Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM for Canon and Nikon review – A high performance 70-200mm equivalent for APS-C cameras

By David Newton - Friday May 03 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM lens performance | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM versus competition | Conclusion

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon Vs Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon Vs Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM mounted on Canon 7D

Putting the Sigma 50-150mm lens up against even very expensive models shows just how well it performs.

Being that this focal range is so well respected, there is strong competition both from main manufacturers and other third party lens builders. The Sigma and Tamron manage a DxOMark score of 19, beating Canon’s EF70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM lens, which performs a DxOMark score of 17.

Despite being older than the Tamron lens, the optical design of the Sigma shows through to record the highest sharpness score at 13P-Mpix, while the Tamron and Canon both manage 12P-MPix. Unsurprisingly at these focal lengths, all three lenses show essentially homogenous sharpness levels across the frame, with no drop-off in the corners.

Looking at the transmission results, the Sigma and Tamron are equal, while the Canon falls slightly behind, scoring 3.4TStop to the others 3.1TStop. Equally, for the distortion scores, there is almost nothing present, with all three lenses scoring 0.1% - essentially nothing you’ll ever likely notice in the real world.

In the vignetting test, the Sigma is actually the worst of the three, scoring -0.7Ev to the Tamron’s -0.4Ev and the Canon’s test-topping -0.3Ev. The Chromatic aberration tests again see the Canon coming out top with 3μm while the Sigma sits in the middle on 7μm and the Tamron is bottom with 9μm. In the real world, anything under 5μm is unlikely to be visible, and certainly not in final prints.

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Nikon Vs Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Nikon Vs Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR mounted on Nikon D7000

Within the Nikon fit group there is also strong competition, not least from Sigma’s own 70-200mm EX lens. Once again, the Sigma 50-150mm lens top scores in the overall ranking, beating both the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR (DxOMark score of 17) and the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM (DxOMark score of 16).

It’s the sharpness scores where this main difference is seen, with the 50-150mm lens managing 11P-MPix to the 9P-MPix of the other two lenses. Across the frame, all three lenses are even as well, with sharpness reaching right out to the corners.

In the transmission tests, all three lenses score well relative to their stated maximum aperture, with the Sigma 70-200mm just beating the 50-150mm. Distortion scores are all about equal too although in the vignetting tests, the 50-150mm does fall slightly short of the other two lenses, only managing -0.8Ev compared to the -0.5Ev of the Sigma 70-200 and -0.4Ev for the Nikon.

The Chromatic aberration scores are all very similar too, with both Sigma lenses scoring 7μm and the Nikon lens scoring 8μm.