The Sigma Corporation was founded in 1961, decades after the most established brands like Kodak and Nikon. Sigma came with a unique vision of incorporating innovative features into their lenses. Sigma has successfully provided premium features like an image stabilizer, hypersonic motor, and 1:2.8 magnification ration in the Sigma 17-70mm.
This lens is smaller in size than most lenses with a dimension of 3.1 x 3.2 in. Still, it captures sharp and bright wide-angle photographs and close-ups even at the shortest focal distance of 0.2mm with 0.36x magnification power. The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lens comes with a four-stop image stabilizer that allows the user to shoot clear photos without distortion or noise.
This macro lens is compatible with all types of high-quality APS-C sensor DSLR cameras. It can highlight any object and give it a top-notch blur background with its 7-blade diaphragm.
This macro lens is lightweight and compact so that you can easily carry it while traveling. If you’re looking for a powerful large-aperture zoom lens that captures superior quality photographs, then the Sigma 17-70mm is the best choice for you. This high-class macro lens comes at a great price that suits most budgets.
This Sigma macro lens is the best wide-angle lens for Nikon D7000, with its ideal focal range of 17-70mm. It has a stellar reputation among industry professionals, especially Nikon users. Following is a complete review of Sigma 17-70mm with a detailed analysis of its technical features, performance, and design.
Performance And Functionality
- Focal length – 17-70mm
- Minimum focusing distance – 22cm (8.7inch)
- Filter size – 72mm
- Focus type – Ultrasonic
- The angle of view – 72.4 – 20.2 degrees
- Maximum aperture – F2.8-4
- Minimum aperture – F22
- Lens construction – 17 elements, 13 groups
- Diaphragm blades – 7 rounded blades
- Magnification – 1:2.8 (0.36x)
- Weight – 465 g
- Dimensions – 3.1 x 3.2 in
The image circle around this Sigma macro lens fits perfectly around APS-C size image sensors. This feature reduces vignetting in photographs. The DC lens can be configured with Nikon D700 and outperform many other macro cameras available today.
The lens comes with 46 effective megapixels and 44 recording megapixels paired with three silicon-embedded layers of photodetectors. Pictures captured with this 46 megapixel lens have a three-dimensional feel to them. These characteristic traits of the Sigma 17-70mm lens make it the most suitable lens for macro photography.
The APS-C direct image sensor of this camera is able to capture all RGB colors with extreme precision. The photodetectors can absorb red, blue, and green light in great depth. This ensures that colors are represented accurately in your pictures. It also means that colors really stand out in your images. The 46 megapixels also offer an extremely sharp resolution, resulting in high-quality pictures.
This lens is designed to capture wide-angle photos, which means that this lens is not a fixed aperture lens. As the maximum aperture reduces, the focal length increases proportionally.
When the lens is set at the widest focal length of 17mm, the maximum aperture is f/2.8. At this aperture, you can notice a certain level of aberration at the corner of the images. These color fringes are also caused by the barrel distortion at this focal length. These types of color abnormalities are commonly observed in macro photography. However, if you select an appropriate focal length that resonates with the aperture to capture uniformly sharp photographs, aberration should also disappear.
The Sigma 17-70mm has a wide zoom range that allows you to capture photographs from a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 m. The lens supports a maximum magnification or reproduction ratio of 1:2.8, enabling the user to capture close-ups of subjects such as flowers and insects. The reproduction ratio of this Sigma lens generates accurate colors and sharp photographs that highlight the details of the subject.
At 70mm, with a focal distance of 5.52cm, this lens can be used as a telephoto lens. At this point, the lens is so close to the subject that the lens hood should be touching it. Sigma has worked on all the optical aspects of this wide-angle lens too. The lens is made of LD glass that prevents the lens from casting its reflection and shadow on the object.
Optical Stabilizer (OS)
An image stabilization mechanism is a must-have option in wide-angle lenses. The Sigma 17-70mm lens comes with an incorporated optical stabilizer that allows you to capture sharp photos.
Any handshake can cause blurry images. This effect is luckily minimized by the optical stabilizer function, even at low shutter speed. The OS function also minimizes any distortion at slow shutter speed. The OS feature qualifies the Sigma 17-70mm lens for Nikon cameras, especially the D7000, for product photoshoots and nature close-ups.
The optical stabilizer works well when the camera is hand-held. The OS switch is present at the rear bottom of the lens. You can check if the frame is stable in the viewfinder before taking the final image. Do keep in mind that the closer the lens is to the object, the less effective the OS is.
The Sigma 17-70mm lens comes with a rounded 7-blade diaphragm that allows you to capture a gorgeous bokeh effect. You can focus on subjects in front of lights, such as fairy lights, at a large aperture setting to achieve a superior bokeh effect.
Ultrasonic Motor (USM)
The focus rings are powered by a super silent ultrasonic motor. Sigma has been able to improve the user experience by providing ultra-smooth rotation of the focus rings.
Light Flare And Ghosting Effect
The quality of a wide-aperture lens is determined by its ability to reduce flare and ghosting, both of which are caused by undesired light sources. The Sigma 17-70mm has a super multi-layer coating on the lens glass that nullifies the flare and ghosting effect. This can allow you to capture high contrast photographs with no flare, even in difficult lighting conditions.
Many users have shared their first-hand experience of the Sigma 17-70mm. You can find countless excellent reviews online and give them a read to understand the performance of this lens better.
User Interface And Control System
The nomenclature of this lens is user-friendly and straightforward. The controls and indicators are visible on the lens. The user can easily access all the controls while operating the lens in manual mode. The lens is primarily divided into the following 10 parts:
1. Filer attachment thread
2. Focus ring
3. Distance scale
4. Focus index line
5. Zoom ring
6. Focus mode switch
8. Zoom lock switch
9. OS Switch
10. Lens hood
Focus And Zoom
The lens supports both automatic (AF) and manual (MF) focus modes to facilitate the beginners and expert photographers. The focus rings are present at the rear side of the camera, like in any other wide-angle lens available in the market. The overall length of the lens changes during zoom, with the maximum lens length being 12.5cm at 70mm.
The zoom rings are large in diameter compared to the focus rings and are available at the front side of the camera.
The rotation of the focus rings is quite smooth and silent as compared to the zoom rings. The reason behind this is the USM technology behind the focus rings. The zoom rings come with a rubber grip and a zoom lock switch.
The rubber grip and lock switch nullify the effect of a zoom creep. This happens when the lens is close to the subject and is held in a vertical position. The zoom rings can divert from their set position due to the vertical posture of the camera, resulting in a zoom creep. The rubber grip of this lens restricts any unwanted motion of the zoom rings.
The zoom ring is protected with a 21mm wide rubber grip band. The zoom ring can rotate 60 degrees in the anti-clockwise direction ranging from wide to telephoto zoom. On the other hand, the focus ring is 15mm wide and rotates 50 degrees in the clockwise direction from infinity to 0.22m.
OS And AF Switch
It is important to note that the OS switch and autofocus switches are present at on the side of the lens barrel. It may become difficult for the user to distinguish between the two types of switches while viewing the image in the viewfinder. Luckily, Sigma has corrected this problem by changing the size of the two switches. The AF switch is larger than the OS switch and is present at the top side of the barrel, making it easy for you to identify them even without looking at them.
Build Quality And Design
Thermally stable composite (TSC)
The lens body of the Sigma 17-70mm is made of plastic integrated with different metallic components.
This lens is 30% more compact compared to its earlier versions. Sigma was able to achieve this feat by reducing the OS unit’s size and optimizing the lens’s structural layout.
The lens barrel is compatible with metal parts of the camera body, thanks to its thermally stable composite feature. This makes the lens barrel compact and slimmer. TSC lowers thermal shrinking by offering 25% more elasticity to make the lens inter-operable with different types of DSLRs.
2 FLD Lens Glass
The Sigma 17-70mm is composed of the finest quality glass equipped with 2 “F” low dispersion glass elements. This is a special glass that minimizes chromatic aberration in images captured from any distance,
FLD glass provides ultra-low dispersion of light compared to the other types of low-dispersion glasses, which offer extraordinary low dispersion and special low dispersion. The resulting image doesn’t contain any chromatic aberration due to the unusual dispersion property of the Fluorite material used in the lens glass.
The lens is equipped with double aspheric lenses to lower the light dispersion and capture the true colors of the objects.
The Sigma 17-70mm lens comes with a flower-shaped bayonet-type detachable hood. The objective of the lens hood is to minimize flare and ghosted images caused by unwanted surrounding light. One of the biggest challenges faced in wide-angle photography is to capture sharp and vibrant photographs with attention to details of the object in focus. Sigma advises its users to remove the lens hood while using the in-built flash system of the camera as the flash castes an unwanted shadow on the image borders.
The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lens is an excellent lens that ensures outstanding performance. The DC lens is capable of taking high-quality photographs with APS-C size sensors of DSLRs like the Nikon D7000. The optical stabilizer minimizes the chances of blurry images. This Sigma lens is also customizable thanks to Sigma’s Optimization Pro software. With this, you can adjust different parameters of your lens, such as focus.
The focal rings are driven by an ultrasonic motor, which enhances user experience thanks to their seamless and silent motion. You can capture all the details of your subject, at a minimum distance of 4.7cm thanks to its short near-focus capability. The zoom range of the Sigma 17-70mm offers a lot of flexibility. It allows you to capture different types of photographs that include portraits, sports, close-ups, and macro photography.
With 13 groups and 17 elements, the Sigma 17-70mm is bound to highlight intricate details in your images. You no longer need to worry about photo quality with this advanced optical technology. The ELD glass and aspherical lens automatically correct the aberration and provide sharpness in the image. This lens comes with a super multi-layer coating to nullify the light flare and ghosting effect too.
Sigma has achieved a milestone in the optical industry by combining unlimited advanced features like HSM, OS, IF, ELD glass, and aspherical lens in this large-aperture 17-70mm lens. This lens already has an excellent reputation in the industry. It’s loved by many photographers, both experts and beginners, due to its great features.