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Lens review

Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM

6 September 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

6. Distortion

On small APS-C/DX sensors the distortion in 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses is not a problem because it practically never exceeds 1%. For all instruments of this type its graph related to the focal length’s change is very similar. At 70 mm we deal with slight “barrel”, in the middle of the range – slight pincushion, which increases slowly on passing to 200 mm. The results of the Sigma 70-200 mm OS and its rivals are presented in the chart below.


Sigma
70–200 OS
Sigma
70–200 II
Nikkor
70–200 VRII
Tamron
70–200
Canon
70–200 IS
70 mm
−0.66%
−0.24%
−0.26%
−0.46%
−0.39%
135 mm
0.31%
0.64%
0.49%
0.36%
0.31%
200 mm
0.66%
0.94%
0.70%
0.64%
0.54%
280 mm
−0.18%
0.82%

0.67%
−0.19%


In the case of the tested lens you can also notice a slightly different approach, compared to its predecessor or the Nikkor 70-200 mm VRII, in terms of distortion correction,. The Sigma 70-200 mm OS allows higher “barrel” at 70 mm to have less problems with the “pincushion” values at longer focal lengths. The older Sigma and the Nikkor feature lower barrel distortion at 70 mm but also higher “pincushion” in the 135-200 mm range.

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The distortion on full frame is higher for obvious reasons. At 70 mm we had “barrel” of –1.36%; in the middle of the focal lengths range “pincushion” with the value of 0.75% which increases to 1.59% on passing to 200 mm. After attaching the 1.4x converter the distortion sign changes again and it amounts to –0.80%. It’s worth noticing that these results are a bit higher than these of the Nikkor 70-200 mm VRII tested not so long ago; at 70,135 and 200 mm it showed -0.78%, 0.85% and 1.39% respectively.


Canon 50D, 70 mm
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion
Canon 50D, 135 mm
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion
Canon 50D, 200 mm
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion
Canon 50D, 280 mm (TC 1.4x)
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion

Canon 1Ds MkIII, 70 mm
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion
Canon 1Ds MkIII, 135 mm
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion
Canon 1Ds MkIII, 200 mm
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion
Canon 1Ds MkIII, 280 mm (TC 1.4x)
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - Distortion