A few weeks ago I bought myself a new wide angle lens, I had been wanting one for a while and was just deciding which one I wanted (and saving up for it). Now I had been looking at the Nikon 10-20mm f/4, but it is extremely expensive. I had been doing a little bit of research online and talking to a few people and the Sigma was recommended. The fact that it was f/3.5 as opposed to f/4 was a slight bonus, the fact that it was 1/3 of the price was an even bigger bonus. Yes you get what you paid for, but sometimes you don’t always get fantastic from over priced named items either. In saying that I have been extremely happy with all my other Nikon Lenses. But I figured it got great reviews, so I would give it a try. I won’t go into all the specifications and technical details, others have done all that, but you can check out the Specifications, can be found here.
This review BYTHOM (Thom Hogan) is on the slightly older f4.5, but apparently the new version is even better. I must say it is nice having the wide angle, we are yet to really put it through it’s paces, but so far so good. Yes there is slight blurring and vignetting on the outer edges, but apparently that is expected on most DX wide angles. This is where the full frame cameras really win over the DX, but I still love my cameras and wont give them up now. Besides it’s the photographer more than the gear right?
The Sigma is reportedly the widest, highest aperture lens around, it is lighter than the Nikon, but heavier than the Tamron and has an 82mm lens. I am finding it difficult getting filters, so far only have the UV Filter, have order another ICE ND1000 filter and need to get a polariser filter before we go away.
There was a few things I did notice on this lens; The corners are a little blurry, granted you really have to look and these images here are not hi res, possibly you cannot make it out, but it is there. This is not a major issue, just something to be aware of. Also it does not really handle sun flare very well, sure it is here in these two shots, and is beautiful, but in other shots (without it being filtered by trees) just burns out the whole image……..not a good look. I guess being a wide angle and f/3.5 it lets in a lot of light?
I had one issue with this lens recently, which I did not have on any other lens in the same situation, was that in extreme cold it kept fogging up. None of my other lenses had this problem at the same time, and yes it was cold, damn cold, below 0. Is it because of the larger surface area?
It took quite a nice sunset, without any filters, albeit not a great, bright sunset, so that still remains to be seen. It does not have a severe ‘fish eye’ effect as I was expecting. From what I had read I thought there would be more at 10mm, but there really wasn’t very much at all.
There is one other thing I really like, but was not expecting, is that it takes a really nice shot vertically, as well as horizontally! Great for fitting in really tall trees etc. I will have to experiment with it some more. P.S. Moth really likes this lens as well, I honestly had to ask for it back……..which I think he did reluctantly. I can’t wait to get an ND Filter on it at the beach…..that is my next project.
So to sum up, am I happy with my purchase? Yes I am, sure I may have been slightly happier with the image quality of the Nikon, but I would have had less money in the bank after as well! If you are after the best possible image, perhaps you should look at the Nikon lens, Nikon are considered the best for a reason, but if you have a bank account to consider as well, look at the Sigma, it’s a great lens for a great price!