Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II on Nikon D700

by Enche Tjin on January 18, 2009

Sigma 70-200mm is one of important alternative for Nikon shooters, especially for sports photographer. Mounted in Nikon D700, it delivers great image quality, sharpness and a smooth bokeh.

First Impression using the Sigma 70-200mm in Basketball game

About the sharpness
Sigma 70-200mm meets my expectation, the images are detailed and sharp even pixel peeped. Bokeh is very smooth. For comparison, the sharpness is close to Canon EF 70-200mm f4 is which is regarded as a ultra sharp lens. if f4 has score of 10, the sigma will get score of 9.

Auto Focus performance
Not as quick as USM, but with d700 51 points tracking system. it tracks movement in basketball arena very well. It is quiet, and snap on.

a little bit comment about the D700 shutter, it is very sensitive. only need a little bit pressure to focus/track.


I am not sure if this is because of the camera or lens. But most of the images are over saturated. I tend to believe this is because of the lens, because I have another Sigma telephoto lens and it behave that way. So you may need to set some picture style control.

if you point the lens to close to direct light source, it is prone to flare/ghosting even with hood attached. The hood might need to be bigger/longer. This is not very good because i never have problem when I am shooting with Canon 40D and 50mm or 85mm.

Again, I ‘m not sure it is because of the lens or the camera. Because I saw some images taken by pro photographer at school in the same arena has that kind of problem too. he use d700 & D300 with Nikon 80-200mm lens.

Also when the athlete s so close to you, you can still lock on focus. work because the max focus distance is 1 meter / 3 feets, or for marketing purpose, they called it Macro capability.

On sale below $750, The Sigma 70-200mm is doing very well with d700 in low light fast action photography. Price / value is top notch. Highly recommended.

Alternative pro-grade lenses for Nikon system include:
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Macro which is aproximately $100 cheaper, better sharpness, but lower grade built quality and slow Auto focus speed.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR which is $1500+, sharper, excellent with low light with VR, solid built quality, the best lens in the market so far. The negative is when mounted in full frame Nikon camera (D700 or D3) it has prominent vignetting problem. Check out some sample online.

Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
is older Nikon telephoto lens designed in film era. construction and image quality is great, but the auto focus is not fast. It is around $900.

Image Quality : Excellent 4/5
Build Quality : Very Good 5/5
Price value: 5/5

Travel and general purpose : **
Landscape : **
Portrait/Still Life : ****
Candid/Photojournalism : ****
Sports: *****

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sri Lanka March 17, 2011 at 7:16 am

This is a superb lens.
I’m looking for 500mm lens. :D

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