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02-06-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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Replace my Sigma 17-70mm with what?

I have the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5, and it's a good lens. Occasionally I wish it were sharper, though.

What other lenses covering roughly this zoom range would be sharper? By roughly, I would accept up to 24mm or even 28mm at the low end and no less than 60mm at the high end.

Would I be forced to buy a much more expensive lens to get extra sharpness? Or are there any lenses in the price ballpark of the Sigma 17-70?

02-06-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
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The Tamron 28-75 or Sigma 24-70 might do it. Both are constant f2.8.
02-06-2011, 11:11 PM   #3
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The 17-70 is very sharp in center but soft at border; that is typical of Sigma lenses. From what I read, it is a very good lens; just a bit slow at the long end. Below are a few alternative at about the same price range:

Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC (Macro version is better than the non macro one, sharp at center, soft at border)
Sigma 17-50 f2.8 EX DC (better sharpness at border; this is new so expect to pay a premium for it)
Sigma 24-60 f2.8 EX DG (hard to find, limited range, full frame lens so good sharpness at border)
Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (sharp corner to corner, but build is not to Sigma standards)
Tamron 28-75 f2.8 (full frame lens, sharp corner to corner, not as wide)
Tokina 28-70 f2.8 AT-X Pro (full frame lens, comparable to the Tamron 28-75; there's one on sale right now in PF)
Pentax 16-50 f2.8 (very sharp at center, soft at border, expensive)

You should check out the review sections at PF, Photozone, etc.

Regards,

Peter
02-07-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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I find the 17-70 to be impressively sharp, not as sharp as my best primes but it's the sharpest zoom I own. Given the conveinence of the zoom range, close focusing, relatively fast speed, I'd say you might consider keeping it The Photozone sharpness tests show it holds its own against most zooms.

02-07-2011, 07:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I find the 17-70 to be impressively sharp, not as sharp as my best primes but it's the sharpest zoom I own. Given the conveinence of the zoom range, close focusing, relatively fast speed, I'd say you might consider keeping it The Photozone sharpness tests show it holds its own against most zooms.
I concur! I had thought about replacing or supplementing it with the Tamron 17-50, but the Sigma is more versatile with its greater range and close focus ability. It is by all means a very decent lens.
02-08-2011, 05:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
I have the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5, and it's a good lens. Occasionally I wish it were sharper, though.

What other lenses covering roughly this zoom range would be sharper? By roughly, I would accept up to 24mm or even 28mm at the low end and no less than 60mm at the high end.

Would I be forced to buy a much more expensive lens to get extra sharpness? Or are there any lenses in the price ballpark of the Sigma 17-70?
I have the same lens and like most other things in life I understand always wanting something better. I have considered the idea of getting either the Sigma 18-50 f2.8, the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 or the Pentax 16-50 f2.8. However, when I compare the extra reach I have and the macro like ability the 17-70 gives, I always come back to the fact that the 17-70 probably meets my needs better than anything else currently out there.

You obviously shoot a bit differently than I do. I find on a cropped sensor camera 28mm isn't wide enough for family shots indoors so I wouldn't be willing to compromise much on the 17mm end.

I also have the rather hard to find Sigma 28-105 APO f2.8-4 and while it's faster and offers a much wider range, it's not quite as sharp as the 17-70.

Each of us shoots a little differently. Hope you find what works best for you.
02-08-2011, 06:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I find the 17-70 to be impressively sharp, not as sharp as my best primes but it's the sharpest zoom I own. Given the conveinence of the zoom range, close focusing, relatively fast speed, I'd say you might consider keeping it The Photozone sharpness tests show it holds its own against most zooms.
That is true of the Pentax DA17-70 as well, which edged out the Sigma for my purchase several years ago. (SDM was a deciding advantage back then) The performance, range and physical size are such that it seldom leaves the K20d.

For performance and speed (in the sense of larger aperture) I tend to favor primes. A zoom in this FL range that sports F/2.8 is usually larger and heavier than a pocket full of primes that will be smaller and sharper, and the prime rendering will be more to my taste.
02-08-2011, 06:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
That is true of the Pentax DA17-70 as well, which edged out the Sigma for my purchase several years ago. (SDM was a deciding advantage back then) The performance, range and physical size are such that it seldom leaves the K20d.
If the Pentax 17-70 had existed when I purchased my Siggy, it would have been a difficult decision. But the Pentax is more expensive, nad a slower aperture over most of the range, and no close focusing capabilities to speak of. So I probably would have gone with the Siggy anyway.

Now that Sigma has a f2,8-f4 version, it's hard to justify purchasing the Pentax, I fear.

02-08-2011, 07:52 AM   #9
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2 Lenses

I've replaced mine with the 12-24mm and a 50-150mm 2.8. Only thing I'm waiting for is the 35mm 2.8 Macro Limited to replicate the close focus ability.

My 17-70mm sits almost always unused on a shelf, though my wife likes shooting with it better.
02-08-2011, 08:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If the Pentax 17-70 had existed when I purchased my Siggy, it would have been a difficult decision. But the Pentax is more expensive, nad a slower aperture over most of the range, and no close focusing capabilities to speak of. So I probably would have gone with the Siggy anyway.

Now that Sigma has a f2,8-f4 version, it's hard to justify purchasing the Pentax, I fear.
At the time I bought the DA17-70, I already owned the Sigma 17-35mm 2.8-4 EX DG. The wider aperture wasn't good for much except making manual focus brighter, so, based on that experience, it would not have been a big selling factor on the longer zoom. SDM was a big plus back then, because I was attending and shooting a lot of events that needed quiet, and Sigma had no HSM capability for Pentax.
02-08-2011, 01:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
At the time I bought the DA17-70, I already owned the Sigma 17-35mm 2.8-4 EX DG. The wider aperture wasn't good for much except making manual focus brighter, so, based on that experience, it would not have been a big selling factor on the longer zoom. SDM was a big plus back then, because I was attending and shooting a lot of events that needed quiet, and Sigma had no HSM capability for Pentax.
Actually, I find the Sigma extremely quiet at all times, and almost inaudible if it's already in the vicinity of the correct focus point. My copy is great if not perfect at f2.8, but then again I think I got one of the sharpest copies, it's so impressively sharp most of the time.
02-08-2011, 10:40 PM   #12
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well, seems 17-70 has the most verstaile zoom range.
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