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

Small, light and very competitively priced, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C punches well above its weight.

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

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

It may be a mouthful to say, but Sigma’s 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro (OS)* HSM | C is an APS-C standard zoom lens which is available for all DSLR brands. It offers a larger focal range than most kit lenses, with an extra 15mm at the telephoto end, and has a wider maximum aperture of f/2.8-4 for faster shutter speeds in low light. Wider apertures also make it possible to attain a shallow depth-of-field for professional-looking, blurry backgrounds.

The lens was released in 2013 shortly after Sigma’s announcement that all new lenses would fall into one of three categories: Art, Contemporary and Sport. The 17-70mm standard zoom is in the Contemporary range, denoted by a silver ‘C’ on the lens barrel. The lens features Sigma’s latest ultra-sleek design that has a distinctly more premium feel than older lenses, but the focus ring isn’t quite as comfortable to use as the one on its predecessor.

Built in are Sigma’s Optical Stabilisation system to help users shoot blur-free handheld shots in poor light, and a Hypersonic Motor (HSM) for very quiet and fast AF performance. The 17-70mm is one of the cheapest, lightest and most compact lenses available, with one of the shortest minimum focusing distance of 22cm for capturing macro-style shots. Image quality is very impressive, even wide-open in the corners.


Taking into account its excellent value for money and compact design, this is one of the best budget kit lenses available, although more expensive options offer better image quality.


  • Street price: £319
  • Max Aperture: f/2.8-4
  • Min aperture: f/22
  • Min focus distance 22cm
  • Image stabilisation: Yes
  • Diaphragm blades: 7
  • Angle of view: 80-23º
  • No. of elements: 16, in 14 groups
  • Filter size: 72mm
  • Extending lens barrel: Yes
  • Available mounts: Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Sigma
  • Full frame compatible: No, APS-C only
  • Length: 82mm
  • Weight: 465g
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This review was first published in the November 2014 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.