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05-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #1
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New or Old Version of Sigma 17-70mm?

I'm looking to upgrade my kit lens with the Sigma 17-70mm. I read some good reviews and experiences with the older version F2.8/4.5, but it's a debate whether the optical quality of the newer OS HSM F2.8/4 version is comparable to the predecessor. Some say the older version is better while some say it's identical.

I could care less about the OS, HSM, and marginal faster speed of the new version, my question is whether the optical formulas are the same for both versions. I really hope someone who has owned both versions of the lens can step in and give us some feedback, or even better a head-on comparison.

Considering the price for an used copy of the old version and the price for a brand new copy are rather close, I'll get a brand new one in a heartbeat if the optical quality is comparable.

CORRECTION: I forgot I already read that both versions have different optical formulas, the new version has 17 elements/13 groups and 1:2.7 magnifications. I would think the new formula is superior, but so far I found no evidence or comparison to support this.


Last edited by sickguy; 05-08-2010 at 08:59 PM.
05-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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Here are two tests from the same review site:

The older model:
Google Translate

The newer model:
Google Translate

These are both translated from a Polish website, so the English may be a bit weird, but the tests are there. As far a what I can observe, the newer model is significantly better in terms of resolution, but there's more to the reviews.
05-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
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There have been a number of reviews of the different Sigma 17-70mm lenses at Photozpn.de and SLRgear.com:
http://www.photozone.de/pentax/147-sigma-af-17-70mm-f28-45-dc-pentax-k-review--test-report 17-70mm DC
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC macro - Review / Test Report DC macro
Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro (Tested) - SLRgear.com! DC Macro
Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM (Tested) - SLRgear.com! DC Macro OS HSM

SLRgear.com compared the 17-70mm Macro and the 17-70mm Macro OS HSM, and concluded: "While the older version of Sigma's 17-70mm doesn't have the same aperture capability of the new version or optical stabilization, it produced markedly sharper images - though it could be that there are sharper copies of the 17-70mm OS we tested. CA resistance is a little better, distortion is a bit lower, but corner shading is a bit higher. Macro performance is also a bit better and the whole package weighs a bit less; it's also a little less expensive."

Since the Pentax cameras have IS, the lens OS is redundant and the only advantage of the newer 17-70mm OS HSM is the HSM. Is it really worth the extra cost?

Note that there was a worthwhile recent thread on a comparison between the Sigma 17-70mm and Tamron 28-75mm:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/100430-best-zo...portraits.html
The Tamron 28-75mm is a close competitor of the Sigma 17-70mm, and it received excellent review comments also:
Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) (Nikon) - Review / Lab Test Report


Hope that the info will assist....

Last edited by hcc; 05-08-2010 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Tupos
05-08-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nerdold Nerdith Quote
Here are two tests from the same review site:

The older model:
Google Translate

The newer model:
Google Translate

These are both translated from a Polish website, so the English may be a bit weird, but the tests are there. As far a what I can observe, the newer model is significantly better in terms of resolution, but there's more to the reviews.
That's an english link for the new version here: Sigma 17-70 mm f/2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM review - Introduction - Lenstip.com

And the image resolution numbers for those two lenses are not comparable, because one was taken with Canon 20D and one with Canon 50D (as I remember the 50D has significantly higher MTF number than the 20D). But nevertheless, ,those are the 2 most useful reviews I found, thanks.

05-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
There have been a number of reviews of the different Sigma 17-70mm lenses at Photozpn.de and SLRgear.com:
http://www.photozone.de/pentax/147-sigma-af-17-70mm-f28-45-dc-pentax-k-review--test-report 17-70mm DC
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC macro - Review / Test Report DC macro
Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro (Tested) - SLRgear.com! DC Macro
Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM (Tested) - SLRgear.com! DC Macro OS HSM

SLRgear.com compared the 17-70mm Macro and the 17-70mm Macro OS HSM, and concluded: "While the older version of Sigma's 17-70mm doesn't have the same aperture capability of the new version or optical stabilization, it produced markedly sharper images - though it could be that there are sharper copies of the 17-70mm OS we tested. CA resistance is a little better, distortion is a bit lower, but corner shading is a bit higher. Macro performance is also a bit better and the whole package weighs a bit less; it's also a little less expensive."

Since the Pentax cameras have IS, the lens OS is redundant and the only advantage of the newer 17-70mm OS HSM is the HSM. Is it really worth the extra cost?

Note that there was a worthwhile recent thread on a comparison between the Sigma 17-70mm and Tamron 28-75mm:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/100430-best-zo...portraits.html
The Tamron 28-75mm is a close competitor of the Sigma 17-70mm, and it received excellent review comments also:
Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) (Nikon) - Review / Lab Test Report


Hope that the info will assist....
Thanks for the links, I read all those reviews before posting a question here. It seems like SLRGear agrees that the older version is better in optical performance, but it also mentioned that it could be the decentering problem of the new version lens they tested.

I'm looking for a walkaround lens so the 28-75mm is not in my consideration because it's not wide enough, although I know it has better aperture speed and optical quality. But thanks for the suggestion nonetheless.
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