A cut and dry quick review of my own personal non scientific test of the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX APO HSM
A while back I wrote about me buying the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO HSM. I finally have been able to shoot it enough to get a good idea of the performance of this lens. The first striking thing I noticed was the soft focus at f2.8 to f5.6, it is exceptionally noticeable on a full framed camera such as my 5D II. Starting at F8 it started getting sharp with F11 being the sharpest (which is quite surprising as most lenses are sharpest around f8 to f9 range). On the full framed camera F2.8 was almost useless with nothing in an image being sharp. At first I thought it was severe camera shake, but even on a tripod with a shutter release I was still getting the effect. After which I tried shooting it with the Canon Rebel T2i crop sensor camera I recently picked up as a back up, there it definitely performed significantly better at all apertures though still soft at F2.8. On the crop sensor the F2.8 would perhaps be decent as a portrait lens making the soft focus great for skin though the eyes would not be as sharp as can be.
Below are some samples taken with my 5D MKII at F5.6 and F7. The bottom at F2.8 with a larger crop section of the sharpest area, notice how nothing seems to be tack sharp.
Below is with the 5D MkII at F11, definitely much better
and below is with the Rebel T2i crop sensor at F9
The other issue I have had is an attempt at getting a lens hood for this lens, the hood made specifically for this lens by Sigma did not fit and appeared to actually be misshapen, at this point I have not attempted to purchase another one and am not too sure if I will.
Not too sure what it is but this lens definitely is cleaner with a crop sensor camera. At some point I might try another lens to see if perhaps it is just the one I have, but as of this writing I am still sticking with the Canon L lens (even if it is just the F4) though I will be keeping the Sigma for my T2i. Personally I would invest in the more expensive canon L lens before the Sigma.
I would love to know who else has experience with this lens and how you feel about it. Does the Sigma have quality control issues? Or did I just have a run of bad luck.
Below is a shot from my Canon 70-200 F4L at F4, notice the greater clarity as well as sharpness.