Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II review
The 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II is one of Sigma's latest lenses, which was first announced in December 2007 for Canon, Nikon and Sigma, with a slew of follow-on releases adding compatibility for the remaining SLR mounts (i.e. Four Thirds, Sony and Pentax; however none of these versions are yet shipping). It's a successor to the 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM of February 2006, with a refined optical layout offering improved optical performance, and becomes the fourth iteration of the same basic EX design first unveiled in 1999 (which was itself preceded by a well-respected 70-210mm F2.8 for 35mm). The HyperSonic Motor (HSM) focusing system promises fast, silent and accurate autofocus for users of all brands of DSLR, although Pentax users should be aware that this lens is effectively of 'KAF-3' mount specification, and therefore won't focus on bodies which don't support SDM lenses. Aside from that specific incompatibility, this is a design which will work on almost every DSLR ever made, and is therefore of unusually broad buyer appeal.
Sigma are fond of using a plethora of letters in their lens names (presumably on the principle that when faced with a choice, potential buyers will purchase the one with the most initials) and the 70-200mm declares its credentials accordingly. 'EX' stands for 'Excellence' and designates Sigma's premium lens line, with superior build and optical quality, while 'DG' means that the lens coatings are optimized for use on digital SLRs, and the image circle covers the full-frame 35mm format. Finally 'Macro' is a pointer towards the closer-than-usual minimum focusing distance of just 1m, which compares favorably to the 1.5m more typical of lenses of this class, although it has recently been trumped by the 0.95m of Tamron's SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro.
Of course as one of Sigma's flagship lenses, the 70-200mm F2.8 boasts a suitably complex optical design, featuring 18 elements in 15 groups, two of which are Extraordinary Low Dispersion (ELD) glass and two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass for correction of chromatic aberrations. Other attractions include internal focusing and zooming mechanisms, and a quick-release tripod mount collar which can be removed from the lens in seconds. On paper at least, this is a lens which might interest a huge number of photographers across a range of abilities; so is it worthy of that interest?
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX design history
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX APO - Original version, minimum focus distance 1.8m (1999)
- 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG - Adds '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 focal length range; fast F2.8 constant maximum aperture
- HSM (ultrasonic type) autofocus with full-time manual override
- To be available in Canon, Nikon, Four Thirds, Pentax, Sigma and Sony/Minolta mounts
Angle of view
The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto, on FX (35mm full-frame) and DX (1.5x crop) camera bodies:
|70mm (FX)||200mm (FX)|
|70mm (DX; 105mm equivalent)||200mm (DX; 300mm equivalent)|
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II specifications
|Date introduced||December 2007|
|Maximum format size||35mm full frame|
|35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)||105-300mm (1.5x)
|Diagonal Angle of view (FF)||34º - 12º|
|Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)||23º - 8º|
|Lens Construction||• 18 elements/15 groups
• 2 ELD elements
• 2 SLD elements
|Number of diaphragm blades||9|
|Maximum magnification||0.28x at 200mm|
|AF motor type||• Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
|Image stabilization||• None|
|Filter thread||• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories||• Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood
• Soft Case
|Optional accessories||Compatible with Sigma 1.4x and 2.0x EX APO teleconverters|
|Weight||1390g (49.0 oz)|
|Dimensions||86.6mm diameter x 184mm length
(3.4 x 7.2 in)
|Lens Mount||Canon, Nikon, Four Thirds, Pentax, Sigma, Sony|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
Philips' new Momentum 436M6 43-inch Quantum Dot HDR monitor really deserves that designation. In fact, it's the first monitor in the world to earn VESA's DisplayHDR 1000 badge.
Find out how astrophysicis Donald Olson used a combination of topographic maps, astronomical software, and webcam archives to figure out exactly when and where Ansel Adams snapped two of his iconic photographs from Alaska.
Xiaomi claims its latest smartphone, the Mi 6X, competes with rivals such as the iPhone X or OPPO R15 in the camera department. Yet it costs just 1,600 Yuan (approximately $250 USD).
Adobe has put together a video tutorial that shows you how to create custom Creative Profiles in Adobe Camera Raw that can be used in ACR, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC.
What do you get when you combine a Lamborghini Huracan with $500,000 dollar gimbal setup? You get "the world’s fastest purpose-built camera car."
The Japanese electronics manufacturer—one of the pioneers in the digital camera segment—is leaving the compact camera market behind after concluding that no market growth or increase in market share can be expected for the future.
You can now download a zip-file, including all images and videos you ever posted on Instagram, plus comments, messages, settings and other data in json-format.
The Pentax K-1 II features a hand-held Pixel Shift mode that creates a 'super resolution' image. Here's how to create a better-looking one in Photoshop using four files.
One of the weirdest copyright cases in the history of photography is finally over. The courts have sided with photographer David Slater and rejected PETA's claim that the monkey who took the infamous selfie has any claim over the photograph's copyright.
In his latest video, Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography shares his thoughts on how equipment nowadays is seen less as a means to an end, and more as the end in and of itself.
The latest update to Lightroom Classic CC brought with it a slew of major bugs, including some that would cause the program to crash. Adobe has now released an update to address these bugs, along with an apology.
The new drives come in the M.2 form factor and with the latest PCIe Gen 3×4 lane interface, offering NVM Express (NVMe) bandwidth. In other words: they're an interesting option for anyone editing large batches of photos or 4K/8K video.
Photographer Alexander Gee has created something pretty cool: the first (to our knowledge) E-Mount film camera. It's called LEX, and when it's finished, Gee intends to make the camera's design files open source so that anybody can built their own from scratch.
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a low-power HD video streaming method that could eventually allow tiny, maybe even battery-free wearable cameras to stream high definition video.
Nikon Corporation has warned investors that an assessment of its Belgium-based metrology business based is worth much less than expected, and that they should brace themselves for an 'extraordinary loss' of 10,343 million yen.
In 2009, photographer Michael Benanav joined a family from the nomadic Van Gujjar tribe on their annual journey from the lowland jungles of the Shivalik Hills to the alpine meadows of the Himalayas. This is the story behind the images he captured.
NVIDIA's Content-Aware Fill competitor is getting better and better. A new demo from shows how the latest version can fill in entire chunks of a person's face, or pieces of an image that are missing, with incredibly realistic results.
This hacked Polaroid Sonar Autofocus 5000 puts a digital spin on instant photography, but not in the way you're used to seeing. It's one of the most ambitious and well-executed DIY camera projects we've seen.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu has launched a new high-end model, the Meizu 15 Plus. And based on specs alone, the phone is well-worth a closer look for mobile photographers who are open to buying from a less established brand.
Open source photo editor GIMP is a popular (and free) Photoshop alternative, but can it really be used on a professional edit? In this video, photographer Shane Milton shows you that it most certainly can.
Photographer Jolyon Ralph pit the new Huawei P20 Pro against his beloved Canon 5DS R, and was "somewhat stunned" by how well the 40MP smartphone performed against the 50MP DSLR.
Thanks to a low-res proxy version of the Insta360 Pro 8K footage, stitching times and computer processing requirements are reduced significantly when editing 360° footage from the six-lens system.
DxO Labs has filed the initial proceedings to start the bankruptcy process in France. The company is currently under "judicial administration," which allows it some time to restructure and find a buyer before the liquidation process occurs.
SmugMug has acquired struggling photography site Flickr for an undisclosed sum, with CEO Don MacAskill promising to give the neglected photo sharing service "the resources that it deserves."
YouTube channel Filmmaker IQ has put together a very interesting, technically detailed, and scientifically accurate description of exactly how various image sensors (and photographic film) work. One of the best overview videos we've seen.
In Part 1 of his series on photographing Greenland in winter, landscape photographer Erez Marom shares the freezing details of his arrival on the town of Uummannaq where the temperature was -25°C. Still, he went out shooting.
The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105mm F2.7 is Meyer Optik's latest Kickstarter lens revival, and it promises "natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture" ... whatever that means.
The update also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.
Chinese accessories brand Meike has announced it will introduce an 85mm F1.8 lens for Canon and Nikon full frame DSLRs that will feature autofocus. This will be the company’s first AF lens.