6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good alternate to system equivalent for an amateur photographer,
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This review is from: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD Large Aperture Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital DSLR Camera (Electronics)
I debated heavily between getting the Nikon system 70-200 f2.8 or the Sigma. I'm glad I went with the Sigma for my purposes. I am an amateur and while the optics don't meet the technical specifications of the Nikon, I can buy two other lenses for the price difference. I ended up purchasing the Sigma APO 2X converter with this lens to give me a 400mm f5.6
I've owned other f2.8 zooms and other f2.8 200mm primes but this is the first fast tele zoom I've owned. If you haven't handled one of these on a camera before be warned as others have said it is quite heavy. It is surprisingly heavy. I have only had it out on one extended hike of about 4 miles and had it on a sturdy monopod. I don't think I'd be able to reliably handhold it for extended shooting without getting the shakes.
Speaking of shakes the optical stabilization is impressive. I've used optical stabilization built into other shorter focal length lenses and built into the body of other cameras with teles but Sigma has the most effective OS I've used. It is quite apparent when zoomed to the maximum. Others have noted the noise of the OS turning on and off and I do find it annoying. It's quite a loud click when it engages. About as loud as the shutter. It engages and disengages as you focus a shot. I think it could be a bit distracting for a wedding photographer during quiet moments of a ceremony.
That said, for long tele shots, especially with the 2X extender I don't think that the OS would be sufficient to forgo the use of a tripod or monopod. It certainly helps for shorter focal length shots.
Here is a 100% crop using the Sigma together with the Sigma APO tele-extender. (find on flickr under user ThingsAbove)
Build quality is very good but I do wish the barrel material and especially the hood were made of metal rather than plastic. Given the weight it will certainly get banged against stuff and I'm concerned that the hood will quickly be cracked. The mount is metal but it does move slightly (rotational movement) on the camera which is a bit annoying. When combined with the converter it twists on the mount an alarming amount. I feel there is too much play in the positioning pin holes (they are oval rather than round). I assume it allows for varied tolerances of different cameras and maybe I only notice it because the lens is so heavy but it bothers me.
Focus accuracy seems quite good at close focus distances which is mostly what I've used it for up to this point. I feel that if it's accurate in the razor thin DOF required in close focusing it will be accurate at longer distances. Focus speed is also quite good. I've used it for a little sports and AF was fast and CAF tracked well.
Color response is wonderful. This lens has the best color and contrast of any tele zoom I have ever used. Flare and back scatter seems to be completely controlled.
Indoor, low light AF is also surprisingly good. It obviously isn't in poor light but there haven't been any situations where it didn't acquire a lock.
All in all I'm pleased. The only real drawback to this lens is that it isn't weather sealed. I've needed to use my equipment in foul weather in the past when I was being paid to shoot and ruined a non-sealed lens that way so I know not to use this in such an environment. I'd say if you do paid shooting you don't always get to pick when and where you use your equipment. Go for a weather sealed lens if you plan to use it for more than amateur use.
If you are a serious amateur and want an excellent quality fast tele zoom for $1,000 less than the system equivalent this is a great choice. Plan to invest in a good, sturdy monopod or heavy tripod if you don't already own them to get the most from this lens at it's longer focal lengths.
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Initial post: Jul 16, 2012 8:56:18 AM PDT
Is it worth the extra money for the OS?? Also have u tried it with a 1.4x or 2x teleConverter..I am looking for a good lens indoors and this seems like a good fit but was leary bout the extra money for OS..Any help on this lens would be greatly appreciated..Thanks
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