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Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

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25 98,420 Tue December 4, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
84% of reviewers $431.74 8.20
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

A revision to the 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro, this lens uses a different optical formula (2 additional elements) and provides a generally faster aperture at most focal lengths compared to the original. It also contains Sigma's Optical Stabilization technology that can provide up to a 4-stop stabilization advantage.

Lens Construction 17 Elements in 13 Groups
Angle of View 72.4-20.2
Number of Diaphragm Blades 7
Miminum Aperture f22
Minimum Focusing Distance 22 cm / 8.7 in
Filter Size (mm) 72
Maximum Magnifications 1:2.7
(Diameter x Length) 79-88.9 mm/3.1x3.5 in
Weight 535g / 18.9oz.

Discontinued in late 2012 to make way for a redesigned successor, which will be a part of Sigma's new "contemporary" lens series.
In-Depth Review: Read our Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM in-depth review!
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:

Add Review of Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM
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Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Venlo
Posts: 76
Lens Review Date: December 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, little purple fringing and CA
Cons: Autofocus correction not constant over zoom range
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K5    Autofocus: 6    New Or Used: Used   

Got a good used copy for about 150 (or $170), without OS. Came without hood, unfortunately. Feels heavy and well built.

I compared the lens to my Pentax DA 4/16-45mm, because I wanted it as a longer range replacement for the Pentax lens.
I tested sharpness and CA/fringing at 17, 24, 35, 45mm for both lenses (and 70mm for the Sigma), all at f/4.0. The center sharpness is comparable, but the Sigma is definitely better than my copy of the DA16-45 in the corners. The Sigma has less CA/fringing.
The Sigma needs autofocus correction, and unfortunately the correction varies with the focus length. For ~35-70mm it is about +4, and then autofocus is excellent and consistent. But for the wide-angle range, the correction appears to be something like -2. It varies with the object distance as well. The difference is largest at infinity. It is a pity that this lens is not compatible with the Sigma USB dock, that enables corrections at different focus settings.

I do a lot of manual focussing, but this is much easier with old primes with a large throw, than with these internal focussing zoom lenses. MF is usually easier near 70mm because of the shallow DOF. On the other hand, it is less critical at the wide angle range because of the same DOF. The relatively large 2.8 max. aperture is helpful for MF at wide angle range, so I probably keep the correcton at +4 and make an extra mark on the lens for the infinity setting at 17mm.

At smaller apertures CA becomes visible. At f/11 mainly red/cyan, a little blue/yellow. Not hard to correct in pp.
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2014
Location: Nelson
Posts: 260
Lens Review Date: September 3, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Silent focus
Cons: Bulk -Inbuilt OS adds size to original version
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50, K-r    Autofocus: 9   

I have the original first version of this lens, which has produced consistently good shots. Recently I spotted a K-r on our local on-line auction site, which had the HSM + OS version of the lens attached at a bargain price. Bid, won and delivered, both camera and lens turned out to be in new condition, with a shutter count of 1100
Interestingly the camera had a card loaded with some less than spectacular looking photos -not terribly encouraging. I also noted that both the lens OS and camera SR were enabled, which I suspect resulted in previous sub-optimal images, so I turned off the lens OS, relying on the camera to do the job. Spent yesterday trialling the K-r + lens, and am just astonished by the sharpness this is capable of producing. It's definitely a little bulkier than the earlier version, but not unmanageably so. It's typically a little soft wide open at the wide end, but a couple of stops down and it's razor sharp across the frame. Like most fast lens I think you're buying that extra light that you still have once a lens is stopped down a little, I've yet to own a lens that performs brilliantly at max aperture. During shooting yesterday I shot the same scene at 40mm with the Sigma 17-70 and my DA 40mm XS -the results are identical
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: North-East England
Posts: 73

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Now it has been "repaired" by Sigma in Japan - mega sharp and virtually silent
Cons: Didn't rate it until it had been back to Sigma in Japan
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K3-ii    Autofocus: 8   

When I first got the lens a few years ago (K10 era), I wasn't mega impressed with it. The reviews were saying it was supposed to be really good. It was ok at f-8 and higher, but wider than this I didn't rate it at all and it ended up as a backup lens. It also didn't like the cold - it failed on top of a mountain in Norway . I dropped my 18-135WR so had to return that to Pentax and finally got round to sending the Sigma back to Sigma UK (who sent it back to Sigma Japan) as it now had a fault on it. What I got back was the same glass and case, but a completely different lens. Pin sharp. Really, really sharp. Really impressed with what Sigma Japan have done with the lens. I'm quite happy to use it as my main lens at the moment - its a shame its not weather sealed like the 18-135. I like the idea of it being f2.8 at the wide end and can live with the f4 at the 70mm.
New Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: June 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, handy
Cons: A little heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D, K20D, K-5, K-3   

Back when I was using a K10D, this was the first lens I bought to replace my 18-55 kit lens. I loved it, and still do, even though I now have an 18-135 for my walk around lens on a K-3. I still like it too much to sell it and generally keep it around as a backup. Once in a while I take it out for a spin and the general good feeling it gave me comes back.

The only negative is that it's a tad bulky and heavy, and I sometimes when using it I miss the extra reach of the 18-135.
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 306
Lens Review Date: September 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, nice colors, hsm quiet and good
Cons: Os eat battery fast
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

I like lensmuch, tamron 17-50 very very little better only. But i hate os eating battery fast and not really use this much cos of this
New Member

Registered: November, 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 


I have had this lens about a year now. I found out the hard way that it is not "weather resistant" taking it on a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. Fine sand got into the focus ring and totally hosed it.
$200 later it came back working fine....actually better than it did before I sent it off.
I like the extra speed of the 2.8 and wider aperatures, but it is a large lens, (72mm filters) so taking it along on a pack trip or something like that cam be a problem. Over all it is a great lens for the price.
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Liaoning, Shenyang, PRC
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: December 25, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $410.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: 17-70mm;F2.8-4;ELD;HSM;1:2.7Macro;72mm filter
Cons: Non constant aperture; No gold ring and EX marks

It has 17-70mm; F2.8-4; 72mm filter size; Macro reproduction ratio 1:2.7; HSM AF; a piece of ELD, what do you still want? Everything what i want in it. And the price is lower tha n DA1770, in the digital era, color difference, who cares about this.Personal views above~

Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 483
Lens Review Date: November 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Silent quick and precise focus
Cons: None so far

I bought this lens as a walk around lens. It's a great lens, sharp, fast and excellent build quality.
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $546.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Fast focus, good results under not very good light conditions.
Cons: Too heavy so it is changing its position while hanged on your neck. After a month of using, the ring for changing focal length went quite stiff. No dust, no sand etc.. Paining on buttons went off quite fast.

I bought this lens for my trip to Asia with a view to make great pictures and use its fastness, sharpness and wide range.
After a few days of using I realized that the ring for changing focal length is going to be stiffer and stiffer. It wasn't used in dusty or dirty conditions. So when you tried to change e.g. from 70 to 30, it was moving (jumping) in steps, not in a one smooth move.
Moreover I have noticed that the lens has problems to focus in two situations. When I was focusing on the nature (like green forest etc.) or when i was trying to make a portrait photo from a close range (1-2 m) for a 70mm. In these situations the lens was still focusing but with no success unless I have changed the point of focus.
Regarding the buildup quality there is another problem. The color on the button for changing of OS went off quite fast. This was surprising as I didn't see it on older lenses of other producers.
Lens is also quite heavy and is changing focal length by itself just because of gravity.

I have send the lens to the seller under warranty with a request for repair or sending back money. Lens was sent back without any explanation. I just hope it was at least cleaned...

Overall I wouldn't buy it again and I would prefer original Pentax lens.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 274
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $379.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: fast and silent focus, zoom range
Cons: sharpness, quality control

I own Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 non HSM for some time and really love it. So I wish to upgrade to a newer version for faster focus. Yes, it focuses much faster and very quietly. But its sharpness is worse compare to older version. It is not expensive for this zoom range, but based on its performance, I would rate its value only 6. Maybe I got a bad copy. Anyway, I do not recommend to buy this lens. If you like a zoom range, you may try to find a used copy of old version for about $250. Or if money is not an issue, I do recommend you to buy Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 HSM for much better sharpness, great build, and fast and accurate focus.
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Galati on Danube-Romania
Posts: 33

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $485.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Construction, and optic
Cons: Weight, about 2 more electrical consumption than the Pentax non SDM lenses (in non OS version)

This is the new, non OS version like those one in the head picture. Even non OS, the electric current consumption is two times greater than the Pentax DA lenses (non SDM).
Pentax 18-55mm kit lens: "by-by!"- remain only WR in the rain
Detalied trusted test, there:
Excellent resolution in 17-21mm range at f4.0, more than fix focus (prime) lenses. A little soft at 70mm (good for portraiture), but correctable in p.p. The same with the little abberations in the low domain of focus lenght. Excelent contrast in contre-jour (good optic coating) and good, non-nervous bokeh ( 7 rounded blades) for this kind of lens=zoom lens. Quiet HSM operation a little bit faster than the kit lens, a good marriage with Pentax K5 in the sound domain .
Excellent travel lens (if you can carry it) and all you need together with Pentax DA 55-300mm.
Domains (non exclusives ):
  1. Macro (you can crop with K5 to 1:1 scale) and close up. Try this in manual focus mode (on the lens button) and catch-in focus mode, there are good results;
  2. Portraiture ( moves away from the big contrast backrounds);
  3. Architecture (simple to correct geometry in p.p.) and street life (good for night at f2.8 in the 17-21mm domain);
  4. Landscapes.
And some examples, with a little p.p.

P.S. The first macro image is crop 100% only in my gallery ( this is reduced from 1200 to 800 pixels long size)
Another examples:
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 65
Lens Review Date: June 11, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $419.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Solid build quality (except LC), HSM, quiet
Cons: Lens creep from 50mm to 35mm

Big solid heavy lens (in a good way). It really made my K-5 look like a serious camera. But again, looks aren't everything. I've had this camera for a week and my overall experience has been disappointing.

I really wanted to keep this camera. The build quality is pretty solid. There's a good weight to the lens. I've read the rattling is from the OS but it isn't very much different from the rattling in the K-5. So that's not an issue.

The HSM makes autofocusing very quiet. The issue came up when I couldn't produce sharp images. The autofocus would be off. I'm still new to photography so I haven't learned how to adjust for FF/BB. Even when I set the focus to the center, it would still have trouble producing sharp images at 50-70mm. I've stopped down from 5.6 to 8 and even to 11.

I did about a weeks worth of research on this lens versus the Tammy 15-70 2.8. I've read every review from Photozone, Lens Tip, to all the videos on YouTube. I thought the extra 20mm, HSM, and the "macro" feature out weighted the constant f/2.8 aperture.

It looks like this one's going back. I've ordered the Tamron and will update this review after testing that out.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2012
Posts: 165
Lens Review Date: April 5, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Image quality,long enough for portraits,AF accurate
Cons: Heavy,OS eats battery FAST,AF slow

I did update Kit lens to Sigma 17-70. One thing i really hate this lens is OS=Optical stabilizer. Sigma OS is eating battery too fast, even OS switched of from lens but still something is moving all the time and battery is ampty so very quickly. Can not recomend lens like that to anybody. Newer buy another sigma with OS again...ok maybe some long tele lens OS on lens is usefull but others lens no need OS cos pentax has own SR and OS add few extra class that reduces optical quality and makes lens more heavy and bigger size. Sigma&OS no thanks for me except 200mm or longer!

First copy of this lens AF only worked in good light even normal inside lights were not enough for AF to work. HSM makes little noise and is slow. IQ is good. Little more extra on tele would be nice also. Now i would choose Pentax 18-135 instead. My Sigma max aperture is 17-21mm f2.8, 22-43mm f3.5, 44-70mm f4 so lens is really almous f4...

Registered: June, 2011
Location: New York City
Posts: 5,631

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, quiet focusing, sharp from 17-50, nice build quality
Cons: not very sharp from 50-70, focusing isn't fast, hood is a bit tiny

I bought the Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 OS HSM to replace my kit 18-55mm lens as my main walk-around lens. As a kit lens replacement, it's quite good. The HSM isn't fast (I thought it would be like the Canon USM, but I was very very wrong), but it certainly is quiet and does very well at minor adjustments compared to the kit lens. Also, being faster than the kit lens, it does hit focus better.

Picture Quality
To start off, let's talk about picture quality. It's definitely better than the kit lens at all apertures and focal lengths. It does have a certain weakness at 60-70mm, but the kit lens doesn't have that focal length anyways, so that's a different subject. At 17-50mm, this lens is usable wide open, especially if we're talking about web prints. My understanding is that once stopped down, the Sigma and Tamron 17-50s will beat this lens, but wide open they are about comparable.

100% center crop at 70mm F8 - This shot looks pretty sharp to me, and I can't complain since it is a zoom lens. It still can't compare to my Tamron 70-200 F2.8, but that's a mutant lens anyways.

100% center crop at 70mm F8 far focus - Not as sharp, so this lens isn't going to be great when zooming in to something far away.

100% center crop at 17mm F8 - I feel this is sharp enough for a wide angle shot. The corners aren't appreciable though, so it's best to take advantage of the better center sharpness of this lens.

So to recap, this lens is pretty sharp stopped down. I can definitely use the shots online, and I wouldn't mind printing some of the shots. Now, let's talk about that 70mm wide open:

Sorry for all the portrait oriented images - at 70mm F4, this lens produces some weird dreamy effect that comes out when there is major light contrast. It's not entirely bad (as the bokeh turns out super creamy because of it), but it's not sharp. It reminds me a little of the soft focus lenses that some people use for portraiture. I don't know if this is typical of this lens or if there's something wrong with mine, but it doesn't bother me (I like to use it at this setting) so I'm not returning this lens.

This lens comes with the HSM (HyperSonic Motor?) focusing that the newer Sigma lenses come with. My initial expectation was for it to be similar to the Canon USMs or the Nikon SWM (silent wave) or rather, like the Pentax screw drive without the sound (which is what the silent wave focus is like). I was pretty wrong on that expectation. I can't really explain how the HSM in this lens is like, except that it focuses in bursts. When focusing, you can feel the lens move in stops to get to the right focus point, almost like little thuds. The lens is extremely quiet (not as quiet as the Silent Wave focus though) and is impossible to hear in practically all conditions. The speed is pretty slow though, slower than the screw drive. I attribute this to the "stuttering" of the focusing motor, which assists it in the minor focusing adjustments that my kit lens was terrible at.

So to summarize - 17-70 HSM, quiet, weird, different, better than the screw drive when it comes down to noise and minor adjustment accuracy, but I haven't tried it on moving subjects.

This lens is the newer version of the 17-70s, so it has the sparkly matte finish on the lens. I am not entirely fond of the sparkly bits, but I do like the matte finish (the older shiny plastic finish felt terrible to the touch). The lens is noticeably heavy, but it is small. Those two attributes make it feel quite good to hold. The zoom ring is very well damped - I adore the tightness of it. After using this lens for a bit, it makes my Tamron 70-200 F2.8's zoom ring feel terrible. Focus ring is pretty smooth, but a focus throw of about 40 degrees or so makes manual focusing a nightmare.

The OS and HSM switches are nice and solid, and the zoom lock switch is pretty redundant except to keep the lens from zooming out when you pull out the lens from the bag. The zoom is damped enough so that you will never have zoom creep from pointing the lens downwards. It has a non-rotating front element, which is very important to me. The zoom isn't internal, and the lens increases length by about 70% at full zoom. The hood is pretty tiny (I guess because of the 17mm), so some people may want to throw on a UV filter for safety. The front element is pretty fat and huge, which looks nice.

Some bad stuff about the build - the zoom rotation is opposite of most lenses. It's tremendously annoying because since the zoom ring is huge, I usually grab onto that part while putting it on the camera. So while screwing it onto the camera, the lens zooms out. The clip on hood sometimes doesn't clip on very well - this is true for another Sigma lens of mine, so I don't know if it's just their design or what (My Tamron 70-200's hood clips on well everytime). Filter size is 72mm, which may save money for some people, but definitely sucks for me because my 10-20 and my 70-200 are both 77mm. I know that the Sigma 17-50 is 77mm too, so bleh.

As a walkaround lens, this lens is great. As an indoor lens, this lens is pretty good in the 17-50mm range. As a kit lens replacement, this lens is awesome. It's sharp and quiet, hits a good focal length range that I need, and has pretty good bokeh. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone who wants a quiet alternative to the Tamron 17-50/28-75 or who wants a cheaper alternative to the Sigma 17-50/24-70 or the DA*16-50.

Sample Pictures

Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2011
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks
Posts: 492

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $560.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Useful range, image quality, autofocus, close focus
Cons: Not so good at 17mm, somewhat bulky

This will not be the most technical review ever - I didn't spend days photographing brick walls and test charts. I just walked around and took photographs.

The most likely reason to consider this lens is as an upgrade to the 18-55mm kit lens and as such, this is a solid all-round performer, being both wider and longer and two thirds to a full stop faster across the entire range. It also competes well against the Pentax DA 17-70mm, being both less expensive and brighter at most focal lengths.

Image quality looks to be excellent at most focal lengths, although 17mm shows quite severe purple fringing. Colours are vibrant and the bokeh is really rather splendid. The build quality is excellent - very solid with a nice texturized rubber grip on the zoom and focus rings. The black / white with gold highlights colour scheme is quite tasteful too. Because of the width of the barrel, you'll get a shadow with the onboard flash at focal lengths below ~28mm.

Autofocus is quite excellent - very fast and near silent. Manual focus is OK, although you need to disengage AF using the switch on the lens barrel - there is no quick shift focus here. Another minor handling issue is that zoom direction is the opposite direction to the Pentax norm. I can confirm that at the time of writing there is no optical stabilization in the Pentax mount version of this lens so it shouldn't waste batteries.

Despite the "Macro" in the title, this lens doesn't manage 1:1 magnification but the close focusing capabilities are quite impressive: 20cm at all focal lengths. At 70mm focal length you can pretty much focus on a subject touching the surface of the lens.

This isn't a small lens by any stretch of the imagination. On my K-r it looks businesslike to say the least, if not downright aggressive! it's just a little front-heavy too.

Overall I would recommend this lens as a solid upgrade for the first-time buyer.

Add Review of Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

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