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

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

Reviews Views Date of last review
28 123,244 Sun February 6, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
86% of reviewers $397.77 8.21
Sigma DC Macro OS HSM 17-70mm F2.8-4

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 DC Macro OS HSM 17-70mm F2.8-4 in-depth review!
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:

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

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Brno
Posts: 275
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2022 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: All-in-one
Cons: "only 70mm"
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D, K5, K3    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

After many years of having Sig 17-70/2.8-4.5 I saw one 17-70/2.8-4.0 DC Macro HSM without OS, but with very nice price. And now it is mine. Shares the same type of all-in-one solution like the older one, but HSM version is quiet, focusing is a bit more reliable and optically it is lets say 10% better on K3 hi-res sensor. Apparently shares some parts with Sig17-50/2.8 as the updated body covers and rings are same. Both are very good universal lenses.

Older 17-70/2.8-4.5 on K5 & 17-70/2.8-4.0 on K3

New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Roermond
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good value
Cons: de-centered copy
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: Used   

Got a second hand Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro for $130. Unfortunately this copy seems de-centered. The left side doesn’t get sharp at any aperture—hence my 7 points for sharpness. Center and right side are fine, giving quite sharp images. Autofocus is fine for my use but bokeh a bit restless to my taste. If it wasn’t de-centered I would give this one a 9.

Below a sharpness test and a sample photo from garden.

NOTE: Just realised that this review appears under the newer stabilised model. The lens reviewed here is the older model WITHOUT OS.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2019
Posts: 1,217

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $102.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: colours, skin tones autofocus
Cons: it's heavy, No red dot to align when mounting on camera
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

I bought this only yesterday used on an exchange site and I have to say I really love this lens. This is the 2nd non Pentax lens I have bought (the other was Samsung d-xenon 50-200mm) so impressed I would seriously consider buying Sigma over Pentax used.

I went out today and must say that it performs brilliantly the colours are vibrant and true and where my Pentax lenses have a tendency to overexpose I find it easier to get a better exposure with this lens.

I have the Pentax 12-24mm and this lens feels heavier but also feels more solidly built. This will be my walkaround lens for the foreseeable future however maybe not an a wet damp day since it lacks WR, also I can't see it becoming my travelling go to lens because of it's weight and large filter size.

Previous reviews talk about the zoom ring turning opposite to Pentax I hadn't noticed until I read the reviews and now I'm aware of it so really not an issue, also there is a zoom lock on it however it only locks at 17mm the lens' smallest size which means that I reckon this is more designed for carrying around as opposed to stopping creep. The great thing is that unlike my kit lens the 18-50mm I can take a picture with it on the locked position. There is no red dot to help align to the camera body when attaching and this I find annoying as is the rear cap which is solid once on however a pain to line up.

For £80 this has been a brilliant buy and up until now I wasn't too bothered around Sigma dropping the K mount.Having used this I now think that we have lost a real credible alternative to Pentax glass as a new lens.

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Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Venlo
Posts: 140

1 user found this helpful
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: 265

1 user found this helpful
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

2 users 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

1 user found this helpful
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

1 user found this helpful
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.
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