August 11, 2020

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 OS Macro 'C' lens review (with samples)

This is the latest ‘C’ (Contemporary) version of Sigma’s very popular 17-70mm lens, with its faster-than-the-kit-lens aperture. I was impressed and disappointed by this lens in different ways – watch this review to see some of its strengths and weaknesses, and whether it could be a good upgrade to your kit lens.

Find it here (Canon version) (Amazon affiliate link):

If you’ve found this or other videos I’ve made to be helpful, then support me on Patreon!

All pictures and footage shot by me on a Canon 70D.

Be sure to follow my Photostream on Flickr, to see sample pictures of lenses I’ve reviewed and to see previews of upcoming lenses, too!

‘Opportunity Walks’, Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


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  • I hate it that there's no good standard zoom for videowork. One is incredibly expensive, one is too loud when focussing and another one has a variable aperture.
    I'm tellin' ya, the world is against videographer on a budget.

  • The comparison at the end of the video was extremely helpful as I was on the fence for both lenses. I am only interested in stills, and low-light/sharpness is my game, so the 17-50mm will be my choice. Thank you so much for the impeccable review as always!

  • How does the autofocus motor sound compare to the sigma 18-35 1.8? They look pretty similar so I’m hoping it’s about the same. I just ordered this lens and will be using it for vlogging with a shotgun mic. I hope the autofocus isn’t too loud for vlogging

  • So basically, judging by the horrible corners at wide apertures, they might have branded it "f4-f5.6" after all.

  • I just purchased this one used,I need a zoom lens for my Canon SL2. We will be traveling next month so I'm excited.Thanks for the review.

  • Nice review as usual. However opinions on whether its good for video or not are of course subjective. If the shots are well planned, and focusing is done manually, those issues you mention as not suitable for video become irrelevant. It's a videographer/cinematographer's choice how to adapt to certain tools while knowing their limitations.

    I chose this lens for travel videos and see absolutely no issues with the limitations that you mentioned. Ironically I bought it exactly for the "flaws" that you mentioned here, so thank you again for the detailed information. This really helped me.

  • Dear Christopher, how often missed the af on your 17-70?
    I had big problems with 3 lenses.
    The fourth is the best, but it was at sigma to re adjustment. From 10 to 15 pictures misses the af on 3 to five pictures. Only 3 pictures are perfect sharp. The rest is ok…

    Best greetings.

  • Just purchased this lens yesterday. Everything is fine except two things.
    1. No manual override in autofocus mode
    2. Focusing ring rotates externally, so one has to be careful while hand handling the camera.
    Otherwise it's a very good lens with sharp, beautiful photos at all focal lengths. Dynamic range is also good.

  • Hey could you please advise between the 6 or 7 different fast 17-50/55/70s & 50-100/135/150 from Tamron/Tokina/Sigma/Canon: I'm adapting to m43 & Sony but may be switching from Sony to Fuji. On m43 it seems Sigma tends to work better(compatibility/AF wise) and the OS isn't a huge problem as it won't work with ibis so needs to be switched off anyways: so Tamron non VC "12-36mm f2" or Sigma OS "12-36mm f2" or "12-50mm f2-2.8" & Sigma HSM "35-110mm f2"(if I don't want to go with pricier options). But on Sony & more particularly Fuji having better OS might be helpful for video: on the a7RII shooting 4k is best in super35 mode & with Sigma(& maybe Tamron) could possibly give dual IS but on a Fuji X-T3 I'd be getting 4 stops of OS for video(which would be incredibly handy) – then again I could also just use better full frame lenses & a speedbooster to get "17-50mm & 50-140mm f2" respectively. Is this really a choice between better OS in video & better IQ or is there a clear winner here? I know Fuji has the awesome XF 50-140mm f2.8 R OIS WR but the 16-55mm f2.8 is lacking the feature.

  • Christopher, why is it bad for macro? I think with the focal lenght, you can get some awesome wide angle macro shots. Anyone?

  • thank you for the video. I've also seen your video for Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS HSM. I am currently looking for a travel lens with good still picture quality. so which one should I buy Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 OS Macro (lens in this video) or Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS HSM. please help 🙂 .

  • I tested a sigma 17-70 Contemporary at the Photokina 2018 on my Sony camera. Every picture in all ranges at the open appertures 2.8 and 4 was perfect.
    I orderd 3 pieces and everyone was a piece of sh.t.
    Unsharp and the autofocus was like playing bingo.

    The third one gets re adjusted.

  • i thinking about

    17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro (OS)* HSM how it change from this lens

  • hello , im a dentist and im looking for a good lens to capture the macro details of the teeth etc ,and really need your advice on that if the sigma 17-70 is enough or should i look for something else..thanks in advance

  • Hi Sir. What lens can you recommend me? Im using canon 77d and I make DIY videos. I take close up videos most of the time. Any suggestions?

  • can you please, help me to decide, which one is better to get, Canon 15-85, Sigma 17-70? need good travel lens, had 17-55, need to reach more.Thanks in advance.

  • Planing to go for 17-50 2.8 or this one 17-70 2.8-4 ? For travel and some events.Can 17-70 go on full frame? P.s i think 17-50 is sharper

  • Hi Christofer … Good evening! Rodrigo, from Brazil.
    I wanted to start by thanking you for the high quality of your channel!
    It's amazing how you care about exploring every detail of the lens, and being didactic.
    I think yours is the best channel on photographic equipment across YouTube.
    I just signed up!

  • You have the best lens reviews. Really appreciate it! Have you reviewed the canon 15-85? Would really like to see that if you haven't already.

  • I Need a comparison of Sigma 17-50f2.8 and 17-70f2.8-4 pleasee😂
    Thank you for your videos…everithing you Need if you want to buy a lens

  • Bought this! I love all the focal length besides the 17mm, which the color fringing is the strongest. Thanks for the review!

  • Always appreciate your excellent reviews Chris! However, the 17-50 f2.8 is still the more than acceptable ticket. Look forward to your future reviews greatly!

  • Awesome reviews as usual! Can you suggest a budget lens for video for a Nikon please? Was considering getting this but as you say “you wouldn’t recommend this one”. Thanks

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