Sigma 17-70mm for Canon EOS — Reviews and Samples

First published on: Friday, 3 August 2007

The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro is an extremely popular walk-around zoom lens among owners of Canon digital SLR cameras with 1.6x crop sensors (for instance: EOS 30D, Rebel XTi / 400D) who seek a higher-quality replacement for the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens.

Highlights of this lens include a healthy zoom range that takes care of wide-angle requirements at 17mm, plus a reasonably useful 70mm at the long end. Although it doesn’t maintain a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range, many have opted to just go ahead and purchase it for its macro / closeup ability.

An inexpensive and well-balanced lens with good all-round quality and versatility makes it a firm favorite for travel photography.

This is a collection of links to related reviews, tests and sample images.

Reviews and Tests

  1. A professionally executed lens test at Full-sized images are also available (photos were taken with the lens mounted on a Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT). The conclusion is positive, save for some flaws at 17mm wide-open (which, in my opinion, is not serious for general photography). Klaus rates the lens as being competitive with Canon’s EF-S 17-85mm IS lens in terms of overall image quality.
  2. Scott finds that the Sigma 17-70mm is a definite upgrade over the Canon 18-55mm, and adds some comments about choosing this lens instead of the Tamron 17-50mm and Canon EF-S 17-55mm IS
  3. User feedback on the pros and cons of the lens at FM Reviews.
  4. Fallan has the 17-70mm on his 20D 80% of the time, and is satisfied with the build quality and results he gets from the lens.
  5. A Canon 30D owner finds that the Sigma outperforms the Canon 17-85 at wide-angle in terms of amount of distortion and purple fringing.
  6. Drawbacks of the lens include distortion at the wide end, making it unsuitable for photographing architecture. The front element rotates during focusing, and this makes it difficult to use a circular polarizer.

Image Samples

  1. A Sigma 17-70mm random gallery (a different selection appears when you refresh your browser) at Pbase, plus user feedback. Sylvain’s cuisine gallery of photos taken with a Canon 30D and Sigma 17-70mm is my favorite from there. A number of shots in that gallery showcase the 17-70mm’s macro / closeup capability quite well.
  2. Frequently updated with lots of excellent photos: the Sigma 17-70mm photo pool at At the time of writing, I spot a few good ones: a Prague gallery, a signpost, a nice airplane and a BMW Mini on a building roof.
  3. Fireworks — ISO100, f/11, various focal lengths, 2- 20 sec exposures
  4. Walkaround pictures, and why the lens never leaves the camera

Miscellaneous tips

  1. Replies to a question on a good type and brand of lens filter to go with the 17-70mm.
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