Hi, I am starting blog about photography, editing, techniques and this is my first blog post. Hope you will all enjoy it. I will try to be brief but give as much useful informations as possible. This is not review of Sigma 17-50 this are more my thoughts and feelings after buy.
Lens is packed in small black box where you can find lens hood, lens pouch, instruction manual and of course lens.
Lens feels in the hand like proper piece of glass. It is solid and very well built. Sigma 17-50 f2.8 is much heavier and bigger than Nikon 18-55mm afp as you can see on pictures. Nikon 18-55mm feels like toy when I hold it in my hand now. Mount of the lens is metal whereas Nikon uses plastic mount on 18-55mm (I think it is ok for such a light lens).
Manual focus and Zoom ring
Zoom ring is quite hard to turn from 17 to 21mm but after you pass that range it goes very smootly (it will maybe get better after some time of using it – it is new now). Difference between Nikon kit lens and Sigma is that if you want to zoom in, you have to turn Sigma to the left but Nikon to the right (bit confusing from beginning). Focus ring goes very smoothly and it is very easy to get picture into focus (much easier than on Nikon). You can’t use focus ring when in auto focus mode and also ring rotates during auto focus. However front element doesn’t rotate what is good news for using filters.
Autofocus is definitely faster and quieter on Nikon 18-55mm but Sigma is not much behind. Sigma’s AF is unusable for video work. Have a look on my videos. This two videos are showing focusing from close object to distant. But normally if you will use Sigma lens without going from extreme closeup to infinity speed will be more than enough.
OS works very well but bit different way than Nikon’s stabilisation. I like Nikon’s system more but Sigma is doing very good job and you will get nice sharp photos even on very low shutter speeds. Also you can here sigmas OS when is dismounted from the camera. It is making sounds like there is something broken inside.
I just love how super sharp this lens is in comparison with Nikon 18-55mm afp. It is very sharp even on f2.8 and getting better if stopped down to f4. Basically, Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 is more sharp on 2.8 than is Nikon 18-55mm afp on f5.6. Have a look on comparison of this two lenses. Pictures are 100% and all manually focused on eyes of Harry.
Sigma produces nicer colours than Nikon. I used same profile (standard) and colours of Sigma are bit more warmer more pleasing for the eye.
On both lenses is vignetting well controlled and Lightroom takes care about it anyway so no problems there. But Sigma is better with vigneting a little bit. Vignetting is not bothering me at all lightroom takes perfect care of it.
Bokeh is much much better and nicer than on Nikon 18-55. You can definitely see difference between f2.8 and f5.6. Even busy background are rendered very well. Have a look on Lego figure how much more is last figure blurred. Photographs are unedited I just used Landscape profile in Nikon D5300. As you can see on last two images difference in bokeh rendering is significant. You can barely recognise figures in background (Nikon was on 55mm not 50mm just to get maximum out of it).
Macro is not the best, but with magnification of 0.20x this lens is not much behind the other kit lenses which are ranging within 0.20 to 0.30x magnification. Minimum focal distance for this lens is 28cm from focal plane (my pictures are showing distance from the front of the lens) and with manual focus you can get about 3.3cm closer. In AF mode you can get 11.8cm close to the front of the lens and in manual focus it is 8.5cm. It is enough for my needs.
For Nikon 18-55mm VRII it is 28cm (0.30x magnification )in AF mode and 25cm (0.36x magnification) in Manual mode. Nikon wins this in magnification.
Macro with 20mm MEIKE extension tube
Lets talk about the Scroll bug. Yes, there is scroll bug present on my D5300 (I do believe that it is sorted in newer D5600) but my D7200 is without problems. Is it annoying ? Yes it is a little bit, you have to wait until system cuts off OS roughly about 1 minute after that scroll works again. We are talking about scroll in pictures preview and zoom in preview mode. Scroll works fine when you use it in Live view for focusing. The other thing which is this bug causing is that after taking the picture preview stays on for full minute so you will have to develop habit of pressing shutter half way to make the screen go black (if you need to save battery). This doesn’t bother me at all. I think this should not put anybody away from buying this great constant aperture super sharp lens just for 285 pounds.
This lens offers perfect value for money and it is significant upgrade from kit lens. Feel free to leave negative or positive comments bellow. Positive will made day nicer and negative will push me to do things better. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.
I promise that I will improve my english 🙂