Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

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Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:05 pm

*******************************************
UPDATE: the review is available here
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Today I received my review copy of Sigma's version of the stabilized 70-200mm f2.8 zoom. As this is a "classic" in lens-terms every respectable manufacturer has its own, albeit Tamron's version has not yet hit the streets. Nikon even has two versions of a 70-200mm lens: one with a maximum aperture of f2.8 and the latest version with f4.0 (and an improved VR, see my review here).
First tests of the FX-corner at 70mm were disappointing until I found out that my copy (again) is decentered and the other corner performed quite well. Ah, the never ending story of quality control at Sigma :evil:
I'll go through my normal tests and produce a review from that but I also intend to present the results from this lens in a 4-way shootout against the Nikon 70-200/2.8G VR II, the Nikon 70-200/4.0G VR, and the Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC (as soon as it is available). Hopefully weather is cooperative for my outdoor portraiture of the "Unremarkables" :wink:
That comparison should give you the ultimate insight into which 70-200mm lens is your best choice on a Nikon body.

As a small teaser here are three of those candidates side-by-side (From left to right: Nikon AF-S 70-200/4.0G VR, Nikon AF-S 70-200/2.8G II, Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 OS):

Image
70-200mm comparison 61531 by Thomas, on Flickr
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Thomas » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:10 pm

There's also a collection of the "Unremarkables" at 70/105/150/200mm and various aperture values here.
Those images are not my usual sunny style but I did process them at Adobe Standard with not further enhancements apart from the usual sharpening and CA reduction.
So detail is comparable to e.g. to the respective shots from the Nikon AF-S 70-200/4.0G VRiii there.
I hope to add to this collection over the next week or so.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Thomas » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:43 pm

Testing is making good progress and the zoom looks like a capable lens so far.
Not sure about the image stabilizer: it seems to take some time ( a second or so) to lock on target and does not impress with rock-solid stabilization in the view-finder. But all that will be tested shortly with a series of test-shots under comparable circumstances to replace the feeling by some scientific facts...
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:05 pm

The Sigma manual says: "It takes approximately 1 second to produce a stable image, after pressing the shutter button halfway." So when shooting with image stabilization ON should take this into account.

On another note: The lens can be mounted to a Nikon TC 1.7E II but does NOT AF properly in phase-shift (=standard) AF-mode. The system hunts rapidly and does not acquire focus. With contrast/live-view-based AF it works OK. So if you want to use this lens with a TC you should use Sigma TCs.
There's also no multiplication of the focal length and the aperture values when mounting the Sigma zoom on a Nikon TC. So the EXIF-data of a shot will show 200mm and f2.8 although with a 1.7x TC that should read 340mm f4.8.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Thomas » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:39 pm

In preparation for the up-and-coming full review I've uploaded more sample images to the set - all in full 36MP resolution and almost straight out of the camera (except for sharpening). Not bad, what this lens can deliver.
If you like, have a look here.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby oldCarlos » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:03 pm

Thomas, how does a shot compare with & without the 1.7TC (when cropped in?)
Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Thomas » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:30 pm

I'd suggest using the f4 shot:
Original w/o TC
With 1.7x TC
It's too late for me now to do the comp, but you can try for yourself.
G'night...
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Thomas » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:53 am

And here's the result:
Original image at 200mm f4.0 enlarged in Photoshop by 1.7x (100% crop):
Image

Original image with 1.7x tele-converter at 340mm f6.7 (100% crop):
Image

The version with TC clearly wins. Even at only 50% magnification the difference is still visible.
The means that the center resolution of the lens at f4.0 is higher than the 36MP sensor can resolve.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: work in progre

Postby Tom Heijnen » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Dear Thomas, thanks for your review, and I am looking forward to your overview including the Tamron.
I own the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS and like the lens a lot. I also have a TC-17II convertor but I am unable to connect the Sigma to the convertor, so I was wondering how you achieved that?

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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby Thomas » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:11 pm

Hello Tom, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
Don't force it if it doesn't work, Tom! The AF won't work anyway...
I have a modified version of the TC that allows me to mount it on more lenses than normal.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby renjith » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:39 pm

Today I received my Sigma APO 70-200 OS
First impression::: Nice lens
A small feeling of over plastic y exteriors ( as compared to Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 IS 1-- my ex-lens), buts its nicely finished and rouged.
Focus is as fast and its dead on in my Nikon D800
A bit noisy OS, buts its effective
only concern is the lack of rubber ring in the mount!

will update my views later
its the time to have a walk with my new beauty
CAMERAS:- Nikon D800 & Sony H50
LENSES:- Nikon AFS 50mm F1.8 G, Nikon AFS 24-70 F2.8 G, Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Wish list:- Nikon SB 700, Elinchrom FX 400
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby Thomas » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:05 pm

Enjoy, renjith!
And let us hear what you find out.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby cjyamos » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:05 pm

hi thomas. I'm still new and am picking up photography as a hobby. im currently looking for a telephoto zoom lens and am considering either the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8EX DG OS HSM as well as the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f4.0G ED VR. ive read your reviews on both lenses but i still cant make a decision!
im looking for a lens that captures sharp images. am i right to say that the nikon lens produces a sharper reproduction across the focal lengths?
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby Thomas » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:56 pm

Hello cjyamos, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum.
If you don't really need f2.8 to stop fast motion the Nikon 70-200/4.0 VR is a excellent choice.
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Re: Sigma HSM 70-200/2.8 APO EX DG OS review: finished!

Postby cjyamos » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:35 am

oh thanks so much thomas. ill definitely take what you said into consideration. awesome reviews on all the lenses too!
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