Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 OS – preview

Some time ago I was sent a pre-production unit of the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lens made by Sigma. It has been out for some time for other cameras such as Canon and Nikon but my version was of course made for Sigmas SA mount. It was a pre-production unit and I couldn’t really utilize the full OS capability as it wasn’t yet optimized but I did get some real stunner from it with OS and even more so without. Some shots below has had the OS enabled and they appear less sharp in full view, I’m told this will not be the case with the final version.

Those of you that used the older 17-70 will most likely enjoy this new version as well as it’s now more of an EX lens although no EX branding on it. The build quality is very high and it’s bit heavy and feels very solid. It’s like a bigger brother to the current 18-50 2.8 EX – same materials but a bit longer and fatter. Both lenses can produce stunning captures.

Full size version

Full size version

Full size version

(another, ISO400 with OS on) View big. (notice that focus is slightly behind)

Full size version

The quality produced by this lens is quite extraorinary, to be a none EX lens and a zoom.

Full size version (look at his chest!, that’s where focus is)

Full size version

Final verdict will as you might understand comes later when I have the “real deal” to play with but what’s seen so far is pretty amazing. Good stuff! Just take a look at this last picture of the trees, detail is not bad and I’m told that it might give up to four full stops of stability. I did get some 1/10s shots that I might show later using ISo3200 (very dark environment) and they looked very nice! :) Me like.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
This entry was posted in 17-70 OS, All, Full size, High ISO/ASA (400+), ISO50, Sigma Photo Pro, Sigma SD14 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 OS – preview

  1. Love and Hate says:

    My 28-70 EX cries bloody tears. This lens is truly impressive.

    And “NO”. I am not interested in men’s chests. Sorry.

  2. Boothrp says:

    Hola Carl Y Linn, Men’s chest’s ??? Me neither. The masking tape & plastic pants spoils the naturalness of the picture.
    Just shows how you are totally objective with your photography !
    17-70 OS (production optimised version) with an SD15, that would be nice, shame I’ve got to watch the money situation more than before. I’ll just have to make the most of my SD14 & 17-70 Non-OS which I know can do great stuff.
    Anyone heard of the law of diminuishing returns, I have to keep reminding my wallet of its existence !


  3. Boothrp says:

    Well who would have thought that me not having enough money for an SD15 and 17-70 OS would have attracted such crap ???? !!!! Any good at deleting comments Carl ??

  4. Sven says:

    How long have you have this lens?
    You speak of an old 17-70 & a new version.
    Did the old one also have OS?
    I’ve found a 17-70 for sale in Germany from a shop.
    Product seems to have been release 17 december 2009.
    But I’m note sure it is the same as the one you tested.
    The specs are:
    Sigma DC2.8-4.0/17-70 OS SI/AF Macro HSM
    für Sigma, 17-70mm Brennweite, 1:2.8-1:4.0 Lichtstärke, 17 Linsen, 13 Glieder, 0.22m Naheinstellgrenze, 72mm Filterdurchmesser
    Price: €387
    Price is a bit hefty perhaps but judging from the quality it may be worth the investment. I currently only have a 50 mm lense for my SD14 that I bought last year. Great website dedicated to a very interesting camera.

  5. For what camera? It’s just been released for Sigmas, but for Nikon and Canon I think it’s been out a while. There is currently only one 17-70 OS lens so yes, that’s the correct one. :)

  6. Sven says:

    For the Sigma SD14 camera I meant of course. Does the optical stabilizing function work well? Is this a good allround lense? I currently have the Sigma 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 lense but I’d like OS functionality.

  7. Well, then it should just have been released, possibly it showed up on lists etc but never released for real until now. And no, there is no old 17-70 OS lens for SA mount.

  8. Jack says:

    I have this lens for the Canon mount. It has quite a distinct front focus issue. Sent it back to Sigma for calibration many times and the problem remains. I event got them to give me a new lens, and the same issue still occurs with the new lens…

    *Sigh* I love the old non-OS version, which I still have. Focusing problems is never an issue with the old lens.

  9. Hi Jack, sorry to hear this. :( I might have a slight back focus issue with mine as well. Will wait for the SD15 body to see if it’s a true problem or just my old SD14 playing with me.

  10. Tom Schum says:

    At the end of December 2010 I finally received my copy of this lens for my SD-15 camera. From what I saw and read on Carl’s site, perhaps I was expecting too much. Looks like the focus of my lens deteriorates when OS is enabled, also AF finds focus off the mark.
    I did a little AF test: First, I set the focus ring to minimum, then AF and shoot something about 6 ft away. Second, I set the focus ring to infinity, then AF and shoot same thing 6 ft away. Focus for these two shots was different. Neither one was perfect however.
    The OS problem made itself known like this: 1. With perfect manual focus, and OS disabled, shoot. 2. With OS enabled, do not change manual focus point, then shoot. 3. With OS enabled, adjust manual focus while shutter button is halfway down, then shoot.
    I was unable to get ideal focus with OS enabled, unfortunately, either in AF mode or in MF mode. All problems seem worse at 17mm.
    I have a 50-200 OS lens for this camera, far less money and it works so very much better! So I will be trying to work with Sigma USA to get this 17-50 f/2.8 OS lens problem resolved, even if I have to send both lens and camera to Sigma USA. More later….

  11. Tom Schum, please keep us updated!

  12. Tom Schum says:

    Oops! I talked about my 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, and this thread is about the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM!
    Still, I guess this is an OK place to talk about the 17-50 as well.
    Has anyone seen any issues at all with the 17-50 f2.8 OS? The issue described for the OS on the 17-70 seems to be quite like the OS issue I am having on my 17-50, so I contacted Sigma USA. No answer yet…
    One disturbing thing about the OS on my 50-200mm F4-5.6 DC OS HSM and the OS on my 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM is that, without warning, the image in the viewfinder will suddenly shift. I guess this is the OS system relaxing. Since I had the 50-200mm for a longer time and it was working just fine (nice and clear, nice and steady) I learned to ignore this surprise shift. Has anybody seen this shift on your Sigma OS lenses? I think it must be normal.

  13. Hi Tom, Those shifts are perfectly normal and part of how the OS works – that’s something you sort of have to live with.. (at least it looks and works the same on my OS lenses)..

  14. Matthias says:

    Same on my 120-400. What should the OS do if you move your hands to far? It has to catch up :)

  15. Tom Schum says:

    Thanks, all for letting me know the image shift is normal for OS.
    As for my lens problem, Sigma suggested I send the lens with my SD-15 body back to them. I guess this way they can match the lens to the body, if there is nothing more serious wrong with the lens. So tomorrow I will ship them both to Sigma.
    This is one more reason for putting the micro-adjust feature in the camera menu, as many others have said.
    Hope I will have the camera and lens back sometime in the next couple months. If so, I’ll let you know how it turned out.

  16. Tom Schum says:

    Today my camera and lens arrived from Sigma USA. Sigma found no problem with the SD15 body, but adjusted the 17-50 f/2.8 OS lens so it focussed better. And it seems to be working much better now.
    The OS, when on, seems to introduce a little more variability into the sharpness at 17mm and less (if any) at 50mm. This is very much reduced from before I sent it in.
    Overall there remains a slight variability in the performance of the autofocus, but it is only very slight now.
    The repair (adjustment) makes the 17-50 lens generally usable now. I might have been spoiled earlier by the clarity and sharpness of the lens on my DP2. Besides, the DP2 lens is a prime lens not like the 17-50 zoom.
    I’m waiting now for the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens. With any luck it will match the 24mm f/2.8 DP2 lens for image quality.

  17. Tom, Thanks for the update! I’m glad that the lens has improved for you! The 85 1,4 should be a huge improvement from the dp2 lens but perhaps not so much in terms of sharpness (the dp-series has really stunning optics) but contrast and colors will be much better! More alive If possible. :)

    As before, keep us updated.

  18. ashy says:

    that picture is the GAYest ever ever ever I have ever ever ever seen

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