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20
4.7 out of 5 stars
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC OS HSM for Canon
Price:£325.00+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2014
For nearly the last four years I have used the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 as my standard middle of the range zoom lens. (I wouldn't describe any lens as a 'walkabout' lens as such as I don't mind walking around with a telephoto either). I intended this as a direct replacement for that lens, so will make most of my comparisons to it.

I also own the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 which is pretty decent for the ultra wide shots and for certain kinds of shots would use in preference to this.

However, the tamron, 28mm at its widest, had never been quite wide enough. So when I upgraded from a 30D to a 60D, I decided to have a look at alternative lenses. What I really wanted was a constant f/2.8 in the same sort of range as the tamron but going out to at least 20mm - but let's face it, that was always a pipe dream. There are similar lenses that go up to 50 or 55mm, but that little extra reach is essential for me.

Then I found this lens which doesn't get far off of that. Unlike the tamron this lens is only for Crop bodies, but if you don't have any plans to go to full frame there's nothing to worry about.. It is a unique zoom range that I don't believe is directly matched by any other manufacturer for canon, but it's exactly what I was looking for.

I looked through my catalogue in lightroom and found the number of shots I actually took at the wider apertures and found that there were very few between f/2.8 and f/4. Additionally, this lens has Image Stabilisation (aka OS) which means as long as I'm not trying to shoot action, the 'low-light' advantages of the 1-stop wider aperture of the Tamron at the long end is negated by the potential 4-stop IS (I've managed to get a few sharp shots at 1/6s at the long end, but obviously the keeper rate is still going to be lower). Besides which, there's always the 50 mm f/1.8 for those moments where you really want a wide aperture.

This is the new 'Contemporary' version of the sigma 17-70 which is now on its third revision. I haven't owned any previous ones, but this one is a new construction with a different number of elements and the new all silver styling - which looks a lot more like a canon EF-S lens - but with much better build quality than your average kit lens.

The zoom ring is sturdy, if a little stiff, so there is no chance of zoom creep... The focus ring doesn't rotate far which increases the difficulty of manual focusing slightly but is in no way a deal breaker. Focusing is reasonably fast and much quieter than the tamron. I've noticed it hunt a little in low light. The filter ring doesn't rotate on focusing, meaning polarizers are easy to use.

The lens is light weight at ~470g and would balance well on any prosumer or consumer body.

The f/2.8 at the wide end is impressive and going to f/4 at the long end makes it basically the fastest lens around for Canon at this sort of budget and zoom range - for example the Canon 17-85mm same budget but f/4-5.6 and considered to be lacking in image quality, or the Canon EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 closer in speed, and a longer range in both directions, but nearly £200 more and pretty comparable image quality.

Speaking of image quality - the sharpness is excellent in the centre. It lacks slightly in the corners but despite obsessing slightly over testing it out, I've yet to encounter a real world situation where this actually matters. It is no worse than the tamron as far as I can tell.
Chromatic Aberration is there, but a checkbox in lightroom solves that one. Ditto for distortion.
Contrast and colour reproduction are good (better than my canon 55-250 which can feel a little flat)

And not only is the focal length range good, but the focusing distance is impressive too (to the extent that the lens hood can interfere with your subject if it's on), meaning you can get reasonable macro style shots. It's not real macro, but for me I have a 50mm lens + kenko extension tubes for dealing with that.

One last interesting point is that it's compatible with the Sigma Dock which can be purchased separately to attach the lens to the computer and provide advanced control over focusing adjustments, should it not focus well on your body. I've yet to find any problem with focussing so have not looked to purchase one...

Overall I have no hesitation in recommending this as an all round general purpose zoom lens. I applaud Sigma for producing a lens that ticks almost all the boxes. For anyone who wants a lens that can go longer than 50mm, but doesn't want to pay through the nose (which definitely sounds like quite a painful way of paying) or suffer inferior image quality, this is easily the best choice. What negative points there are are very minor in the real world. I was torn between 4 stars and 5 stars, because at this budget it's very difficult to fault, but equally at this budget it can never be perfect. For that reason I give it 4.49 stars, which is rounded to 4 stars

Don't forget to register the three year UK warranty online - but make sure you buy directly from amazon or a reputable seller as third party sellers are not covered by this.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2013
I bought this to replace a Canon 17-85 which had lost the ability to auto focus, a common problem for this lens due to poor design causing a failure of the internal ribbon cable. Because of this I was reluctant to pay a premium for a Canon replacement product and so decided to try the Sigma lens. The lens looked to be well made but after taking a variety of test shots with the lens I was distinctly unimpressed with the lack of sharpness at any aperture despite being used in what should have been ideal conditions.
After briefly considering trying a different brand I decided to return the lens to Amazon in exchange for a replacement. I then repeated the test shots with the replacement lens and compared the two results.
What a difference! The replacement lens was pin sharp and better than the first lens and my original Canon lens in every respect and I am extremely pleased with the results it has given since then. It would be interesting to know if the extreme difference in performance between the two examples of the lenses that I received is a common problem or just a one off.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2013
I sold my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens and Sigma 18-250 Macro on e-bay to buy this lens. The 50mm was a Prime - very sharp but no good for travelling. The Sigma 18-250 had an enormous range but the images were quite soft - less sharp than a Kodak compact camera! The new Sigma 17-70 is amazing! Sharp as the Canon 50mm Prime with no front or back focusing problems. (I think the Sigma 18-250 had a back focus problem?). Build quality is great and very solid with a nice weight and balances well on my Canon 700D. Image quality is superb - full of colour with little barrel or pin-cushion distortion. I slightly miss the extended range of the 18-250 Sigma but the much better image quality and the ability to take sharp pictures in lower light f/2.8 more than makes up for it. So recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Unsure if I was doing the right thing, I sold my Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 (non-IS), which had been my most common walk-around lens, and my Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro, in order to fund buying this.

While I love working with prime lenses, I'm finding the convenience of this zoom lens great; the focal-length is very handy, with the longer end (compared to, say, the excellent but more expensive Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens) of up to 70mm proving good for the odd portrait.

This lens has proved a great replacement for the macro lens, focusing extremely closely (almost to the end of the hood, and not much further away than the Canon macro), and while it's not quite as sharp as the 60mm, it's happily sharp enough for my needs as I only do occasional macro work.

Wide open at 17mm and f/2.8 I've found the lens quite soft - especially in the corners - but for the entire rest of its range and under good conditions, the sharpness has been good enough for practical purposes and even for professional shots.

While I've heard good things about this lens's Optical Stabilisation, I've still found some shots have come out blurry in spite of it while shooting in the range 1/15 s to 1/100 s; this has been disappointing compared to my experience when I hired Canon's 17-55mm. For this reason, I wouldn't take to, for example, a dark wedding venue unless I could use additional lighting or support. (However, that Canon equivalent won't focus nearly as close nor will it zoom as far as this will).

The focus speed isn't bad; I'd say slightly better than either the 28/2.8 non-IS or the 60mm 2.8 macro (although neither of those are particularly quick), but noticeably weak compared to the Canon 17-55 mentioned above. You won't want to shoot sports with this but it should be quick enough for everything else.

Overall, I'm happy with this and find it a very convenient lens to live with although, like any lens, it is a compromise. If you're on a budget and want to shoot general photography (landscapes, street, family, etc.) with the odd portrait and macro, and avoid changing lenses too often, this should definitely be on your shortlist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 18 March 2015
Sigma 17-70 mm lens works perfectly with my Canon 50D and 70D cameras. Bought as replacement for the Sigma 18-250 mm lens. Purchased mainly for landscapes and portraits and it does the job incredibly well - this lens is a real workhorse. At the macro end it has a very good bokeh, even better than the Canon 24-105 mm in my experience. The lens has a very quiet motor with effortless operation. The IS is very efficient especially at the shortest aperture. The Sigma 17-70 mm makes handheld photos sharp even at 1/5 seconds, which makes it extremely good in comparison to the Canon 24-105 mm F/4L, which was possible at 1/20 seconds, the lowest setting. It makes the Sigma 17-70 mm very useful in dark indoor environments at short lengths. At 70 mm in the dark you can see chromatic aberrations, at 17-35 mm it's perfect. Excellent for macro shots, portraits and landscapes. Ultimately, it's a really high quality lens with a new, clean, matt black barrel design.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2014
I bought this as I wanted a general purpose walk around lens and hadn't been impressed with the Canon kit lenses I had in the past. This lens is also f/2.8-f/4 so quicker than the kit lenses.

The first thing I noticed with the lens was the beautiful build quality. This lens feels really solid in the hand and compares very well with L series lenses I have had (not quite as good, but not far off). To quantify this, the lens recently fell 6ft off a bird table on to garden decking and isn't marked at all and still works perfectly.

The image quality is also great. Images are sharp, the colours are lovely and the bokeh is good. Focusing is quick and silent.

The lens is also reasonably small and light so great for traveling.

I had considered the tamron 17-50 2.8, but having compared the two this feels like a much better lens. The focusing is quicker, and build quality is also better. I also prefer it to the Canon 15-85mm. The Sigma is quicker, cheaper and smaller. In my opinion the images are also better from the sigma. Also the price of the Canon 17-55 2.8 was over my budget so this was the perfect choice.

In short, for this who want great day to day images and don't want to pay the earth, you won't get much better then this.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2013
I have a few lenses for my 7D and was seriously considering buying a second-hand Canon 'L' series 16-35mm. The reviews for this lens were universally good so I thought I'd take a punt and I am utterly delighted with it! Construction integrity is excellent, zoom and manual focus are smooth and AF is almost silent. Colours are bright and well saturated, it's the sharpest lens in my bag! price vs quality make this an extremely attractive buy and I heartily recommend it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2014
I have had this lens for more than 6 months now and I am slightly frustrated with it. Initially it was fine though focus was off out of the box. I then calibrated it using the Sigma USB dock and have managed to get it to focus almost accurately though it wasn't always perfect. After 5 months of use I spotted fungus marks on the front element which was surprising for a new lens. I sent it to Sigma for repair and even they were surprised to see fungus. I got it done under warranty and received the lens back after a week from Sigma. On close inspection I found dust on the front element which wasn't there earlier and had to send it back again and It is with Sigma now. Overall it is an Ok lens but if you are fussy about IQ then it is not for you. Also if you are not in luck you might get a bad copy which doesn't focus correctly. You then have to spend extra on the USB dock and spend ages to calibrate it manually. I do have a Sigma 30mm Art which also didn't focus correctly initially. I have now bought a Canon 24-105L and it works like a dream. The IQ is fab and I bought it from another trusted online seller for just over £450.
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on 1 February 2015
Best lens for the money with this focal length range. Very nice for video with shallow depth of field
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2013
I was wary about trying Sigma as I have been using CanonL lenses. However I needed a wide angle to portrait zoom for work (photographing cars for a major manufacturer) and the write ups were good. The interior shots are excellent with the OS coping at 1/30s and f2.8 without flash. However the best thing about this lens is the quality both in terms of itself and the images. The lens hood is the best I have used as it clicks into place and is not fiddly. If you are a Canon or Nikon traditionalist, all I can say is try the new Sigma lenses, you will not be disappointed.
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