Sigma 70 - 200 F/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport Review
A little history about my photography experience. Last year I was still using the Canon 5dm3 + 6D and I was waiting for the next greatest thing from Canon. Unfortunately nothing materialized. The 6D2 is a step back and the 5D4 was too much for too little. Sony then revealed the A7III. That body gave you pretty much everything I wanted in the 6D2 but unfortunately Canon didn't make it nor did they price it. I prompty pre-ordered the lens and got it 1st day on release in North America. The EOSR was underwhelming so I picked up the A7RIII to complement my A7III. All my lenses are still EF mount in case Canon came out with anything competitive but I switched out some of my lense for more Sony friendly Sigma EF mounts. From all the reviews I read and watched, Sigma's Art line + mc-11 was pretty much on par with the E mount version of the same lens. The only difference was focus noise in video. Optic wise Sigma lenses was either on par or a step ahead of Sony's lens of that focal range. Since I have no ambition to record video it was a no brainer for me.
The 2 most versatile lense are the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8. I own both Canon's version IIs and will be keeping the EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II I because it still focuses fast, accurate and quick while offering the best image quality out of any brand's 24-70 f/2.8, including Sony's GM. Unfortunately the Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 Art is the only dud of their Art line up and will not make it into my line up as well.
My EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS L II would sometimes hunt forever and will not acquire a lock. It was infuriating to have one of the better 70-200s but not be able to use it to it's full capacity. Luckily Sigma announced a refresh of their 70-200 and re branded into their Sports/Art line. Since the lens is so new and I have not seen any review from a Sony user's perspective, so I'd give it a go.
Tested on my Sony A7RIII v2.1 + MC11 v1.4.1
I used 3 lenses for AF tracking comparison.
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II (1.49kg)
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport (1.8kg)
Sony 85 f/1.8 FE
The Sony 85 f/1.8 is one of the quickest AF on the Sony body, I do not have lens that focus faster than this one. It would lock on quick and fast on the very 1st try, no hunting. I had no issues locking on to anything expect in really harsh back lighting.
I would rate it a 10/10
The Canon IIL if it can resolve would lock on pretty quick too 9/10, but when it can't it will hunt indefinitely. You really cannot tell when it will hunt, it just happens and you will miss your shot. I was at a fashion show event and ending up switching to my 105 f/1.4 Art because of the focusing issues. 0/10 when it cannot resolve.
The Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 Sport would track pretty well in great lighting 9 to 9.5/10. It can still get confused with weird lighting, non hard edged or non-distinct shapes. 4/10 in those situations but it will slowly lock on though. Full AF options are open to this lens including lock on AF. It will track a person or a car going down the street on continuous.
Unfortunately I do not have access to a Sony 70-200 F/2.8 GM to test out and compare it with these against the Canon or Sigma.
You can make AF faster with the Sigma dock and assigning it to one of the custom toggles. It makes the AF a small % faster than without it enabled. Since I own the dock this is not an issue, but if you do not own one you will need to purchase one or ask someone to help you out. This should of been automatically set up as Custom C1 out of the factory.
Video AF works as the Canon version does not so there is not much more for me to go into on this. I have the 85 f/1.8 FE to do video if I really wanted to get a tight video show that auto focuses and that would be better for video than a zoom anyways. The option is there if you chose to use this lens though.
Canon extenders AF
1.4x - very quick, works fine 8/10
2x - much slower AF than when I remember the 70-200 + 2x on my 5dm3 5/10
Has better flare resistance than the Canon EF 70 -200 f/2.8 II as I tested this against the Canon f/2.8 II. I do not have the version III to test out but I believe that lens would beat the Sigma. 9/10
Sigma Left - Canon Right
This lens has no focus breathing. It is fractionally better than the legendary Canon in this regards. Either it's a bit longer than 200mm or the Canon isn't fully 200mm. Either way your subject will be a tiny bit bigger at closest distance. I think only the Sony GM, the Canon's and now this lens are the only ones with no focus breathing issues. 10/10
Also notice the buttery smooth bokeh.
Sigma Left - Canon Right
4 stops worth and it also works in conjunction with Sony's IBIS this should be even better than Tamron's 70-200 G2 on a Canon body. 10/10
Optical Quality / Sharpness
It's pretty much on par or sharper than my Canon EF 70-200, and that's saying a lot as Canon didn't change their optics when they refreshed it to version III. Great edge to edge sharpness right at f/2.8. Minor improvements at f/4 to f/8. I had a whole bunch of side by side comparison on a resolution chart but due to my novice testing I couldn't see any difference or if I did it was negligible. 10/10
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Photo from Zakna's gallery.
3 Focus hold button can be reassigned to whatever you want on the Sony body. Eye AF, Focus hold, AF on, or whatever else is in their custom button menu. Each button does the same thing though.
Custom toggle C1/C2 can be pre-programmed with quicker/smoother AF / focus range limitered / and smoother IS?
IS mode has off / on / panning only IS
Removeable Arcaswiss foot attached to tripod collar. You do not need external mounting plate unless you have a totally different tripod head.
Value & Conclusion
At the time of writing I did a quick check on B&H for their prices. There are no other 70-200 f/2.8 for Sony beside's Sony's own with a native mount.
Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM + MC11 = $1350
Tamron SP 70-200 F/2.8 Di VC G2 + MC11 = $1550
Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport + MC11 = $1750
Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 L IS II + MC11 = $2050
Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 L IS III + MC11 = $2350
Sony FE 70-200 GM OSS = $2600
Out of those 6 lenses, I believe only 2, the new Sigma and the Sony have competitive and accurate AF. If you already own the MC-11 adapter, it's a no brainer going with the Sigma. It's pretty like night and day between my Canon LII lens and the new Sigma Sport version. Don't get me wrong. The Canon does focus and focuses well when it resolves the subject. It's the not knowing if you next shot will focus that really is what gives it a failing grade on a Sony body. It's still an excellent lens for Canon bodies and I will sell mine to someone that can use it to it's full potential. It's been sitting on my shelf since I purchased my Sony bodies. I'm glad that Sigma gave us something that is pretty comparable to the top 70-200 out there. The only negative I can see is the weight and the bigger filter size.