Sigma 17-35

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Cheap(er) wide angle zoom for full frame

Wide angle lenses in general are challenging. There are some things that just need a wider angle. The problem with a prime wide angle lens is that, it works beautifully for the shots you need it, but you will be very limited what you do once you have the one shot that demanded a wide angle lens. The zoom allows you to have a more practical lens. With this one you essentially can say, that you have a passable 35mm lens that can also go very wide and anything in between. The wider end of this lens at 17mm allows you to see more than 90 degrees, that is really wide.

Although it looks like it covers a very small range, actually the focal lengths cover a tremendous range and are challenging for lens manufacturers. As a result, most are quite expensive and some are very specialized (like the Nikon 14-24). I found this lens quite cheap used and wanted to give it a try. Admittedly the one I have seems to have some issues with metering information (which determines the automatic exposure), so I end up using it in a manual mode. But for the price I paid, it is quite decent value.

My Sigma 17-45 f/2.8-4.0
Price Relatively cheap
Weight moderate, 560g
Good for Interiors, landscapes
New or used Used can be quite cheap (<200).

This is a relatively cheap full frame wide angle zoom. It covers a great range, and at its longest ends up being quite practical. This is important when you use wide angle zooms as wide angle is not the most practical lens for a day out. The 35mm end allows you to keep use it as a more general purpose lens.

Compared to its much much more expensive Nikon alternatives this is much lighter, and much cheaper. Of course if you end up paying a fraction of the price, your expectation of the quality should also scale proportionally.

Wide angle zooms do not work well between systems and this is a full frame lens. In theory it would work as a 24mm-50mm zoom which does not seem so bad, but is not really a very useful range. Basically a 35mm lens would work just as well.


These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.