Sigma – Lens Review


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

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 Sigma Objektiv 17-50mm f/2.8

The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens has been part of my equipment for some months now, which is why I could test it in different situations and under various conditions. It belongs to Sigma’s standard zoom lenses and was made for crop cameras.

The lens is high quality manufactured. It weighs about half a kilo and is equipped with 17 elements in 13 groups. It has an uninterrupted wide aperture of 2.8. The smallest aperture is 22. The closest focusing distance of the lens is 28cm.

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Why this particular lens?

I’ve chosen this particular focal length as I can cover many of the fields in which I like to move with it – travel photography, cover story, or street photography, portraits and landscape images. But it’s also perfectly suitable for architecture photography or for events. With its 17mm focal length the lens not only covers wide angle sections but with 30mm or 35mm, respectively, it also matches a standard lens with which you can take nice portrait photos. With its different focal lengths it’s also perfectly suitable for short trips, where I don’t want to carry lots of luggage and no heavy camera bag with interchangeable lenses.

A plus for brightness

Since I like taking pictures with my crop camera which quickly reaches its limits under bad light conditions in terms of image quality with higher ISO values, I wanted a lens that is able to slightly balance this factor with its high brightness. Taking pictures in rather dark rooms and with little illumination therefore is possible to a certain extent without losing a lot of quality. With correspondingly low shutter times under good light conditions motion blur can be avoided.

Wide aperture

I’m a very big fan of big depths of field in images, which can be created by a possibly wide aperture. With this lens it’s even possible to take high quality photos with a wide aperture. This factor makes the lens very attractive to me, as it can be handled very easily. You don’t need to bother about narrowing down the aperture to get sharp photos.

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Autofocus and image stabilization

The lens contains optical image stabilization. Its purpose is to allow taking pictures 4 time levels longer without a tripod and without making the image blurred.

The autofocus, built into the lens is described as fast and noiseless by the manufacturer. However, when I tested the lens the autofocus turned out to be the only aspect I would critize. With a wide aperture or close-ups it sometimes takes a bit longer to focus the subject. In those cases I often switch to the manual focus which, however, makes shooting a sharp image much more challenging. But with a further closed aperture it works the way it should – quickly and reliably.

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Conclusion

Despite the issue that sometimes occurs with the autofocus this lens has become one of my favorites. I like the different focal lengths very much and with them I take portraits as well as photos in the street or in nature. For me a bright lens is a MUST because I don’t want to miss out on taking photos even under less than optimal light conditions. And I have also often tested the optical image stabilization when I took pictures at night without using a tripod. So far I’ve always been totally happy with the results I got with this lens. Personally I enjoy working with it a lot.

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