A Closer Look at the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon EF

The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens is a versatile standard zoom lens designed for Canon EF mount DSLR cameras. Part of Sigma’s Contemporary line, this lens aims to balance performance, compact size, and value. With a focal length range equivalent to 27-112mm on full-frame cameras, it covers everything from wide-angle to short telephoto perspectives. The fast f/2.8 maximum aperture provides the ability to shoot in low light and create blurred backgrounds. Optical stabilization helps reduce blur from camera shake for sharper handheld shots. A true macro mode allows focusing as close as 22cm for life-size 1:1 magnification. Overall, the 17-70mm Contemporary is a great walkaround lens choice for Canon APS-C DSLRs.


Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon EF Specs

  • Focal Length: 17-70mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8-4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Lens Construction: 16 elements in 14 groups
  • Angle of View: 79.7°- 23.3°
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 22cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 1:1
  • Filter Size: 72mm
  • Dimensions: 79×82.1mm
  • Weight: 465g
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Autofocus Motor: HSM
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF

A Closer Look at the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens


Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C review

The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens has received very positive reviews since its release. It provides an extremely useful focal range for everyday shooting on APS-C cameras. With a bright f/2.8 aperture at 17mm, it’s great for low light situations and bokeh. Image quality is superb across the frame, even wide open at f/2.8. Autofocus is fast and accurate thanks to the HSM motor. The inclusion of optical stabilization results in sharp images even at slower shutter speeds handheld.

The macro mode is a standout feature, allowing true 1:1 magnification not often found in standard zooms. This allows capturing small details and textures easily. The compact size and weight make it highly portable. Overall, reviewers found the 17-70mm Contemporary to be an excellent choice as a versatile everyday zoom lens.

In-Depth Review of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro (OS) HSM

This in-depth review praises the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM’s useful focal range, sharp optics, fast autofocus, and macro capability. Optical performance is outstanding across the frame, even at maximum aperture, with good control of aberrations like distortion and vignetting. The inclusion of OS (optical stabilization) allows handholding the lens at slower shutter speeds.

Macro magnification at 1:1 is a huge bonus not found on most standard zooms. This allows capturing tiny details at life size. Bokeh is pleasing, especially when shooting wide open. The HSM autofocus motor is quick, quiet, and accurate. Build quality feels solid with a metal lens mount. The reviewer found the 17-70mm Contemporary to be an “excellent and very versatile lens” that’s compact, sharp, quick focusing, and a great walkaround choice for Canon APS-C cameras.

Image Quality

Superior image quality throughout the entire zoom range

A key highlight of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is its superb optics that deliver excellent sharpness and clarity across the frame. Even shooting wide open at f/2.8, the lens is tack sharp in the center and good to very good in the corners. Stopping down just slightly to f/4 brings the corners up to excellent levels matching center sharpness. Performance remains outstanding when zoomed in at 70mm at both maximum and stopped down apertures.

The 17-70mm controls chromatic aberration, distortion, and vignetting very well. Images come out clear and crisp across the entire zoom range. Combined with fast autofocus and optical stabilization, the Contemporary produces reliably sharp, high quality photos and is a pleasure to shoot with. For discerning photographers who demand great optics, the 17-70mm delivers in spades.

Lens Features

True macro photography – anytime, anywhere

A standout feature of the 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is its macro magnification mode. Achieving life-size 1:1 reproduction, this lens can focus as close as 22cm across the entire zoom range. This allows capturing the fine details of small subjects like flowers, insects, textures, and more. The minimum focusing distance stays constant at 22cm from 17-70mm rather than increasing like most standard zooms. This true macro capability makes unique close up photos possible anytime without needing a dedicated macro lens. It’s an incredibly handy function for nature, product or food photography.

HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor)

The lens incorporates Sigma’s HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) autofocus system. This ultrasonic motor provides quick, smooth, and near-silent focusing that’s especially beneficial for video recording. The motor also allows full-time manual override, meaning photographers can tweak focus manually at any point without switching modes. In practice, HSM focuses very fast and accurately for both stills and video.

Optical Stabilizer

With Sigma’s Optical Stabilizer function, the 17-70mm lens effectively reduces blur caused by camera shake. This allows handholding the lens at slower shutter speeds than normally possible without stabilization. OS provides around 4 stops of stabilization benefit, letting you shoot sharp images at up to 4 stops slower shutter speed than the reciprocal of the focal length. This is a huge plus for low light situations or when a tripod is not available.

30% more compact than previous lenses of its type

Weighing 465g and measuring 79×82.1mm, the 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is remarkably compact and portable for a lens of its zoom range and aperture. The Contemporary series emphasizes portability without sacrificing quality. The lens is about 30% smaller in size and weight than previous generation lenses like the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8. This makes it easy to carry around all day for travel or everyday shooting.

TSC (Thermally Stable Composite)

The lens barrel incorporates TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), a type of polycarbonate that has very low thermal shrinkage. This provides excellent dimensional stability even with temperature changes. TSC contributes to high precision during the manufacturing process as well as consistency of lens performance across different temperature conditions.

Specially designed cam for smooth zooming

A newly designed cam inside the lens provides smooth zoom action throughout the entire zoom range. Turning the zoom ring is smooth, allowing easy framing control without any stiff resistance or stickiness. This allows making precise compositional adjustments and aids in consistent focus when zooming.

High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount

To ensure durable lens performance, the 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM incorporates a brass bayonet mount on the lens side. Brass is more rugged than the aluminum alloy typically used. This solid brass mount provides high precision with the camera mount system and helps ensure perfect alignment with the sensor plane for consistent optical performance over time.

A refined, integrated design made with the photographer in mind

In designing the 17-70mm Contemporary lens, Sigma focused on an integrated design streamlined for photographer usability. The lens features a consistently sized 62mm filter thread throughout the zoom range for compatibility with the same filters. The zoom and focus rings have just the right amount of torque for optimal operability. The lens cap is easy to install and remove while providing a secure fit. Little refinements like these result in a lens actively designed with real-world ergonomic operation in mind.

A high-performance zoom lens offering exceptional image quality, compactness and performance

In summary, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens provides a highly useful focal length range equivalent to 27-112mm in a compact, lightweight package. With a versatile wide-angle to short telephoto zoom range, fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, true macro 1:1 magnification, optical stabilization, and superb optics, this lens offers tremendous bang for buck.

Image quality is outstanding across the frame even shooting wide open. Autofocus is snappy and accurate thanks to HSM. The inclusion of OS allows up to 4 stops slower shutter speeds when handholding. At 1:1 life-size magnification, the macro mode offers unique close-up opportunities anywhere. Photographers who want a sharp, versatile daily zoom lens that can tackle a huge variety of subjects and scenes will find the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens delivers impressive performance and capabilities in a portable package.

The entire zoom range

With a focal length range of 17-70mm, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary provides wide-angle to short telephoto perspectives. At 17mm on an APS-C body, it offers a 79.7 degree angle of view for expansive landscapes and indoor shots. Zooming in to 70mm provides a 23.3 degree angle of view, ideal for portraits and closer subjects. This versatile range lets you capture wide vistas one moment and zero in on details the next. Throughout the zoom range, the maximum aperture starts at a fast f/2.8 at 17mm and gradually drops to f/4 at 70mm.

Compared to typical kit lenses with f/3.5-5.6 apertures, the Sigma 17-70mm offers 1 to 1 2/3 stops faster aperture for better low light performance and shallower depth of field. Photographers also appreciate the useful magnification range, from 0.2x wide angle to 0.5x telephoto, great for both distant subjects and closer macro work. From sweeping cityscapes to intimate still lifes, the 17-70mm zoom range handles it all.

7 Handy Tips for Capturing Great Autumn Bokeh

  1. Use wide apertures. Shoot between f/2.8-f/5.6 to blur backgrounds and make subjects pop.
  2. Get close to subjects. The closer you focus, the more background blur.
  3. Use telephoto focal lengths. Longer focal lengths give shallower depth of field.
  4. Try creative compositions. Frame subjects off-center surrounded by bokeh.
  5. Shoot translucent objects. Bokeh appeals through leaves, flowers, and water droplets.
  6. Use portrait orientation. This enlarges and highlights bokeh areas.
  7. Add natural light. Side lighting and backlighting enhance bokeh circles beautifully.

True macro photography

A true highlight of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is its macro magnification functionality. Most standard zoom lenses can only focus closely enough for 1:2 or 1:4 macro at best. But the Sigma 17-70mm can achieve 1:1 maximum magnification, meaning it can reproduce subjects at life-size on the image sensor.

This allows capturing extremely fine details like the veins of a leaf, the fuzz of a bee’s thorax, or the intricate textures of fabrics and jewelry. Using macro mode is as simple as setting the focus mode switch on the lens barrel to “M”, then moving close to your subject. The minimum focus distance stays constant at 22cm across the whole 17-70mm range. This provides consistent working distance for macro shooting at all focal lengths.

Having life-size 1:1 macro without needing a dedicated macro lens lets you seize close-up opportunities anywhere. Macro photos of flowers, bugs, food, products and more are possible with the 17-70mm when you want them. This macro ability makes the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM unique among standard zoom lenses.

Optical Image Stabilization

Optical stabilization is another standout feature of this lens. Sigma’s OS (Optical Stabilizer) function provides up to 4 stops of stabilization, allowing you to handhold the lens at slower shutter speeds than normally possible.

For example, at 17mm focal length you can safely handhold at 1/15s rather than 1/80s without OS. This greatly aids low light shooting and situations where a tripod isn’t possible. OS also stabilizes the viewfinder image for easier composition.

To activate OS, simply set the OS switch on the lens barrel to “ON.” In practice, OS works extremely well to reduce blur from camera shake. Photographers reported getting sharp results at shutter speeds 4 stops under the 1/focal length guide, allowing handheld low light shots that would otherwise require a tripod. This optical stabilization makes the 17-70mm Contemporary highly versatile.


The Bottom Line

With outstanding optics, useful zoom range, bright f/2.8 max aperture, true macro mode, optical stabilization, and reasonable price, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens is a top choice as an everyday zoom for APS-C DSLRs. It combines excellent image quality and fast aperture performance in a highly portable package. Versatile for everything from landscapes to portraits to macro photos, this light yet capable lens excels as a general-purpose single zoom solution.


  • Extremely sharp from edge to edge
  • Useful wide-angle to short telephoto range
  • Bright f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Impressive macro 1:1 magnification
  • Fast, quiet autofocus with HSM motor
  • Effective optical stabilization
  • Well controlled aberrations
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Great value for performance


  • Some focus hunting in low light
  • Moderate vignetting when wide open
  • Lens hood sold separately
  • No weather sealing

The new sigma 17-70 os image quality performs well on canon eos rebel cameras when af is enabled. The dc macro os hsm c lens shows excellent sharpness across the frame, even at the front of the lens. With the sigma usb dock, users can fine-tune focus for optimal manual focus on pentax and Sony bodies. The sigma mount converter mc-11 allows full compatibility between sigma versions of this lens and canon lenses. Reviews to find the perfect lens note that the 17-70 OS has fewer optical downs of some similar lenses from Canon in this class. Overall, this new Sigma 17-70 is an impressive standard zoom lens.

Q: What is the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS hsm lens?

A: The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS hsm lens is a versatile zoom lens designed for digital cameras with an interchangeable lens system. It has a focal length range of 17-70mm and an aperture range of F2.8-4.

Q: What does “DC Macro OS hsm” mean in the lens name?

A: “DC” stands for Digital Camera, indicating that the lens is designed for use with digital cameras. “Macro” refers to its ability to focus on close-up subjects. “OS” stands for Optical Stabilization, which helps in reducing camera shake. “hsm” stands for Hypersonic Motor, which ensures fast and quiet autofocus.

Q: Can I use the Sigma 17-70mm lens on my Nikon camera?

A: Yes, the Sigma 17-70mm lens is available in Nikon mount, so it can be used with Nikon cameras.

Q: Is this lens compatible with Sony and Pentax cameras?

A: Yes, the Sigma 17-70mm lens is available in Sony A-mount and Pentax K-mount versions, making it compatible with Sony and Pentax cameras.

Q: Can I use this lens on a Canon EOS camera?

A: Yes, the Sigma 17-70mm lens is available in Canon EF mount, so it can be used on Canon EOS cameras.

Q: What is the aperture range of the Sigma 17-70mm lens?

A: The Sigma 17-70mm lens has an aperture range of F2.8-4. This means it can achieve a wide aperture of F2.8 at the 17mm focal length and a maximum aperture of F4 at the 70mm focal length.

Q: What is the USB Dock for Sigma lenses?

A: The USB Dock is a device provided by Sigma that allows you to update the firmware of your Sigma lenses and customize various lens settings using a computer. It can be used with compatible Sigma lenses, including the Sigma 17-70mm lens.

Q: Is the Sigma 17-70mm lens suitable for macro photography?

A: The Sigma 17-70mm lens has a close focusing distance and a macro mode, making it suitable for close-up photography. However, it is not a true “macro” lens with a 1:1 magnification ratio.

Q: How does the Sigma 17-70mm lens compare to the Sigma 17-50mm lens?

A: The Sigma 17-70mm lens has a longer focal length range compared to the Sigma 17-50mm lens, offering more versatility. However, the Sigma 17-50mm lens has a constant aperture of F2.8 throughout the zoom range, which may be preferred by some photographers.

Q: Are there any downsides of using some similar lenses, like the Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens?

A: Some similar lenses, such as the Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens, may have a narrower aperture range and lack certain features found in the Sigma 17-70mm lens, such as macro mode and optical stabilization. However, the Canon lens may be more affordable and suitable for general photography needs.

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