After a long wait, Sigma’s new flagship telephoto zoom in its Sport series lens has arrived. Michael Topham had the honour of giving it a workout
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport review: Features
The optical construction of the lens is completely new and features more elements in more groups than the previous version. Whereas the APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM had 22 elements in 17 groups, this new example arranges 24 elements in 22 groups with 11 diaphragm blades as opposed to nine.
As part of the design, nine FLD (‘F’ low dispersion) glass elements and one special low dispersion (SLD) element are used to curtail colour aberrations, with Sigma’s super multi-layer coating also being employed, not only to reduce flare and ghosting, but maximise sharpness and contrast when shooting directly towards the light. A water and oil-repellent coating is applied to the front and rear elements too, which prevents oil, mud and dirt sticking to the surface of the glass and makes it easier to wipe with a lens cloth and cleaning spray.
Sigma’s hypersonic motor (HSM) is used to keep focus operation fast and quiet. It has been refined since the older version, delivering extra torque and providing a more stable performance across its 120cm-infinity focus distance range.
The lens is also equipped with optical image stabilisation that enables users to shoot 4-stops slower than would otherwise be possible. When this is set to Mode 2 via the OS switch on the barrel, an acceleration sensor teams up with an updated stabilisation algorithm to deliver effective stabilization when the camera is moved horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, regardless of the position of the lens. If you’re not intending to pan with a moving subject, Mode 1 is the best setting to use for day-to-day general shooting.
Elsewhere, there’s a manual override (MO) option that can be used to quickly switch the lens to manual focus by rotating the focus ring even during continuous AF, it has an 82mm filter thread, plus it’s fully compatible with Sigma’s current TC-1401 and TC-2001 teleconverters, which when coupled between the camera body and lens turn it into a 98-280mm f/4 or a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens respectively.
Canon, Nikon and Sigma mount versions of the lens are all available for the same price (£1349), however Sony E-mount isn’t catered for. Those wishing to pair this lens with a Sony full-frame A7-series camera will require a compatible adapter such as Sigma’s MC-11 (£199), which supports both autofocus and optical stabilisation.