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

4.5
March 13, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C is a versatile standard zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, offering a focal range of 25-105mm, fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the wide-angle setting, and macro capabilities too. Retailing for £499 / $499, read our in-depth Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C review to find out if it's a worthwhile upgrade to your standard kit lens...

The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C is a fast and compact standard zoom lens for APS-C sensor DSLR cameras. It offers the equivalent angle of view as a 25.5-105mm lens on an APS-C DSLR (depending on the crop factor). The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C features a rounded 7 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out of focus areas of the image. It has a minimum focusing distance of 22cm /11.0in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.8, while the HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures a silent, high-speed AF function. The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens is currently available for £499.99 / $499.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 465g and measuring 8cm in length, the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C is relatively compact given its fast maximum apertures. Sigma claim that it's 30% smaller than their other comparable zoom lenses. As seen in the photos below, it complements a camera like the Canon EOS 70D / Rebel T5i very well, both in terms of size and style.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens mounted on a Canon EOS 70D

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens mounted on a Canon EOS 70D

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens mounted on a Canon EOS 70D

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens mounted on a Canon EOS 70D

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens mounted on a Canon EOS 70D

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens alongside the Canon EOS 70D

Build quality is excellent given the affordable price tag. The lens has a plastic shell with a mixture of metallic parts and a new compound material, TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), used inside. It also incorporates a brass bayonet mount that's supposed to be more durable. The optical elements are made of high-grade glass. The focus ring is a little narrow and only half of it is ridged for easier grip.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CSide of the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CSide of the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens, extended to 70mm

In terms of features, the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C offers all the basics that you need from a standard zoom lens. This very usefully includes built-in Vibration Reduction, activated by the OS switch on the lens barrel, which offers around 3 stops of compensation.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CFront of the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CRear of the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens

Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the Focus switch on the lens barrel. Full-time manual focus override is also available at any time simply by rotating the focus ring. The lens changes in length when zooming from 17mm to 70mm, measuring 12.5cm at 70mm.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CFront of the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CRear of the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens in-hand

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CThe Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens with the supplied LH780-03 lens hood fitted

Surprisingly given its price, the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C ships with a plastic petal-shaped lens hood, although there's no case. It accepts 72mm filters.

Focal Range

At the 18mm focal length the angle of view is 79.7 degrees.

 Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CField of view at 17mm

At the 35mm focal length the angle of view is 22.9 degrees.

 Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM CField of view at 70mm

Focusing

The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens has a narrow focus ring and only half of it is ridged for easier grip. There are hard stops at both ends of the range, making it easier to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 72mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C zoom is a quick performer, taking about 0.15 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Canon EOS 70D that we tested it with.

We didn't experience much "hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It's also a very quiet performer, thanks to the built-in HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which makes this lens well-suited to video recording.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, can be detected in some shots from the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C, but they are not too prominent at all.

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

Vignetting / Light Fall-off

With the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens set to its maximum aperture, there is significant light fall-off in the corners at both ends of the zoom range. Stopping-down to f/8 virtually eliminates this. There is also some obvious barrel distortion at the 17mm focal length.

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

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

Macro

The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C usefully delivers good macro performance. It has a minimum focusing distance of 22cm/8.7in and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.8. At 70mm, the working distance actually becomes 5.52cm. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C lens, Sigma employed an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, which has resulted in nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.

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

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

review, lens, nikon, sony, canon, f2.8, pentax, sigma, aps-c, f4, dx, 25-105mm, 4.1x, 17-70mm, sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C Review

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