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Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM II Macro Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

by Sigma
4.2 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
| 34 answered questions

Available from these sellers.

DPReview Tested
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 87%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

  • 70-200mm focal length
  • 105-300mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras, 140-400mm equivalent focal length on Four Thirds / Micro Four Thirds cameras, 112-320mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Ring-type ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
  • 77mm filters
  • 1.00m/39.37" minimum focus
  • Available in Canon EF, Four Thirds, Pentax KAF3, Sony Alpha, Sigma SA, Nikon F (FX) mounts
8 used from $599.00

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Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested July 2008
Sigma's excellent autofocus system is the strongest selling point, so if you're looking for a budget fast telezoom for low light or action work, then this is the lens for you.
Andy Westlake Andy Westlake


Overall, if you appreciate the limitations of this lens and stick within its practical limits, it provides much of the performance of the camera manufacturers' equivalents at a much lower price. If you're looking for a budget fast telezoom for low light or action work, then this is the lens for you.

Reasons to buy

  • Decent image quality
  • Low vignetting even on full frame
  • Fast and positive autofocus
  • Very good build quality, excellent tripod collar design
  • Low price

Things to consider

  • Relatively weak at 200mm (especially on full frame)
  • Unconvincing 'macro' performance; soft at wider apertures Significant focus shift at different apertures
  • Red/cyan bokeh chromatic aberration

Suggested for

Casual sports and wildlife work or general-purpose short telephoto portraiture and landscapes.

Not suggested for

Macro / close-focus work and handheld telephoto shooting, where the lack of image stabilization puts you at risk of camera shake in images take at slow shutter speeds.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Image Quality
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Product Description

This large aperture zoom lens has improved optical performance and retains close-up ability with a minimum focusing distance of 100cm/39.4in and maximum magnification ration of 1:3.5. This lens is suitable for taking all type of subjects such as portraits, landscape, and close-up pictures. Two SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and three ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction for all types of aberrations. High image quality is assured throughout the entire zoom range. The super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting. This lens incorporates HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which ensures a quiet and high-speed AF as well as full-time manual focusing capability. The lens design incorporates an inner focusing and inner zooming systems. The overall length of the lens does not change during focusing and zooming, ensuring convenient handling. A removable tripod collar (TS-21) is included as a standard component. When this lens is used with the optional 1.4x EX DG APO or 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters, it becomes a 98-280mm F4 AF telephoto zoom lens or a 140-400mm F5.6 AF telephoto zoom lens respectively.


Enjoy improved optical performance while retaining close-up ability with the large aperture Sigma 70-200mm macro zoom lens. The lens--which offers a minimum focusing distance of 39.4 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.5--is suitable for a variety of subjects, including portraits, landscape shots, and macro photos. The lens offers two special low-dispersion (SLD) and three extraordinary low-dispersion (ELD) glass elements, providing excellent correction for all types of aberrations and creating high-quality images throughout the entire zoom range. The super multi-layer coating, meanwhile, reduces flare and ghosting. Finally, the lens incorporates a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), which ensures a quiet and high-speed autofocus (AF) as well as full-time manual focusing ability. Other features include inner focusing and inner zooming systems, a removable tripod collar, and a 77mm filter size.


  • Focal length: 70-200mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Lens construction: 18 elements in 15 groups
  • Angle of view: 34.3 to 12.3 degrees
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Minimum focusing distance: 39.4 inches
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Hood: Petal type
  • Corresponding AF mounts: Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax, Four Thirds
  • Dimensions: 3.4 inches in diameter and 7.3 inches long
  • Weight: 48.3 ounces
  • Warranty: 4 year

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 3.4 x 3.4 inches ; 3 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • ASIN: B001044RIQ
  • Item model number: 579306
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2003

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

At this point, almost every lens I own is a Sigma, the only exception being my Tamron 17-50 2.8 (which is a very, very solid lens). I've owned the Sigma 120-300 2.8 for a handful of days (the best lens I've used), and the Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR. Both were returned due to the cost that I simply couldn't stomach at this point. I had read the professional reviews for this lens, and was worried about purchasing it because they weren't exactly glowing.
Well, I'm here to tell you that from what I've read, the professional reviews for this lens are spot on. That's good and bad, as anyone who's read them will know.

The good is that the autofocus in this lens is stellar. It's very fast, and is at least as fast as the Nikkor. The zoom ring and focusing rings are smooth, and the lens seems to be very well made, like all of my other Sigma lenses. Not only is the autofocus fast, it's quiet. It's really not that heavy, either, and I find it quite comfortable to use (compared to the 120-300, this thing is light as a feather, and it's weighted much better than the Nikkor). I also find the lens to be reasonably sharp through most of the zoom range, especially stopped down (as it is for most lenses, even Nikon). Yes, I did say through most of the zoom range.

The bad rears its ugly head at the long end of the zoom (which is really too bad, considering that's where you're likely to be keeping a lens such as this most of the time). At 200mm, this lens loses a lot of sharpness, and although stopping down does help a lot, it simply shouldn't be this bad. Are the photos unuseable? I wouldn't say that, and Photoshop can almost perform miracles in most cases. But what's worse than the sharpness (or lack thereof) is the chromatic abberation. There's a LOT. I mean, a LOT at 200mm.
Read more ›
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I was worried when I bouught this lens because I had only tried the Tamron copy, but my only experience with non-Nikon is with Sigma. I LOVE this lens. I got it for shooting sporting events for my university newspaper, and have had no problems in the month that I've had it. It autofocuses faster than the Tamron. A monopod isn't necessary because it's such a fast lens. Even at night with stadium lighting, the AF has little trouble.

The best thing I've heard for people wanting to shoot sports since buying this "cheap copy" lens came from a professional on the sidelines the firtst time I used my new lens. He said to my question about the Nikon 70-200mm, "Honestly, I turn the VR off when I'm not doing still portrait shots because it gets out of whack when I start following a moving person."

Made me feel VERY content with my decision to buy the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8
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For the money, this is a fantastic lens. I am too green to give a better review, but I wanted to point out that this is a EX, APO lens (you can see APO if you enlarge and zoom, but EX you can't and it's not in the product description). I was concerned about that, but glad to see it on the box and on the lens when I unwrapped.

according to Sigma this lens has:

EX - EX Lens. Denotes superior build and optical quality (similar to Canon's "L" and Nikon's "G" specification).
APO - Apochromatic Lens. APO lenses minimize color aberration. The Sigma APO lenses are made using special low-dispersion glass, which helps to compensate for color aberration, allowing for sharper images.
DG - For full-frame digital and 35mm film cameras. The image circle on these lenses are suitable for full-frame digital and 35mm film cameras. Sigma has concentrated on the correction of distortion and aberrations.
IF - Internal Focus. Lenses with this designation move the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens' physical length to ensure stability in focusing.
CONV - APO Teleconverter EX. Lenses with this designation can be used with the Sigma APO Teleconverter EX. Using it will increase the focal length and it will interface with the camera's auto exposure function.
HSM - Hyper-Sonic Motor. HSM lenses use a motor driven by ultrasonic waves to provide quiet fast AF, Sigma's version of Canon's in-lens ultrasonic motor. HSM makes autofocus faster and facilitates simultaneous use of manual and autofocus.
Comment 38 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I thought about going with a Nikon lens, but after looking at the features and prices, I thought this would be a better option. So far, I'm extremely pleased with it. It's truly sharp, even at 2.8. Focusing is fast and quiet on my D200. I could not be more happy with it. The accessories that came with it -- lens hood and soft case -- are nice touches, too.

And, in this price range, I also appreciate the fact that the focal range starts at 70mm -- and the macro feature works quite well at this range, too.
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I wish I could give it 4.5 stars, because it isn't perfect, but pretty close when considering the price. It is worth every penny I paid. However, it can't compare to the Nikon VR lens (much more $$).

I have used it several times to shoot low light stage productions/dances. Taking hundreds of photos in a night, I haven't had any problems. It does really benefit from a monopod/tripod in these situations. Really, some sort of stabilization is required, so the included tripod mount is a must. Also, the lens is pretty heavy.

I came in to owning a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF (basically the version before Nikon came out with the VR version) a week after I bought my Sigma. I like some characteristics of the Sigma a little better. The macro feature on the Sigma was superior, and the color was a slightly more true when photos were compared side by side (taken with same camera body).

I wish it had a hard case, the soft case doesn't give me a lot of confidence. Nikon's hard case for their lens is really awesome.

The auto focus worked well, fast, and generally accurate. I occasionally have difficulty tracking an object in low light. But not so much that it gets in the way of shooting. I didn't try the Nikon in this setting so I don't know if it would do the same thing. And I never owned a lens at this focal length before these lenses for comparison.

I am very satisfied, but the whole experience lacks that little bit of polish to make it perfect. Given the present alternatives, I would buy this lens again.
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