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Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)

Sharpness 
 8.4
Aberrations 
 8.5
Bokeh 
 8.0
Autofocus 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.1
Value 
 8.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 66,233 Fri April 21, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
88% of reviewers $435.50 8.31
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
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Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
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Description:
The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM is the first of the new "Contemporary" Sigma zoom lenses. This new version of the 17-70mm includes improved optics and an all-new build which incorporates Thermally Stable Composites.

The Pentax version of this lens does not come with an in-lens stabilizer, as one is not needed due to the Pentax in-body Shake Reduction.

Optical construction: 16 elements in 14 groups
Maximum aperture: 2.8 (at 17mm) - 4 (at 70mm)
Minimum aperture: F22
Filter size: 72mm
Minimum focusing distance: 22cm
Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:2.9
Diameter x Length: 79mm x 82mm
Diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
Weight: 470g
Angle of view (diagonal): 79.7-22.9 degrees
Autofocus: Yes, Sigma HSM

Previous versions:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro.
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
In-Depth Review: Read our Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary) in-depth review!
Price: $499
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:



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Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 583
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, Size, Zoom range, Sharpness
Cons: No longer comes with bag/pouch
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5 IIs   

Great wide-to-(just beyond)-Normal zoom.
Fantastic to have that little more reach than a 17-50 and the slower aperture at the far end is a compromise I'm happy with.
Size and weight suits the K5 perfectly.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: belgium
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: ?
Cons: weak colours, a lack of contrast
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 4    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

I had the chance to use this lens for a couple of months, and to compare it with my trusted Pentax 17-70 mm. I'm really disappointed with the Sigma 17-70. Maybe I got a bad copy but the pictures I made with the lens are really soft: weak colours and a lack of contrast. This lens is a waste of the money.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2015
Location: L'assomption, QC, j5w5z8
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharpness, IQ, focal lenght.
Cons: Flare and ghost issue
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K50   

First of all i'm posting this revue after a moderator asked me. I will firstly put the original post that originated this revue.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To put a final note on the flare and ghost issue, i found a site '' lenstip.com'', where they decipher all the characteristics of lenses. So for this Sigma lens and others like the 18-250 and 18-200, they all have some flare and ghosts issues. Mine was not different than the others.
I have to say, that prior to buying this lens i read many reviews, and no one was talking about bad flaring and ghosting.
So for IQ, sharpness and other stuff, it's a great lens, but if you want to take nice sunbirsts, forget it, because it will be bad, in some cases it gets really bad.

So, if you have a kit lens, find it's sweetspot and work with it. One thing is sure, Pentax lenses do a lot better job on flaring and ghosting than Sigma.

It's only my opinion.

Have a nice day.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't get me wrong, this lens has a lot going for it, I've cropped images a lot and still the details are great. But the flare is not well controlled on mine.
So for the price i paid, it's rather disappointing.
Like i said, the review on lenstip.com, was probably the only negative one i saw on flaring and ghosting, but that's exactly what i got with mine.

Here are some examples.




I'm not telling you not to buy this lens, just be aware and not surprised if you have this issue with it.

Have a nice day.
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Paris
Posts: 49

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, AutoFocus
Cons: Sliding Aperture
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K30   

This lens is my first walkaround lens I bought after seeing some shots taken with it. I am fully satisfied with it. I have some sample photos in my flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/117312932@N02/sets/72157652959725972

The sharpness is excellent, the focus is very precise, no back/front focus (as reported on the tamron 17-50 f2.8). For walkaround, weddings, this lens is near perfect. I said near perfect because if it had a constant aperture then it would be. But for that, you probably need to pay quite a bit to get the same quality. This lens is very good value for money, you will not regret it.

For low light, if you have a good camera that can handle high iso (like the K30), this is not a problem anymore.
Aside of that, this lens is polyvalent and is constantly mounted on my k30
   
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $341.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Brilliant All Rounder
Cons: Lens Hood
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax KR   

I'm not into over-analysis of equipment. Sometimes this can be like a group of artists arguing for hours about the relative attributes of their paint brushes. At the end of the day it is the artist/photographer who makes the difference. After all these years of lens development I don't think there are many "bad" lenses, just relative degrees of "good". After all, who amongst us has their prints blown up to poster size or are published or sold on? For the vast majority of photographers, most photographs in this digital age remain on the computer, and if printed, seldom above 4x 5. I have owned many cameras over the years and have mostly used the supplied kit lens as I find the cost of many lenses prohibitive. However having owned a Pentax K-r for 5 years and used only the kit lens I decided this very clever camera deserved something a bit better. So I bought a second hand Sigma 17-70 C off e-bay for 220. All I can say is it is quiet,efficient and very sharp as illustrated by the photographs of other contributors to this thread. For a general purpose, non specialist, all-round useful lens I don't know what else anyone could expect off such a relatively cheap lens. For me it does just about everything I want from a lens except true 1: 1 Macro, super wide or super telephoto. A brilliant every day accompaniment to your Pentax camera.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 14

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focal range, HSM, size, weight, sharpness
Cons: Perfomance at 17mm. Color rendering is not "pentax".
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

It is always difficult to judge "standard" lenses, and I guess even more difficult to design them. Mainly because of the increasing quality of kit lenses. Pentax (or any other brand) 18-55 gives you a good amount of sharpness, compactness and reliability, as these kit-lenses are the first instrument to introduce newbies to photography.
I've tried to move into using fixed-focal lenses and succeeded in it. But as my daughter was growing up I clearly understood that I need a bright lightning-fast-focus vario-focal lens. I've tried several lenses, including pentax's star 16-50 and 17-70 sdm, and none of them were nearly as good as Sigma. Don't get me wrong those are great lenses, but Sigma is clearly better for me. And those 20 mm on the long end are "must have" for kids photos.

Sharpness. Sigma 17-70 C is not a perfect lens. Performance at 17mm is "meh". But it is usable. From 24 to 70 even wide open it's damn good. Just don't expect it to perform like a prime. The downside is color rendering, a bit yellowish and definitely not "pentax".
HSM. I don't know how in other lenses, but my copy is super fast and very accurate. Throw is short, almost no annoying hunting even in the dark . I wish all Pentax zoom lenses had that kind of auto-focus. Because of this I rate it a 10.
If you want a good all-around vario-focal lens try Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM C and maybe it will fit you as well as it did for me.

All attached photos are post-processed.

70mm f/4
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26mm f/3.5
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28mm f/3.5
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17mm f/7.1
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Close focus at 70mm f/4
[/url]

17mm f/4.5
[/url]

All of the photos with full size available - https://fotki.yandex.ru/users/sunfog/tags/sigma%2017-70mm%20f2.8-4%20dc%20macro%20hsm%20c

Thank you for reading!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 1,728
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Quite sharp mid to long focal lenghts
Cons: Very low resolution at wide end
Sharpness: 4    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 3    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

This was a refurb lens bought directly from Sigma but I had to send it back. I would have certainly kept it if not for terrible resolution at the wide end. Down around 18 mm, it made my DA 18-135 look like a $1000 lens. It wasn't a front/back focus issue, either, as I checked it using CDAF as well. Built quality is top-notch.
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Wayne, NJ
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, sharpness, quality
Cons: None so far
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

Lens is a huge upgrade from the kit lens. The quality of this lens is great and has a nice solid feel to it. I would recommend this lens!!!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Posts: 26,463

12 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast, build, price
Cons: Weight, FOV at long end, no red dot
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

This lens is positioned as a moderately-priced option for users needing a better performing alternative to the Pentax DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 kit lens. Formal reviews have been consistent in their praise in regards to build and optical performance, so it was with a high level of anticipation that I ordered my copy at the same time as my K-3.

Build
Despite being a moderately-priced lens, I would rate the build quality of the 17-70 (C) as being very good to excellent. The lens body is mostly plastic, but it is dang nice plastic. There is nothing cheap feeling about this lens. All controls operate very smoothly and are pleasure to use. I might also mention that there is no wobble, even at full extension. My only reservation regarding build is in regards to the lens hood. The hood has a fairly flimsy feel.
Note: I was recently asked about the serial number location. Hmmm...that is a good question. After a diligent search I found a series of very tiny engraved numbers on the barrel above the "Sigma" label just below the zoom ring. The serial number is also flashed onto the lens' "chip" and is available to the Sigma USB Dock appliance.

In The Field
Over all, real world usage of the Sigma 17-70 (C) is a very pleasant experience.
It is a little on the bulky side, but balances nicely on both the K-3 and on the K10D. Auto-focus is very quiet, fast, and accurate on both cameras and is one of the big pleasure factors when using this lens. Both focus and zoom rings operate opposite that of Pentax lenses. At first I thought this was no big deal, but in practice, I often find myself turning the "wrong" way. Manual focus is quite doable despite there being only about 45 degrees of throw (great dampening helps), but finding the focus ring is a little tough at times. This is a problem with most AF zooms and certainly not a deal breaker.

While we are on the subject of focus, it should be noted that the Pentax Forums in-depth review of this lens (26 July 2013) incorrectly states that it supports "Quick Shift" type focus where manual focus is possible when the lens is set for auto focus. This is not true. Quick-shift focus is not available on the Sigma 17-70 (C) and attempting to perform manual focus with the AF system engaged may result in damage to the AF mechanism.

One area in which the Sigma 17-70 (C) really shines is at close focus. I know it is advertised as "Macro" and it does provide 1:2.8 @ 0.72 feet. In fact, I would estimate the maximum magnification at about 1:2 with the front element about an inch from the subject, but greatest utility is found at more moderate distances.

Mounting the Sigma 17-70 (C) turns out to be a little more involved than with my other K-mount lenses. The reason being that Sigma appears to have run out of red paint. There is no red index dot on the lens mount to match to the red dot on the body. This is a significant departure from K-mount convention and a pain in the field. Instead of the red dot on the mount, there is a small raised white dot at the rear edge of the lens barrel that is intended to fulfill the same purpose.

Hmmm...could we perhaps have both at some point? Please? The white dot is nice because it is tactile and also because the focus/zoom index mark is also white and not very prominent. The combination of the two is almost adequate. Note: The lens pictured with the general specifications (page 1), is not the K-mount version of the lens. The white dot is in the wrong place.

Religious use of the supplied hood is strongly recommended due to the prominence of the front element and its exposure. Unfortunately, the lens hood also suffers from mounting issues. Most bayonet-type hoods are fairly easy to mount and require only a moderate level of care to line up correctly. The hood for the 17-70 (C), on the other hand is fiddly and must be aligned carefully with its index in order to mount cleanly. While on the subject of fiddly I must mention that the supplied lens cap ties for last place in terms of usability and attachment with that for my Zenitar fisheye. With the hood off the lens, the cap can be attached with some care. With the hood on, cap attachment may or may not be successful on the first, second, or even third attempt. As might be expected (and much like the Zenitar) the cap is prone to popping off at the least provocation. Purchasers should expect to buy a replacement 72mm cap at some point. Happily Sigma has a new, dedicated K-mount rear cap to replace the combo SA/K-mount cap used in past models. Way to go Sigma!

Yes, the cap is 72mm. So are the filter threads. This is to be expected with any wide maximum aperture zoom. That f/2.8 comes at a price. As noted in the more technical reviews on the Web, the f/2.8 maximum is only available from 17mm to about 22mm focal length, at which point the lens signals a 1/2 stop step down (f/3.5) to the body. The step down to f/4 occurs at about 45mm.

In regards to focal length, one of the main draws of the 17-70 (C) is the prospect of the additional reach to 70mm. When shooting with the 18-55 kit, I often find myself wishing for a little additional length. It is there, but not quite as nice as I would have wished. I know this review is taking on the tone of being fairly negative, but there is on additional attribute of the 17-70 (C) that I cannot ignore.

The Sigma 17-70 (C) features an internal focus design. This is usually a good thing in that the lens does not "grow" longer when focusing closer. Nobody wants a Pinocchio lens. This feature comes at a price however, one that is common to many internal focus designs. That price is a wider FOV for closer subjects. The lens is functionally and predictably 70mm at infinity focus, but at moderately close distances the lens behaves much "shorter" than you would expect in terms of FOV. My rough comparisons indicate a FOV equivalent to that of a 55mm prime at 1.5 meters subject distance. So, at normal portrait distance, the lens behaves more like a 17-55mm zoom than its expected range.

One last field-relevant point...Some reviews have stated that the 17-70 has no zoom creep. That is only partially true. When the lens is firmly nested in at its 17mm zoom position, it generally stays put even when pointed straight down. Move the zoom off the 17mm position and it follows the mandate of gravity and is not particularly slow about it. Ditto for when it is pointed upward. Tape is a recommendation for long, downward/upward pointed exposures.

Optical Performance
Did I mention that I like this lens? Well, here is the main reason why. Through most of its range, the Sigma 17-70 (C) performs admirably.
  • Sharp? Yep, except as noted below.
  • Good contrast? Yep.
  • Nasty CA? Nope. (Some LaCA at the wide end, but easily dealt with.)
  • Nasty PF? Nope.
  • Flare? Not bad, consistent with lens class.
  • Distortion? Better than average for lens class.
There has been much discussion regarding soft results at the wide end for this lens. I have generally been happy with its wide angle performance, but have noticed that the corners are noticeably soft when shooting the combination of close and wide. The softness shows as a sort of radial smearing as opposed to looking out of focus. At the long end the 17-70 (C) is still plenty sharp, just not as sharp as at midpoint 35mm focal length.

Summary
Despite the long list of nit-pickings above, the Sigma 17-70 (C) garners a strong recommendation from this user. It features performance far above its price point and is a great option for all but the most demanding users. As noted in other reviews, this would be the ultimate Pentax-compatible normal zoom if it only had WR.

Pros:
  • Relative fast maximum aperture range
  • Optical performance
  • Relatively compact
  • Build quality
  • High value (performance : price)
  • Extended zoom range
  • Close focus capabilities

Cons:
  • Bulk
  • No WR
  • No red dot
  • Zoom creep
  • Wider than expected FOV at moderate and close subject distance
  • Included lens cap is fiddly
  • 72mm filter thread

Alternatives
The Sigma 17-70 (C) is often offered as a reasonable alternative to the Pentax DA 18-135/3.5-5.6 WR and Pentax DA 17-70/4. The converse is also true, though the combination of optical performance and price should weigh heavy against the DA 17-70/4. The DA 18-135/3.5-5.6 is a more complicated choice. I would suggest that potential purchasers handle both lenses before committing to purchase.

After having lived with the 17-70 (C) for a little over a month at this point and having grown very fond of the lens, I still have a nagging sense that I should have spent the additional $20 for the Sigma 17-50/2.8. Just a little something to think about, eh?
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f/2.8, Sharpness, super Quite, Macro
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K5IIs   

This lens is Outstanding on the K5IIs and also i use it on my K3 i am really happy with this lens ..i am think to buy one more just for my wife K3 cause she always want to use it
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,577

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Versatility
Cons: Filter size
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

This is my everyday walkaround lens for my K-5 IIs. For that task, it is wonderfully adept, although this lens tends to be more for "picture-taking" than artsy photography, as I describe in the bokeh section.

First, the breakdown of the minimum f stops is:
f/2.8: 17-21mm
f/3.5: 22-45mm
f/4.0: 46-70mm

Sharpness: Fantastic at f/5.6 onward, quite good wide open. You won't be disappointed here. The lens hits its peak at 35mm, where it is stunningly sharp. Keep this lens in the 30-40 range and you'll be very pleased with the results.

Aberrations: There is visible barrel distortion at 17mm that vanishes quickly past the minimum focal length. The issues can be corrected in processing easily but 17mm is definitely more than usable. I recommend staying north of 20mm for the best results, however. Haven't observed CA but I'm not good at looking for them. I haven't personally observed pincushion distortion at high focal lengths, but I don't usually use this lens past 50mm. When I do, it's usually of an object that won't display the distortion.

Bokeh: The bokeh is pleasing when you can get it, but the lens is just not fast enough to allow for those cool creamy bokeh shots in general. You just won't get super blurry backgrounds unless you can make use of its limited macro capability (focus close). You can do bokeh shots for small objects. Anything larger than a stack of books, though, won't be the subject of a super blurry background shot with this lens. But this is not why you buy this lens: it's versatility you want in a zoom. If you want creamy and superb bokeh, find a good prime for that task.

Autofocus: Smooth and super accurate. It's rare that the lens will be thrown every now and then, but it doesn't wander too far. Setting the focus point to center and recomposing usually solves any issue you might have. The HSM motor is so silent that in low light situations when it's hard to see the focus in the viewfinder, I find myself unfocusing the lens in MF mode and then going back to AF to make sure it got it right. It always does! I trust it and the K-5IIs in low light situations. I can't remember coming home disappointed with blurry images!

Handling: The lens is solid and modestly heavy, if you're used to a kit lens or Pentax primes. The weight balances superbly, though, and it's not a burden to carry around. My only complaint here is that the zoom ring has no lock, so if you're standing over something, you need to hang on onto the front of the lens or else gravity will pull the zoom out. If you use a holster bag, the lens can sometimes unwind itself as you take it out of the bag. With that last point, the only thing I worry about is damaging the lens as I do so, but I think I'm being paranoid there.

Value: At $500, this lens is not cheap. But it is not overly expensive either, given that it is $100 less than the issue-prone Pentax 17-70 (which is f/4 throughout its range) and has more reach as the twice as expensive DA*16-50 (f/2.8 across its range, though). In short, this is a great value for its target and blows away its main competition.

The only negative point in its value is that is uses 72mm filters and these can get expensive fast. Pentax prizes compactness (and most lenses have filter sizes 58mm or smaller), so if you're stepping up from a kit lens with a collection of filters, your old filters are probably too small, necessitating replacement. The good point there, though, is that since this is the largest lens you will likely attach most filters to, you can use them on your primes with step-down rings.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 1,090

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $460.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: well build, perfect everyday lens,value
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

My favourite walk around and traveling lens.
Well build, small, light ,compact , silent.
17mm is very convenient for landscapes, narrow streets architecture and is fast enough for indoors + has great Macro
Incredible value at AU$460
Some of my photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/itrax/sets/72157635025910044/
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Chicago
Posts: 124
Lens Review Date: November 23, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/2.8, Sharpness, Silent
Cons: Can be soft at widest angle. A bit heavy.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

As someone who has a prime lens on the camera 99% of the time, accepting the fact that I needed a zoom for client work was troubling. I read tons of reviews and after a recommendation here in the forums, I purchased this Sigma.

Out of the box this lens is gorgeous, and looks a bit fabulous on my white K-30. The weight caught me off guard as I am accustomed to the size and weight of my primes... still, not too bad.

The focus motor is truly and wonderfully silent. I focus manually most of the time, but when I do use autofocus, it's usually with my very fast FA 50 f/1.4, so initially, the Sigma's autofocus seemed slow. I've now come to realize that it's actually very good for a zoom with such latitude.

I did find that at the widest angle (17mm), expansive shots were a bit soft when auto focused, but perfectly fine manually.

As the lens arrived today, I've included a few quickies, unprocessed jpegs right outta' the camera. I like to see how lenses perform at their wider apertures, I think that's where their character lies. I've only included one shot (at the river) at f/16, and one (in the backyard) at f/6.3. The rest are between f/2.8 and f/5.6.













   
New Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: October 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, color, low vignetting, focal length, aperture, price
Cons: Auto-focus (My copy)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

I was looking for a lens to replace my 18-55 WR on Pentax K-5, and I initially chose Sigma 17-50 F2.8. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) it was out of stock, so I had to buy this cheaper one. I compared it with 18-55 using JPEG, tripod, and manual focus under good light:
The build quality is good enough IMO, though it is just a Contemporary lens, neither an Art nor an EX. One big difference from 18-55 is that the friction of the zoom ring is much more. The size and the weight are both quite acceptable, though not as compact as 18-55.
When it comes to image quality, let's start from the color. I can't find any significant difference between the Sigma and 18-55. The Sigma is a little bit more yellowish (or maybe more saturated?) while Pentax's green is greener, but it is not noticeable unless I switch between these two picture quickly, and a little more saturated isn't bad at all, is it?
Then about the most obvious difference: sharpness. This lens is very sharp throughout the field. The Sigma outperforms by far (easily distinguishable when displayed on 8' screen) the 18-55 at every focal length wide open (That is, Sigma F2.8 vs Pentax F3.5, or Sigma F3.5 vs Pentax F4, etc). Though 18-55 narrows the gap of center sharpness when both lens stopped down to F5.6 at 17mm or F8 at 28mm, the Sigma still leave 18-55 behind in edge sharpness.
The Sigma also has much less vignetting. Distortion is noticeable at wide angles, but not when zoom in.
The only flaw is auto-focus. My copy can't focus well. The adjustment needed to correct the auto-focus at 17mm is about +4 while 28mm and more need about -4. Finally I leave the Fine Adjustment in K-5 to -4, by which I can focus from 28mm to 70mm with acceptable accuracy. I use manual focus now (this one do NOT support full-time manual, which is very inconvenient in this case) when using 17mm. I give it 6 points for a silent and fast auto focus.
In conclusion, this is a very good upgrade to the kit lens, with two things imperfect: auto-focus and distortion.
   
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Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: September 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Resistance to Flare, Color rendition, Finish
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

This lense has an ideal compromise range / aperture / weight (I would like lighter, though, but is it possible?), and is very well built.
I am using it with a Pentax K30.
At full aperture, sharpness and contrast are very good at 17mm and good at 70mm. Optimal sharpness is reached at 5.6.
Near the edges, it is slightly less sharp, but nothing to worry about.
I took a photo with the sun within the frame, no spurious reflexion and still good contrast, amazing.
Vignetting is low, but distortion is a tad too high at 17mm. Superb color rendition (very slightly warm, near neutral, excellent greens)
Add Review of Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary) Buy the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)



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