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I have recently upgraded (or so I thought) from a Canon 18-55IS which after 4 years of faithful service started having autofocus problems. Having read reviews on the 17-70 IS it was supposed to be great for sharpness, but I cannot get the same level at sharpness back to front on landscape images, which is what I do most of. No matter what dof I try, from 8 to 22, I cannot get the background hills/trees or whatever anything like as sharp as I could on my cheap old 18-55. I have tried various vocal lengths which I commonly use for landscapes, i.e., 17 up to around 24, but nothing improves the quality. I would have struggled to buy the more expensive Canon 15-85 but am beginning to wish I'd got my credit card out. Can anyone help? Have I bought a duff lens or is this lens just not suitable for landscape work? For other, more general purpose, photography it seems fine, although I would still say not as sharp as my 18-55. Unfortunately, I am not in the fortunate position of being able to afford specialist lenses and wanted this one because of the excellent range.
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Are you using a tripod? If so have you left the IS on? When on a tripod the IS can try and correct movement which doesn't exist - hence blurred images.
I'm assuming you mean the Sigma 17-70mm?
If so, exchange for another lens -same type. Sigma don't have the best quality control on their lenses, and consequently, some lenses get to the shops that are less than 100 percent perfect.
When you get a good one, they are excellent, but it sounds like there is the possibility that you have one that isn't 100 percent...
I think if it was an IS issue, all areas of the image would be soft, but you state that it is the BG of the image that's soft...
All the same, worth testing with IS off before returning the lens.
I have tried it on the tripod and off, IS off on tripod, autofocus, manual focus, everything. It just doesn't seem able to do anything other than soft backgrounds of varying degrees depending on what aperture I set. For blurring backgrounds it's fabulous, but nothing gets me a good sharp image front to back. I have had it a month now and tried it out thoroughly, but am not sure now that the shop will take it back so I can buy something else. Appreciate you all trying to help.
Try the shop first - If you have no joy with the shop, contact Sigma.
They were very helpful when I contacted them.
I've had a sigma 17-70 and found it spectacularly good.
I also have this and find it superb, maybe im lucky i have got a good copy
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