Sigma 70-200 f/2.8

A personal view with a splash of review

I finally treated myself to the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM and wanted to share my first thoughts with you on this lens.
I bought this lens from Park Camera's in Burgess Hill, check out the link below to the lens in question.

Below I have included pictures of the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 which is attached to my Manfrotto 055xprob tripod by the provided tripod collar.
All pictures where taken with my Nikon D300s with Nikon 16-85.

 The side view shows two switches
  1. AF/M to switch between focusing modes
  2. OS Optical Stabilizer

The top view shows the focal length of 70-200 on the zoom ring and also the window showing the distance scale in feet and metres.
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 top view

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 front view

You have two rings on this lens one for zooming between the 70-200mm focal lengths and one for manual focusing.
The zoom ring is a nice wide ring with a solid feel giving confidence in a well made product.
The focusing ring is quite thin but does the job well.
As auto focusing is so advanced now most people probably won't use manual focus much so the thinness of the ring isn't too much of a problem.
Initial thoughts is this is one solid lens,just holding this monster gives your ego a lift making you feel like a pro and looking like a pro.
This lens is heavy and long which is what you would expect from a 2.8 zoom lens.

Here is a picture of my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 alongside my Nikon 50mm to give an idea of how big this bad boy is.

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and Nikon 50mm f/1.8

I can imagine this lens being quite cumbersome if used for long periods with your camera on a normal neck strap so you have a couple of options, one is too use the provided lens collar to attach the lens to a monopod or tripod to take pressure off your neck.
Sometimes a monopod or tripod can be a bit restrictive so you could change straps to an across the body strap like the Black Rapid which is what I will go with soon.

Unfortunately I can't compare the Sigma with the much more expensive Nikon 70-200 VRII as I have never used it.
The Nikon has had nothing but rave reviews but if like me you are on a budget the Sigma is a sweet lens and a great way to gain entry into the f/2.8 zoom market.
The Sigma is around £900 and the the Nikon is around £1600 that's a massive difference of £700.

I haven't had this lens for long so haven't had much chance to put it through it's paces yet but here is a selection of pictures I took with the Sigma on my Nikon D300s.

Daughter in a yellow field
Son and girlfriend

Daughter in a yellow field

You can check out these pictures and how I captured them on my Flickr stream
Flickr link please click me

As you can see the detail looks fantastic even with the aperture wide open.
If you are a pixel peeper like me you can see a little softness but only when you zoom into 100% but we don't really view images at this magnification so it doesn't really matter.
I did notice vignetting on a lot of the pictures using my dx Nikon D300s, this was easily corrected in post processing but may be a bigger problem on a full frame camera.

Thanks to Sigma for making this lens more affordable enabling me to delve into the world of wide open apertures whilst zooming in.
I am over the moon with this lens which has a solid pro feel to it and it captures bags of detail even wide open, so if like me affordability is a concern and you can't dish out the dosh on the Nikon version go and purchase this lens.
You won't be dissapointed.

I will do a more detailed blog post on this lens when I have had more chance to play with it.
Can't wait to try it out on different subjects like landscapes and sports.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or any questions you might have.
You can also follow me on twitter or check out my Flickr stream on the links provided