Unexpected Access with Sigma 17-70mm 2013 Edition

The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C is the 1st Lens that is to be refreshed under the “C” category. The “C” simply stands for Contemporary, which is one of the 3 new line of lenses that Sigma had re-categorized under the new direction by the optical company that is known as the “Sigma’s Global Vision”. (See end of page for “A”, “C” & “S” details) Those new to Sigma’s range of lenses might not know, the 17-70mm had been one of the most popular all-purpose”  lens among APS-C users since the company launched it’s first version a decade ago. This “C” or 2013 editon is actually the Mark3 to be exact – however different.

Photo: The 17-70mm Mark1 with the 2013 NEW 17-70mm “C”
Photo: by Yu Ling

With a superb focal length range and close-up capability, the 17-70mm F2.8-4 is equipped with Sigma’s super fast Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and an Optical Stabilizer (OS) for easy handheld photography. The HSM is extremely silent while giving this lens fast autofocusing and the OS works seamlessly to compensate camera shake.

Based on the equivalence of 35mm format, the 17-70mm gives you an effective wide angle of 25.5mm (Sigma & Nikon APS-C Bodies/ 27.2mm on Canon APS-C Bodies) to 105mm (Sigma & Nikon APS-C Bodies/ 112mm on Canon APS-C Bodies) focal range on APS-C cameras covering from Landscape to Portraits, this is one ultimate travel lens or one ultimate events photography lens.

Photo: The”C” Emblem on the 2013 NEW Sigma 17-70mm “C”. Note the Excellent Lens finish and Buttons.
Photo: by Yu Ling

External Lens construction of the 17-70mm is now made by using the new TSC material (Thermally Stable Composite), just like the Sigma 35mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | A, the company’s first Art lens. The material actually feels good and smooth to the touch. It gives the same  “expensive feel” like other high-end brand similar to Carl Zeiss’s build quality which I am totally blown away. The zoom ring feels nice to the hands and handling the lens feels like a very well-sorted equipment when in use. The buttons are nicely placed making the use of this lens enjoyable.

Photo: The NEW Sigma 17-70mm “C” vs the Original Version.
Photo: by Yu Ling

If you think this is just a cosmetic remake? No way. Sigma made this lens with Two FLD glass elements, similar to Canon’s fluorite, plus  the additional one SLD element to reduce CA (color aberration) to a minimum. Sigma ensures that this “C” lens is serving the category as it’s “APS-C Flagship” by having all the bests and putting them together into this lens.
Photo: The NEW Sigma 17-70mm “C” mounted on a Canon EOS 40D.
Photo: by Yu Ling

OK, enough of words, let’s take a look at the photos produced from the Sigma 17-70mm. I used it on my old trusty Canon EOS 500D since the review unit came in Canon EF-Mount. I got lucky, I was doing some site work for a client at Singapore Cruise Centre and I have my Canon 500D + Sigma 17-70mm with me.  After finishing my work, I took the opportunity to test out the lens. So much for an “Unexpected Access”.

Picture: Shot from a glass window at 17mm on the Sigma 17-70mm
at F4.
Photo by Allan LEE

This is a full size cruise ship and I wasn’t even shooting it at 17mm, just 20mm! Then I walked to the end of
the service berth just beside the sea and shot this scene from the end of the Berth.

Keppel 17mm
Picture: Shot at 17mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F8
Photo by Allan LEE

I was like “WOW”! At 17mm, (as opposed to most APS-C Kit lenses that came as 18mm), this 1 mm difference plays
a huge difference when you add in tthe actual crop factor. The wide angle of view here is indeed very useful if
the user is a landscape person or one that does lots of architectural stuff.

Keppel 35mm
Picture: Shot at 35mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F10
Photo by Allan LEE

Since the Sigma 17-70mm is made as the “All-in-One” zoom, I tested out the different focal length at the same scene.
The above photo was shot at 35mm and I was amazed by the sharpness and details captured on the photo.
I wanted to push it further.

Keppel 70mm
Picture: Shot at 70mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F8.
Photo by Allan LEE

At mid-telephoto range of 70mm, the lens still produces sharp and contrasty photo, this is indeed the “Gem” of
APS-C cameras. I turned around where I was standing and I saw the below scene.

Picture: Shot at 17mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F4
Photo by Allan LEE

This scene calls for a definite 17mm. I shot it at F4 just to satisfy myself that this lens does rock at wider aperture.
And it never disappoint me. The above photo is a great testament how competent the 17-70mm is when it comes
to the performance department.

I took a shot at one of the cruise ship. Still at F4, I got the below photo.

Picture: Shot at 35mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F4
Photo by Allan LEE

I decided to do a direct 50% crop on the above photo and see the cropped out section below.

Picture: Cropped section from the photo above at 50%.
Photo by Allan LEE

Sharp as hell – that was what rain through my mind when I was looking at the photo after cropping. This lens is no
joke. Sigma is dead serious about the APS-C market is all I can say. And since this is also the ultimate travel lens, and
my wife Yu Ling (Also Sub Editor for this site) was with me at the time of review, I decided to try out the portrait capability
of this lens.

I will let the photos “Speak” for themselves below.

Picture: Shot at 17mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F3.5
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: Shot at 24mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F4
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: Shot at 35mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F5.6
Photo by Allan LEE

I got so addicted to the 17-70mm and I brought my wife out to a park after work to shoot a few more photos.

Ling 17mm
Picture: Shot at 17mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F5.6
Photo by Allan LEE

Ling 50mm
Picture: Shot at 50mm on the Sigma 17-70mm at F6.3.
Photo by Allan LEE

Seeing the photos from above, I am totally SOLD on this super APS-C lens. The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM
is the lens for you if you only need 1 lens for the day. It does everything and does it well. If only this wasn’t a Review Unit, else
I would love to own one of this for my APS-C bodies. And I heard the price is ………… Super Reasonable is all I heard.
I leave the rest to you.

Some quick info here;
– 16 Elements in 14 Groups in Lens Construction
– 7 Diaphragm Blades
– Mininum Aperture—f22
– 22 cm Minimum Focusing Distance
– Filter Size (mm)—72mm
– Maximum Magnifications—1:2.9
– Dimensions (Diameter x Length)—79mm x 82mm mm/3.1in x 3.2in in
– Corresponding Mounts: Sigma, Nikon & Canon (OS, HSM works on All Mounts)

OS – Optical Stabilizer Function
HSM – Hyper-Sonic Motor
DC – DC for Digital (APS-C)

To read more about the specifications, please visit:

For other Sigma Related Articles & Reviews click here.

Special Thanks to Sigma Marketing Singapore for allowing this review to happen.

Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.

C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.

A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.

S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.

Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com

About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
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10 Responses to Unexpected Access with Sigma 17-70mm 2013 Edition

  1. Adib Mohsin says:

    where’s the price???

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