Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens
In-Depth Review

Notably missing in Sigma's impressive lineup of DN mirrorless lenses was an extremely popular model, an important member of the essential trio of f/2.8 zoom lenses, the 70-200 telephoto zoom lens. That member is no longer missing, with the high-performing Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens filling this role.

Global Vision "Sports" lenses feature Sigma's highest performance and durability, with this full-featured lens getting a Dual High-response Linear Actuator (HLA) focus system and the latest OS2 Optical Stabilization system. Despite this lens's impressive build and optical quality, the 70-200mm DN sports lens features a reasonable price.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Above Angle

Focal Length Range

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Most photographers find a telephoto zoom lens to be an essential part of their kit, and the 70-200mm range is a top choice to fill that role.

Portrait photography is at the top of the 70-200mm focal length lens favorite uses list. Containing a superset of the classic 85-135mm portrait focal length range, a 70-200mm lens is ideal for capturing pleasing perspectives of people.

This lens invites subject framing ranging from full-body portraits at 70mm to tight headshots at 2000mm. These mid-telephoto focal lengths naturally push the focus distances to a comfortable working distance that avoids perspective distortion and retains easy communication with the subject.

"Portrait photography" is a broad designation that covers a wide range of potential still and video uses at a wide variety of potential venues, including both indoors (home, church, school, etc.) and outdoors (yard, beach, park, parade, playground, etc.). Portrait subjects can range from infants to seniors, from individuals to large groups (if adequate working distance is available). Engagements, weddings, parties, events, theater, stage performances including concerts and recitals, speakers, kids' events, families, small groups, senior adults, graduating seniors, fashion, documentary, lifestyle ... all are great uses for the 70-200mm focal lengths. There is often adequate space in even a small studio for portraiture with the focal length range provided by this lens. Use this lens to cover entire portrait shoots.

That portrait photography can be revenue-producing helps justify the acquisition cost of this lens (you cannot buy stock photos of most people), and you likely noticed the paid applications in the just-shared list of portrait uses.

People are also frequently photographed participating in sporting and other action scenarios using this focal length range. While the 200mm focal length will likely be found too wide for large field sports photography, it works great for closer action such as that found at track and field meets and on the basketball court. Basketball is typically played indoors, and with the f/2.8 aperture (more on this soon) availed, indoor action sports are within this lens's capabilities.

I'll talk more about background blur in the aperture section next, but the long focal lengths and wide aperture combination enables the background of 70-200mm images to be diffusely blurred. That attribute is especially great for portraits captured where the background cannot be adequately controlled, including at sporting events and performances captured from a seat in the audience.

While portrait photography generally refers to photographing people, certain types of wildlife photos are regarded as portraits. These images typically include the animal substantially filling the frame, and for that task, this focal length range often falls short of the need unless the wildlife subject is large or close. If capturing environmental wildlife portraits or captive wildlife, the 70-200mm focal length range may be perfect. This focal length range is great for photographing pets, including dogs and cats.

When mentioning landscape photography, many photographers immediately think of wide-angle lenses. However, telephoto focal lengths are an essential part of a landscape kit. Telephoto focal lengths can create excellent landscape images, especially when there is a distant subject, such as a mountain, to be emphasized, rendered significant in the frame. It is so easy to take great telephoto landscape images that it can feel like cheating.

Another excellent landscape photography use of telephoto lenses is to focus on closer details, allowing a strong background blur to artistically isolate those within the image. This focal length range is especially optimal for capturing clouds and sunsets/sunrises, allowing the frame to be filled with color from even a modest sky show.

Cityscapes are essentially landscape images with cities in them, and this focal length range is often a great choice for the more distant city scenes. Street photography, usually done in cities, is another excellent use for the 70-200mm range.

A 70-200mm lens is a great studio lens, working especially well for product images and many other general studio applications. A significant percentage of the product images on this site were captured within this focal length range, and this range works well for more substantial products, including vehicles.

Here is a focal length comparison (captured with a different lens).

70-200mm Focal Length Range Example

On an APS-C imaging sensor format camera (1.5x), this 70-200mm lens has an increased angle of view equal to that of a 105-300mm lens on a full-frame camera. While the narrower angle of view does not significantly change the uses list for this lens, these angles of view make wide-framed portraits less ideal, and most will prefer this angle of view range for sports and wildlife pursuits.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Front

Max Aperture

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This lens has a wide f/2.8 max aperture over the entire focal length range.

What are the advantages of a wide aperture? More light reaches the imaging sensor, allowing motion (both subject and camera) to be stopped in lower light levels via a faster shutter speed and permitting the use of lower, less noisy ISO settings. Also, a wide aperture enables the creation of a shallower, better-subject-isolating depth of field.

While those photographing landscapes with this lens may not find the wide f/2.8 aperture mandatory, those capturing portraits or photographing low-light events, including sporting events, will love the faster shutter speeds and lower ISO settings made possible by the additional light reaching their imaging sensors. F/2.8 remains the narrowest aperture I want to use when photographing many indoor activities. In addition to stopping action in low light, the wide aperture invites handholding the camera in much lower light levels.

I often talk about the compositional advantages of a clean border, and one way to achieve such is to blur the background. This lens has that feature. Zoom to 200mm, open the aperture wide to f/2.8, move in close to your subject, and watch the distracting background melt away.

The two images below illustrate the maximum background blur this lens can create.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Maximum Blur Example

The extra light a wide aperture provides to a camera's AF system is highly advantageous to that function's performance.

What are the disadvantages of a wide aperture? Increased size, weight, and price accompany this attribute. Usually, including in this case, the advantages outweigh those disadvantages, and the penalties imposed by this lens are not big.

Driving the popularity of 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses is that focal lengths longer than 200mm with an f/2.8 are only available in considerably larger, much heavier, and far more expensive lenses. The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens models often represent the upper tolerance levels in those regards for many photographers.

Videographers especially will appreciate this lens's iris ring, permitting a manually selected aperture. The camera controls the aperture setting with the ring in the A (Auto) position, while all other settings electronically force the aperture to the chosen opening. A 2-position switch on the lower left side of the lens toggles the aperture ring between 1/3 stop clicks and smooth, quiet, non-clicked adjustments, ideal for video recording.

Aside from a slightly more complicated design, I find inadvertent aperture changes the primary disadvantage of an aperture ring (especially when photographing in the dark). The Iris Lock switch eliminates that problem, holding the ring in the A position or within the manual range.

The mold ribbed plastic aperture ring slightly complicates tactilely finding the focus ring.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Top with Hood

Image Stabilization

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"SIGMA OS2 optical stabilization allows for shutter speeds up to an incredible 7.5 stops [emphasis added] slower than without stabilization, opening the door to handheld shooting in low-light situations." [Sigma]

The 7.5 stops rating is attention-grabbing, but note that this rating is the seldom-promoted wide-end number, the assistance at 70mm. The rating at 200mm is 5.5 stops, still a high and significant number.

The longer the focal length, the larger subject details (captured at the same distance) are rendered, and the more still the camera must be held to avoid subject details crossing imaging sensor pixels, the cause of motion blur. Image stabilization, OS (Optical Stabilization) in this case, is an extremely valuable feature in any lens and an especially valuable feature in a telephoto lens.

Increased AF precision is another sharpness benefit of image stabilization benefit, as the camera's AF system can produce improved focus precision if the image it sees is stabilized.

The OS difference seen in the viewfinder is significant, and the stabilized viewfinder aids in optimal composition. Handheld movie recording quality is significantly improved by image stabilization.

While OS is active, framing drift is not an issue, and the viewfinder view is well-controlled, not jumping at startup/shutdown and permitting easy reframing. A quiet but audible scratchy whir is heard when the switch is enabled — and when it is disabled. This sound is mildly annoying in a quiet environment.

This lens features two OS modes (in addition to off), Mode 1 (general-purpose) and Mode 2 (for panning with a subject, one axis of stabilization is provided).

"In Mode 2, SIGMA's Intelligent OS, an algorithm specially designed for panning shots, enables effective image stabilization even when the camera is moved vertically or diagonally, irrespective of the horizontal and vertical orientation." [Sigma]

Sigma advises turning off OS while using a tripod.

As usual, when you need/want to leave the tripod behind, OS is there for you, helping to ensure sharp images and adding significant versatility to this lens.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens on Tripod

Image Quality

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If a lens's optical quality is bad, probably nothing else matters. That issue has never been a concern for a Sigma Sports lens, and the 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens's optical quality is a strong reason to select it.

Lenses usually perform their best in the center of the frame, and this one produces sharp center-of-the-frame image quality across the entire focal length range wide-open at f/2.8. Stopping down produces only slight improvement, but none is needed.

Often, subjects are not placed in the center of a composition. In the periphery of the image circle, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center, lenses typically show decreased sharpness. This one shows only a slight image quality degradation from the center to the corner, for a remarkable performance.

Taking the testing outdoors, we next look at a series of center-of-the-frame 100% resolution crop examples. These images were captured in RAW format using a Sony Alpha 1 and processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method. The sharpening amount was set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale.

Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

70mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0
135mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0
200mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0

These results look great.

Next, we'll look at a series of comparisons showing 100% resolution extreme top left corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

70mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6
135mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6
200mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6

Samples taken from the outer extreme of the image circle, full-frame corners, can be counted on to show a lens's weakest performance. These results show impressive performance. Few lenses produce corners are sharp as these.

This lens does not exhibit focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA).

A lens is expected to show peripheral shading at the widest aperture settings when used on a camera that utilizes its entire image circle, and at f/2.8, images from this lens show about 2 stops of corner shading.

Want less corner shading? Stopping down is the near-universal solution. A one-stop narrower aperture produces a one-stop reduction in peripheral shading. F/5.6 nearly halves the shading, and under a half stop of shading remains from f/8 through the narrowest apertures.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the well under one-stop of corner shading showing at f/2.8 will seldom be visible even in images with solid color (such as a blue sky) in the corners.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing, with increased noise in the brightened areas the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern shown in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.

Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) refers to the unequal magnification of all colors in the spectrum. Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii), with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better to avoid this aberration in the first place.

Color misalignment can be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a set of worst-case examples. The images below are 100% crops from the extreme top left corner of Sony a1 frames showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

Only black and white colors should be present in these images, with the additional colors indicating the presence of lateral CA. The color separation is mild at 70mm and especially well controlled at the longer focal lengths.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light. More simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration, along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation, with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

The examples below look at the defocused specular highlights' fringing colors in the foreground vs. the background. The lens has introduced any fringing color differences from the neutrally colored subjects.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

Mild color separation is shown in these results.

Bright light reflecting off lens elements' surfaces may cause flare and ghosting, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes interesting, usually destructive visual artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare and ghosting effects in an image are variable, dependent on the position and nature of the light source (or sources), selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades, and quantity and quality of the lens elements and their coatings. Additionally, flare and ghosting can impact AF performance.

The 70-200 DN Sports lens features Sigma's Super Multi-Layer Coating to suppress flare and ghosting, though the high 20-element count complicates this challenge. Still, this lens produced relatively mild flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test, an excellent performance.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Unfortunately, removal is sometimes challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can destroy image quality. Thus, high flare resistance is a welcomed trait of this lens.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident in images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light that can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). The coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). This aberration can produce stars appearing to have wings. Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The images below are 100% crops taken from the top-left corner of Sony a1 images captured at the widest available aperture.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Coma Example

Few lenses produce stars this sharp in the corner of the frame.

At 70mm, this lens shows slight pincushion distortion. The pincushion distortion slowly increases with focal length increase, becoming moderate at 200mm.

As seen earlier in the review, it is easy to illustrate the strongest blur a lens can create, and telephoto lenses are inherently advantaged in this regard. Due to the infinite number of variables present among available scenes, assessing the blur quality, bokeh, is considerably more challenging. Here are some f/11 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Bokeh Example

The first set of examples shows defocused highlights relatively smoothly filled and, thanks to the 11-blade aperture, impressively round.

The second set of examples shows full images reduced in size and looking nice.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round. That is the shape we're looking at here.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

The corner shape truncation is obvious, though not unexpected from a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting diminishes, making the corner shapes rounder.

An 11-blade count diaphragm will create 22-point sunstars (diffraction spikes) from point light sources captured with a narrow aperture. Generally, the more a lens diaphragm is stopped down, the larger and better shaped the sunstars tend to be. At f/16, this lens can produce reasonably nice stars, as illustrated below.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Sunstar Effect Example

The design of this lens is illustrated below.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Design

"Six FLD elements, two SLD elements, three aspherical elements, and an 11-blade aperture deliver incredible sharpness, impressive backlight contrast retention, virtually zero focus breathing, and beautiful bokeh." [Sigma]

The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens leaves little to complain about in the image quality test results. This lens is an excellent performer.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Side with Hood

Focusing

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Accurate focus is critical for most images and especially for the "Sports" scenarios illuminated in the name, and most of us rely on autofocus for that task.

"Featuring Dual HLA-driven floating focus for fast, accurate AF, the focus lens is driven using a high-thrust HLA (High-response Linear Actuator) as the focus actuator, and a floating focus is used to achieve high-speed AF drive. The floating configuration of this lens, in which the two focus groups are driven in opposite directions, reduces the amount of movement of each focus group to about half that of a single group focus system, achieving extremely fast AF that is highly responsive." [Sigma]

This lens quickly and quietly focuses fast.

As usual, focus speed slows significantly in dim light, but this lens impresses with its ability to focus on strong contrast in extremely dark environments.

A focus limit switch provides the full focus distance range or optionally limits the focus distance to minimum - 9.8' (minimum - 3.0m) or 9.8' (3.0m) - ∞ for potentially faster focus acquisition.

Three customizable AFL (Autofocus Lock) buttons are provided and located for easy access in the normal camera orientations. With the camera set to continuous focus mode, press AFL to lock focus at the currently selected focus distance, permitting a focus and recompose technique. These buttons also act as custom buttons that can be programmed to another function using the camera's menu.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported via Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) AF mode. This lens has an AF/MF switch, allowing this frequently used camera setting to be changed without accessing the menu system.

The review lens does not exhibit parfocal-like behavior. Subjects in focus at 200mm remain in sharp focus throughout most of the focal length range but become moderately blurred at 100mm. The 100% crops below illustrate this behavior.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Parfocal Example

The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens has a medium-sized, sharp-ribbed rubber-covered focus ring that rotates smoothly with ideal dampening.

This lens implements a non-linear rate of focus change, with the adjustment rate based on the ring's rotation speed. Turn the focus ring fast, and the full focus distance extents are available within about 210° of rotation. Turn the ring slowly, and about 540° of rotation traverses the focus distance range. I don't always prefer the variable rate feature interfering with rocking the ring into precise focus, but Sigma implemented the variable rate superbly in this lens, and it provides a positive overall experience.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in AF mode with the camera in One Shot Drive Mode, but the shutter release must be half-pressed for the focus ring to become active. Note that FTM does not work if electronic manual focusing after One Shot AF is disabled in the camera's menu. The lens's switch must be in the "MF" position and the camera meter must be on/awake for conventional manual focusing to be available.

It is normal for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as the focus is pulled from one extent to the other. This effect is focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus (without movement to camouflage the effect), and anyone critically framing while adjusting focus.

This lens is different, producing only a minor change in subject size through a full-extent (worst-case) focus distance adjustment.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Focus Magnification Example

70mm: Far | Close   200mm: Far | Close

This lens has a minimum focus distance of 25.6" (650mm), and at 200mm, it generates a mediocre x0.19 maximum magnification spec.

ModelMin Focus Distance "(mm)Max Magnification
Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens27.6(700)0.23x
Canon RF 70-200mm F4 L IS USM Lens23.6(600)0.28x
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens25.6(650)0.19x
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens47.2(1200)0.21x
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens15.7(400)0.30x
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II Lens10.2(260)0.50x
Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens11.8(300)0.26x
Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens10.6(270)0.50x
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens37.4(950)0.16x

At 70mm, a subject measuring approximately 8.7 x 5.8" (221 x 147.33mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum MF distance. At 200mm, a 6.8 x 4.5" (173 x 115mm) subject does the same.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Focus Magnification Example

The USPS love stamps shared above have an image area that measures 1.05 x 0.77" (26.67 x 19.558mm), and the overall individual stamp size is 1.19 x 0.91" (30.226 x 23.114mm).

While this lens produces sharp center of the frame details at minimum focus distance with a wide-open aperture, expect the f/2.8 image periphery to be soft at the wide end due to field curvature. F/11 brings on increased depth of field that provides significant improvement in corner image quality. 200mm f/2.8 minimum focus distance corners are reasonably sharp.

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? Mount an extension tube behind this lens to modestly decrease and increase those respective numbers. As of review time, Sigma does not publish extension tube specs or manufacture these items, but third-party Sony-compatible extension tubes are available.

The Sony E-mount version of this lens is not compatible with Sigma teleconverters, but the L-mount version is compatible. Adding a 1.4x teleconverter creates a 98-280mm f/4 lens, and the addition of a 2x creates a 140-400mm f5.6 lens.

Design & Features

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"Sports" lenses feature Sigma's most durable construction, ready for the rigors of daily use.

"Multi-material construction combines magnesium, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and thermally stable composite for a smaller, lighter lens that still meets the demands of professional photographers." [Sigma]

Multi-Material Construction

While efforts were made to keep this lens light, it is relatively heavy, and that weight adds to the high-quality feel perception.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Product Images

MFD |    MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    MFD |    Rotated   Compare »

Like most lenses in its class, this lens has a fixed size.

The crisply-ribbed rubber-coated zoom ring is located toward the front of the lens. The lens with an ungripped camera has an overall balance point located toward the front of the tripod ring (not the foot/leg), and the right hand (or other support) is required to support some of the lens's weight while making focal length changes.

The zoom ring has a noticeable change in diameter mid-way into it, providing tactile assistance for locating this ring. The rear of the lens hood also directs fingers to this ring. However, the hood covering the front of the zoom ring seems awkward, reducing the usable length of this relatively short ring. The smooth, well-damped ring's 80° of rotation provides a nice rate of transition through the focal length range for a good experience in this regard.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Side

This lens features 6 easy-to-use switches. The iris Click and Lock buttons are flush mounted near the bottom of the lens, and the other 4 buttons are mounted on a slightly raised panel. A white background on the AF/MF and iris switches visually indicates their enabled positions. The other 3 switches are 3-position types. While it is easy to misposition 3-position switches, firm resistance and solid clicks provide aids in position selection of these switches.

I am not aware of any functionality for the Custom switch on the Sony E-mount lens version at review time. The Leica L-mount lens allows customization of this switch via Sigma's USB dock.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Mount

Sigma Sports lenses feature a dust- and splash-resistant structure and a water- and oil-repellent coating applied to the front element.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Weather Sealing

As hinted, this is not the lightest mirrorless 70-200mm f/2.8 lens — Sigma Sports lens designs do not target this goal. Still, this lens is considerably lighter than its DSLR predecessor.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens37.8(1070)3.5 x 5.7(89.9 x 146)772019
Canon RF 70-200mm F4 L IS USM Lens24.5(695)3.3 x 4.7(83.5 x 119)772020
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens47.1(1335)3.6 x 8.1(90.6 x 207)772023
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens63.5(1800)3.7 x 8.0(94.2 x 202.9)822018
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens36.9(1045)3.5 x 7.9(88 x 200)772021
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 Macro G OSS II Lens28(794)3.2 x 5.9(82.2 x 149)722023
Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens30.2(855)3.3 x 6.2(83 x 156.5)672023
Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens28.6(810)3.2 x 5.9(81 x 149)672020

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

The joints of my fingers uncomfortably impact the barrel of this lens when tightly gripping the Sony a1.

Here is a visual comparison:

Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens
Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens to other lenses.

70-200mm f/2.8 class lenses commonly feature 77mm filter threads, as this lens does.

While this lens can easily be handheld, supporting it on a tripod or monopod still has value, and the included tripod ring greatly enhances the mounted experience. The included tripod ring is smooth functioning and solidly built. While the ring is not removable, the foot can easily be removed via 4 screws. Remove it for comfort and a bit of weight savings if not mounting the lens on a support or otherwise using the foot.

Especially nice is the built-in Arca-Swiss-compatible dovetail, allowing the lens to mount in a wide variety of tripod head quick-release clamps and adding compatibility with a wide range of accessories, including flash brackets. Note that some non-adjustable lever clamps may not hold tightly to this dovetail design.

The rearward weight distribution of this lens design makes it easier to handle but recall that the balance point for this lens is toward the front of the tripod ring, which is behind the dovetails on the foot. The slightly unbalanced setup is not ideal, but it is also not a big deal for tripod and monopod mounting.

The tripod ring's short-throw metal lock knob is conveniently positioned for use, with smooth lens rotation experienced, including no slip-stick behavior until the ring is fully locked. Helpful click stops are provided at 90° rotation settings, with marks visually indicating the same.

Just enough finger space is provided between the foot and the lens, including for using the tripod foot as a short handle. Three fingers fit but remember the lens's rearward weight balance in this regard.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Angle with Hood

The large Sigma LH860-01 hood, featuring rigid CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) construction, a large, knurled metal thumbscrew lock, and a mold-ribbed interior is included in the box. The flat end of the hood permits the lens to be placed upright on a smooth surface, such as for relieving your arms while shooting handheld. The rubberized surface on the end of the hood avoids scratching the hood or the surface the lens is sitting on, avoids slippage on the resting surface, and permits a better hand grip on the hood when installing or removing the hood. This hood affords significant protection from flare-inducing light and impact, including from dust and rain.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Case

A useful zippered padded nylon case with a removable neck strap is provided.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Cap

Price, Value, Wrap Up

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As usual, this Sigma lens is a great value, featuring excellent optical and build qualities at a dramatically lower price than the Sony equivalent.

The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including APS-C sensor format models, and it is also available in the L mount (Sigma, Panasonic, Leica). The "DG" refers to full-frame camera compatibility, and the "DN" indicates that this lens was designed for short-flange mirrorless cameras.

Made in Aizu, Japan, each Sports lens is tested with Sigma's proprietary MTF measuring system, ensuring a quality product. Regarding the Sony E-mount version of this lens, Sigma develops, manufactures, and sells lenses based on the specifications of the E-mount, disclosed by Sony Corporation under license agreement.

Sigma provides a 1-year limited warranty, and Sigma Corporation of America provides a limited 3-year warranty extension.

The reviewed Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens was on loan from Sigma Corporation of America.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Angle

Alternatives to the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens

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Let's start the lens comparisons with the impressive Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens.

These lenses' basic specs match, and we can move directly to the image quality comparison, which shows the two lenses producing similar sharpness. The Sony lens has a slight advantage in the 100mm and 135mm results. The Sony lens has less pincushion distortion and slightly less peripheral shading.

The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens vs. Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens comparison shows the Sony lens is slightly smaller and significantly lighter. The Sony lens features a 0.30x maximum magnification vs. 0.19x. The Sigma lens's about $1,300.00 lower price is a standout difference.

The Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens hit the streets at about the same time as the Tamron lens.

In the image quality comparison shows the Tamron lens a tiny bit sharper except at 180mm vs. 200mm, where the Sigma lens is a tiny bit sharper. The Tamron lens has slightly more pincushion distortion. These slight differences are not likely to be decision factors.

The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens vs. Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Lens comparison shows the Sigma lens is considerably larger and heavier. Larger reflects in the filter threads, with the Sigma lens using 77mm filters vs. 67mm. The Sigma lens has 11 aperture blades vs. 9. The Tamron lens has a higher maximum magnification spec, 0.26x vs. 0.19x. The Sigma lens has an AF/MF, IS, and focus range limit switches, while the Tamron lens has a 3-position Custom Switch vs. 2. The Sigma lens has an aperture ring with associated switches and 3 AF stop buttons vs. 1.

The Sigma lens's extra 20mm on the long end is valuable, as is its tripod ring. As a "Sports" lens, the Sigma 70-200 is robust, designed for exceptional durability. The Tamron lens is moderately less expensive.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Compared to the HSM Sports DSLR Lens

Next, let's take a look at the not-so-much-older Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports DSLR Lens, shown below the DN lens in the above image.

In the image quality comparison, the DN lens shows itself sharper in most of the comparisons. The DSLR lens has less geometric distortion, slightly less peripheral shading, and increased flare effects.

The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens vs. 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports DSLR Lens comparison shows the DSLR lens is considerably heavier. The slightly wider DSLR lens uses 82mm filters vs. 77mm. The DN lens features Dual HLA AF vs. HSM, and it has a 5.5 stop OS rating vs. 4.5. The DN lens has a manual iris ring and associated switches. It also has an extra focus limiter option but gives up the MO focus mode. The two lenses share the same list price, but the older DSLR lens has an instant savings promotion available at review time.

Use the site's tools to create additional comparisons.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens Top

Summary

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As one of the essential trio of f/2.8 zoom lenses, most photographers will find an optically stabilized 70-200mm f/2.8 lens filling a crucial role in their kits. The popularity of this lens class is driven by the angle of view range usefulness in combination with the 70-200mm range representing the longest affordable focal lengths available with an f/2.8 aperture. Watch for these lenses to show up in big numbers at any event worth photographing — by professionals, serious amateurs, and families alike.

Lenses in this class are among the most important and most used, and the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens is a great choice for those seeking robust durability and high-end performance at a reasonable price.

This lens's small front-positioned zoom ring is not optimal, the OS hum in quiet environments is slightly annoying, and it carries extra weight over its competition, but the advantages list is far longer. This attractive, weather-sealed lens has high-performing AF and optical stabilization systems that help obtain the outstanding performance the optical design is capable of. The excellent overall performance combined with a low price will make the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens the choice of many photographers.

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Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS Sports Lens
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