Field Review: Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX APO DS HSM OS (Day 3)

The Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS for Canon mount has so far proven to be fairly impressive. We performed a very quick and dirty sharpness test on Day 2 and today we’re doing some pixel peeping. What we found in our non-scientific test may amaze you.

Gear Used

Canon 5D Mk II

Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS

Method of Test

I pasted a sign on my wall and focused on different parts of it for each focal length. The camera was set to aperture priority and at ISO 800. Additionally, the white balance was set to Tungsten. The camera was set down on a tripod. To focus, I selected the Live View function in order to check that the focusing spot was consistent.

Since the camera was on a tripod, the OS function was turned off. Because of this, I shot in the delay shooting mode.

Please note that at 100mm and 135mm Lightroom 3 told me that the lens was at 97mm and 128mm respectively.

Also, despite how dark these images were, exposure compensation was not touched and the images were not post processed except for cropping them down to around the critical areas towards the center.

70mm (Focus on the word lightly in step 3)

70mm f2.8

70mm f4

70mm f5.6

70mm f8

70mm f11

70mm f16

70mm f22

100mm (Focus on Corner and Repeat)

100mm f2.8

100mm f4

100mm f5.6

100mm f8

100mm f11

100mm f16

100mm f22

135mm (Focus on Sure)

135mm f2.8

135mm f4

135mm f5.6

135mm f8

135mm f11

135mm f16

135mm f22

200mm (Focus on Drywall)

200mm f2.8

200mm f4

200mm f5.6

200mm f8

200mm f11

200mm f16

200mm f22


The first thing that jumps out to me is 135mm F/2.8 to F/4. I thought that maybe I had made a mistake—but I realized that that makes no sense because I checked the focus in the Live View screen before shooting. This posting was delayed from the other Sigma postings in this series for this reasons.

The test was repeated and I was able to accurately repeat the results.

Otherwise, the images look very standard: that being that the lens reaches peak sharpness around F/5.6 and tapers off a little after that.

More testing will be done in real life use to see if these problems continue to happen. Stay tuned!

Editor’s note: you will see in the next posting in this series that in real life practice and on the 7D that the lens is indeed quite soft at 135mm.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.