Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 EX DG OS HSM Review
It's now over a decade since Sigma's original 70-200mm F2.8 APO design first saw the light of day, and after three successive makeovers, the company clearly felt it was time to start again from scratch. The result is this: the 70-200mm 1:2.8 EX DG OS HSM, which despite its similar-sounding name is a completely new design. It was announced back in February alongside four other lenses, as Sigma stole the show at an otherwise-quiet PMA 2010. The 'OS' stands for 'Optical Stabilizer', this being is the first image-stabilized fast telephoto zoom to emerge from a third-party lens maker. Indeed the combination of in-lens stabilization and Sigma's ultrasonic-type 'HyperSonic Motor' (HSM) focusing is sure to make a compelling package for a wide range of users - it's considerably cheaper than Canon and Nikon's similar options, while offering the option of optical stabilization to Sony and Pentax users for the first time in this type of lens.
The 70-200mm F2.8 OS sports a brand-new optical optical formula which incorporates a new weapon in the lens maker's armory, the latest type of glass which Sigma calls 'FLD' for 'F' Low Dispersion. This slightly opaque nomenclature indicates that it has similar optical properties to Fluorite, an expensive and difficult-to-work material that Canon has employed in the course of establishing its reputation as a maker of excellent telephotos. The 70-200mm F2.8 OS HSM uses two FLD elements within its 22 element / 17 group construction, alongside three elements made from the more conventional Super-Low Dispersion (SLD) glass. Sigma promises that this should give excellent correction for residual chromatic aberration.
The lens's impressive specification is rounded off with a 9-blade circular aperture for the attractive rendition of out-of-focus regions of the image, plus an adapter that extends the length of the lens hood to provide more effective shading for users of APS-C format DSLRs. The minimum focus distance is 1.4m, with a maximum magnification of 0.13x, which is a step back from the 1m minimum focus and 0.28x magnification of the most recent 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II. All this is topped-off by a price which, while substantially higher than the older lens, is still substantially lower than its Nikon and Canon equivalents. On paper at least, this all adds up to a mouthwatering package; so let's see how well the lens lives up to its promise.
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 design history
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX APO - Original version, minimum focus distance 1.8m (1999)
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG - Addition of 'digitally optimized' lens coatings to reduce flare (2005)
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro (HSM) - Minimum focus distance reduced to 1m (2006)
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II - Improved optical performance (2007)
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM - All-new design with built-in Optical Stabilization (2010)
- 70-200mm focal length range; fast F2.8 constant maximum aperture
- Optical image stabilization – 4 stops claimed
- Ring-type HSM focusing with full-time manual override
- Available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony mounts
Angle of view
The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto, on 35mm full-frame and APS-C camera bodies:
|70mm (full frame)||200mm (full frame)|
|70mm (APS-C; 112mm equivalent)||200mm (APS-C; 320mm equivalent)|
Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 EX DG OS HSM specifications
|Price|| US: $1800
|Date introduced||February 2010|
|Maximum format size||35mm full frame|
|35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)||• 105-300mm (Nikon, Sony, Pentax 1.5x)
• 112-320mm (Canon 1.6x)
• 119-340mm (Sigma 1.7x)
|Diagonal Angle of view (FF)||34º - 12º|
|Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)||23º - 8º|
|Lens Construction||• 22 elements / 17 groups
• 2 FLD elements
• 3 SLD elements
|Number of diaphragm blades||9, rounded|
|Maximum magnification||0.13x at 200mm|
|AF motor type||• Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor
• Full-time manual focus
|Image stabilization||• 4 stops claimed
• Dual mode - Normal and panning
|Filter thread||• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories||• Front and rear caps
• APS-C hood adapter
• Soft Case
|Weight||1430 g (3.2 lb)|
|Dimensions||86 mm diameter x 197 mm length
(3.4 x 7.8 in)
|Lens Mount||Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
Foreword / notes
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.
To navigate this article simply use the next / previous page buttons or jump to a specific page by using the drop-down list in the navigation bar at the top of the page. You can support this site by ordering through the affiliate links shown at the bottom of each page (where available).
This article is protected by Copyright and may not be reproduced in part or as a whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.
Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.
|Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Lens for Sony Minolta||$1199.00|
|Sigma Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD Zoom Lens for Canon DSLRs Lens Kit Bundle||$1199.00|
|Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens for Pentax||$1199.00|