Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5 MACRO HSM Review

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Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM


  1. Browse Navigation
  2. In short
  3. MACRO HSM Version
  4. History
  5. Main Specifications
  6. Assembly
  7. LOCK Button
  8. Focusing
  9. Image quality
  10. Sample Photos
  11. Alternatives
  12. My personal experience with the lens
  13. Video review
  14. Results
  15. User Comments
  16. Add your review or question on the lens

In the review, the Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5 MACRO HSM lens will be abbreviated as Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM. This review shows the Nikon DX-series version.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

In short

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM is a versatile lens for cropped cameras of various systems. Has a balance of price, image quality and build quality. In many ways it is analogous to the original and famous Nikon 18-70 / 3.5-4.5G.

The Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM can act as a replacement for whale lenses of the 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 class, even though the Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM does not have an image stabilizer.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Version + - 'MACRO', + - 'HSM'

The Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 lens exists in two versions. The first, older, was released on January 18, 2006 and looks like this. The new one presented in this review has been produced since 2007 and only for Nikon cameras.

Differences between the old and new versions:

  • different names. The newer version for Nikon cameras in its name on the lens body has an additional prefix 'MACRO HSM'. That being said, the older version is sometimes also called 'Macro', but this attachment is only present on the lens box.
  • The new version has a built-in ultrasonic focusing motor. The first version for Nikon cameras did not have a focus motor at all
  • The first version has a classic Sigma 'velvet' body coating. The new version uses the usual matte finish
  • the new version has an additional mark for the 28 mm focal length, which in the first version was in the form of a white dot
  • the new version has an AF / M focus mode switch
  • the new version has 10 microprocessor pins, and 5 the old
  • maybe there are other differences

Sigma has released updates many times for some lenses for Nikon cameras that incorporate an HSM motor. Sometimes updates were issued only for some other brand, for example, Canon. Because of this, sometimes very difficult to identify the lens model, especially, given the fact that the lenses were produced for different systems for different mounts and had some cosmetic improvements. Often, when I start to prepare a review of an old Sigma lens, it takes a lot of time to simply determine the lens model that I have in my hands.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM


Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4 (4.5) has four main models:

  1. Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5Scheme 15/12, since February 2006
  2. Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5 MACRO HSMDiagram 15/12, from July 2007, for Nikon cameras only
  3. Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 MACRO HSM OSScheme 17/13, from December 2009
  4. Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 C, [Macro, HSM, OS, Contemporary]Scheme 16/14, from September 2012

Separately, there is a line of DC EX / ART series fixed aperture lenses (see the list in the 'Alternatives' section).

Sigma 17-70 lens prefab

Sigma 17-70 lens matching table

Main technical characteristics of Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5 MACRO HSM:

Review Instance Name The lens barrel bears the following inscriptions 'Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5 MACRO HSM', Ø 72 1001623 LENS MADE IN JAPAN
Basic properties
  • DC (Digital Camera) - the lens is designed for SLR cameras with an APS-C sensor, in this case it is an analogue 'Nikon DX'
  • LOCK - button for fixing the zoom ring at 17 mm.
  • HSM (Hyper Sabout nothing Motor) - ultrasonic focusing motor, in this case it is analogous to 'Nikon SWM'.
  • AF / M - simple focus mode switch
  • IF (Iinternal Focusing) - internal focus
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating - super multicoated optics
  • ASP (Aspenherical) - aspherical elements in the optical scheme
  • SLD (Special Low Dispersion) - special low dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  • MACRO 0.2m / 1.65ft - scale for macro photography, it is possible to shoot at very small focusing distances with a maximum magnification of 0.43X
  • Lack of aperture control ring, analog 'Nikon G'
  • Bayonet hood included
  • 10 pins microprocessor
  • Important: a lens from a third-party manufacturer, which imposes some restrictions on its practical use
Front Filter Diameter 72 mm
Focal length 17-70 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 25.5-105 mm
Zoom ratio 4.12 X (usually rounded to 4)
Designed by for Nikon DX digital cameras, there are modifications for other systems
Number of aperture blades 7 rounded petals
Tags focusing distance in meters and feet, focal lengths for 17, 24, 28, 35, 50, 70 mm, mark of bayonet mount and mount / fix hood. There are zoom marks depending on the focal length:

  • 24 mm 1: 4.7
  • 28 mm 1: 4.2
  • 35 mm 1: 3.5
  • 50 mm 1: 2.8
  • 70 mm 1: 2.3
Diaphragm control is via the camera menu (analog Nikon G - lens type)

  • 17 mm - F / 2.8-F / 22
  • 24 mm - F / 3.3-F / 25
  • 28 mm - F / 3.5-F / 29
  • 35 mm - F / 3.8-F / 32
  • 50 mm - F / 4.0-F / 36
  • 70 mm - F / 4.5-F / 36
MDF 0.2 m, maximum magnification ratio 1: 2.3
The weight 455 g
Optical design 15 elements in 12 groups, 2 aspherical ASP elements (in the optical diagram, aspherical elements are shown in pink) and 1 low-dispersion SLD element (in the optical diagram are shown in blue)

Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 optical design

Image of optical circuit clickable

Lens hood Bayonet type, plastic, with the possibility of installation in transport mode
Manufacturer country LENS MADE IN JAPAN (Lens made in Japan)
Production period From January 18, 2006 Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4.5. In 2007, the Nikon version gets the HSM motor. In 2009, replaced by Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 OS MACRO HSM

The Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM attracts with its unusual aperture value. Typically 'dark' general purpose lenses have aperture ratio of 1: 3.5-5.6. The difference with such lenses between f / 3.5 and f / 2.8 (wide-angle) is 1.56 times (2/3 stop). The difference between F / 4.5 and F / 5.6 (in the tele range) is 1.55 times (about 2/3 of a stop). It's a pity, but F / 2.8 is only available at 17mm focal length, as soon as you turn the focusing ring a little, the F value becomes F / 3.0.

The Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM has a wider viewing angle than classic universal lenses, which at the wide end can use only 18 mm of focal length. True, the difference between 18 mm and 17 mm is practically not felt.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM


Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM was manufactured in Japan. The lens is pleasant and weighty to the touch. The retractable body frame ('trunk') consists of 2 sections, which are strong enough without any backlash. One of the sections is plastic, the other is metal.

The lens has metal bayonet mount. The zoom and focus rings are rubberized. Changing the focal length runs smoothly.

There is a bayonet mount mark and a mark on the case for quick installation of the hood. The lens uses a plastic hood, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. In this position, access to the focus ring at 17 mm focal length is lost. When you change the focal length, the lens hood moves with the front of the lens.

When changing the focal length, the rear lens moves in the middle of the lens body like a pump - it draws in and pushes out air. This behavior of the rear lens is called 'vacuum cleaner effect', which can increase the amount of dust that accumulates in the camera.

For Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM, the direction of rotation of the zoom and focus rings does not match the direction of the original Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED DX SWM IF Aspherical.

The build of the Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM is not a bit worse than that of the more advanced similar professional lens - Sigma Zoom 17-50mm 1: 2.8 EX DC OS HSM.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Lock 'LOCK ′

Frame (trunk) of the Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM spontaneously changes its size under its own weight (perhaps this begins only with time). For example, when the camera is tilted down, the trunk of the lens spontaneously lengthens (focal length increases). To prevent such an unpleasant incident, there is a focal length switch-lock 'LOCK' (the so-called 'lock') on the lens body, which tightly locks focal length at a value of 17 mm.

To fix the trunk of the lens, you must first set the 17 mm focal length. Near the button there is a drawn arrow that indicates in which direction the switch should be moved to lock the lens.

The switch is located in a convenient place - under the thumb of the left hand, so the lens can be quickly and comfortably 'removed from the lock' before starting shooting.

The effect of a spontaneous change in focal length (trunk creep) in this lens is not pronounced.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM


To focus, the lens uses a special ultrasonic focusing motor 'HSM' (Hyper Sonic Motor). There is a slight noise from focusing.

When used on a camera Nikon D90 with unpretentious Multi-CAM 1000 focusing system the lens behaves well. With precision and clinging focus, I had no particular problems. On camera Nikon D90 I checked the presence of the back and focus front at different focusing distances (infinity and MDF as well). Pictures taken using the Live View mode (which does not suffer from back / front focus) were used as a measure. Focusing accuracy using phase sensors completely coincided with the Live View mode.

Auto focus speed average, comfortable for the vast majority of photo tasks. Focus speed is slower than Nikon 18-70 / 3.5-4.5G.

Focusing on the Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM internal - when focusing, neither the front nor the rear lens rotates, and the lens itself does not change its size when focusing. Sorry, but during auto focus focus ring rotates and cannot be touched. In such Nikon lenses, the focus ring remains stationary during auto focus.

In manual focus mode, the focus ring rotates 60 degrees. Manual focus is quite inconvenient. When extreme positions are reached, the focus ring abuts and cannot be rotated further.

The minimum focusing distance is only 20 cm (the distance from the camera’s matrix to the subject). With such an MDF, the maximum magnification ratio is 1: 2.3. it excellent indicator for a similar lens. Thus, the lens allows you to shoot a good amateur 'close'. On the retractable frame of the case there are labels indicating the maximum magnification factor for certain focal lengths (see plate with TX).

Important: during shooting with a maximum magnification of 1: 2.3, the distance from the subject to the front lens is about 1 cm (this is a very small distance). During shooting, you can hook the subject of the shot with the trunk of the lens. Very often during macro photography, the shadow of the trunk of the lens gets into the frame.

Important: when using a lens hood, you will not be able to achieve a maximum magnification of 1: 2.3, since the lens hood will abut against the subject.

A magnification ratio of 1: 2.3 is really very good. Of the original Nikon DX series of similar lenses, the following lenses have the best magnification ratio during macro shooting:

The lens has focus mode switch 'AF / M'. For manual focus, the lens must be switched to 'M' mode, otherwise the focus motor may be damaged. Unfortunately, unlike many Nikon lenses of this type, the Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM does not support continuous manual focus mode.

Focus Features:

  • There is a strong effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changing the viewing angle during focusing).
  • When changing the focal length, focusing is lost.
  • Unknown compatibility with teleconverters.
  • Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM does not have hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens at infinity under any external conditions.
  • The lens has a focus distance scale with marks in meters and feet. The scale is plotted on the focus ring. The scale is very meager, on it there are marks for only 6 values ​​of the focusing distance (including 'infinity').
  • Focus shift (shift-focus) was not noticed.
  • Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM has no focus problems in Live View (tested on Nikon D90 ), but focuses slowly.
  • The lens transmits the focus distance to the subject in the camera (analog Nikon D, Nikon G).
  • Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM is a third-party lens. It may happen that it will not work correctly with some Nikon cameras. Details on this issue are considered by me. here.
Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Image quality

In general, Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM, as for the lens of its class, is optically not bad.


  • confident sharpness at open apertures in the center of the frame over the entire range of focal lengths
  • slight drop in sharpness after 50 mm of focal length
  • poor sharpness at the edges of the frame at 17mm & f / 2.8
  • very weak picture in the corners of the frame at 17 mm & f / 2.8
  • at the edges of the frame, sharpness becomes acceptable after f / 5.6
  • in the corners of the frame, sharpness becomes acceptable after F / 8.0
  • good resolution in the center of the frame on covered apertures (in the F / 8-F / 13 region) over the entire range of focal lengths
  • better resolution achieved at average focal lengths and covered apertures


  • the overall level of distortion is at a level typical for such lenses
  • rather strong distortion is visible only by 17 mm
  • distortion is practically absent and imperceptible in the range of 35-50 mm
  • in the wide-angle range, the nature of the distortion is barrel-shaped, in the tele-range it is pincushion
  • the nature of distortion is unified, easily corrected in the editor


  • the overall level of vignetting is at a level typical for such lenses
  • vignetting is most pronounced at the extreme positions: 17 mm & F / 2.8 and 70 mm & F / 4.5
  • vignetting is enhanced with focus towards MDF
  • vignetting almost disappears at F / 4-F / 4.5 for 17 mm and F / 5.6 for 70 mm
  • vignetting is easily fixable in the editor


  • the strongest chromatic aberration visible at 17mm & f / 2.8 at the edges and corners of the image
  • chromatic aberration increase slightly with increasing focal length
  • when closing to F / 8-F / 13 HA are slightly reduced
  • general level HA is at the level typical for such lenses


  • in backlight, the lens can catch glare, create 'rainbows'. The overall contrast is not sagging much
  • the effect of the rays of the star is not pronounced (14 rays)
  • Blur discs are fairly flat at all apertures
  • bokeh is a little nervous, simple
  • color rendering is neutral (maybe there are different versions with different enlightenment, from which some instances can show a shift in yellowness)

Sample Photos

Camera shots Nikon D90. The photos in the gallery below are shown without processing, the conversion of the source RAW files by the original Nikon ViewNX-i utility without making additional adjustments.

Original '.NEF' (RAW) photos from the camera Nikon D90 can download from this link (326 Mb) and more for this (170 Mb). In processing a couple of photos here и here.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

All fast universal zoom lenses

Below is a list of all such aperture-type universal zoom autofocus lenses for SLR and mirrorless cameras with an APS-C sensor or less.

Tokina (DX, various mounts)

  1. Tokina AT-X PRO SD 16-50 F2.8 DX Internal Focus, model AT-X 165 PRO DX, for Canon (C/EF version) and Nikon (N/AIS version), from July 2006. Optical design is the same as Pentax SMC DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM

Tamron (DI II, DI III-A, various mounts)

  1. Tamron Aspherical LD ​​XR DI II SP AF 17-50 mm 1: 2.8 [IF], model A16 N / E / P / S (under Nikon [N], Canon [E], Pentax [P], Sony / Minolta [S]), since February 2006. Produced in Japan, China and Vietnam
  2. promaster DIGITAL XR EDO AF Ashperical LD ​​[IF] 17-50 mm 1: 2.8 MACROprevious lens under the brand Promaster
  3. Tamron Aspherical LD ​​XR DI II SP AF 17-50 mm 1: 2.8 [IF], model A16 NII (only for Nikon cameras), since March 2008
  4. Tamron Di II SP 17-50 mm F / 2.8 VC B005, model B005 E / NII (for Canon [E] or Nikon [NII]), from September 2009, Japan or China)
  5. Tamron 17-70 mm F / 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Model B070, Model B070, Sony E only, from December 2020

Sigma (DC, different mounts)

With constant maximum aperture (DC EX and DC ART series):

  1. Sigma DC ZOOM 18-50mm 1: 2.8 EX (+ -D), since July 2004, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K. The version for the '4/3' system has been available since February 2006 (not mass-produced). The version for Nikon in its name includes the prefix 'D'.
  2. Sigma dc 18-50mm 1: 2.8 EX MACRO, since September 2006, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, 4/3
  3. Sigma dc 18-50mm 1: 2.8 EX MACRO HSM, since June 2007, for Nikon DX cameras only (Nikon F mount)
  4. Sigma dc 17-50mm 1: 2.8 ZOOM EXOS HSM, from February 2010, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, Sony / Minotla A
  5. Sigma dc 18-35mm F1.8 A [ART, HSM], from April 2013, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, Sony / Minotla A
  6. SIGMA DC 18-50 mm 1: 2.8 DN C [Contemporary], since Oct 2021, for Sony E, Leica L

With variable maximum aperture (DC and DC Contemporary series):

  1. Sigma dc 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5, February 2006, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, Sony / Minotla A
  2. Sigma dc 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 MACRO HSM, from July 2007, for Nikon DX cameras only (Nikon F mount)
  3. Sigma dc 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 MACRO HSM OS, from December 2009, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, Sony / Minotla A
  4. Sigma dc 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 C, [MACRO, OS, HSM, Contemporary], from September 2012, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, Sony / Minotla A
  5. Sigma dc 18-50mm 1:2.8-4.5 HSM OS ZOOM, from March 2009, for Sigma SA, Nikon F, Canon EFS, Pentax K, Sony / Minotla A

Nikon (DX, F mount)

  1. Nikon DX VR AF-S Nikkor 16-80mm 1:2.8-4E ED N, Nikon F mount, from July 2015
  2. Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm 1: 2.8G ED IF SWM, Nikon F mount, from July 2003

Pentax (DA, Q, K and Q mounts)

  1. Pentax SMC DA * 16-50 mm 1:2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM, Pentax KAF2 mount, since February 2007. Optical design is similar to the lens Tokina AT-X PRO SD 16-50 F2.8 DX Internal Focus (joint development of Tokina and Pentax)
  2. HD PENTAX-DA * 1: 2.8 16-50 mm ED PLMAW, from July 2021, Pentax KAF4 mount
  3. HD Pentax-DA 1: 2.8-4 20-40 mm ED Limited DC WR, Pentax KAF3 mount, black or silver body, from November 2013
  4. SMC Pentax 1: 2.8-4.5 5-15 mm ED AL [IF] [LENS 02], Pentax Q mount (crop factor Kf=5.53X or Kf=4.65X)

Canon (EFS, EF-S mount)

  1. Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 17-55mm 1: 2.8 IS USM (Image Sabilizer, Ulstrasonic, EFS), Canon EF-S mount, since May 2006

Sony (DT, A and E mounts)

  1. Sony DT 2.8/16-50 SSM, Sony A mount (Minolta A), since August 2011
  2. Sony E 2.8/16-55G (Sony SEL1655G), Sony E bayonet mount, from August 2019


  1. Fujinon Ashperical Lens Nano-GI XF 16-55mm 1: 2.8 R LM WR, Fujifilm X mount, since January 2015
  2. Fujinon Ashperical Lens Super EBC XF 18-55mm 1:2.8-4 RLM OIS, Fujifilm X mount, September 2012

Samsung (NX)

  1. Samsung lens 1: 2-2.8 S 16-50 mm ED OIS i-Function, Samsung NX mount, since January 2014

Olympus/Panasonic/Leica/Yongnuo (4/3, Micro 4/3, Kf=2X)

Mirrored 4/3:

  1. OLYMPUS ZUIKO Digital 11-22 mm 1:2.8-3.5, from February 2004
  2. OLYMPUS Digital 14-54 mm 1:2.8-3.5, from June 2003
  3. OLYMPUS Digital 14-54 mm 1:2.8-3.5 II, from November 2008
  4. OLYMPUS ZUIKO Digital 14-35 mm 1: 2 ED SWDsince January 2005
  5. Panasonic Lumix LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 1: 2.8-3.5 /14-50 ASPH. MEGA OIS, from July 2006

Mirrorless Micro 4/3:

  1. OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40 mm 1:2.8 PRO, since October 2013
  2. Panasonic Lumix Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f / 1.7 ASPH.since May 2019
  3. LUMIX G VARIO 1: 2.8 /12-35 ASPH. POWER OIS, since June 2012, in March 2017 an improved sub-version is released (outwardly they do not differ in any way)
  4. Panasonic Lumix Leica DG Vario-ELMARIT 1: 2.8-4.0 /12-60 ASPH., since March 2017
  5. Yongnuo 12-35 F2.8-4 STM ASPH, since April 2023
Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

My experience

Many are looking for affordable and balanced solutions that will be better than Nikon's original 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 class whale lenses. I am often asked what an inexpensive lens is in a used state. can be bought for a Nikon cropped camera and used as an everyday regular lens. Most often, I recommend looking in the direction of inexpensive and used Nikon 18-70 / 3.5-4.5G и Nikon 18-135 / 3.5-5.6G. Now, along with them, I will recommend Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM.

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM eventually evolved to pretty SIGMA C (Contemporary) 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 DC OS HSM MACRO, but for constant more or less serious shooting, I still recommend a higher class lens - Sigma Zoom 17-50mm 1: 2.8 EX DC OS HSM.

Video review

Video review you can take a look on my Youtube channel or lower:

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Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM

Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM


The Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM is a balanced universal lens for cropped cameras that has several strengths in its arsenal.


  1. convenient set of focal lengths
  2. low cost in the secondary market
  3. rear mount lens hood
  4. metal mount, rubberized focus and zoom rings
  5. lock for fixing the lens in position 17 mm
  6. special optical elements in the optical circuit (Sigma SLD, ASP)
  7. very good maximum magnification ratio for macro photography, which is 1: 2.3
  8. ultrasonic built-in focus motor
  9. not slow focusing (comfortable for work)
  10. focus type internal
  11. lack of focus-shift during iris
  12. weak effect of 'Focus Breathing'. During focusing towards MDF, the viewing angle increases
  13. high aperture wide angle
  14. smooth and proportional drop in aperture from 17 to 70 mm of focal length
  15. the presence of a lens profile in most popular RAW converters (certainly there is in ACR, Lightroom)
  16. good optical performance (low or moderate distortion after 24 mm, low vignetting on covered diaphragms, low chromatic aberration, good sharpness in the center of the frame on covered apertures)


  1. very small distance from the subject to the front lens during macro photography
  2. in the vast majority of cases, it will be impossible to perform macro shooting at the maximum possible scale for the lens with the lens hood attached (lens hood rests on the subject)
  3. the direction of rotation of the focus ring and zoom does not match the original similar lens Nikon 18-70 / 3.5-4.5G
  4. large enough diameter for light filters (72 mm)
  5. small stroke of the focus ring, insufficiently convenient manual focus
  6. rotation of the focus ring during autofocus and, as a result, lack of the function of constant manual focus control
  7. focusing falters while changing the focal length
  8. no depth of field scale and tags for working in the infrared spectrum. The focus distance scale is not made in the form of a window, but is simply applied to the focus ring
  9. rear lens movement while changing the focal length, small effect of a vacuum cleaner / air pump
  10. insufficiently diaphragm opening on covered diaphragms
  11. there may be incompatibility with some cameras and / or teleconverters (no exact data)
  12. lack of data about the lens in modern cameras, which makes it difficult to automatically correct some types of distortion (distortion, vignetting etc.)
  13. lack of upgrade to version with HSM focusing motor for Canon, Sony and Pentax cameras. The difficulty of identifying the version of the lens
  14. palpable barrel distortion at 17 mm focal length, palpable vignetting at 17 mm focal length, poor resolution at 17 mm in the corners of the frame on open apertures

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 20, on the topic: Sigma DC 17-70mm 1 review: 2.8-4.5 MACRO HSM

  • Jury

    Arkady, thanks for the interesting review. I liked that now you talk in more detail about the quality of the image. If you compare head-on with your native 18-70mm 3.5-4.5G, then which one, in your opinion, is preferable?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I would prefer this particular Sigma.
      Of the tangible advantages of the Nikon 18-70mm, I would single out the constant manual focus mode, the best compatibility with cameras (automatic distortion control). But in general, Sigma is more interesting.

      • Eugene o

        Arkady, I’ll add on my own that the advantage in the M / A mode very quickly disappears, as soon as it turns out that the 18-70G focus rings become very tight over time. And either disassemble the lens and lubricate, or just hammer on it.

  • Jurij

    Pentax SMC-DA 17-70mm / f4,0 SDM is also an alternative.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In the list I included only those lenses that at least at some focal length value can afford F / 2.8 or more. I think whether it’s worth adding Tokina 11-20 / 2.8 there since it goes more wide / super wide, rather than a universal.

      • Sergey

        Not worth adding. Tokina is super-wide, and this Sigma is a wagon.

  • Michael

    Is the Tokina 14-20 f / 2 now a normal lens? It seems to be wide-angle ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, it’s more suitable for shirka, but it can nevertheless be easily used as a station wagon with a shift towards the SHU, catching a range of 16-20 mm.
      Rђ RІRѕS, HD Pentax-DA 1: 2.8-4 20-40mm ED Limited DC WR I added, before I lost sight of such a noble lens.

  • Arkady

    From my own experience. I have version 2.8-4 with stub. I use it as a plug instead of a whale, and often it helps me out. Most often I close the aperture to 4 and use it as a constant lens. The biggest problem is the aforementioned drop in sharpness ... To get sane sharpness, you need to close the hole to 6.3 and higher. But this is nit-picking, maybe I'm stuck already. In general, if I change, then to Nikonovsky 17-55 or 16-80, but this is a different level of glass. Arkady, thank you very much for the review ... Straight multibukav, as before. Rejoice very lovers of reading)))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Previous reviews, the same TOKINA AF 70-210 1: 4-5.6, for “many letters” is the same.

      • Arkady

        Already went to read)))

  • Newcomer

    "Bokeh is a little nervous, simple"
    Arkady :))) PLEASE make a note about the types of boke with examples!
    Well, the ignorant nifiga is incomprehensible.
    I heard about hysterical boke and now a new revelation - nervous boke.
    And what kind of bokeh is Helios 44M then? :))
    I heard the expression “HELIOS madness” from foreigners))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Helios has "twisted". “Nervous” is a fairly common term. General note here

      • Newcomer

        I read the article, thanks :)
        However, there is no description of what nervous bokeh is.
        Only about Hollywood or cream.

  • Molchanov Yuri

    Thanks for Arkady, for another great review.
    Regarding the comparison with the Sigma 17-50mm 1: 2.8 EX DC OS HSM: I would choose the Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM for every day, because of the focal lengths. I used the Sigma 17-50mm 1: 2.8 EX DC OS HSM at the same time as the Tamron 17-50mm f / 2.8 XR Di II VC LD and was disappointed with the quality. Of course, now that the Sigma 17-50 has fallen in price twice, this is a very good choice. But about 10 years ago, Tamron was cheaper, and the image quality was comparable. The main complaints against Sigme for my part are depressingly weak sharpness at the edges and a poor stabilizer.
    Therefore, at aperture 2.8, I almost did not shoot. And if so, then the advantage in comparison with 17-70 is small. Aperture 2.8 was used only at the maximum focal length (50mm), but still the cheaper Canon EF 50mm f / 1.8 was more suitable for portraits.
    So my opinion is that Sigma 17-70 / 2.8-4.5 Macro HSM is more convenient, and therefore better.
    I am currently using Sigma 24-105 / 4 DG OS HSM in full frame, and I am very glad that I did not buy 24-70, it’s more convenient for me with a large focal length.

    • anonym

      10 years ago, this Sigma (17-50) did not exist yet, if anything. And don't tell anyone about the stub and such ragged sharpness around the edges. ”Now that the Sigma 17-50 has dropped in price by half, it's a very good choice.” for someone who is looking for a cheaper one?

      • Michael

        Yes, because price is an important parameter for any lens. And if the price is not important, then there is no agony of choice - take Zeiss, although no, better Schneider Kreuznach.

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, have you tried your hand at animalistics?
    “Catch” birds great and have repeatedly.

  • anonym

    Thanks for the review.

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