Today I will bring you information about one of the best kit lenses for Nikon – Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro. This lens is called “a good lens for a good price”. This is obviously true because this lens example brings us the finest balance between price and quality. However, in my point, it can be still expensive for sure.
There are 2 editions of Sigma 17-70mm dc macros: f2.8-4.5 and HSM with f2.8-4.0 aperture. I had the occasion to sample the first one with a little bit smaller aperture on maximal zoom.
I have tested the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro with 2 issues basically: the macro itself and night photography quality. Other issues also have been mentioned in this description, although I was not focused really on them, because they are described on the web.
First of all, let’s take a look at the macro feature. This lens has a macro in its name, but sometimes the “macro” in the name doesn’t provide the real macro feature in the lens.
In the case of this lens, the macro works fine. To be honest this is the best macro, as I had occasion to see. Recently I have shown you the macro from the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro lens. The macro in Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro is far better than in the previous example, although when you enclose the lens to the object too much you may have problems with shadow. The enclosed camera with Sigma 17-70mm zoom lens casts a shadow on the photographed object, so it causes problems with sharpness (Pic. 1, 2).
But the macro in 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 dc is still very nice when using the lower zoom, e.g. 50 mm only, or capturing the photo from a bit longer distance (Pic. 3, 4).
I had my photo area shady in both cases, which caused a poor sharpness in the outcome. Doing the macro photos from a very short distance to the object may show chromatic aberration. On the wooden plank example when you look at the long dark slits you can spot a bluish tint on the edges (Pic. 5,6).
The problem disappears when extending the distance to the object. From around 30cm the aberration is practically invisible, however, the picture could be sharper (Pic. 7, 8).
Let’s have a look at the other macro examples with wooden plank below…
…and on other objects. Macro photography is hard when is windy. In general, the sharp image should be obtained from a minimum of 20cm distance, but you can photo the object much closer in reality.
Leave the macro for now. The Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro is perfect for night photography. The f. 2.8 aperture works perfectly in dark conditions. See below:
See next night’s photo examples taken with other aperture values up to f 3.5.
In my opinion, the night photos taken by Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro are perfect. This lens can be useful also for amateur astrophotography. I took a few photos, which are to be seen below. Because I had got a model with broken autofocus again some pictures may not be perfectly sharp, although this is not a thing to look at at this moment. On top of that those pictures have been taken in light-polluted places, so please don’t anticipate the amazing sky photography, only take a look at how the f2.8 – f3.8 aperture works in night conditions.
Before I start to show you the photos see the values of the aperture depend on the zoom:
17-20mm – f2.8
21-25mm – f3.0
26-32mm – f3.2
33-40mm – f3.4
41-50mm – f3.6
51-58mm – f3.8
59-65mm – f4.0
66-70mm – f4.5
Comparing for example to the Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II your picture was taken with 55mm zoom by Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro is still much brighter. I believe, that More light for a 55mm picture can provide the Sigma 17-70mm HSM models with a maximum f4.0 aperture. Possibly the value should correspond to f3.6 or even f3.4 aperture instead of f3.8.
Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro has basically one, but quite a big disadvantage. This is a light fall, that may disrupt your photo in darker conditions. For instance when you look at the pic.30 you can see darkening areas in both top corners. This is an example of a terrible light fall in this Sigma 17-70mm lens.
The light fall in Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro for 17mm is terrible. To avoid this disadvantage you must change the aperture or zoom (Pic. 31), although you cannot get rid of this totally. Probably the best combination is 50mm f5.6, but most of the pictures, that I used to make have been taken with 17mm zoom.
The light fall in Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro appears when your framed area is dark and quite plain-colored (Pic. 30, 34, 35).
When your capturing view includes many objects with different levels of light the light fall feature disappears or at least is much harder to see (Pic. 36) likewise to strong light conditions during the daytime (Pic. 37-39). However, there are some exclusions, especially when our framing area is on the opposite side of the sunlight (Pic. 40).
Even when we spot some darkening in the corners of the picture taken in daylight conditions not alter the fact, that strong light prevents the photo from darkening feature unless you select a small aperture and very short exposition.
Except for the light fall, which can be a nightmare for the Sigma 17-70mm owners this lens is pretty good and worth its price. The big advantage of the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro is undeniably a bigger aperture and bigger zoom range unlike other kit lenses, which can offer not more than 50-55mm.
At the finish, I would like to show you a few image examples done by Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro.
Maybe you will be disappointed with quite a poor explanation of this Sigma lens. I could enjoy it for only a few days. I give you a few links below, where you can get more info about Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro detailed functional and test, that has been done throughout over 10 years when this lens was released.
1. Imaging-resource.com: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro review
2. Ephotozine.com: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro review with photo examples.
3. Pentaxforums.com: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro discussions
4. Photoreview.com.au: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 HSM Macro review and specification.
5. Sigma 17-70mm forum