-560 mm telephoto lens, taking a few "super-telephoto" pictures in manual
mode of course, which came out at "acceptable" quality, meaning, the images
are still usable for small size applications, like web blogs, but would not
be useful above 5x7 prints, or under the best conditions, maybe full letter
size prints.

I'm still not sure about the new design and the focus ring being put
forward, while the focus ring is behind it, which creates the potential for
accidental manual focus overrides and thus; accidental blurry images, but so
far I managed to avoid such unintentional effects.

If someone needs or wants the OS feature, the new lens will deliver the
goods in a newly designed construction with excellent results, but for a
very steep price! For others who can leave without the OS and can compromise
with a little bit of lower overall image quality, the savings can mean the
price of another lens. So, it is completely up to individual needs and
budget.

The very first, on the street "tourist style" test images (simple, unedited, all f2.8) are below, also available for download under the "my gallery" link.

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