pcmag.comSigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports - Review 2019 - PCMag UK " /> Skip to main content PCMag UK Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports By Jim Fisher Jul 03, 2019 Editor Rating: Excellent (4.0) We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use. ProsPro-grade, all-weather build. Good optical performance. Integrated tripod collar with Arca foot. Image stabilization. Internal zoom. Teleconverter compatibility.ConsNot as sharp at 200mm as 70mm. Some distortion. Heavier than other lenses.Bottom LineThe Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms. 3 Jul 2019 The 70-200mm f/2.8 is the go-to lens for photographers covering events, gathering news, and capturing portraits. Name brand options from Canon and Nikon cost more than $2,000, and there is a demand for lesser-priced alternatives. The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports ($1,499) certainly fits the bill, and while it doesn't quite match the optics of more expensive options, it's no slouch either. You won't find a better 70-200mm f/2.8 near this price, which, along with an exceptional build quality, makes it our Editors' Choice. Pro Build at Enthusiast Price The lens is sized in line with others of its type, coming in at 8.0 by 3.7 inches (HD) with support for 82mm threaded filters. It's heavy, even for its size, at 4 pounds. Competing lenses, including the latest options from Canon and Nikon and the similarly priced SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, weigh about 3.3 pounds each. The extra weight certainly shines through in the build quality. The exterior barrel is metal, finished in matte black, and there are internal seals to keep dust and moisture out. The exposed front and rear elements are protected with a fluorine-like coat—the material repels water and grease, so it's easy to wipe water droplets and fingerprint smudges away. There is an integrated tripod collar. It rotates and can be locked in at any position using a thumbscrew; there are detents at 90-degree increments so you can easily lock it in so it's level with your tripod head. The foot is fixed, with a single tripod connection thread, but is compatible with Arca-Swiss mounts without the need for an additional release plate. Sigma includes a lens hood, front and rear caps, and a carrying case. The hood locks and unlocks with a push button, and reverses for storage. The case has a soft exterior and is zippered, with padding inside, offering a modicum of protection. The lens is sold in three mounts—Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA. All three originated with SLR systems, though modern adapters make the lens very usable with mirrorless. I tested the Nikon version, largely with Z mirrorless cameras via the FTZ adapter. There's no drop in autofocus performance when adapting the Nikon-mount version to a Nikon mirrorless camera, and we don't expect any loss of speed when using the EF lens on a Canon R or M mirrorless model. You should take heed before adapting the EF or SA lens to a Sony (via the }MC-11 adapter) or L-mount (via the MC-21 adapter) mirrorless camera, as there may be a step back in autofocus speed and reliability. Sigma doesn't offer a native mirrorless version for either mount at press time. Most of the on-lens controls are grouped in a panel on the left side of the barrel. The Focus switches allows for full-time autofocus (AF), autofocus with manual override (MO), and manual focus (MF). There's also a limiter, so you can set the autofocus system to cover the full range or distant subjects (beyond 3 meters) only. Another switch toggles optical stabilization—you can turn it off, set it to Mode 1 for most shooting, or to Mode 2 for shots where you pan the camera to track a subject. The Custom function, with options for Off, C1, and C2, requires the Sigma USB Dock. You can use the dock to fine-tune autofocus performance and speed, and to perform firmware updates. Both the focus and zoom rings are rubberized, with ridges so they're easy to locate by touch and to grip. The focus ring sits about mid barrel, and is roughly an inch wide. The position of the ring is not great for manual focus—the tripod foot gets in the way of your fingers. With some care you can position the foot so it doesn't block your camera's grip or your access to the focus ring, but it's worth noting. A little more clearance, or the ability to remove the foot, would have been welcome. On the D850 I found positioning the foot so it's facing straight up, slightly toward the grip, offered the best access, but your mileage may vary. Four control buttons are located ahead of the focus ring. They're placed at 90-degree increments, and their function can be set via the camera body. I set them for AF-ON when using the lens with various Nikon bodies. The focus ring is ample, occupying the front three inches or so, and has set marks at 70, 100, 135, and 200mm. The zoom is internal—there's no barrel extension or retraction as the focal length is adjusted—which is a definite plus. You're still moving quite a bit of glass around, so a good grip is required—you won't be adjusting this ring with your fingertips. The lens is able to focus as close as 3.9 feet (1.2-meter). It's good enough for 1:4.8 life-size magnification when zoomed all the way in and focused as close as possible. It's as good as its closest competition can manage, though it doesn't match the 1:3 focus offered by the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD. The optical stabilization system is able to capture consistently blur-free handheld images at 1/30-second and the 200mm focal length. At 1/15-second it is able to remove shake from many shots, but occasionally our tests showed a result with visible motion blur. At 1/8-second I wasn't able to get a crisp handheld shot at 200mm. Sigma currently offers two teleconverters, the 1.4x TC-1401 ($349) and the 2x TC-2001 ($399), either of which can be used with the lens. When paired with the 1.4x the lens covers a 100-280mm f/4, and the 2x makes it a 140-400mm f/5.6. I tried it with an older edition of the 1.4x converter and was happy with the results—focus remained quick and the extra reach was often appreciated. Solid Resolution I used the 70-200mm with two cameras, the 24MP Z 6 and the 45.7MP Z 7, and ran lab tests using the Z 7 and Imatest software. See How We Test Digital Cameras At 70mm f/2.8 it manages 3,817 lines on a center-weighted evaluation, a very good result, and while the edges aren't quite as crisp, they're still a strong 3,340 lines. Resolution is just shy of excellent at f/4 (3,913 lines) and levels out at f/5.6 (4,064 lines), f/8 (3,999 lines), and f/11 (4,071 lines). There's a loss of resolution starting at f/16 (3,691 lines) and continuing at the minimum f/22 aperture (3,026 lines). This is caused by diffraction, an effect that scatters light passing through a very small opening. There's a general downturn at 135mm. At f/2.8 we see 2,981 lines, which is a good result for a high-resolution sensor. Image quality holds steady right around 3,100 lines at f/4 through f/8, and peaks at f/11 (3,382 lines). There's a slight dip in clarity at f/16 (3,210 lines) and a more apparent one at f/22 (2,905 lines). The weakest performance is at 200mm, but even at f/2.8 the lens still puts up 2,887 lines—a good result, just not one that reaches the heights we've seen from the best zooms paired with high-resolution sensors. It doesn't get much sharper when stopped down, hovering just under 2,900 lines through f/16 (2,841 lines), and dropping just a hair at f/22 (2,666 lines). Canon shooters should think about spending more on the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS III USM when pairing with a high-resolution model or with an APS-C camera. But if you use a 20MP or 30MP full-frame model, the advantages of Canon's lens are lessened. Likewise, Nikon Z 7, D850, and D500 owners will enjoy crisper results, especially at the long end of the range, with the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, but you would expect exceptional results from a $2,800 lens. There's a little bit of barrel distortion (1 percent) at 70mm, but it's not enough to notice in most shots. It gives way to pincushion distortion at 135mm (1.4 percent) and 200mm (1.6 percent). The pincushion effect causes lines that are straight in reality to be drawn with an inward bow. If you find it distracting you can remove it using standard image processing software. With Adobe Lightroom it's a one-click adjustment. There's a slight vignette (-2.8EV) at the corners of the frame at f/2.8. It's consistent through the zoom range, and is all but gone at f/4. If you use a Nikon camera, the automatic Peripheral Illumination Correction feature compensates for the vignette when shooting JPGs; I wasn't able to test a Canon-mount version of the lens to see if automatic corrections were available. It's a modest enough effect that I wouldn't fret about it too much. If you do want to remove a vignette from your image entirely, the same Lightroom lens profile that compensates for distortion will also remove it. The Best Affordable 70-200mm The 70-200mm Sports replaces the company's aging APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM—officially a $1,399 lens, but still available at retail for around $1,1100. Low-cost versions of pricey first-party lenses are nothing new, this is just the latest from Sigma. It's also not the only other option available. Tamron sells its SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 for $1,300. It's also an excellent lens, and at some focal lengths is a little sharper than the Sigma. But we had issues with flare when shooting with a backlight, which didn't prove to be a problem with the Sigma. You could also forgo the f/2.8 aperture for an f/4 zoom. Tamron makes a fantastic one for just $600, the 70-210mm. But you'll want an f/2.8 if you're covering events, or if you're looking to keep the ISO low when pairing with a teleconverter. For the price, it's tough to argue with what you get with the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports, so it's our Editors' Choice. Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Bottom Line: The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms. Top Comparisons More Inside PCMag.com About the Author Senior digital camera analyst for the PCMag consumer electronics reviews team, Jim Fisher is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he concentrated on documentary video production. Jim's interest in photography really took off when he borrowed his father's Hasselblad 500C and light meter in 2007. He honed his writing skills at retailer B&H Photo, where he wrote thousands upon thousands of product descriptions, blog posts, and reviews. Since then he's shot with hundreds of camera models, ranging from pocket point-and-shoots to medium format digital cameras. And he's reviewed almost all of them. When he's not testing cameras and gear for PCMag, he's likely out and about shooting with ... See Full Bio Please enable JavaScript to view the comments. Ad \n\nThe 70-200mm f/2.8 is the go-to lens for photographers covering events, gathering news, and capturing portraits. Name brand options from Canon and Nikon cost more than $2,000, and there is a demand for lesser-priced alternatives. The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports ($1,499) certainly fits the bill, and while it doesn't quite match the optics of more expensive options, it's no slouch either. You won't find a better 70-200mm f/2.8 near this price, which, along with an exceptional build quality, makes it our Editors' Choice.\nPro Build at Enthusiast Price\nThe lens is sized in line with others of its type, coming in at 8.0 by 3.7 inches (HD) with support for 82mm threaded filters. It's heavy, even for its size, at 4 pounds. Competing lenses, including the latest options from Canon and Nikon and the similarly priced SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, weigh about 3.3 pounds each.\n \nThe extra weight certainly shines through in the build quality. The exterior barrel is metal, finished in matte black, and there are internal seals to keep dust and moisture out. The exposed front and rear elements are protected with a fluorine-like coat\u2014the material repels water and grease, so it's easy to wipe water droplets and fingerprint smudges away.\nThere is an integrated tripod collar. It rotates and can be locked in at any position using a thumbscrew; there are detents at 90-degree increments so you can easily lock it in so it's level with your tripod head. The foot is fixed, with a single tripod connection thread, but is compatible with Arca-Swiss mounts without the need for an additional release plate.\n \nSigma includes a lens hood, front and rear caps, and a carrying case. The hood locks and unlocks with a push button, and reverses for storage. The case has a soft exterior and is zippered, with padding inside, offering a modicum of protection.\nThe lens is sold in three mounts\u2014Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA. All three originated with SLR systems, though modern adapters make the lens very usable with mirrorless. I tested the Nikon version, largely with Z mirrorless cameras via the FTZ adapter.\n \nThere's no drop in autofocus performance when adapting the Nikon-mount version to a Nikon mirrorless camera, and we don't expect any loss of speed when using the EF lens on a Canon R or M mirrorless model. You should take heed before adapting the EF or SA lens to a Sony (via the }MC-11 adapter) or L-mount (via the MC-21 adapter) mirrorless camera, as there may be a step back in autofocus speed and reliability. Sigma doesn't offer a native mirrorless version for either mount at press time.\nMost of the on-lens controls are grouped in a panel on the left side of the barrel. The Focus switches allows for full-time autofocus (AF), autofocus with manual override (MO), and manual focus (MF). There's also a limiter, so you can set the autofocus system to cover the full range or distant subjects (beyond 3 meters) only.\n \nAnother switch toggles optical stabilization\u2014you can turn it off, set it to Mode 1 for most shooting, or to Mode 2 for shots where you pan the camera to track a subject. The Custom function, with options for Off, C1, and C2, requires the Sigma USB Dock. You can use the dock to fine-tune autofocus performance and speed, and to perform firmware updates.\nBoth the focus and zoom rings are rubberized, with ridges so they're easy to locate by touch and to grip. The focus ring sits about mid barrel, and is roughly an inch wide. The position of the ring is not great for manual focus\u2014the tripod foot gets in the way of your fingers. With some care you can position the foot so it doesn't block your camera's grip or your access to the focus ring, but it's worth noting. A little more clearance, or the ability to remove the foot, would have been welcome. On the D850 I found positioning the foot so it's facing straight up, slightly toward the grip, offered the best access, but your mileage may vary.\n \nFour control buttons are located ahead of the focus ring. They're placed at 90-degree increments, and their function can be set via the camera body. I set them for AF-ON when using the lens with various Nikon bodies.\nThe focus ring is ample, occupying the front three inches or so, and has set marks at 70, 100, 135, and 200mm. The zoom is internal\u2014there's no barrel extension or retraction as the focal length is adjusted\u2014which is a definite plus. You're still moving quite a bit of glass around, so a good grip is required\u2014you won't be adjusting this ring with your fingertips.\n \nThe lens is able to focus as close as 3.9 feet (1.2-meter). It's good enough for 1:4.8 life-size magnification when zoomed all the way in and focused as close as possible. It's as good as its closest competition can manage, though it doesn't match the 1:3 focus offered by the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD.\nThe optical stabilization system is able to capture consistently blur-free handheld images at 1/30-second and the 200mm focal length. At 1/15-second it is able to remove shake from many shots, but occasionally our tests showed a result with visible motion blur. At 1/8-second I wasn't able to get a crisp handheld shot at 200mm.\n \nSigma currently offers two teleconverters, the 1.4x TC-1401 ($349) and the 2x TC-2001 ($399), either of which can be used with the lens. When paired with the 1.4x the lens covers a 100-280mm f/4, and the 2x makes it a 140-400mm f/5.6. I tried it with an older edition of the 1.4x converter and was happy with the results\u2014focus remained quick and the extra reach was often appreciated.\nSolid Resolution\nI used the 70-200mm with two cameras, the 24MP Z 6 and the 45.7MP Z 7, and ran lab tests using the Z 7 and Imatest software.\n \n See How We Test Digital Cameras\nAt 70mm f/2.8 it manages 3,817 lines on a center-weighted evaluation, a very good result, and while the edges aren't quite as crisp, they're still a strong 3,340 lines. Resolution is just shy of excellent at f/4 (3,913 lines) and levels out at f/5.6 (4,064 lines), f/8 (3,999 lines), and f/11 (4,071 lines). There's a loss of resolution starting at f/16 (3,691 lines) and continuing at the minimum f/22 aperture (3,026 lines). This is caused by diffraction, an effect that scatters light passing through a very small opening.\nThere's a general downturn at 135mm. At f/2.8 we see 2,981 lines, which is a good result for a high-resolution sensor. Image quality holds steady right around 3,100 lines at f/4 through f/8, and peaks at f/11 (3,382 lines). There's a slight dip in clarity at f/16 (3,210 lines) and a more apparent one at f/22 (2,905 lines).\n \nThe weakest performance is at 200mm, but even at f/2.8 the lens still puts up 2,887 lines\u2014a good result, just not one that reaches the heights we've seen from the best zooms paired with high-resolution sensors. It doesn't get much sharper when stopped down, hovering just under 2,900 lines through f/16 (2,841 lines), and dropping just a hair at f/22 (2,666 lines).\nCanon shooters should think about spending more on the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS III USM when pairing with a high-resolution model or with an APS-C camera. But if you use a 20MP or 30MP full-frame model, the advantages of Canon's lens are lessened.\n \nLikewise, Nikon Z 7, D850, and D500 owners will enjoy crisper results, especially at the long end of the range, with the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, but you would expect exceptional results from a $2,800 lens.\nThere's a little bit of barrel distortion (1 percent) at 70mm, but it's not enough to notice in most shots. It gives way to pincushion distortion at 135mm (1.4 percent) and 200mm (1.6 percent). The pincushion effect causes lines that are straight in reality to be drawn with an inward bow. If you find it distracting you can remove it using standard image processing software. With Adobe Lightroom it's a one-click adjustment.\n \nThere's a slight vignette (-2.8EV) at the corners of the frame at f/2.8. It's consistent through the zoom range, and is all but gone at f/4. If you use a Nikon camera, the automatic Peripheral Illumination Correction feature compensates for the vignette when shooting JPGs; I wasn't able to test a Canon-mount version of the lens to see if automatic corrections were available.\nIt's a modest enough effect that I wouldn't fret about it too much. If you do want to remove a vignette from your image entirely, the same Lightroom lens profile that compensates for distortion will also remove it.\n \nThe Best Affordable 70-200mm\nThe 70-200mm Sports replaces the company's aging APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM\u2014officially a $1,399 lens, but still available at retail for around $1,1100. Low-cost versions of pricey first-party lenses are nothing new, this is just the latest from Sigma.\nIt's also not the only other option available. Tamron sells its SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 for $1,300. It's also an excellent lens, and at some focal lengths is a little sharper than the Sigma. But we had issues with flare when shooting with a backlight, which didn't prove to be a problem with the Sigma.\n \nYou could also forgo the f/2.8 aperture for an f/4 zoom. Tamron makes a fantastic one for just $600, the 70-210mm. But you'll want an f/2.8 if you're covering events, or if you're looking to keep the ISO low when pairing with a teleconverter. For the price, it's tough to argue with what you get with the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports, so it's our Editors' Choice.\n\n\nSigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\nBottom Line: The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms.\n\n\n\nTop Comparisons\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n", "mainEntityOfPage": {"@id": "https://uk.pcmag.com/sigma-70-200mm-f28-dg-os-hsm-sports/121556/sigma-70-200mm-f28-dg-os-hsm-sports", "@type": "WebPage"}, "@context": "https://schema.org", "dateModified": "2019-07-03 17:38:26+00:00", "itemReviewed": {"description": "The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms.", "@type": "Thing", "name": "Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports"}} Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports - Review 2019 - PCMag UK " /> Skip to main content PCMag UK Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports By Jim Fisher Jul 03, 2019 Editor Rating: Excellent (4.0) We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use. ProsPro-grade, all-weather build. Good optical performance. Integrated tripod collar with Arca foot. Image stabilization. Internal zoom. Teleconverter compatibility.ConsNot as sharp at 200mm as 70mm. Some distortion. Heavier than other lenses.Bottom LineThe Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms. 3 Jul 2019 The 70-200mm f/2.8 is the go-to lens for photographers covering events, gathering news, and capturing portraits. Name brand options from Canon and Nikon cost more than $2,000, and there is a demand for lesser-priced alternatives. The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports ($1,499) certainly fits the bill, and while it doesn't quite match the optics of more expensive options, it's no slouch either. You won't find a better 70-200mm f/2.8 near this price, which, along with an exceptional build quality, makes it our Editors' Choice. Pro Build at Enthusiast Price The lens is sized in line with others of its type, coming in at 8.0 by 3.7 inches (HD) with support for 82mm threaded filters. It's heavy, even for its size, at 4 pounds. Competing lenses, including the latest options from Canon and Nikon and the similarly priced SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, weigh about 3.3 pounds each. The extra weight certainly shines through in the build quality. The exterior barrel is metal, finished in matte black, and there are internal seals to keep dust and moisture out. The exposed front and rear elements are protected with a fluorine-like coat—the material repels water and grease, so it's easy to wipe water droplets and fingerprint smudges away. There is an integrated tripod collar. It rotates and can be locked in at any position using a thumbscrew; there are detents at 90-degree increments so you can easily lock it in so it's level with your tripod head. The foot is fixed, with a single tripod connection thread, but is compatible with Arca-Swiss mounts without the need for an additional release plate. Sigma includes a lens hood, front and rear caps, and a carrying case. The hood locks and unlocks with a push button, and reverses for storage. The case has a soft exterior and is zippered, with padding inside, offering a modicum of protection. The lens is sold in three mounts—Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA. All three originated with SLR systems, though modern adapters make the lens very usable with mirrorless. I tested the Nikon version, largely with Z mirrorless cameras via the FTZ adapter. There's no drop in autofocus performance when adapting the Nikon-mount version to a Nikon mirrorless camera, and we don't expect any loss of speed when using the EF lens on a Canon R or M mirrorless model. You should take heed before adapting the EF or SA lens to a Sony (via the }MC-11 adapter) or L-mount (via the MC-21 adapter) mirrorless camera, as there may be a step back in autofocus speed and reliability. Sigma doesn't offer a native mirrorless version for either mount at press time. Most of the on-lens controls are grouped in a panel on the left side of the barrel. The Focus switches allows for full-time autofocus (AF), autofocus with manual override (MO), and manual focus (MF). There's also a limiter, so you can set the autofocus system to cover the full range or distant subjects (beyond 3 meters) only. Another switch toggles optical stabilization—you can turn it off, set it to Mode 1 for most shooting, or to Mode 2 for shots where you pan the camera to track a subject. The Custom function, with options for Off, C1, and C2, requires the Sigma USB Dock. You can use the dock to fine-tune autofocus performance and speed, and to perform firmware updates. Both the focus and zoom rings are rubberized, with ridges so they're easy to locate by touch and to grip. The focus ring sits about mid barrel, and is roughly an inch wide. The position of the ring is not great for manual focus—the tripod foot gets in the way of your fingers. With some care you can position the foot so it doesn't block your camera's grip or your access to the focus ring, but it's worth noting. A little more clearance, or the ability to remove the foot, would have been welcome. On the D850 I found positioning the foot so it's facing straight up, slightly toward the grip, offered the best access, but your mileage may vary. Four control buttons are located ahead of the focus ring. They're placed at 90-degree increments, and their function can be set via the camera body. I set them for AF-ON when using the lens with various Nikon bodies. The focus ring is ample, occupying the front three inches or so, and has set marks at 70, 100, 135, and 200mm. The zoom is internal—there's no barrel extension or retraction as the focal length is adjusted—which is a definite plus. You're still moving quite a bit of glass around, so a good grip is required—you won't be adjusting this ring with your fingertips. The lens is able to focus as close as 3.9 feet (1.2-meter). It's good enough for 1:4.8 life-size magnification when zoomed all the way in and focused as close as possible. It's as good as its closest competition can manage, though it doesn't match the 1:3 focus offered by the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD. The optical stabilization system is able to capture consistently blur-free handheld images at 1/30-second and the 200mm focal length. At 1/15-second it is able to remove shake from many shots, but occasionally our tests showed a result with visible motion blur. At 1/8-second I wasn't able to get a crisp handheld shot at 200mm. Sigma currently offers two teleconverters, the 1.4x TC-1401 ($349) and the 2x TC-2001 ($399), either of which can be used with the lens. When paired with the 1.4x the lens covers a 100-280mm f/4, and the 2x makes it a 140-400mm f/5.6. I tried it with an older edition of the 1.4x converter and was happy with the results—focus remained quick and the extra reach was often appreciated. Solid Resolution I used the 70-200mm with two cameras, the 24MP Z 6 and the 45.7MP Z 7, and ran lab tests using the Z 7 and Imatest software. See How We Test Digital Cameras At 70mm f/2.8 it manages 3,817 lines on a center-weighted evaluation, a very good result, and while the edges aren't quite as crisp, they're still a strong 3,340 lines. Resolution is just shy of excellent at f/4 (3,913 lines) and levels out at f/5.6 (4,064 lines), f/8 (3,999 lines), and f/11 (4,071 lines). There's a loss of resolution starting at f/16 (3,691 lines) and continuing at the minimum f/22 aperture (3,026 lines). This is caused by diffraction, an effect that scatters light passing through a very small opening. There's a general downturn at 135mm. At f/2.8 we see 2,981 lines, which is a good result for a high-resolution sensor. Image quality holds steady right around 3,100 lines at f/4 through f/8, and peaks at f/11 (3,382 lines). There's a slight dip in clarity at f/16 (3,210 lines) and a more apparent one at f/22 (2,905 lines). The weakest performance is at 200mm, but even at f/2.8 the lens still puts up 2,887 lines—a good result, just not one that reaches the heights we've seen from the best zooms paired with high-resolution sensors. It doesn't get much sharper when stopped down, hovering just under 2,900 lines through f/16 (2,841 lines), and dropping just a hair at f/22 (2,666 lines). Canon shooters should think about spending more on the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS III USM when pairing with a high-resolution model or with an APS-C camera. But if you use a 20MP or 30MP full-frame model, the advantages of Canon's lens are lessened. Likewise, Nikon Z 7, D850, and D500 owners will enjoy crisper results, especially at the long end of the range, with the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, but you would expect exceptional results from a $2,800 lens. There's a little bit of barrel distortion (1 percent) at 70mm, but it's not enough to notice in most shots. It gives way to pincushion distortion at 135mm (1.4 percent) and 200mm (1.6 percent). The pincushion effect causes lines that are straight in reality to be drawn with an inward bow. If you find it distracting you can remove it using standard image processing software. With Adobe Lightroom it's a one-click adjustment. There's a slight vignette (-2.8EV) at the corners of the frame at f/2.8. It's consistent through the zoom range, and is all but gone at f/4. If you use a Nikon camera, the automatic Peripheral Illumination Correction feature compensates for the vignette when shooting JPGs; I wasn't able to test a Canon-mount version of the lens to see if automatic corrections were available. It's a modest enough effect that I wouldn't fret about it too much. If you do want to remove a vignette from your image entirely, the same Lightroom lens profile that compensates for distortion will also remove it. The Best Affordable 70-200mm The 70-200mm Sports replaces the company's aging APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM—officially a $1,399 lens, but still available at retail for around $1,1100. Low-cost versions of pricey first-party lenses are nothing new, this is just the latest from Sigma. It's also not the only other option available. Tamron sells its SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 for $1,300. It's also an excellent lens, and at some focal lengths is a little sharper than the Sigma. But we had issues with flare when shooting with a backlight, which didn't prove to be a problem with the Sigma. You could also forgo the f/2.8 aperture for an f/4 zoom. Tamron makes a fantastic one for just $600, the 70-210mm. But you'll want an f/2.8 if you're covering events, or if you're looking to keep the ISO low when pairing with a teleconverter. For the price, it's tough to argue with what you get with the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports, so it's our Editors' Choice. Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Bottom Line: The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms. Top Comparisons More Inside PCMag.com About the Author Senior digital camera analyst for the PCMag consumer electronics reviews team, Jim Fisher is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he concentrated on documentary video production. Jim's interest in photography really took off when he borrowed his father's Hasselblad 500C and light meter in 2007. He honed his writing skills at retailer B&H Photo, where he wrote thousands upon thousands of product descriptions, blog posts, and reviews. Since then he's shot with hundreds of camera models, ranging from pocket point-and-shoots to medium format digital cameras. And he's reviewed almost all of them. When he's not testing cameras and gear for PCMag, he's likely out and about shooting with ... See Full Bio Please enable JavaScript to view the comments. Ad \n\nThe 70-200mm f/2.8 is the go-to lens for photographers covering events, gathering news, and capturing portraits. Name brand options from Canon and Nikon cost more than $2,000, and there is a demand for lesser-priced alternatives. The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports ($1,499) certainly fits the bill, and while it doesn't quite match the optics of more expensive options, it's no slouch either. You won't find a better 70-200mm f/2.8 near this price, which, along with an exceptional build quality, makes it our Editors' Choice.\nPro Build at Enthusiast Price\nThe lens is sized in line with others of its type, coming in at 8.0 by 3.7 inches (HD) with support for 82mm threaded filters. It's heavy, even for its size, at 4 pounds. Competing lenses, including the latest options from Canon and Nikon and the similarly priced SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, weigh about 3.3 pounds each.\n\nThe extra weight certainly shines through in the build quality. The exterior barrel is metal, finished in matte black, and there are internal seals to keep dust and moisture out. The exposed front and rear elements are protected with a fluorine-like coat\u2014the material repels water and grease, so it's easy to wipe water droplets and fingerprint smudges away.\nThere is an integrated tripod collar. It rotates and can be locked in at any position using a thumbscrew; there are detents at 90-degree increments so you can easily lock it in so it's level with your tripod head. The foot is fixed, with a single tripod connection thread, but is compatible with Arca-Swiss mounts without the need for an additional release plate.\n\nSigma includes a lens hood, front and rear caps, and a carrying case. The hood locks and unlocks with a push button, and reverses for storage. The case has a soft exterior and is zippered, with padding inside, offering a modicum of protection.\nThe lens is sold in three mounts\u2014Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA. All three originated with SLR systems, though modern adapters make the lens very usable with mirrorless. I tested the Nikon version, largely with Z mirrorless cameras via the FTZ adapter.\n\nThere's no drop in autofocus performance when adapting the Nikon-mount version to a Nikon mirrorless camera, and we don't expect any loss of speed when using the EF lens on a Canon R or M mirrorless model. You should take heed before adapting the EF or SA lens to a Sony (via the }MC-11 adapter) or L-mount (via the MC-21 adapter) mirrorless camera, as there may be a step back in autofocus speed and reliability. Sigma doesn't offer a native mirrorless version for either mount at press time.\nMost of the on-lens controls are grouped in a panel on the left side of the barrel. The Focus switches allows for full-time autofocus (AF), autofocus with manual override (MO), and manual focus (MF). There's also a limiter, so you can set the autofocus system to cover the full range or distant subjects (beyond 3 meters) only.\n\nAnother switch toggles optical stabilization\u2014you can turn it off, set it to Mode 1 for most shooting, or to Mode 2 for shots where you pan the camera to track a subject. The Custom function, with options for Off, C1, and C2, requires the Sigma USB Dock. You can use the dock to fine-tune autofocus performance and speed, and to perform firmware updates.\nBoth the focus and zoom rings are rubberized, with ridges so they're easy to locate by touch and to grip. The focus ring sits about mid barrel, and is roughly an inch wide. The position of the ring is not great for manual focus\u2014the tripod foot gets in the way of your fingers. With some care you can position the foot so it doesn't block your camera's grip or your access to the focus ring, but it's worth noting. A little more clearance, or the ability to remove the foot, would have been welcome. On the D850 I found positioning the foot so it's facing straight up, slightly toward the grip, offered the best access, but your mileage may vary.\n\nFour control buttons are located ahead of the focus ring. They're placed at 90-degree increments, and their function can be set via the camera body. I set them for AF-ON when using the lens with various Nikon bodies.\nThe focus ring is ample, occupying the front three inches or so, and has set marks at 70, 100, 135, and 200mm. The zoom is internal\u2014there's no barrel extension or retraction as the focal length is adjusted\u2014which is a definite plus. You're still moving quite a bit of glass around, so a good grip is required\u2014you won't be adjusting this ring with your fingertips.\n\nThe lens is able to focus as close as 3.9 feet (1.2-meter). It's good enough for 1:4.8 life-size magnification when zoomed all the way in and focused as close as possible. It's as good as its closest competition can manage, though it doesn't match the 1:3 focus offered by the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD.\nThe optical stabilization system is able to capture consistently blur-free handheld images at 1/30-second and the 200mm focal length. At 1/15-second it is able to remove shake from many shots, but occasionally our tests showed a result with visible motion blur. At 1/8-second I wasn't able to get a crisp handheld shot at 200mm.\n\nSigma currently offers two teleconverters, the 1.4x TC-1401 ($349) and the 2x TC-2001 ($399), either of which can be used with the lens. When paired with the 1.4x the lens covers a 100-280mm f/4, and the 2x makes it a 140-400mm f/5.6. I tried it with an older edition of the 1.4x converter and was happy with the results\u2014focus remained quick and the extra reach was often appreciated.\nSolid Resolution\nI used the 70-200mm with two cameras, the 24MP Z 6 and the 45.7MP Z 7, and ran lab tests using the Z 7 and Imatest software.\n\n See How We Test Digital Cameras\nAt 70mm f/2.8 it manages 3,817 lines on a center-weighted evaluation, a very good result, and while the edges aren't quite as crisp, they're still a strong 3,340 lines. Resolution is just shy of excellent at f/4 (3,913 lines) and levels out at f/5.6 (4,064 lines), f/8 (3,999 lines), and f/11 (4,071 lines). There's a loss of resolution starting at f/16 (3,691 lines) and continuing at the minimum f/22 aperture (3,026 lines). This is caused by diffraction, an effect that scatters light passing through a very small opening.\nThere's a general downturn at 135mm. At f/2.8 we see 2,981 lines, which is a good result for a high-resolution sensor. Image quality holds steady right around 3,100 lines at f/4 through f/8, and peaks at f/11 (3,382 lines). There's a slight dip in clarity at f/16 (3,210 lines) and a more apparent one at f/22 (2,905 lines).\n\nThe weakest performance is at 200mm, but even at f/2.8 the lens still puts up 2,887 lines\u2014a good result, just not one that reaches the heights we've seen from the best zooms paired with high-resolution sensors. It doesn't get much sharper when stopped down, hovering just under 2,900 lines through f/16 (2,841 lines), and dropping just a hair at f/22 (2,666 lines).\nCanon shooters should think about spending more on the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS III USM when pairing with a high-resolution model or with an APS-C camera. But if you use a 20MP or 30MP full-frame model, the advantages of Canon's lens are lessened.\n\nLikewise, Nikon Z 7, D850, and D500 owners will enjoy crisper results, especially at the long end of the range, with the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, but you would expect exceptional results from a $2,800 lens.\nThere's a little bit of barrel distortion (1 percent) at 70mm, but it's not enough to notice in most shots. It gives way to pincushion distortion at 135mm (1.4 percent) and 200mm (1.6 percent). The pincushion effect causes lines that are straight in reality to be drawn with an inward bow. If you find it distracting you can remove it using standard image processing software. With Adobe Lightroom it's a one-click adjustment.\n\nThere's a slight vignette (-2.8EV) at the corners of the frame at f/2.8. It's consistent through the zoom range, and is all but gone at f/4. If you use a Nikon camera, the automatic Peripheral Illumination Correction feature compensates for the vignette when shooting JPGs; I wasn't able to test a Canon-mount version of the lens to see if automatic corrections were available.\nIt's a modest enough effect that I wouldn't fret about it too much. If you do want to remove a vignette from your image entirely, the same Lightroom lens profile that compensates for distortion will also remove it.\n\nThe Best Affordable 70-200mm\nThe 70-200mm Sports replaces the company's aging APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM\u2014officially a $1,399 lens, but still available at retail for around $1,1100. Low-cost versions of pricey first-party lenses are nothing new, this is just the latest from Sigma.\nIt's also not the only other option available. Tamron sells its SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 for $1,300. It's also an excellent lens, and at some focal lengths is a little sharper than the Sigma. But we had issues with flare when shooting with a backlight, which didn't prove to be a problem with the Sigma.\n\nYou could also forgo the f/2.8 aperture for an f/4 zoom. Tamron makes a fantastic one for just $600, the 70-210mm. But you'll want an f/2.8 if you're covering events, or if you're looking to keep the ISO low when pairing with a teleconverter. For the price, it's tough to argue with what you get with the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports, so it's our Editors' Choice.\n\n\nSigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBottom Line: The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms.\n\n\n\nTop Comparisons\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n", "mainEntityOfPage": {"@id": "https://uk.pcmag.com/sigma-70-200mm-f28-dg-os-hsm-sports/121556/sigma-70-200mm-f28-dg-os-hsm-sports", "@type": "WebPage"}, "@context": "https://schema.org", "dateModified": "2019-07-03 17:38:26+00:00", "itemReviewed": {"description": "The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is the best budget alternative to top-end zooms.", "@type": "Thing", "name": "Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports"}}

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