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Sigma DC Macro 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 Review RSS Feed

Sigma DC Macro 17-70mm F2.8-4.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
50 134,244 Wed August 11, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $285.48 8.61
Sigma DC Macro 17-70mm F2.8-4.5

This lens was succeeded by the DC 17-70mm OS HSM version

Weight: 455g/16.0 oz
Length: 82.5mm/3.2 in
Filter Diameter: 72mm
Min. Focus: 20cm/7.9 in
Max. Magnification: 1:2.3
Diagonal FOV:
Horizontal FOV: 72.4 - 20.2 degrees
Horizontal FOV on Digital: 72.4 - 20.2 degrees
Min. Aperture: F22
Optical Construction: 15 Elements in 12 Groups
Autofocus: slotted screwdrive

Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:

Add Review of Sigma DC Macro 17-70mm F2.8-4.5
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Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Brno
Posts: 280

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 11, 2021 Recommended | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, image output, F2.8, close-up capability
Cons: AF could be faster and more reliable
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D, K5, K3    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

I've bought this lens back in early 2008 as my first lens with K20D body and it served me almost daily for something over three years until I bought K5 with DA18-135 and that DA18-135 is now my most used lens since.

BUT Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 is still one of my favorite lenses, it has better image quality than DA18-135 and it can be called universal lens for everything untill you need longer reach

Resolution is good even for 24Mpix K3 body, lens exhibits very little chromatic aberations. Sigma 17-50/2.8 has a bit better output, but lacks the all-in-one feel of Sig17-70. It has F2.8 at the wide end which helps in low light and also focusing sensors have more light than with kit lens for example. It has very useful close up ability which can almost be called macro. At 70mm lens can focus on things that are touching front element.

Lens works best when paired with DA55-300 that provides the long end. With such combo you are fully covered for travelling. It can even be used to shoot stuff like wedding or other ceremony as around F4-F6.3 it proveides great image across whole frame and across whole zoom range.

AF operation is not amongst the fastest, but certainly usable. Reliability depends on camera and careful calibration.

Build quality is on very good level. But my lens was once serviced because of lens zoom creep. Since then it is tightened enough and does not extend easily. Rubber band on zoom ring started to expand over years and was a bit loose, so one day I decided to put it away, place a layer of thick double sided tape there and put the ring back. Since then it holds on place firmly. Lens surface gets a bit grayish over time but even after 13 years I see NO scratches or finish defects. Lens hood is somewhat loose after all those years, but still clicks on place.

With current 2nd hand prices I only can recommend this lens instead of kit lenses or various old lenses. It is great tool that can fit into many roles. It is wide enough, bright enoug, focuses close enough, image quality is good and even the zoom range is very useful. When shooting RAW the image output can be tuned to even better levels with slight sharpening and contrast.
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 6
Review Date: June 9, 2021 Recommended | Price: $87.50 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness +++++ all focal lengths and macro; AF fast with almost no "hunting"
Cons: None so far
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-3    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

I like this recent, new-old acquisition very much, and don't mind saying that I'm impressed. Overview: excellent build quality, all controls and fittings 100%, compact with good "heft" and balance, with excellent ease-of-use and handling; very fast AF with almost none of the dreaded "hunting" that can cost that perfect shot; pin-sharp at all focal lengths; manual focus smooth and quick, a total pleasure to use; no noticeable highlight flare; corner distortion @ 17mm negligible ("normal" and definitely not objectionable -- no surprises here); best feature so far (especially for small subject nature photography): seamless, fast, ultra-sharp and very easy-to-use close-up / macro function; 2nd-best feature: everything else. I currently use, and for many years have owned and used dozens of Pentax and other-brand lenses of almost every kind. For me, this Sigma 17-70mm DC Macro is coming very close to the "Best lens ever" -- perhaps most importantly on this point, the marriage to the K-3 seems ideal. That's saying a lot and I'm hesitant to use those words, but that's where I'm leaning. So, for now, I will hold off and suspend judgment, I'll continue to use this new-old, high-quality gem every day, and will "push the envelopes" of where, when, why, and under what conditions, to see what comes up. Photos to be added later.
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 11
Review Date: July 21, 2019 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness
Cons: Screw-driven AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: Used   

Far sharper than Pentax 70-70mm f/4, and at times, even sharper than Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

Registered: May, 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,537

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 7, 2017 Recommended | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: I've now got one!
Cons: I'm not sure how good it actually is!
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-30, K 3II    Autofocus: 7    New Or Used: 8   

Above ratings are only my first impressions as I only got it s/h a few days ago.

The only real problem so far is the original Sigma lens hood is very loose, and my initial efforts to "fix" that have been only partially successful.
Edited 31 Aug 2017: put some tape around parts of the inside of the hood bayonet, and that seems to have sorted the looseness.

I hope it will replace my 18-135 in general use on the K-30, and occasionally on the K-3/K-3 II, but what I would be really interested in would be any comparisons with the later HSM &/or OS versions of this lens or its derivatives - so, your comments please
Edited 31 Aug 2017:
did a back-to-back test for front/back focusing on the K-30 and the K3 II using a 1m rule at about 5m distance (no problems there on either body), and found that the lens seems to out-resolve the K-30 sensor as the equivalent images on the K-3 II were notably sharper!

It's now my go-to walkabout lens for days out, even though it's larger and heavier than the original model 18-135 but it seems sharper (never totally "satisfied" with the latter, especially the contrast).
Edited Jan 2018: Should have said that I paid around $100 US in mid-2017 - and, for that amount, I think it was a bargain.
PS: the "average price" is now well out-of-date, being that it is quite an old lens - probably should now be around the price I paid if you want to buy one in 2018
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 76

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 25, 2017 Recommended | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: range, sharp, price, build quality, ~macro
Cons: weight, lack of WR
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: 8   

After last holiday while using mainly DA 18-50 which done good job I realized that while small and WR new kit is sadly slow, not super sharp and it's range is not versatile enough.
I found this lens and decide to give it a try.
17mm vs 18mm gives a bit more range, 50 vs 70mm is significant better especially after taking into account that kit is 5.6 at 50mm while Sigma is 4.5 at 70mm and f4 at 50mm i.e much faster.

f2.8 for 17-21mm
f3.5 for 22-35mm
f4.0 for 35-50mm
f4.5 for 50-70mm

Good new is that at long end it is really sharp from f4.5.
Sadly at wide end it starts to be sharp only after f4 and literally super sharp at f5.6. F2.8 to f3.5 can be useful but are rather soft.**

**Update 1. Lens can at times be sharp even at f2.8. I suspect that it is related to AF. Literally I can take photo of some subject and it will be soft, and one minute later I can take exactly the same photo (the same settings, subject, light) and it is sharp.

**Update 2. Lens is much sharper when focused manually. After adjusting focusing using AF FINE ADJUSTMENT function(-6) on my K-70 photos started to be sharp straight from f2.8.

At 50mm f5.6 it is as sharp as DA 50mm f1.8 at 5.6

At 17 mm it is significantly sharper then relatively sharp new kit DAL 18-50 at 18mm.

There are some aberrations but less then in DA 18-50 and much less then in DA 18-55.

Sigma is much bigger and heavier but has more versatile range, is faster and sharper then new and significantly sharper then old kit.
In general lens offers very good image quality, fast AF is, reasonably fast and really sharp.

70mm f4.5 (~100% crop)

Macro is OK.

New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 17
Review Date: July 18, 2016 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: nice weight, good focal length (for me)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K3    Autofocus: 8   

i managed to find one of these scond hand for $90 australian, picked it up that day and used it the following day for a car meetup shoot, have nothing but good recommendations for this lens especially for the price i paid for it
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Zagreb
Posts: 25

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 3, 2016 Recommended | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: range, sharp, price
Cons: lens cap - hard to put when hood attached
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5, Pentax K-r    Autofocus: 8   

I bought this lens because zoom range. Pretty wide and solid zoom at 70mm. I also use DA 16-45 but it is too short for me. Sigma seems to be great all around lens. It also have macro capability, not as real macro lens, but can do a job.

New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 23

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 20, 2015 Recommended | Price: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness, range, build quality, 1/2 macro ability, speed
Cons: nothing to me
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Autofocus: 10   

This lens known for it's sharpness as a Sigma lens. It's very sharp in the center across its focal length range, but the corners do get slightly soft when shooting wide open at both ends of its focal length range. Where the Sigma 17-70mm really shines though, is when you stop it down a little: One stop down from wide open, the corners get much sharper, and two stops down it's tack sharp across the entire frame, and across the full focal length range.

Chromatic aberration is very low at middle focal lengths, rising slightly at maximum wide angle and telephoto.

Another good side of this Sigma lens is its macro capability. The closest-focus spec of 20cm translated to a distance from the front element of only a couple of inches or so on our Pentax K-5 body, very close focusing indeed.

Sigma 17-70mm is quite satisfying, it has a nice solid feel, probably better than average for lenses in its price. Highly recommended.
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 45
Review Date: November 19, 2014 Recommended | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great zoom range
Cons: noisy focus motor
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K50    Autofocus: 7   

Needed something wide and longer than my WR 18-55mm. This fit the bill for a better lens overall minus weather-proofing which I don't use regularly anyway. Bought here on the Pentax forum used but in excellent condition. Overall great lens and happy I got it, will match nicely to my Sigma 70-200 f2.8.

Sample pics
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 1
Review Date: August 5, 2014 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good at wide angle.
Cons: Autofocus could be faster.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

I have never had such a cheap lens, which has such a high edge sharpness at wide angle already at open aperture. At higher focal lengths, the edge sharpness is then but a little worse.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 726

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 22, 2013 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, fast(ish), great IQ
Cons: Maybe the 72mm filters...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

At solid 9/10 for the Sigma, like most other reviewers I would say this lens is as good as a zoom lens can be.
This is by far my favourite lens past and present, it's not perfect but it is very good.
Even wide open the pictures are sharp and colour rendition is spot on. Low aberrations and/or fringing (Except maybe at 70). (lets say it's a 10/10 for a mid-zoom)
There is a bit of distortion at both ends but nothing which isn't expected from a zoom lens.
Bokeh is smooth and buttery and blends the OOF areas nicely.
Handling is nice, the lens feels good although a bit on the heavy side. Zooming is smooth and unless shaken quite badly it doesn't creep.
Focus ring travel is a bit short for manual focussing and on both my K5 and Kr, sometimes the AF hunts a bit so if you're into live action/sport photography it might bug you. For anything else, it's top notch.
Even if the name says Macro, it is not well suited for macro photography, the focus range is too short for it's minimal focussing distance.
This lens is always in my bag and is always on one of my cameras whenever I am planning on doing some landscape and/or casual portraiture. I even use it for studio portrait shots.
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 100
Review Date: October 11, 2013 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fine sharpness, f2.8 @17mm, colorful, fine AF accuracy
Cons: Big filter size, noise AF.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

Used it with other 18-125 HSM.
Due screw AF, this lens have noise when AF. But fast enough with me.
AF accuracy is fine (with K20D).
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2009
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 146
Review Date: April 18, 2013 Recommended | Price: $275.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Reasonably sharp, good color, very useful range, great for portrait work
Cons: Zoom creep, spotty sharpness in longer focal range
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I bought this lens used in Hong Kong over a year ago and have been happy with the results to date. For the price it would be hard to complain. I've been using it on my K10D.
On the good side the zoom range is perfect for an urban walk about lens and it has good enough speed even in the longer focal length to be used handheld in the twilight. The CA is fairly well controlled and the weight is solid but an easy carry. As a portrait lens it performs well with good sharpness and color though even at 2.8 it can be hard to get good separation from the background.
The cons are the zoom creep that I solve with a rubber wrist band my daughter gave me. The sharpness is good up close but can be quite spotty in longer focal distances. So though environmental portraiture is not its strong suit it has enough other strengths to warrant purchasing one.

Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Below sealevel
Posts: 1,100

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 25, 2013 Recommended | Price: $238.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fairly sharp, very usable range, price, durability
Cons: Zoomcreep, blocks onboard flash, outerfinish
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

Bought this lens second hand as a replacement of the 18-55 kitlens. It is my oldest lens and has served me well for over 5 years and 3 bodies (K100d, K20d and K5). It`s a a great travelcompanion because of it`s reach. While it is not blistering fast or as sharp as some of my other lenses, it does it`s job decently and reliable once you know it`s limitations. Also the semi-macro function is great, one can make nice closeups with it.
Like stated before by others it`s a jack of all trades due to it`s reach. If I go to an event or trip where I don`t know what to expect this lens allways let me capture it in a decent way.

Offcourse it has some drawbacks: Distortion is somewhat pronounced @ 17mm and the sunhood blocks the onboard flash. Furthermore the outer finish gets dull but it sure is durable and can sustain a lot of mistreatment. The srewdrive is a little noisy and it`s not really a small lens but it`s not overly heavy and balances good on the different camera`s.

My conclusion: It is a cheap and reliable workhorse that delivers decent to good images at all apertures.

Lincoln Memorial

Marjolein I

Machine @ work: Lathe

Dawn @ Kinderdijk (Explored)

Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Day 13: Gaustablikk
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Dobrich
Posts: 27

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 1, 2013 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Easy to use, well built, nice balance on my k10d, sharp
Cons: focus ring rotates during focusing, zoom ring turns in the other direction
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

Got this lens a few weeks ago and it has been on my body since then. Really well built lens. No zoom creep issues yet. The hood fits nice and tight and does a great job. The focus is nice and sort of fast, hunts a bit in low light and contrast but then again most lenses do. Defocus is rendered nice and soft like most Sigma lenses. Here are some samples on my K10d:

Flowers by the window by nickodim, on Flickr

The Lake by nickodim, on Flickr

Before the fight by nickodim, on Flickr

A Way Of Life by nickodim, on Flickr
Add Review of Sigma DC Macro 17-70mm F2.8-4.5

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