Field Review: Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX APO DS HSM OS (Day 5)

Would you want to shoot a wedding or engagement session with the Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS for Canon mount? I asked myself that same question recently. After getting our first impressions with the lens, we found sharpness problems with it. We shot ice skating and night scenes. We shot wildlife with it. And in two different tests, not many of you were able to tell the difference between this lens and a 20 year old Canon lens. So here’s the question: why not?

Before I start off, know that my marketing brand of choice for wedding photography is Take a look at my page here.

Gear Used For These Photos

Canon 5D Mk II

Canon 7D

Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS

Editor’s Note

Please know before reading this that with the exception of the opening photo in this story, all photos were unedited and only resized for the web. The purpose of this is because it shows the true capabilities of the lens.

If you’d like to see the edited photos from this engagement session, please look at our Facebook and check them out in black and white, perfect color, and with a Holga look.

This posting will also be very short because of the extensive testing that we’ve done so far.

Editor’s Disclaimer

Switching lenses out on a beach is recommended for photographers with assistants unless you have a quick switching method down to a science. Don’t try this unless you know what you’re doing and you’re paying very close attention to the wind and environment.

On the Board Walk

The Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS on the Canon 7D is ideal for board walk shots because of the much faster autofocusing system than the Canon 5D Mk II. That’s not to say that the Mk II is a slouch though. The extra focusing points of the 7D allow the user to focus on the subjects faces easier when setting the focusing to zone, choosing the left or right most focusing zones and shooting vertically.

To be fair, telling the couple to slow down a bit can also work in the 5D Mk II‘s favor. However, as all photographers that shoot this type of work may know, it can be harder to keep steady focus on a subject moving towards you.

Outside is where this lens really seems to shine vs being indoors. It renders blues very well. In fact, the color tends to remind me of my days using Olympus.

A criticism that is heard often is that the Sigma lens is not as sharp as the Canon lens. As stated before in the lens comparison tests, my clients don’t care—especially when you get some of the shots that I gave them in the final package.

The Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS tends to render skin tones very true to life. In my experience, the Canon and Nikon versions of this lens render colors to be warmer. In the end, it’s all just your preference. On the 7D, this lens can render more details than the 5D Mk II due to the higher pixel density. That’s something to keep in mind for post-production reasons. If you want a more detailed image, put this lens on the 7D.

The out of focus areas of the images are very smooth but not creamy enough for my personal tastes. This is also another reason why I like prime lenses.

The bride and groom were just making fun of this guy. I thought I’d throw it in.

And with that, the Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX OS test concludes. Coming soon: the full wrap up.

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Chris Gampat

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