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Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Review RSS Feed

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II

Reviews Views Date of last review
40 115,496 Sat January 30, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $770.30 8.97
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II

Filter Size: 77mm
f/Stop Range: 2.8-22
Minimum Focus Distance: 3.3' (1 m)
Magnification: 1:3.5
Zoom/Focus Control: Two-touch
Angle of View: 34-12.3°
Groups/Elements: 15/18
Tripod Collar: Yes (removable)
Length: 7.3" (184mm)
Maximum Diameter: 3.4" (86mm)
Weight: 3 lbs (1.370kg)
AF type: screwdrive

Discontinued. Succeeded by the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM.
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II
Price: $949
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Registered: October, 2011
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 339

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 30, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Null Review
Cons: Null Review
Camera Used: K-5, K-1    New Or Used: New   

I thought I'd chime in with an update from 2021.

Be aware that although Sigma has previously offered free update services for the firmware and K-mount of this lens, this may not be the case any longer.

In the early production runs, this lens was shipped with Sigma's "8 255" firmware. This firmware is not compatible with cameras made after the Pentax K-5 series of cameras. In later production runs, this lens shipped with Sigma's "8 16" firmware, which is compatible with all Pentax K mount dSLRs which feature 'power contacts' to drive the HSM autofocus motor featured in this lens.

For a time, Sigma offered a free update service wherein the earlier firmware would be updated to the newer. Along with this firmware update came a free mount replacement wherein the lens' overwide K-mount, which had initially shipped on the lens, was replaced with a smaller bevelled version that would not scratch the paint around the mount on newer Pentax cameras.

Although, only some of the lenses that Sigma produced are effected, as of July 2020, I have been unable to have the firmware nor the mount of my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX DG APO MACRO HSM II lens updated by Sigma's affiliated technicians here in Canada. After reaching out to my local Sigma representative via my local camera shop, I have learned that the parts required to update this lens with a functional version of the firmware and/or a new K-mount are both no longer in production and are out of stock both here in Canada as well as in Japan. I received this answer after seven months of shipping the lens back and forth to Sigma's authorized technicians for said updates.

While this lens has proven to be a great performer when it has up-to-date firmware, it may no longer be possible to update said firmware for some copies of this lens. (For example, in my case when the lens is mounted on my Pentax K-1, it causes my the camera to immediately freeze and be unusable until I remove the battery from my camera).

So, I would recommend that if you are looking to purchase a used copy of this lens, ask for a photo taken with it by the seller. You can then run this photo through an EXIF reader on your computer to see which version of Sigma's firmware is installed on it. If it's running version 8 16, the lens will operate without issue.
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 205
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $485.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quick focusing, quiet, and very good sharpness.
Cons: Heavy (it should be), need firmware update to work w/ K-1
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

1) Some K-1 users will need to send the lens to Sigma for a firmware update. I did this because attaching the lens to a K-1 would cause the camera to freeze. Sigma charged nothing for the update and sent the lens back within 48 hours of receiving it.
2) The lens has decent sharpness at f/2.8 but it is better at f/4 and best at around f/5.6. I wouldn't waste time using it for macro work. It is too big, heavy, and it doesn't focus close subjects properly unless using LV. The lens is semi-worthless as a macro.
3) The build quality is excellent and it feels comfortable handheld, on a monopod, or on a tripod.
4) This isn't the sharpest lens in the world wide open, but it is fine for portrait/headshots (if not using a prime) and for theatre/stage and sports photography. Close it down a little and it shows excellent sharpness. I like the bokeh but that is a subjective call. It isn't a perfect lens, but good enough for my needs. It can occasionally be found at a good price, although the used prices have risen once the K-1 came out.
New Member

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Sydney
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: August 31, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Build Quality
Cons: Weight (although not altogether a bad thing)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-7    Autofocus: 10   

Lens focusses quietly and smoothly, with no perceptible softness between f2.8-f4.0. Bought one of the last ones available in Pentax mount before being discontinued, however my sample exhibited some back/front focussing issues which were quickly rectified by the local importer here in Australia (C.R.Kennedy & Co.). Here is a sample photo taken at a local wildlife park, note that this is a straight jpeg out of the camera with no sharpening or post-processing (other than to add a preset from Nik ColorEfex 4 software to boost colour and contrast).
New Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Blue Mountains
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 25, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, solid feel, build quality
Cons: Weight
Sharpness: 9    Camera Used: K1    Autofocus: 10   

Just a short answer to the review below...

I just bought this lens, had it sent to our Australian importer - CR Kennedy in Melbourne for checking, and am happy to say it is fine with the K1.

Kennedys checked the firmware and updated the mount, then shipped it back to me, all at no cost. How good is that! Brilliant service and backup.

Love the camera. Love the lens.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 183

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D, K-5, K-1    Autofocus: 9   

This is not really a lens review - but a caveat emptor.

This lens (at least if it identifies itself in EXIF data as "8 255") is not compatible with the Pentax K-1 (Firmware version 1.00).

The camera freezes when this lens is attached. No operation, neither when used in AF or MF modes.


I've used this lens on both the K10D and the K-5. On the K-5, contrast AF (as used in LV) was nearly useless, so I only used this lens with the OVF.

From what I gather from recent discussions here on pentaxforums, this might be due to faulty lens firmware which (hopefully) can be cured by Sigma.


I've had my lens serviced by Sigma Germany some weeks ago. They've updated the lens firmware and replaced the rear bayonet ring.

And they did that for free, with a six years old lens, out of any warranty. Excellent service!

Now the lens uses lens id "8 16" and works fine with my K-1. AF operation is quite fast, accurate and silent.
The combined weight of that lens and the K-1 (about 2.5 kg) makes you think twice if you really want to carry it on, say, Ben Nevis on your next hike, but the results are worth the effort.
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: March 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: bokeh master, killer sharpness, ultrasilent, smooth zoom ring,
Cons: just nothing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: yes    Autofocus: 10   

I have sold all the lenses I have when I had this lovely lens. This lens is a proffessional masterpiece. All the eyes turn on to it, when you're walking around with this lens on the body.

It has great optics and very soft and smooth rubber body, also very solid and stable. Minimum focus distance is just one meter which is a good adventage. It is also a macro lens, so you can shoot bees, butterflies and flowers .

It gives amazing bokeh even at f/4 - f/5.6

Sharpness is also very good even at f/2.8. To shoot at 200mm with f/2,8 is such an experience.

Zoom range is ideal for portrait, sports, action, macro, nature, animals, kids and landscape. It may be narrow for architecture in some situations. But for me this lens gives me everything I need with professional quality.

It is now a great couple with my K-5 and grip. It is a joy to walkaronud and shoot pictures with it. Weight is the only minus, but it must be a sacrifice for this pro lens I guess. That's all from me, bye.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Ocean Grove, Victoria
Posts: 4,384

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and accurate focus.
Cons: Heavy. HSM failure. Original lens replaced by dealer now 100% happy.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-7, K5 IIs    Autofocus: 10   


Following the second failure, CR Kennedy replaced the lens completely. I have been meaning to edit this original post for some time after a suitable time to establish there are no faults in the replacement lens. Hats off to CR Kennedy for their great service. The new lens is 100% perfect and coupled with a new K5 IIs, is simply brilliant.

The copy I bought was direct from the Australian distributor C R Kennedy and although unused was probably old stock. I have had this lens for 6 months and have been generally happy with its performance. However it is not perfect.

This copy from new had a noticeably stiff manual focus ring, which although strange, I thought little of it. Some 4 months after purchase the HSM failed completely and I returned the lens to the distributor for repair under warranty. It came back some 2-3 weeks later. The focus ring was still stiff but everything seemed quite OK. Then about a month later I noticed that while the lens would focus quickly and accurately on subjects up to 30 metres distant, it would not focus at all on an object beyond that. Very odd behavior indeed. Once more to the distributor where my claim was initially not believed until I convinced the tech to take the lens outside with my camera and line up a couple of conveniently placed palm trees. SILENCE. The tech then also agreed that the focus ring was not right but I could not convince him that it was like this from new. However, it is back in the workshop for repair under warranty for which I am grateful.

Optically I would agree that images can be a bit soft especially close up but also the lens can produce very sharp images. Some colour banding is apparent on high contrast out of focus edges. Some softness close up as in the picture of the thistle.

No issues at all with this image. This the type of work for which I bought it so on this level I am delighted with it.

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 421
Lens Review Date: April 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $475.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast auto focus, sharp, comfortable to use, bokeh
Cons: Seems to affect auto WB accuracy sometimes
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I purchased this lens second hand after my daughter began playing T-Ball. The 300mm kit lens couldn't deliver decent image quality and cropping 50mm images made focussing accuracy extremely difficult in certain conditions. My subjects are rarely more than 60m away from me.

I've now used this lens for a few months in varying conditions ranging from moving objects in low light to bright sunlight. It's suberb under all conditions.

It's comfortable to hold and operate. Despite my pre-purchase reservations, I find I can carry this around for hours on end (on a K20D) without finding it heavy or unwieldy.

The autofocus is fast enough to track my daughter running towards me, which has pleasantly surprised me.

There is no front or back focus at any end of the range that I can notice.

The images are consistently sharp.

If I had to note any negatives, it would be that it seems to 'trick' the K20D Auto White Balance into taking 'cool' images. I shoot in RAW so this has never presented a real problem for me. It's very noticeable in the off camera jpg's though (sometimes).

Overall, it's brilliant.
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 84

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, IQ (center, stopped down), AF (speed)
Cons: IQ (edges, wide open)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Edit: After more time with the lens, it gets better. AF carefully adjusted, tested, readjusted, retested, etc., to give a decent success %. Right now, at -10 AF adjustment, and it works. Following text has been changed to reflect the opinion about the lens after playing with it for a couple weeks.

I've had a loaned copy for a few weeks now, and I've used it almost daily, shooting anything between 50 and 400 shots per day to see if I want to buy one of these for myself.

I quite like it, there's very little wrong with this. I totally would recommend getting one. There's nothing really wrong with this.

It's got great IQ if you stop it down just a hint - going f/3.2 improves things greatly while still giving the creamy separation in depth. At wider apertures things deteriorate at the edges, aberrations are clearly there, and things unnervingly soft in the corners. Things are definitely good at 2.8, at medium ranges. IQ gets better fast stopping down just a bit, and staying in the low or mid range.

Handling is okay. The zoom ring is positioned well to the center of mass so it naturally falls where you grab the lens. That's positioned great if you don't use the tripod collar. If you have the collar on (with say, a sling strap like I do), the collar interferes with the zoom ring. The ring is pretty smooth too, and throw is not too long.

The focus ring: I don't like it. I'd like it to have more mass and smoother action. Right now it's not exactly bad, but I don't trust it. You can't adjust a hair. I suppose I would get used to it, but using that after a number of old MF primes, I just don't like the light or almost hollow feel of this focusing ring.

Other handling issues are with the lens cap, it's a flimsy, clicky, impossible to hold securely, good luck trying to get that in with the hood on -type of cap. Why would they not just design better caps. It's beyond me. So overall using it is.... well, good, but not really great in any way. Overall, an 8 for handling the thing.

AF is a bit of good and bad. It's quiet. And it's fast. It'll stay on a passing bird. But the copy I have, and the K-5 I have are not a match. At -10 setting it comes just a little front at 200mm, spot on around 135, and a tiny bit back at 70. Also AF is inconsistent, and sometimes misses quite a bit. I find I need to worry about it, and refocus on the target if I want to be really sure I got the shot. AF reliability is not something I'm looking forward to worrying about.

Other issue with the AF is that it won't do any focusing in Live View. None. Not at all. 100 % failure rate. Even if I manually prefocus, and do just the last hint with CD AF, it'll just lose it. I think this needs to be worked by the Sigma (put in some new chip or something?), and I suspect it'd fix the PD AF too, but as it's not my own copy, I'm not sending it anywhere - so the whole AF issue thing is a bit of uncertain minus.

After giving the Sigma a spin I feel like owning a 70-200 is a must. Going with this one is doing it right. But going with other one might be even more right. So in conclusion, I'd say, if you can get this at a great price, jump on the opportunity and don't waste another thought about it. This is a really, really good lens. On the other hand, there's very little reason to go for this particular one, if there are other options within a reasonable price range of each other.

Some sample pictures. All with K-5, shot as RAW and done quite a lot of post processing in LR. Click to see it bigger:




Sample images reflect the "worst" aperture of f/2.8. The first one is where this lens should be at it's worst.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 338
Lens Review Date: December 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast AF, great bokeh, color and contrast rendition
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

A great lens to travel and take pictures of people. Sharp enough, great bokeh and contrast. HSM is very fast, quiet and precise. Hood is large and well protected from strong light lens. Lens construction as EX version is unqualified.

more sample from this lens
New Member

Registered: October, 2012
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: October 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,260.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Eeeeverything (Ok not size)
Cons: Size and weight but that's just a 70-200 f2.8 for you
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I said in pros "eeeverything" and I meant it.
Bokeh - gorgeous.
Colours - mind blowing.
Sharpness - Comes second in many lenses I've used, only to primes
Autofocus (why isn't this able to be rated on here?) - so stupidly fast that you often don't realise it's finished. Also perfectly accurate with my K-7, K-5 and K10D.
Handling - it's fine for me. A bit big and bulky but it can't help that.
Value - given all the above, it could cost $3000 and be good value.

My favourite lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Posts: 4,438
Lens Review Date: June 17, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, no disturbing CA, Bokeh, Fast and quiet AF, nicely built
Cons: Had some problems with AF (dirty motor), tripod mount somewhat blocks the zoom ring when mounted

The lens feels great in the hands with a solid build quality although with some weight due to the fast max aperture. The weight is a bit too much for for shooting a whole day without support but a hockey game or so is no problem.

Optically my example seem to be a really good one and after all the sports shooting and everything from "macro" to birds. The bokeh is simply wonderful and creamy. I have yet to encounter a shot ruined bu bad CA (like cheap 70-300 zooms).

Now the only bad history I have with the lens. I bought it used and at first the AF worked ok but after some time it the speed became unreliable and more and more often it even stopped working at all. Recently I sent it in for service and they cleaned the motor and now the lens works great, AF is faster than ever! Though, this kind of trouble seems to be common for almost all lenses with this kind of AF-motors.

Some pics:

Frog on by A.Sundell, on Flickr

In the wind by A.Sundell, on Flickr

120325_Rönnby_Pixbo-Wallenstam_89_AS by A.Sundell, on Flickr

120317_Surahammar_Falun Ungdom_20_AS by A.Sundell, on Flickr

2012-03-07 Surahammar Bålstad-8545 by A.Sundell, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Focal range, large aperture, sharp focus, very quick focusing!
Cons: None.

I shoot tons of sports, often taking as many several thousand shots in a day. This lens is spectacular! It focuses very quickly, and produces very sharp images. It rarely hunts, even in low light. This lens on my K5 has probably tripled my salable output. I highly recommend this lens for anyone wanting a great sports lens. I have nothing bad to say about this one. I love it. If I HAD to complain (something I am pretty good at!), I could complain about the weight, but ANY pro-grade 70-200 lens is going to be weighty. After a long day (8am-midnight last Saturday!), I will be sore after using this lens. Of course, you could take advantage of the tripod collar....but I insist on hand-holding for super fast composition changes. Bottom line is that this is a fantastic lens. I love it.
New Member

Registered: November, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: September 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Aperture
Cons: Mass

Looking for one right now...
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: 2.8, IQ, fast and silent AF, close focus
Cons: weight, no teleconverter possible

This is one heavy lens - it fits hardly in my camera bag. Luckily, Sigma provides an nice bag with it.
Images are high quality from this lens. Maybe a little soft wide open, but not too bad. The wide aperture and fast AF means I can use it when short shutter times are required: for sports shooting, this is the lens to have. I also use it for macro shots if I need a longer lens.

When I bought the lens, I planned on buying a teleconverter in the future. However, I now found out this is not possible - at all (as it seems). The Sigma website says it is a good match for the teleconverter. Unfortunately, that does not hold for us Pentaxians :-(

And yes, it's heavy.
Add Review of Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Buy the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II

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