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Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

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152 581157 Dec 11, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $704.67
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Sigma's new Hyper Sonic Motors (H.S.M.) provide silent, responsive autofocus action with Canon, Sigma, and now Nikon AF cameras.
H.S.M. also permits manual adjustment of focus without the necessity of switching off the autofocus function.
Focus Free mechanism keeps the manual focus ring from spinning when the camera is autofocusing.
This new lens features apochromatic optical design and four elements composed of Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass for high image contrast, resolution and color saturation.
The front barrel does not rotate during focusing, due to internal focusing system.
Internal zooming mechanism allows the lens length to remain constant during zooming.


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Registered: Sep 29, 2004
Location: Romania
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp even wide-open, near perfect colour, 2.8, and good price... only 550 $ i paid.
non at this price..

I really love ths lens and pictures witch come out. I use with Canon 10D, and i don't have any problem.

Oct 13, 2004
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Registered: Aug 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1982
Review Date: Sep 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp; quick, accurate focus

In addition to this lens, I own the Canon 17-40 f/4L and the Canon 28-70 f/2.8L, so I have some pretty nice glass against which to compare this wonderful lens. Of the three, this is by far my favorite lens: Sharp (even wide open), versatile and completely reliable. For sports pictures, it is spectacular. I see no reason to pay the extra for the Canon L equivalent. The tripod collar is a very useful, added bonus.

Sep 30, 2004
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Registered: Apr 21, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 189
Review Date: Sep 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,179.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, HSM focus is quick, extremely sharp, good contrast, FTM focusing, awesome warranty (7 years in Canada)
HSM not as fast as USM, heavy

I bought this lens primarily for portraiture as I am still shooting film and the focal range is perfect for me. My first engagement session with the lens was a pleasant surprise - bokeh is very nice, colour is a little on the warm side (which I like), focusing is quick (although not as quick as USM), and although it's heavy I didn't find it unmanageable by any means.

I was coming up on my 15-day return limit and decided I'd better test it for sharpness just to be safe. I shot some leftover Portra 160NC that I had lying around at 70mm, 135mm, and 200mm all at f2.8, f4, f8, and f16. I set my gear up on the top of my condo building looking out over the city and used mirror lockup (although my remote batteries were dead, so I still had to push the shutter). I scanned the tested photos on my Minolta 5400 at full resolution.


The sharpness of this lens blows all of my other lenses away (including my 24-70L - which I'll be returning - and my travel Tamron 24-135). In all honesty, the shots at f2.8 are almost indistinguishable from those at f4 and f8. Remember, this is under scrutiny of 40megapixel scans! I had always enjoyed my Tamron lens but this Sigma puts it to shame in the corner sharpness department.

I don't know if I ended up with an exceptional copy, but this lens will definitely not be leaving my bag any time soon.

I'll be posting some crops from the testing at pbase when I get a chance or you can email me for some examples at [email protected]



Sep 16, 2004
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Registered: Oct 20, 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6
Review Date: Sep 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent build - Full package with bag and hood - f2,8 of course - sharp and fast (but...) - cost the half of nikon similar product !
not as sharp and not as fast motorisation as nikon equivalent...

I'm using this great lens on a Nikon D70. I was having a nikon AF80-200/f2,8 (push pull version) so i think i can good compare the two models.
The most difference i see between this two great piece of glass is :
- Sharpness : the nikon, tought it was an 'old' used push pull model, gives me better sharpening as my new sigma. I changed just for having HSM motorisation witch is really quiet and fast (allow me now to shoot sport events without 'out-off focus' pics...). Overall there is really a difference at wide aperture (down 20% as nikon) but once you reach f4 it's pretty good (but always 10% under nikon rendering...)

- HSM : still fast but i have try nikon AF-S version before i buy my Sigma and must trully say nikon AF-S is 20% faster.

- Color render : i found the sigma rendering more 'yellow' and much contrasted. I have just have bring down my setting on camera to become 'flatter' pics that i can tweak later on my workflow

My conclusion would so be : for 50% less money you become a lens witch is overall near 10-20% under nikon performance and same quality build.
Hope this will help you guys to make your choice... i've made it: spare 800 for my next camera Smile

Sep 2, 2004
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Sep 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, quick focus, price

Because of the size/weight, I sometimes get out of the habit of using this lens. Then it comes out for some special occasion and I am again blown away by its image quality.

Lately, I've been using it at my teenage daughter's soccer games. Hand-held, it has produced some great action shots. On a 1.6 frop factor camera, it's almost ideal for a full-size soccer field, though just a little short for the far corners. However, I'm not afraid to crop pictures taken with this lens; the results are still sharp.

You really need a tripod for serious photography at slower shutter speeds. While any big lens is conspicuous, at least this one is black--not quite as obvious as the white Canon equivalent (which costs 50% more here; 100% more if you want IS as well). I wish Sigma would produce an IS version.

Price includes case, tripod mount and hood (and 7-year waranty Canada).

Sep 1, 2004
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Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 212
Review Date: Aug 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent pro-grade build, extremely sharp & colors are near perfect, fast HSM AF, tripod collar, 77mm filter size, works perfectly with Sigma 1.4xTC make a fabulous 150-420mm F4 (with DSLR cropping factor)
None to date.

I am a professional photographer and I have been shooting nature, wildlife and portraits for years. Got into sports photography a couple years ago and picked up this lens in lieu of an older push-pull 80-200mm
f/2.8 ED Nikon glass. I have been SUPER impressed since day one with the entire Sigma EX HSM line including this extremely fast and sharp model. I use it on my Nikon DSLRs and immediate get the 105-300mm (1.5x cropping) f/2.8 capabilities and I use the Sigma 1.4x EX
Teleconvertor with absolutely no loss of sharpness to provide with an extremely versatile lens. With the 1.5x cropping for DSLR and the 1.4xTC it quickly becomes a nice ~150mm-420mm F4 lens. More than capable of producing -quality- shots for nearly any venue out there. With starting prices for MINT units going for ~$550-650 you simply CANNOT go wrong here. I have used both the Nikon 80-200mm (non VR) and this lens and you are not giving up anything to go with this one. Trust me on this --- get this lens & use it. SHARP, FAST, QUALITY-BUILD.

Truly an amazing piece of glass to own and use.

Aug 27, 2004
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John Black
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Registered: Jul 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3753
Review Date: Aug 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $738.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: F2.8 - such a bright lens; great contrast & color on a 10D; built quality is excellent; the included case is probably worth $50 alone!
Typical Sigma lens hood... It is heavy, handheld shooting is tough.

I had the Canon 75-300 IS and just didn't like it. Slow focus, fringing issues, soft at 225mm on up, not very bright... That lens is sooo gone - on Ebay right now!

Enter Sigma 70-200. Please don't take offense, but "OH MY GOD!" Keep in mind that I'm coming from the 75-300 IS, not from a $1500 "L" lens. This lens is wonderful. All the color and sharpness that I've been missing in the Canon are back. I'm sure some "L" user could find issue with F2.8 - but it's totally usable and delivers the goods. Smooth, buttery bokeh. I wouldn't say this lens is as sharp as the Canon 50mm F1.4, but it feels like it. The 100% crop are fine - I don't feel compelled to look for problems. Whereas the with the 28-135mm IS and 75-300mm IS, you'd look at the pictures and think "Yeah, that's the picture, but..." and then you would start examining photo and see where it just didn't catch detail, or something fringed, etc. The Sigma's pictures have impact and great depth (3D) look - not flat.

I paid $738 at Canoga Camera which is alittle high, but I wanted a USA copy and wanted be sure I could return without issue if the lens didn't work out well. I'm not complaining now - the lens was worth every dollar.

The construction//build quality is very nice. You get brain washed thinking that only Canon and Nikon can build a quality product that feels good to hold and use. Sigma's quality is right there. It's a different look with a matte finish, but the materials and craftsmanship are very good.

AF is good - HSM is very quiet (my first HSM lens). The AF hunts, but I was doind some real torture tests like focus on leaves in a tree while the window was blowing at F2.8. It took awhile, but it looked. I think the focus issues rest more on the 10D than the lens. My 10D is a hunter - and not a gatherer... It often gets lost and needs a helpful re-direct with MF.

No CA or flaring yet. I'm shooting without a filter and without the lens hood (again, torture testing) and it's doing really well.

The case they ship with the lens is amazing - big - but amazing. The lens hood stinks... then don't line the inside with phelt (spelled that wrong) like Canon does. It's too easy to get those shiny-rub-like scratches. It probably doesn't effect the picture, but please Simga, spend $.50 more on the hood.

The downside is weight. I was going to sell my monopod, not now! You could shoot handheld, but it would get tiresome. I'm upgrade my tripod soon with Bogen 3051 and Bogen 405 gear head --- can't wait.

For $700 - I just can't see how this could be a bad purchase choice for anyone. If you don't whether you want the Canon 70-200L (IS or non-IS) - then start here first. Try it and if you don't like it, return it and get the Canon.

Aug 18, 2004
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 22
Review Date: Aug 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast focusing (that's what you get for a 70-200/2.8! :-)), good built, ability to manual focus after AF-lock, nice tripod collar.
nothing much, except that i wish it would be smaller and lighter to fit into my bag! ;-)

Got the lens in early July 2004 after doing some research to go with my Nikon D70. heard lots of stories on this wonderful lens. tested and finally got one.

Bought a used Sigma 2X teleconverter. The HSM and AF works wonderfully. have to use monopod/tripod for stability. Use the TC for equestrian showjumping ( and the unit worked like charm! both of them (actually three of them including the Nikon D70) working very well.

Highly recommended!!

Aug 4, 2004
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[ X ]

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 327
Review Date: Jun 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and fixed f/2.8, build quality, HSM, excellent in low-light, sharp, good contrast, cost
Needs firmware upgrade as when I shoot at 200mm, EXIF data shows 456mm! [Not a problem as it does not affect anything.]

Highest praise for this lens. I shoot all sorts of genres: travel, portrait, wildlife, action, landscape, cityscape, seascape, etc. This lens does it all and does it at a pro-level and quality. It equals Canon's version (if not exceeding it). I've shot with the Canon equivalent and the sharpness is tighter with the Sigma f/2.8. When you factor in cost, it isn't even a contest.

I use the Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, and this Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 as my primary lenses on my Canon D-SLR. I also use some fast Canon lenses but use these 3 the most.

Feel free to email me at [email protected]

Jun 29, 2004
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Registered: Mar 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 82
Review Date: Jun 22, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp, fast focusing, balances great on my Nikon D100 w/MB-D100 grip. Nice handling.
Occasionally locks up my D100, but switching camera off and back on clears it.

I absolutely love this lens! I use it for nature, sports, as well as portraits and model portfolios. It focuses extremely fast and is very sharp. I am very happy that I chose this lens instead of spending $1,000 more on a Nikkor. Highly recommended!

Jun 22, 2004
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Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 116
Review Date: Apr 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $613.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, quick focus, sharp colorful and contrasty photos, lightweight for it's size
Haven't found any

I was leary about getting this lens. Once it was delivered I quickly put it to use and haven't looked back. Great sharp contrasty photos. Works very well in low light. When used for concert photography I've gotten some beautiful results with this lens especially at f2.8. Sharp at both ends of the aperture. The autofocus is fast and quiet... the focus and zoom rings are smooth.

Downside, you get an incorrect focal length reading on a 10D. However I attribute this to firware updates as this began after the last firmware update to the camera. It doesn't affect the quality of the photo, so it's not a concern for me.

All in all a great lens, and one that fits into a tight budget very well.

Apr 30, 2004
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The Big Bad
[ X ]

Registered: Feb 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4082
Review Date: Apr 13, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $659.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: good size and weight for a 2.8 zoom, nice tripod collar, sharp once stopped down
very soft at f2.8, cost $650 is alot for a f4 zoom, weights alot for a f4 zoom

I tried 3 copies of this lens. All of them had very poor performance wide open. Much worse than Canons 70-200 2.8, and ALOT worse than my cheap old 80-200 2.8 canon zoom.

Now when you stop the lens down to at least f4, it becomes a really good lens, as good as anything else ive used honestly. But when I pay for a 2.8 lens, its because I want to use it at f2.8. This sigma simply doesnt provide that.

I think its overpriced and overweight for a f4 zoom, might as well save yourself the money and weight and get a new canon f4 version which is just as good or if you need 2.8 on a budget, find a used 80-200L.

I did love the tripod collar though. Its so nice to be able to take it on and off without having to unmount the lens.

Bottom line is that this lens is a case of you get what you pay for. Your simply not getting the performance of a Canon 2.8 lens while saving about $400. Would be nice if you could, and sigma does make some good lens, this one just isnt one of them

Apr 13, 2004
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Registered: Jan 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2151
Review Date: Apr 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, Built(EX series), HSM(USM equivalent), tripod mount and fast aperture(f2.8)
Not to tack sharp wide open(Which zoom is)

I recently bought this lens a month ago and ever since using it, I love it! Simply a wonderful lens when you cannot afford the Canon 70-200 IS version. This actually matches up without the IS and the contrasty and sharp features that the canon has over the Sigma. Something about the EX series from sigma really screams 'professional'! and it does look pro when you use it! But overall, it's a great lens, I love it. Highly recommended for those who want a bang for their buck!

Apr 11, 2004
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Registered: Mar 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 84
Review Date: Apr 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quiet, fast, sharp, excellent value
Lens cap not quite up to par

This lens is a ton of fun to shoot with, and provides excellent image quality. It's a tremendous value compared to the alternative (Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR). Not because the Nikon lens is poor (far from it), but at about 40% of the price, the Sigma can stand right next to its more expensive cousin in probably 98% of shooting conditions. I have yet to put this lens through its paces with nature photography, but it works wonderfully when shooting sports.

Apr 4, 2004
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Registered: Mar 23, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $740.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Terrific resolution with the D100
AF tracking not equal to AF-S. Wide open weaker than expected. Questionable QC.

This lens is terrific at f4, but sharpness declines dramatically at f2.8. The AF operates poorly with the D100, in comparison with the AF-S. I returned one lens because of an optical defect. This lens had a tight zoom ring that has loosened up after two months. Recommend this lens as a value buy for events. But, I would get a Nikon lens for wildlife.

Mar 28, 2004
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Scott Sewell
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Registered: Dec 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 8609
Review Date: Mar 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: HSM offers silent and quick focus; excellent color and contrast; sturdy build (it's really not as heavy as some say); no quality loss noticable with 1.4x TC; if you can't afford the "L" equivalant DO NOT hesitate to get this lens
Incorrect focal length readings

If you're looking for a professional lens in this zoom range and f-stop, but can't afford the "L" glass, this lens certainly deserves a look. Buy a new one or a mint used version and you just can't go wrong (and shouldn't need it rechipped)

I shot nearly 7,000 sports photos in the last four months (Nov '03 - Feb '04), including basketball, baseball, indoor football, rodeo, monster trucks, bmx...and this lens never once let me down or disappointed. In fact, once I got the Canon equivalent, I shared very similar photos taken with each lens and most people thought the Sigma images were taken with the Canon! Email or PM me and I'll be more than happy to share those images.

The HSM focuses quickly and quietly and the lens feels great handheld. IMO, it is easier to handhold than the Canon version. Tripod ring is well-designed, too and is very smooth.

I'm not convinced that my version was soft at f2.8 because usually when I was shooting at that f-stop there were many other factors coming into play, such as low light, higher ISO settings, slower shutter speeds. Again, in my attempt at side-by-side comparisons, most people could not tell the difference between this and the Canon.

I would not hesitate to recommend this lens to anyone and if the need arose, I would buy one again in a heartbeat. Don't let the fact that it's not white and doesn't have a red ring around the end of the barrel it scare you away. This lens can perform with the best of them!

Mar 17, 2004
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Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
152 581157 Dec 11, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $704.67
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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