So How Good is the Optical Stabilization on the Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 APO DS HSM OS?

Besides having the longest name ever, the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSMfor Canon mount is now in for review. The other night I was playing with it on my Canon 5D Mk II. Since I heard a bit of commotion outside my house, I decided to do a bit of spy work to see what was going on. So I went up to my attic and took a bit of a peep of what was going on all the way across the street.

The lens was set to 200mm and set to OS 1 and F/2.8. The Canon 5D Mk IIwas set to ISO 6400 and 1/13th a second for the first photo and 0.3 of a second for the second photo. This was all done handheld and as I’ve stated before in the past, I’ve got shaky hands. Take a look at the photos and then we’ll continue.

By the way, these were sent straight to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3and sized down to 1000 pixels on the longest end with no other processing.

For the first photo I focused right on the center, which is the man’s face. Though the watermark is over it, the lens wasn’t able to capture such a stunningly sharp image. For the second photo I went down even slower and focused on the license plate while a car was passing by. The result is an image where I’m actually able to read the contents of the plate.

In fact, I’m able to do this in both images. Sigma claims the lens to be able to provide 3 stops of Optical Stabilization (OS).

Take into consideration the reciprocal rule of shooting stating that in order to achieve sharp images, one needs to shoot at a minimum of the focal length they are shooting. So for example, in order to get these images sharp I should have been shooting at 200mm minimum. However, I all the way down to 0.3 second and was able to achieve a sharp enough image to make out the details needed for impromptu surveillance work.

Could the image win an award? No. Could it be good enough for when one needs an image? Of course.

A full field review is coming for this so far phenomenal lens. In the meantime, you may want to check out our review of the more affordable Sigma 70-300mm for Nikon.

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