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Lens review

Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

30 July 2010
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • high build quality and very solid barrel,
  • sensational sharpness of images in the frame centre even at the maximum relative aperture,
  • decent image quality at the edge of the frame,
  • chromatic aberration well-controlled at longer focal lengths,
  • negligible astigmatism,
  • silent, quick and accurate autofocus,
  • efficient image stabilization,
  • three-year-long guarantee period with the possibility of extending it by additional two years.

Cons:

  • noticeable chromatic aberration at the shortest focal length,
  • a bit too high vignetting,
  • significant coma at 17 mm,
  • too simplified manual focus ring,
  • image quality at the maximum aperture, at the edge of the frame for shorter focal lengths could have been better.

Reading our test you can see very clearly that the Sigma entered the segment of more expensive fast zoom lenses, aimed at ambitious amateur photographers or even professionals working with smaller sensors, very aggressively indeed. The performance of the tested lens is sometimes really impressive. In the frame centre the Sigma behaves better than more expensive constructions of Canon and Nikon. At the edge it is worse than the Nikkor but it can compete on equal terms with the Canon. In fact it doesn’t lag behind the competitors in any category and in some it fares definitely better. Sigma lately has started to emphasize the fact that its aim is not only to produce cheap and worse substitutes of brand name lenses but also to reach a similar price-quality segment as its brand name competitors. The newest models, like the 1.4/50 or the Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 tested here, are perfect examples of this strategy.

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The Sigma 17–50 mm is not a flawless device but neither are so its most serious competitors which are more expensive. The Nikkor overall seems to be an optically better lens but it is much more pricey than the Sigma and doesn’t feature image stabilization. The optics of the Sigma and the Canon are very similar – both boast silent and quick autofocus mechanism and stabilization. Sigma’s advantage consists of a better warranty and a bit lower price.

For the Sony Alfa system reflex cameras users the Sigma 17-50 mm can be a very interesting suggestion because Sony doesn’t offer such a lens in its line-up so the competition is definitely less fierce. It won’t be so easy in the case of Pentax because the 16-50 mm f/2.8 model from that company tempts with a wider angle of view although it is optically worse and more expensive than the Sigma.

To sum up the Sigma 17–50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM will find many satisfied users for sure. It would be difficult not to be satisfied when you can take photos as good as or even better than the brand name competitors using a cheaper lens.


Sample shots

Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 35 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 3.74 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/160 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.42 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 3.72 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.4 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 25 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.64 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.07 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/60 s, ISO 400
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.52 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 28 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/80 s, ISO 400
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.52 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/3.2, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.58 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.91 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/5000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.4 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 30 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.64 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 3.91 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 43 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/3200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.89 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/100 s, ISO 400
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.52 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 28 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/2500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.82 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.88 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 6.35 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 21 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 6.21 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 38 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 6.59 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.96 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 28 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 6.02 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/4000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.4 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 23 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.8 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 35 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.61 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 35 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/3200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.99 MB
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 40 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.72 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 28 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.77 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 21 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.66 MB



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