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Compared to non-stabilized Sigma and Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 lenses

Here's the 70-200mm F2.8 OS (on the left) alongside its unstabilized stablemate, the 70-200mm 1:2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II, plus the other third-party fast telezoom currently on the market, the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm 1:2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro (both of which we reviewed in summer 2008). The newcomer is a bit longer than Sigma's older design, making it much closer in size to the Tamron, but with a slightly slimmer barrel than either. In spec terms, the Tamron notably lacks an ultrasonic-type focus motor; however if close-up capability matters to you, the new Sigma lags substantially behind the other two. Naturally, the addition of OS means it's also much more expensive.

The most striking physical difference between the stabilized Sigma and these two lenses (and indeed all other 70-200mm F2.8s) is one of control layout: uniquely it places the zoom ring towards the front of the barrel, with a slim manual focus ring immediately behind it. This reflects a change in the optical design - the focus group is now placed behind the zoom group, rather than in front of it. This in turn has a number of knock-on effects in terms of the lens's characteristics and handling, which we'll cover later in the review.

Specifications compared

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II
Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro
Price • US: $1800
• UK: £1300
• US: $800
• UK: £650
• US: $770
• UK: £530
Date introduced February 2010 December 2007 February 2008
Focal length 70-200mm 70-200mm 70-200mm
Maximum aperture F2.8 F2.8 F2.8
Minimum aperture F22 F22 F32
Lens Construction • 22 elements/17 groups
• 2 FLD elements
• 3 SLD elements
• 18 elements/15 groups
• 2 ELD elements
• 2 SLD elements
• 19 elements/16 groups
• 3 LD elements
Minimum focus 1.4m 1m 0.95m
Maximum magnification 0.13x 0.28x 0.32x
AF motor type • Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Micro motor
• Manual focus clutch
Image stabilization • 4 stops claimed
• Dual mode
• None • None
Weight 1430 g (3.2 lb) 1390g (49.0 oz) 1330g (46.9 oz)
Dimensions 86 x 197 mm
(3.4 x 7.8 in)
87 x 184 mm
(3.4 x 7.2 in)
90 x 194 mm
(3.5 x 7.6 in)
Lens Mount
Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony
Canon, Nikon, Four Thirds, Pentax, Sigma, Sony
Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony

Compared to Sony, Nikon and Canon 70-200mm F2.8 lenses

This view shows the Sigma next to the comparable lenses from the major camera manufacturers; the Sony 70-200mm F2.8G, Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM, and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR II. Clearly there's very little between them all in terms of size, and the major distinctions are more to do with features. All three of the other lenses include focus limiter switches, designed to minimize hunting when shooting subjects such as sports, whereas the Sigma doesn't. The Canon and Nikon lenses also incorporate dust- and weather-sealing in their barrel construction, while the Sony lacks optical stabilization (because Alpha cameras use in-body systems). In this company, the Sigma looks distinctly reasonably priced.

Specifications compared

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G
Canon 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM
Nikon 70-200mm F2.8G AF-S VR II
Price
• US: $1800
• UK: £1300
• US: $1800
• UK: £1530
• US: $2500
• UK: £2200
• US: $2330
• UK: £1700
Date introduced
February 2010
June 2006
January 2010
July 2009
Focal length
70-200mm
70-200mm
70-200mm
70-200mm
Maximum aperture
F2.8
F2.8
F2.8
F2.8
Minimum aperture
F22
F32
F32
F22
Lens Construction
• 22 elements/
17 groups
• 2 FLD elements
• 3 SLD elements
• 18 elements/
15 groups
• 2 ELD elements
• 2 SLD elements
• 23 elements/
19 groups
• 5 UD elements
• 1 fluorite element
• 21 elements/
16 groups
• 7 ED elements
Minimum focus
1.4m
1.2m
1.2m
1.4m
Maximum magnification
0.13x
0.21x
0.21x
0.12x
Image stabilization
• 4 stops claimed
• Dual mode
• None
• 4 stops claimed
• Dual mode
• 4 stops claimed
• Auto panning detection
• Active mode
Weight
1430 g (3.2 lb)
1500g (3.3 lb)
1490g (3.3 lb)
1540g (3.4 lb)
Dimensions
86 x 197 mm
(3.4 x 7.8 in)
87 x 197 mm
(3.4 x 7.7 in)
89 x 199 mm
(3.5 x 7.8 in)
87 x 209 mm
(3.4 x 8.2 in)
Lens Mount
Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony
Sony Alpha only
Canon EF only
Nikon F only
Other
Includes APS-C hood extension
3 Focus Hold buttons
Dust and Moisture Sealing
Dust and Moisture Sealing

 

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Comments

Total comments: 2
Spot On
By Spot On (3 months ago)

I've been shooting with this lens for a little over a year and absolutely love it! I rented both this lens and the Nikon 70-200 before I made my purchase. The Nikon was ever so slightly sharper but not enough to pay an extra $1000 for. I would highly recommend this lens!

2 upvotes
Canon Shooter2102
By Canon Shooter2102 (2 months ago)

Have to agree with Spot On on the above - only just bought this lens and already I'm blown away by the IQ - comes very close to the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS which I had a play with once but price was too high to justify purchase - highly recommended.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 2