Favored by pros, full-frame 70–200mm f/2.8 zooms get more than their share of great photos. This $1,700 (street) Sigma is the company’s first stabilized version. It boasts two elements of Sigma’s new FLD and three of conventional SLD low-dispersion glass, plus a sophisticated HSM focusing motor. It scales up to 105–300mm or more on APS-C-sized sensors.
Slightly heavy for the class, it has an attractive matte-black finish with gold accents. More striking: dual depth-of-field scales (one for wide-angle, one for tele) and an APS lenshood adapter for extra flare protection with the narrower field of view of APS-sensored DSLRs.
Except for the lack of a weather-resistant O-ring at the lensmount, it seems extremely well constructed. Focus and zoom rings turn with a velvety draw. While not the fastest, the HSM motor is unusually smooth and silent, and the lens focuses and zooms internally for a stationary barrel.
In our Test Lab, it produced Excellent-range SQF results at 70 and 135mm, indicating exemplary sharpness and contrast. At 200mm, however, it dipped to Very Good—surprising for a lens this expensive and with so many low-dispersion elements. Light falloff, stabilization, and distortion control were about average—the latter in the Slight range at all focal lengths.
More disappointing was magnifying power, which topped out at just 1:6.57 at 200mm. Macro fans should consider the comparable Tamron (1:2.85), non-OS Sigma (1:3.3), or even Canon (1:4.3).
This lens is easier to love in person than on paper. Beautifully handling, with several unique features, it stands out less for its optical characteristics.