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: Build & Handling
The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports is an altogether larger and heavier lens than the one it replaces. The additional elements and groups contribute to it being 375g heavier and at 1.8kg on the scales it’s not a lightweight lens. The barrel is thicker and slightly longer by just over 5mm.
Compared to Sigma lenses of old, which are known for their smooth finish to the barrel and gold embellishment, this new version conforms to the look of Sigma’s latest Global Vision lenses. The bold white lettering on the mottled black paint finish has a much cleaner, high-end aesthetic. With dust and splash proof seals at the mount connection, manual focus ring, zoom ring and cover connection, it’s far better protected than its predecessor too, offering good protection against all types of weather outdoor photographers come up against.
The barrel is constructed from magnesium alloy to give it maximum strength and between the rubberised manual focus and zoom rings you’ll find three AF function buttons. With Sigma and Nikon mount versions of the lens, it’s possible to change the function of this button with Sigma’s USB dock device, whereas with a Canon-mount example, like our review sample that was tested with the Canon EOS 5DS R, it’s possible to change the feature of the AF function button via the camera’s custom function.
Having the option to acquire and hold autofocus directly from your left hand that’s supporting the lens makes for a highly intuitive operational experience, whether you’re shooting in the landscape or portrait orientation.
Positioned between the AF/MF and optical stabilisation switches is a focus limit switch. This can be set to FULL (1.2m to infinity) or 3m-infinity if you know your subject isn’t going to get too close and you’d like to prevent the lens focusing across its full focus distance. If you’d like to customise the focus limit range, the sensitivity for engaging full-time manual override or autofocus speed, this is easy enough to do using Sigma’s optional USB dock in connection with the C1 and C1 settings from the custom switch. As for the operation of the zoom and focus rings, both operate smoothly, with no sign of any change in resistance through their ranges.
The petal-shaped lens hood features a lock like that you get on the new Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art. The soft release button is well placed for quick release using your middle finger.
The permanently attached tripod mounting collar provides useful click stops every 90-degrees and the tripod foot offers a single 3/8in thread on its underside ready to attach a quick release plate or secure it on a monopod. If you own an Arca-Swiss tripod head, the tripod foot can be mounted directly to it without the need of a quick release plate. In use I found the tripod foot gets in the way of operating the manual focus ring, so it’s good practice to twist it through 180 degrees. Doing so also allows you to rest the barrel more comfortably in the palm of your hand during long spells of handheld shooting.