*January 18, 2006 – *Yesterday, Sigma released a new 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO lens for use specifically with digital SLR cameras featuring APS-C image sensors. The new macro lens offers standard zoom capability and has a 20cm minimum focusing distance throughout the entire range.
The Sigma lens has an aperture of f/2.8 at a 17mm wide angle and a maximum magnification of 1:2.3. It’s made up of 15 glass elements in 12 groups, with a Special Low Dispersion lens and two aspherical elements for aberration correction. The lens has a septagon iris and an angle view of 72.4-20.2 degrees. It is also designed with an inner focusing system to insure a fast auto focus speed. Sigma warns, however, that this is a lens made specifically for an APS-C image sensor and will produce vignetting if used in conjunction with larger image sensors or 35mm SLRs.
The Sigma lens has a multi-layer lens coating so that ghosting and flaring are suppressed, as well as a "Zoom Lock Switch" to prevent accidental lens rotation while in transit. According to public relations for Sigma Japan, the lens "performs superbly even in relatively low light conditions indoors or at dusk." The lens weighs approximately 1 lb. and is compact with an overall length of 82.5 mm, 79 mm in diameter.
A Sigma representative has informed us that the lens will have an MSRP of $590 should be out by spring of this year in the US.