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Is the Sigma 70-200 2.8 as bad at/near 200 as Popular Photograph says it is?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Harry Lavo, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. The Popular Photography review of the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 APO EX DG HSM AF lense reflects very mediocre performance at 200mm -- about on par with the Sigma 18-200 3.5-6.3 that I use as my walk-around lense.

    I am looking for a fast zoom 200mm or 300mm for sports photography, and my budget demands I stay under $1000...this seems to be the only new lense that can be bought for that (Tamron has just announced a competitor). Is the lense really this mediocre at 200mm and close to it? Or was this an atypical test.

    I know that my Sigma 18-200mm is hardly a champ at the 200mm, and if the big lense is also this mediocre, perhaps I am better off considering an older Nikon 80-200?

    Any help and perspective from users would be appreciated.
  2. Both the 80-200 2.8 (AF-D/S) Nikkors can be had for under $1,000 and imo are legendary opticals. YMMV, but I'd snatch one of those up in a heartbeat over the Sigma. The 80-200 AF-D is not "older" as they are still in production. The AF-S is out of production, but not out of style, and still will knock your socks off!
  3. I'd hardly discount the Sigma say spend $1000 on a AF-S Nikon when you can get a Sigma for under $600 used.

    I think the DG lenses are the one's that had trouble at 200mm and spotty focus issues. I've had a couple of the non DG versions and they were super for the money.
  4. Harry, I have an AF-S 80-200 that I want to sell. PM me if you're interested :) 
  5. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    My sigma DG macro is tack sharp...just as good as the 80-200 AFD I used at my paper.
  6. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    My 70-200 is supremely sharp at 200mm, especially considering the price. I'd have it over the AF-D Nikon version anyday, although the AF-S version has a slightly different optical formula that is supposed to be better. It'll defiantly beat your 18-200 at 200mm, maybe they had a bad copy or some front focusing issues?
  7. I sold my 80-200 2.8 AF-D for $650, it was MINT. At 200mm it's to die for!
  8. I also agree that the AF-D is a nice lens for the money... :wink:

    Better than the sigma... flip a coin. :smile:
  9. Thanks for the opinions and insight, folks. Looks like a hands-on test might be in order. Anybody have sample sports shots at 200mm with either the AF-D or the Sigma AF-S they'd like to share?
  10. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  11. Hey Harry -

    I *really* like my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM - it is the EX APO version but not the DG model. I think the only difference between the two was the addition of some "special" coating. I've used it only for outdoor daytime sports, and so can't comment on it's indoor or nighttime performance.

    I don't have any sports shots at 200 mm uploaded right now, but this 4-shot gallery has one at 180mm, one at 165 mm and one at 220 mm taken with the matched Sigma 2.0 TC.

    I find that it focuses very quickly and is quite sharp.

    For me, the [price]:[performance] ratio is a winner, and I keep this on my D70 a lot.


  12. tanglefoot47


    Oct 18, 2006
    Tulalip Wa
    I wonder which lens would be better for kids baseball? The Sigma or the 80-200? I believe the Sigma has a little faster AF so that is a plus for BB
  13. Harry -

    I looked through some shots, and found this - not exactly "sports" but there was a whole lot of shakin' goin' on - LOL.

    Our town invites dogs (and their owners) to the pools on the last day before the pools are closed and cleaned each year.

    I was standing near the big pool, and these two were in the wading pool.

    This was taken with the Sigma 70 - 200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 s. I have no idea where my focus point was . . .


  14. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    Very sharp shot catalyst, and a great example of what a good copy of the Sigma is capable of.
  15. Hi Dabo, I very much appreciate your efforts. The only troublesome aspect is the 2.8, since I take lots of night baseball shots with only mediocre lighting, and I will end up there a lot, I am sure. But other than that, looks pretty good. Doesn't have the "pop" of the better nikons, but hard to fault.
  16. :smile: Thanks, Eric....those are very helpful. I really dig your third shot of the female runner up in the air. Kind of a human "Kentuck Derby" shot.
  17. Nice grab shot, Eric. Can you tell me what the full model description of yours is Eric. Did I understand you to say you have the pre-ED version? Just the straigh EX. No macro capabilities?
  18. Nchesher


    Jul 7, 2006
    Not a help in any way but I finally got to use my new (used obviously) 80-200 AF-S and I'm in awe of it. The sharpness and fast focusing is amazing. I'd highly recommend finding a used one if you can. It's my first pro level glass and I'm totally blown away.
  19. Hey Zach -

    I'm over in the Pioneer Valley...get over the Berkshires quite frequently in my role as co-coordinator for the Oberlin Club of Western New England...was just in Williamstown at MASS MoCA yesterday. I take it you are affiliated with RPI? Where do you hang you hat?

  20. Good to know. Thanks.
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