Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM A-mount lens review by My December

reviewer#9613 date: Nov-21-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony 16-80ZA
- Sigma 18-250mm DC OS HSM
price paid:2200 MYR (New)
positive:- Light & compact
- Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) & Optical Stabilization (OS)
- Very very sharp at center right from wide aperture (f/2.8)
- Nice warm colors (typical Sigma)
- Comes with a very nice and comfortable pouch.
negative:- Cheap feel plastic build
- Perhaps too compact?
- No DMF
comment:This lens is currently my permanent standard zoom lens on my A77. I got this lens before the Sony DT 16-50mm came out, so...I didn't bother to get the A77 kitlens. My copy has the 'Compatible with SLT' sticker at the box, so make sure yours have it too (in case your camera is a DSLT).

Very sharp at the center straight from f/2.8. Near perfect at f4, and gets even better at f5.6. I just use f2.8 a lot with this lens.
Great warm color. I love Sigma colors better than most of Sony/Minolta's lenses, though I still prefer Zeiss' glass coatings. It's all matter of preference though.
The HSM works well, near silent focusing, but the focusing sound still audible in video shooting. SSM is still the best silent motor for Sony DSLR/DSLT videos.
One reason I like this lens better than the Sony DT 16-50mm is the OS feature. I can choose whether to use the in-lens stabilizer, or in-body. In video mode, I think the OS works better than the on-body stabilizer (or the A77 has it's own video stabilizer). Although lab test shows the A77's video can hold up until about half an hour, most probably the test is in room condition. I live in a typical sunny climate, the camera may not be able to shoot video for too long. OS can really help to lessen sensor heat, rather than the on-body stabilizer.

This lens' build really doesn't match with the price you paid. It really feels cheap. Even the cheaper Tamron 17-50mm have tougher build. The lens is light though, and very compact, but perhaps it is too compact for someone with big hands. The problem is, the zoom ring is too tight that your hands might grip on the focusing ring. Since it doesn't have a direct manual focus, you'll disturb the focusing mechanism if your hands grabbing on the focus ring during autofocus.
I like the newer Sigma finish, than the old crinkle finish.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.58
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.17
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.35 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania