Sigma 70-200 F2.8 review

Great at F11 iffy at F2.8


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._MG_0455



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._MG_9829


Author: paulscoloradophotography

Nature and landscape photographer from Denver metro, Colorado. I also do extensive urban and night time photography. I originally started photography as a means to document my climbs of Colorado's many high mountain peaks, then it evolved from there. The biggest thing about landscape photography is being in nature and capturing those short lived and sublime moments that occur. There is nothing quite like being at a mountain lake feeling that cold mountain air, looking up at those dramatic peaks and spires, or being up late at night looking up at the incredible amount of stars visible from the Earth, something that very few people are able to experience any more this is the true source of my inspiration. I have had several gallery showings including with the Denver Photo Art Gallery owned by renowned nature photographer John Fielder, and a two week exhibit during the Democratic National Convention. I currently have 2 books out in collaboration with other people, plus working on a 3rd one about Loveland Pass region, this last one is still an ongoing project. Plus I have been published from other sources including Smith Southwestern and am a regular contributor in stock with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. I have had large scale corporate sales and numerous individual sales of my photos. This includes numerous photos with the Plenary Group and photos in the home of a well known actor

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