The Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Up to date ($599) is an exceptionally slim, carry-friendly lens, which is not any small feat given its extra-wide angle of view and full-frame protection. The I Collection is outlined by its metal-barrel design cues and on-lens aperture management, each on full show right here. And we have now little dangerous to say about its image high quality. There are alternate options to contemplate relying on what digital camera system you employ, however the 17mm F4 is a effective lens and glorious worth in both E-mount or L-mount, particularly for creators preferring small, discrete primes over zooms.
The Widest I Collection to Date
The 17mm F4 DG DN Up to date is a part of the Sigma I Collection, a subset of lenses that share the identical design idea and language. Like its brethren, this prime is housed in a black anodized aluminum barrel and features a matching steel hood and magnetic steel lens cap. Measurement-wise, it is one of many slimmer entries, not far off in idea from the not-as-wide 24mm F3.5 DG DN Up to date, and simpler to hold than any of the upsized F2 entries.
It is fairly an accomplishment contemplating the extra-wide angle of view; a lens like that is merely not potential to make for SLRs. However mirrorless methods profit from a brief distance between the lens and sensor, together with EVFs that work higher with in-camera digital correction. The result’s a full-frame 17mm F4 that is simply 7.9 ounces, 1.9 by 2.5 inches (HD), and helps 55mm entrance filters.
Sigma markets the lens for L-Mount Alliance and Sony E-mount cameras; we obtained the E-mount model to check. Sony’s system is extra in style and has been round longer, however there aren’t that many direct alternate options to contemplate. The Zeiss Batis 18/2.8 prices twice as a lot, whereas the budget-minded Rokinon 18mm F2.8 is not a standout performer.
In the event you’re utilizing an L-mount system, the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F1.8 is the closest various. Sigma additionally has the 20mm F2 DG DN Up to date for L and E cameras, one of many aforementioned bigger entries within the I Collection (2.9 by 2.8 inches, 13.1 ounces). It captures a barely narrower view, however gathers 4 instances as a lot gentle as an F4.
As for the angle of view, a 17mm prime is not one most will consider as an on a regular basis lens, although the extra-close focus accessible right here helps you discover fascinating frames in scenes that do not lend themselves to a large prime. Personally, I discover this kind of lens to be a very good match for cityscapes and avenue images that emphasizes structure, together with inside research and landscapes. For video, the angle is loads huge for self-recorded vlog footage, although vloggers with full-frame cameras might desire an even bigger f-stop for the blurred-background impact.
Dealing with and Controls
The 17mm F4 retains it fairly easy for controls—it consists of an aperture management ring, an AF/MF toggle change, and a handbook focus ring. The aperture ring goes from f/4-22, clicks in at third-stop detents, and has an A place for computerized and on-body management. Silent, click-free operation is not supported, nonetheless, one thing to contemplate if you happen to’re mulling the lens for cinema tasks the place iris pulls are commonplace. Vloggers and single-camera operators are much less more likely to miss it.
A stepping (STM) motor drives autofocus; it responds shortly sufficient, because the wide-angle optical system does not require a high-speed linear actuator. Autofocus is acceptably quiet to make use of for video. For handbook focus, the lens responds nonlinearly on Sony cameras, however may be swapped to linear response if you happen to get it in L-mount. Photographers are likely to desire nonlinear handbook focus, which permits for exact or roughshod focus racks based mostly on how shortly you flip the main target ring, whereas cinema customers will need a linear response for focus pulls that may be repeated throughout a number of takes.
The main focus respiration impact is seen, however is reasonably modest. You may discover a bloom within the angle of view for video photographs that rack from the macro vary to a extra distant airplane of focus, nevertheless it’s not an issue for vloggers recording present-to-camera footage or comparable functions the place the airplane of focus might shift barely throughout a shot, however not dramatically.
Shut focus is a robust level, and whereas the 17mm F4 does not fairly make the macro grade, it does help 1:3.6 magnification at its nearest 4.8-inch focal distance. It provides some versatility, although we’ll say that nature photographers might wish to suppose twice about an I Collection lens. Sigma features a gasket across the lens mount to assist preserve mud and moisture exterior, however it’s not absolutely weather-sealed.
Sigma 17mm F4 Up to date: Within the Lab
I matched the Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Up to date with the 60MP Sony a7R IV and Imatest software program to examine its optical efficiency. The lens scores within the excellent vary at f/4-5.6 (4,150-4,250 traces), however delivers glorious marks from edge to edge at f/8-11 (4,600 traces).
The high-pixel sensor limits image high quality at smaller apertures, so we see softer outcomes when utilizing the lens at f/16-22. You could wish to use f/22 to get starburst results in landscapes, however the sunstars right here aren’t crisply outlined regardless of the huge view. The tines cut up aside, and are solely clear at f/22.
The 17mm F4 does a very good job with flare management, a plus for a lens that is likely to be used for dawn and sundown landscapes. You may level it proper towards the solar and nonetheless find yourself with a photograph with robust distinction and particulars. We seen some ghosting within the type of false inexperienced reflections in some situations, nevertheless it’s avoidable with refined adjustments to your angle.
False colour in backgrounds, nonetheless, will not be one thing you may sidestep so simply. The 17mm F4 reveals some LoCa, or false inexperienced and purple halos, seen in defocused areas of the body. However, lateral chromatic aberration, a purple colour impact round factors of excessive distinction which are in focus, is not seen in typical drawback areas.
The 17mm F4’s optics present seen barrel distortion, however in-camera corrections compensate for it (and a few dimness towards the corners) when utilizing the lens to snap JPGs. A correction profile is embedded in Uncooked information for simple processing in appropriate software program like Seize One. Adobe Lightroom requires a customized profile; Sigma gave us an early have a look at the forthcoming Lightroom profile and we discovered that it labored correctly. Straight traces are necessary for a lens like this that is certain to have some architectural functions.
The I Collection Goes Extensive
Sigma’s I Collection is an interesting line for photographers after basic steel barrel model at a midrange worth. The tiny 17mm F4 DG DN Up to date is the widest-angle entry to date, with a view that is comfy for functions starting from structure and cityscapes to self-recorded vlog footage.
As a worth possibility, the Sigma 17mm F4 is unmatched; you will not discover others of its high quality and angle for round $600. The Rokinon 18mm F2.8 for Sony might value much less, nevertheless it is not practically nearly as good a performer. In the meantime, the closest possibility in L-mount is the extra video-minded Lumix S 18mm F1.8, which places extra of a pressure on budgets at $900.
In all, we’re fairly impressed with what this little lens can do. Photos are sharp and focus is snappy, and there’s something to be mentioned concerning the I Collection aesthetics. There are some downsides, notably some false colour in backgrounds and a scarcity of full climate safety, however these are affordable compromises for a mid-priced prime.