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Lens Reviews

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Review

Josh Larkin (tonupbandit) on February 4, 2013


Keywords: sigma, lenses, non_nikon, product, articles, 17_50mm

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Lightsphere II CLEAR  
Sigma Lens 17-50mm  

I recently picked up Sigma's 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens (from herein referred to as Sigma 17-50mm) as I had a need for fast lens covering the standard zoom range. With a few weddings ahead of me I thought this would be a good lens to have in my kit, and it fit my budget, coming in at right around $500 USD.

After much online research comparing the Sigma to Tamron's similar offering, I decided to go with the Sigma as I had used one of their lenses in the past and quite enjoyed it. Nonetheless, before the lens showed up, I'll admit I wondered what quality of glass I would be getting at such a reasonable price.

Before I get into the specifics of the lens, I'm going to put this post in a little context. I'm not a lens reviewer. I know basically what to look for when assessing a lens, but I'm not set up for or familiar with all of the specific tests that more knowledgeable lens testers are in this regard. That being said, this review will be more basic than others, essentially, just a guy shooting with a lens and looking for some of the more obvious flaws one might pick up.

Build quality

After taking the lens, its padded case, front and rear covers and hood out of the box, I gave it a once over to make sure visually everything looked intact. All screws were in place, and a quick double check with a jeweler's screwdriver confirmed all showing hardware was tight. No audible sounds were heard when giving the lens a little shake.

The lens' zoom operated smoothly, though much tighter feeling then my other lenses. When extended, the lens measures just over 3.5", with the front element telescoping out from the barrel. I was briefly confused by the zoom ring operation, which is reversed from the Nikkor lenses I'm familiar with. Fully extended, I could feel no play when gently rocking the front element in the barrel. A quick switch of the AF/M switch proved that the manual focus ring also turned smoothly.

Despite being largely plastic on the exterior, at 565g, it's not a light lens, but certainly nothing so heavy that I wouldn't keep it mounted as a walk-around lens. It does have a metal bayonet, which is something I always look for when purchasing a new lens -- learned this lesson when a plastic mount on a kit lens broke, resulting in a bent aperture arm, and a repair bill from Nikon USA!

After the visual inspection, I felt pretty good about my purchase. Of course, the real tests hadn't even begun.

 

(5 Votes)
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Josh Larkin Josh Larkin (tonupbandit)

Awarded for his articles published at the Resources and The Nikonian eZine

East Calais, USA
Normal, 6 posts

9 comments

David Ziff (davidziff2) on December 24, 2013

Awarded for his articles published at the Resources and The Nikonian eZine

Thank you for your very useful review . It's nice to see a reviewer with so much integrity. I have a couple of questions re nomenclature: 1) Why would anyone want to lock the focusing motor? Is that to stop lens creep? Even the kit lens 18 - 55 doesn't have lens creep. 2) You used the phrase: bent Aperture arm. Could you please tell me what an aperture arm is and how it could be bent by the lens? Best of the holidays and a productive New Year. David Ziff david_ziff@mac.com Dec 24, 2013

Jose R. Burset (jburset) on July 25, 2013

Thinking on buying one of these, this review takes me one step closer!!! Thanks Josh for the review.

James Pisarz (James23p) on April 18, 2013

Great review! Yes it will fit the D60 it is a HSM(AF-s) lens so it will AF and it is also a (DC)DX lens so it will be perfect for your DX DSLR. Jim

Zita Margit Kemeny (zkemeny) on March 5, 2013

Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography

Does it fit to Nikon D60 ?

Michael Howard (drumer23) on February 21, 2013

I've been using this lens for the past year and have loved it. I do notice some vignetting in the corners when zoomed all the way in and at f2.8. Lightroom has no issue removing this with lens correction. Once you start to get around f4 it goes away. I did recently have an issue with the focusing motor not locking quickly. I sent it in for repair and within a week got it returned good as new and fully cleaned. Still extremely happy with this lens on my D7000.

jerry charlton (photo bug) on February 15, 2013

thank you josh. im still trying to decide on a 2.8 lens in that range. after you shoot it some more, please update.

doug stroud (dougstroudphoto) on February 6, 2013

Excellent Josh. I am quite impressed by the OS at 1/15th and at $500 for a 2.8 lens that really has me thinking of purchasing something other than Nikon lenses.

Chuck Vincent (Chuckv) on February 6, 2013

Which Nikon Camera's did you mount it on?

Emory Hall (ehall) on February 4, 2013

Hi Josh Great review, thanks for giving me some insight to guide my next lens pick. Emory

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