Nikon kit lens vs. Sigma semi-pro glass?

SushiWarrior

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My local camera store is having a clearance sale and they have a Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4. After reading some reviews, it's been hit for being soft in the corners and having a fair bit of distortion a 17mm. I really want a wide zoom of some sort, with a 50 prime and a tele-zoom. Is this a better choice than a Nikon kit lens at $100, if I could get this lens for $175? And does it have auto-focus on a D40? It says it has an HSM motor, is that anything like AF-S or AF-I?

Thanks!
 

PhotoXopher

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HSM means it has a built in focus motor so it will autofocus on your D40. You could also look at something like the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 HSM Macro.
 
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SushiWarrior

SushiWarrior

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I'm sorry, I forgot to mention I have seen some conflicting evidence about HSM. Some reviews say Nikon models don't have HSM, only Canon and a few other brands. Others say they all have it. I will try the lens out in a store but I would like to be able to make an educated decision first and have a better idea of the product before I drive an hour to the store.

So, to put the question better, does the Nikon's VR and AF-S (for sure) and size with a low price make it a better deal over the Sigma which has (presumably) better IQ/distortion and a faster speed (and better build quality)?
 

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