Sigma 70-210mm f2.8

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by fmueller, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. I am looking to get a half way decent 70-200mm or thereabouts for my Rebel XT that doesn't break the bank. Since I probably can't afford IS anyhow, I have been looking at some third party options, and noticed that the Sigma 70-210mm f2.8 can be found for under $300. I guess this is an older lens that predates Sigma's 70-200mm 2.8 and 70-200mm HSM? That's not much more than the EF 70-210mm f3.5-4.5 and a lot cheaper than the EF 70-200mm L f4 - and the Sigma is f2.8! I am wondering if it's so cheap because it might not be incompatible with DSLRs like my Rebel XT. Does anybody know? Are there other reasons I should not consider this lens?
    As an aside, I already realize that my best option would be an EF 70-200mm L IS f2.8, and that some people here firmly believe that all Sigma lenses are the work of the devil, so there is no need to point that out to me.
    Many thanks
  2. Accourding to this review survey on it's a very good lens. I wish I would have known about it before buying my canon 70-200 f4L.

    As for the fit. Yes it will fit. Lenses made for digital may sometimes not fit on film cameras, but it the other way around it's not a concern. Your Rebel XT takes all EF and EF-S mount lenses. Filma and full frame cameras like the 5D and 1Ds only take EF and not the EF-s.
  3. Sorry, that should of course read: 'might not be compatible'. Many thanks to Bob for the quick response. I understand the difference between EF and EFs, that know that any EF and EFs lens could be mounted on my Rebel XT, but how about the electronics? One hears a lot about old Sigma lenses needing to be 're-chipped' or not being able to be re-chipped. What's up with that?
  4. Be careful ... there are two version of a Sigma 70-2xx/2.8 ...
    one 70-210/2.8 AF APO version (which is sold below 300Euro used), and which seems not to work correctly with digital cameras ... and an 70-200 /2.8 EX DG APO HSM version, (which is sold at about 650Euros used) ... this one works ok, and it was the latter one tested fine on photozone.
  5. Some general thoughts..

    As above, the version Photozone tested was their recent 70-200/2.8 HSM, not the 70-210/2.8 APO. The two are different, dissimilar designs. The APO lens probably isn't compatible with any recent digital body. It's also probably not very good at f/2.8. Prior to the Sigma HSM lens, few, if any, third party zooms could match the Canon wide open. They were all somewhat soft, with lower contrast. Focusing speed, both in acquisition and tracking, was also lackluster.

    If you're not shooting in the dark, the 70-210/3.5-4.5 USM is a great little lens. They're around $175 on EBay. I used to have one. It doesn't have the contrast of the Ls or the Sigma HSM, but it's light, extremely fast to focus, and decently sharp. The 70-200/4L will give you more bite on the long end, but it's not usefully faster.

    If you can deal with a prime, the next level up is a 200/2.8L. They go for $450-$500 on EBay. I've got one, and it's my sharpest, best-focusing lens. Better than the 70-200/4L IS, better than the 50/1.4, and way better than the 100/2. It's also brilliant with a teleconverter, which is another $120. Optics don't get any better.

    If you need an f/2.8 zoom, Sigma's 70-200/2.8 HSM comes next. You can find that one for $725 if you're a new customer to, or used for $650. I've never had one, but the people at seem to like it. It's slightly worse than Canon's 70-200/2.8L at everything, but the Canon is so strong, coming anywhere near it is still an achievement.

    There are a couple of 50-150/2.8 zooms recently released by Sigma and Tokina, but they're a lot shorter, and the Sigma in particular suffers on the long end. I wouldn't buy one.

    So, there you go. There really is a major gulf between the consumer lenses, which are all around $150-250, and the 'professional' ones, which really start around $700-$700. That's the price of f/2.8, so if you don't need it, you can save some money.

  6. I remember having one of those in my hands a few years ago, however before I decided to buy it, it was gone...
    There are definitely some of these lenses that are compatible with the newer dslrs from canon, because that one was. You'll just have to test it. Optical performance was decent, though not stellar - better than a consumer zoom, not as good as the newer Sigma 70-200 2.8 or the tokina 80-200 2.8 (which may be obtained on that auction site for a little bit more than 300 Euros with some luck). Another question is that of focus speed. Here, the newer Sigma beats both the older Sigma and the tokina hands down...
    To sum it up, maybe you might want to consider the tokina. It is optically between the two sigmas (close to the newer one), has an autofocus speed slightly above the older Sigma and costs a bit more.
    Some shots (indoors, with a 10D) can be found on my site, for instance
    Hope this helps,
  7. This is the older Sigma model which often will not work with more recent models from the Elan 7 or 10D onwards. I have heard of one which did work okay - it was rebranded as a Vivitar S1.

    If you do buy it, make sure you can test it first.
  8. I currently have a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX HSM MACRO and its a very good lens. Its very sharp and very well built. The zoom ring is very smooth. You can go from 70 to 200 in just a lite flick of a finger. I am currently selling it and asking $750 because I bought a Canon 70-200 2.8L IS. I want the sharpness to be more equally matched wide open to 8.0 which the Canon is better at and...IS. I use the Sigma at f4.0 whenever I can. Its usable at 2.8, but I am a little quirky with needing the best sharpness. Also Sigma has very fast focusing.
    If you are not as quirky as I am, then I would definitley recommend that lens.
  9. Hi
    If the 70-210 predates the 70-200EX I would be cautious about compatibility issues, EX should be OK. I have the 70-200 2.8 EX. It's a good lense with sharpness and build quality that I can't fault. Be aware that it's a heavy lense so for every day shooting it's a lot to lug around. If I can I prefer to use my primes because these handle so much better, but if you need a zoom it is a good one. If I were buying one today I'd ask myself the questions, Do I need IS? Do I need 2.8? I think with digital cameras and adjustable ISO I'd now go for a 80-200 f4 IS.
    Neill Farmer
  10. I have a Sigma 70-210 APO. It works with D60, but not with 10D, so I presume it would not work with more modern bodies either. I don't think Sigma will rechip these any more, but also think that at one point it was possible to upgrade them for 10D compatibility.
  11. I have owned a 70-210 f2.8 APO for a few years. After I up graded from a D30 to a 10D about 3-4 years ago I had to send the lens off to Sigma to be rechipped. They actually had to send it back to Japan but this was done for free other than my shipping cost. I then used it flawlessly on the newer camera. I now use it on a 20D and have even had my wife use it on her Rebel XT. So if you are looking to buy an APO lens I would make sure it has had to rechip upgrade done to. If not, I don't know if it would be worth it. I am actually wanting to sell it to upgrade to the newer version so I could use my 2x with it and still have auto focus. That is the only draw back with the lens that I have is I can only manual focus with the 2x on.

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