Sigma SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS on my Sony A9II

Sigma SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS on my Sony A9II

Since I had a good experience with Sigma lenses before, it was a very positive surprise for me when they started shipping a 70-200mm F2.8 lens for Sony. Since I was planning to exchange my old Sony 70-200mm GM mk 1 for a GM mk 2, I was especially intrigued by the price. I decided to give it a try and bought a €1700 Sigma lens instead of a €3000 Sony lens, saving 1300€.

Teatro alla Scala

So, I took it to my first significant shoot at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy. I shot Coppelia, full length 3 act ballet. I took about 3000 photos.

First user experience

Sigma 70-200 F2.8 is slightly heavier than Sony’s equivalent G Master. I have shot over 200,000 photos with the latter and know its weight exactly, as well as other ergonomics. Since most of the time I shoot with a monopod, the extra weight was not a deal-breaker for me.
Zoom needed a lot of getting used to. First, it’s in a different location, at the front of the lens (not in the middle like the Sony lens). Second, it rotates the other way. These two factors were quite unusual. The power of muscle memory is significant. But you get used to it, I got used to it during one full-length ballet. In addition, the stops of the zoom are not softened, and there was an unusual “clunk” when turning it all the way to one side or the other. Nothing dramatic, but the Sony’s “zoom stop” is softer.

How did it go?

The lens is very fast and accurate focusing, even in very demanding lighting conditions. The only way to get a blurry photo is to use the wrong settings on your camera. According to the subjective impression, the lens is very sharp. I hope that soon there will be DXO measurements that confirm this, but I’m not complaining. So, RAW images were absolutely that I expected, if not slightly better.

Two major drawbacks

First of all, it is important to know that the maximum speed of the Sigma lens is 15 frames per second, even if the body speed of the Sony A1 or A9 is exceeding it. This seems to be a mandatory limitation set by Sony for those third party manufacturers who want access to Sony interface. 15 fps is enough for my usage, so I didn’t have to buy an expensive Sony GM lens. However, this limitation must be taken into account.

Secondly, Sigma for E/mount lacks a teleconverter. For the record, L-mount version has TC. It’s not a problem when shooting with an A1 body, if necessary, you can use the crop sensor mode and zoom in 1.5x. But I wouldn’t do that with the A9II body because of lower resolution.

And finally, one more thing that I like

The lens is black. Fits especially well in front of my black A9II. Much more appropriate and discreet color when shooting an event compared to the bright Sony GM tube.

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