[Camera Deal] Sigma's 17 - 50 2.8 With Image Stabilization Drops Below $600

We haven't posted a deal here recently because, well, there really hasn't been many deals since the holidays. One of our favorite crop lenses, the Sigma 17 -50 2.8 OS, is currently under $600 (retails $669) for the first time in a long while. Click the full post to hear why like like it so much.



The Sigma 15-50 2.8 OS has a lot going for it. First off it is a 2.8 lens with "optical stabilization". Normally OS, VR, or IS doesn't excite me that much but now that I shoot a lot of videos for Fstoppers and at my weddings, the stabilized feature of a lens is absolutely critical for hand holding DSLR video. DSLR video looks absolutely awesome when you pair up the shallow depth of field from a 2.8 lens with the smooth look of a stabilized lens. Canon makes the 17-55 2.8 IS USM which is a great step up from the Sigma but at this time Nikon still does not make either their 17-55 2.8 G lens or their Flagship FX Nikkor 24-70 lens with Vibration Reduction (come on Nikon!). And as you all know, we shoot on Nikons so we need an alternative.


The other major selling point of the Sigma 17-50 2.8 is the lens is really sharp at 2.8 for normal photography. I'm honestly not one to read a ton of reviews before buying a flagship lens or trying to make sense of those ridiculous lens charts people post. This is Sigma's flagship crop sensor lens so both Lee and I bought one when they came out a year ago. That being said, we both own the Tamron version of this lens as well (video review here).

Why do we own copies of essentially the same lens from two different manufacturers? Well we have found that the Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC lens has the absolute best "vibration compensation" of any lens we've ever tried. It is our goto Fstoppers video lens 80% of the time. However, without doing any sort of scientific tests, I have found that the Tamron is just a little soft wide open for my tastes. The Sigma 17-50 does an excellent job of providing me with both stabilization for video and a sharp 2.8 image for general photography that it has found a permanent place in both my camera bag and Lee's bag as well. And what's even more exciting is I can also use this lens in DX mode on my new Nikon D4 since the Nikkor 24-70 doesn't have VR yet either. I can't wait to see what that camera will be able to do with it's super high ISO capabilities on a 2.8 stabilized lens!

If you have any questions about any of the lenses mentioned above, leave us a comment. I dunno why I felt the need to post such a thorough topic on this lens; maybe it was because someone brought it up yesterday on the Fstoppers Facebook group. If you have one of these lenses or something even more expensive, keep rocking it out and be as creative as possible!

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Let's hope they do something about the stupid price in the UK, where it costs the equivalent of about $850.

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

Just for the record I broke this lens 4 times, then sigma sent me a new one. Just for the record.

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

but this is a pretty cool lens for that range and has the OS for some great video.

Patrick Hall's picture

Why don't you tell everyone how you broke it Jerrit....and how you also broke $6000 in studio lighting, a projector, and a DSLR?  You are right, lenses aren't indestructible :)

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

I was shooting a wedding after they fixed it twice and the screen just jumped up and down. 

Hi, Lee/Patrick. I know its been a while since this post but I've now decided to buy either the Sigma or the Tamron one. I'd prefer overall sharpness to better stabilisation since I'm mostly going to use it for stills and at f/2.8, the lens is as wide open as I'll probably need it. So you would definitely recommend the Sigma? Also, Tokina makes a 16-50mm f/2.8 that I can't seem to find on any online store. Any thoughts about that lens? Thank you! 

Hi i am really considering the nikon 17-55 2.8, with the idea of doing more video with it.  I didn't really consider the sigma.  For just video in mind is the nikon worth the extra $$?  I am also doing some traveling so the size and cost of the sigma is appealing and would like to pack just 1-2 lenses versus a bunch of primes I have now.


I actually just bought one (before reading this) because of the attractive price, I'm currently awaiting delivery.  I bought it to replace my Tamron 17-50 2.8 (non-VS version) because I, too, wanted something a little sharper wide open for my concert photography.  

Checking it out in the camera shop I was so impressed by it's sharpness and contrast wide open that I decided to switch brands instead of upgrading to the comparably-priced Tamron VS.
I'm glad to know it's great for hand-held video work as well

Bharat Mudgal's picture


Thanks for the informative post. Just one question...is the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 compatible with canon full frame cameras? I am planning to buy Canon 6D soon.

Thanks & Regards