Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 OS Not perfect, but close
There are very few reviews of this lens available so hopefully this will help someone come to a sensible decision. It is a super lens, but not for everyone.
At $1,699, The initial drawback is price. it seems somewhat expensive. I know, it's a quality lens featuring an f 2.8 fixed aperture throughout the entire zoom range with excellent OS optical stabilization, although a few hundred you
could get a proven Canon 70-200 2.8 IS ii.
Shortly after first shooting with this lens the OS system began as I 1/2 pressing the shutter button, it made a somewhat noisy click and then the Gyros began to sound like fire trucks sirens in the distance. Literally I though a fire truck was nearby. As it turned out, it was coming from within the lens. it wasn't loud, just disconcerting. I have shot with a Canon 17-55 2.8 and the IS on that lens is next to silent. As it turned out, I contacted the camera store and they quickly shipped me another lens.
The replacement lens arrived and it also has the OS noise but not as conspicuous as the first lens The sound is not really bad, just different from the low level sound of the IS Canon.
Having said that, the OS system works exceptionally well. especially at the long zoom end. You can explicitly notice the camera shake while composing using the viewfinder, then click the shutter button ½ way and presto it locks onto focus. Cool!. I've been able to capture nice sharp images as slow as ¼ second shutter speed - and that's at the extended zoom end. Impressive!
Being an EX ,there are no surprises in the build quality. The zoom and focus rings operate smoothly and with precisely the proper resistance.
This a heavy lens, weighing in excess of 3 pounds. A tripod collar comes with it so it can be used on a monopod or tripod. It features a lens hood is which also includes an extender for employing with APS-C sensor cameras.
The images I have shot have all been sharp, except, it's somewhat soft at f2.8, but still with an acceptable tolerance level. The f2.8 aperture is nice for for indoor and poor light shots. A nice thing about it is the ability to sit across a room and click away without disconcerting others in the room. There is no comparison with f4 lenses which do not
adsorb enough light for shooting indoors, especially for fast action sports. it seems as though it would be an ideal wedding lens and other indoor functions. I've read other web reviews comparing this lens with the Canon lens and the Sigma lens fares well. I see absolutely no CA on the copy I have. Focus is quick and precise with no back or
front focusing issues - it is spot right on. It's not as quiet or fast as the canon lens, however the focus motor still is satisfactory. There is also a full time manual focus override. For those that are more experienced enthusiasts this is a impressive lens to add to your camera bag for that 70-200 zoom range. Professionals might prefer to look at a Nikon or Canon version.
This lens is definitely a keeper. It captures sharp images, the OS is especially effective although somewhat loud and the fast f2.8 aperture gets the job done. For Canon shooters, a good reason to this is because the color is black. There's no point in being more conspicuous using a black and white lens when you already have 8 inches of lens stocking out the front side of your camera while at a basketball game, or shooting a rehearsal. You become ridiculous looking by shooting with an 8 inch white with black stripes Canon lens.
So it's your choice. If you want for a fast lens in the 70-200mm category, save your money and go for a fast f2.8
stabilized version, you won't be sorry. Those lesser priced f3.2-5.6 or slower lenses just don't make as much sense as a good f2.8 lens. If Canon is in your price range and the conspicuous black with white stripes doesn't bother you, by all means go for it, otherwise, get the Sigma, you'll have no regrets.
Announced Feb 20, 2010
Jan 18, 2011