Lens review

Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM

Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM
13 February 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

During the development process of digital reflex cameras there was a period when many people believed that APS-C/DX sensors would become widely popular among professional photographers. Especially the Nikon company believed strongly in such a possibility, equipping the most expensive, top-of-the-range models of its reflex cameras with detectors of that type.

Knowing that the professionals are the most demanding customers, buying only good lenses, some companies decided to present equivalents of journalistic “beasts of burden” so the 24-70 and 70-200 mm lenses with f/2.8 apertures, designed for smaller sensors. The substitutes of this first model, so instruments with focal lengths ranging from 16-18 mm to 50-55 mm with f/2.8 aperture have been quite common as they have been received quite well on the market.

The situation with 70-200 mm equivalent was quite another matter. Here, with the angles of view being not so crucial, some photojournalists, even if they worked with APS-C/DX sensors, kept using full frame 70-200 mm devices with great success. Perhaps it was the reason why only two independent companies decided to launch new instruments in this segment. In 2006, practically at the same time, Tokina and Sigma showed their models - we think here about the Sigma 50–150 mm f/2.85 EX DC HSM and the Tokina AT-X 535 PRO DX AF 50–135 mm f/2.8 lenses, (both tested by specialists from our editorial office).

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No other producer has followed the suit and only Sigma dared to be consistent and showed a renewed version of its product three years later, called the Sigma 50–150 mm f/2.8 II APO EX DC HSM. Unfortunately we haven’t managed to tested that new lens but its specifications seem to indicate that the changes, compared to its predecessor, are just superficial.

More important changes you can find in the Sigma 50–150 mm f/2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM model, presented in February 2011. The lens increased its physical dimensions significantly as it was equipped with optical image stabilization.

Its fate has been strange so far. After the launch it didn’t hit the shelves for a long time and some people started to doubt whether it would be sold in shops at all. They were wrong. The lens was finally made available although with a significant delay – its first specimen could be found in Poland in the second half of 2012. As it is a quite interesting and untypical construction, being right now practically one of a kind, we decided to take a closer look at it and make a full test.

We would like to thank the Warsaw Sigma ProCentrum store for lending us this lens for testing purposes.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM - Introduction

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