Monday, April 2, 2012

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Discontinued

Recently Sigma discontinued their non-optically stabilized 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. When exactly it was discontinued isn't clear, as it was available for purchase last fall and I haven't found anywhere online an actual date it was discontinued. This lens offered a relatively inexpensive option for a constant aperture in the 70-200 zoom range, selling for around $500 less than the Optically Stabilized version of the same lens from Sigma and selling for a much steeper discount over a stabilized Canon or Nikon lens of similar specifications.

I wonder if this is the start of a trend as image stabilization has grown from being a great option to being  virtually expected on any lens or camera as even the basic kit lenses all include image stabilization. It will be interesting to see if other lens manufactures follow suite, and I expect to some extent that they will. Currently Tamron appears to be the only 3rd party lens manufacture with a 70-200 f/2.8 that is not optically stabilized, though a recent patent posted on Photo Rumors shows what looks to be an updated 70-200 that includes Tamron's Vibration Compensation technology. And while Canon still sells a non IS version of their 70-200, it is predictable more expensive than not only the discontinued Sigma lens, but more expensive than Sigma's stabilized version as well.

While the lens is discontinued and not available at most camera retailers, you can still find it on Amazon and the secondary market. I have had some hands on with this lens, using it on a Canon Rebel T2i for the Yearbook & Photography club I advise at a local middle school. This is our sports lens used heavily at indoor school sporting events and the students have produced some fantastic shots with it. Even with the 2.8 aperture ISO 3200 is still the typical ISO used for fast enough shutter speeds in the poor lighting of a middle school gym.

Now we wait and see how many more non stabilized lenses are added to the discontinued list, and maybe of more interest - how many new lenses are made with out stabilization?

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