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Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

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Reviews Views Date of last review
70 198218 Jul 21, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $326.75
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.36
8.68
7.8
20_f1_8_1_

Specifications:
Sigma 20mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF is one of several EX Series lenses. It is the first 20mm Super wide-angle lens in the world with a large aperture of F1.8 and angle of view 94.5°. It has Macro focusing capability with a minimum focusing distance of 20cm/7.9inches (reproduction ratio 1:4). The iris diaphragm has 9 diaphragm blades to obtain beautiful out of focus image. It incorporates an aspherical lens element in the front as well as rear lens groups, to minimize distortion, spherical aberration and astigmatism. The lens has non-vignetting optical construction, in order to obtain adequate peripheral brightness with open aperture. This is especially desirable for digital cameras. The lens incorporates a rear focus system eliminating front lens rotation, thus allowing the use of a Perfect Hood and easy use of polarizing filters. The lens also incorporates dual-focus mechanism. It is easy to hold the lens, since the focusing ring does not rotate during auto-focus, yet it provides adequate focusing torque of the focusing ring during manual focusing of the lens. The lens materials used in this new lens are lead and arsenic free ecological glass.


 


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camerafan123
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Registered: Feb 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Stopped down 1-1.5 stops, it's very sharp. Color rendition and boketh are very good. Solid build quality. Good 'bang for the buck'!
Cons:
Don't expect a usable, fast/wide open F/1.8 lens- it's not until stopped down. As mentioned by others, AF/MF switch and clutch are lame (although I AF most of the time).

Stop this lens down 1-1.5 stops and it's super sharp. Wide open it's useable, but only very minimally as it is not very sharp. I find the colors to be vibrant, accurate, and crisp on a 10D.

This lens has become a favorite of mine for general indoor close-up photography.


Mar 5, 2005
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rafadavidc
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Registered: Mar 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 800
Review Date: Mar 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: super-bright, super-cheap, much less susceptible to ghosting and flare than expected, rear focus, and if considered "20mm f/2.8 with emergency f/1.8," it's extraordinarily sharp; if considered f/1.8, it's the best low-light lens that exists today
Cons:
soft and dull at f/1.8 (center is ok-ish), giant freaking diameter, loud and slow autofocus, heavy for a 20mm (comes with being big)

great lens, epsecially for the price. soft and dull at the edges and corners at anything brighter than f/4, and especially so at f/1.8. center sharpness superb except at f/1.8-2.8, where it's ok-really good.

phenominal low-light: handheld 1/30s @ f/1.8 @ iso1600 on my d70 means stiff darkness still makes useable images, especially if converted to b&w. i just have to remember to keep important stuff away from the edges.

manual focus ring feels a little cheap.

--RC


Mar 3, 2005
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fStopJojo
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Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 327
Review Date: Feb 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 20mm f1.8 (Canon has no equivalent), excellent "low-light" lens, versatile for both indoors/outdoors and landscapes, close focusing distance, almost no distortion, sharp (especially from f2.2 and on).
Cons:
A little bulky/big (but quite acceptable to me), AF speed/noise could be better (no HSM), MF double clutch system is "acceptable", AF tends to hunt a bit.

This lens is a cracker. Fantastic image quality, hand-hold any shot, use it all the time. I highly recommend it.

Feb 24, 2005
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MarkSaperstein
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Registered: Sep 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1339
Review Date: Dec 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $365.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very little distortion
Cons:
very soft wide-open

The Sigma 20mm is a much better performer than the Canon 20mm at all equivalent apertures. It is rather soft until about f/2.8, but quite sharp when stopped-down. Build quality is also quite good.

Dec 27, 2004
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damonfff
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Registered: May 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 662
Review Date: Dec 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp with beautiful color even at 1.8 indoors. Versatile and handy for indoor portraits.
Cons:
Heavy.

I use this lens with a Canon 200mm L and a Canon 50mm 1.8 II. All three are equal in quality in my eyes.

Dec 9, 2004
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leuphrates
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Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Location: Turkey
Posts: 9
Review Date: Dec 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $370.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp. Distortion free on 1.3 crop and corners are sharp too.
Cons:
1.8 is soft but still better than many zooms at f2.8.

This is a great 20mm lens. I wish it will perform on FF as it did on my 1DM2. I made a comparison between 24-70 f2.8L, 17-40f4L, 24mmf3.5LTSE and 35mmf1.4L. 35f1.4 is on par after f4, (Wider than f4 35 is clearly winning!) Other lenses are beaten by this lens wrt image quality.

My first Sigma and I am very happy with it. I was so worried before I had it due to the reviews here. The mechanics are not that terrible IMO. And it focuses as accuretly (Not as fast maybe!) as my L lenses. Focus is slow but you hardly need fast focus at this focal length.

This lens is a must have considering the price-performance.


Dec 7, 2004
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mfisnc
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Registered: May 3, 2003
Location: Panama
Posts: 216
Review Date: Nov 11, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: good fabric lens
Cons:
poor optic quality on 1D, not canon color, very noisy, like dentiste tool

buy it after read all the reviews, very desapointed with the optic quality, I dont like the color , I will sell it as quickly as possible

I will stay with canon for the futur lens


Nov 11, 2004
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joe mama
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Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4618
Review Date: Sep 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp (yes, even at f /1.8)
Cons:
Big, no HSM

I rate this lens as "excellent" because there is no other answer for a fast 20mm (or thereabouts) lens. The lack of HSM simply bites -- what is Sigma thinking?

Anyway, the sharpness is striking. Either I have a great copy, or for others they are confusing sharpness with lack of focus. I have a 300D, and it has it's fair share of missed AF at f /1.8. Also, no worries about color cast. I'm not saying it doesn't have it, but if it does, it's so minor that I don't notice it.

Another big plus is that you can focus quite close.

The AF speed is OK if from near to near or far to far, but not from near to far or vice-versa. It's a bit loud, too, but not so bad as the Canon 35/2.

But, just to make it clear how good this lens is -- I compared it with a Caon 24mm f /1.4L, and chose this over the Canon. The reason was that I could not tell which lens took which pic. In addition, while the USM of the Canon was quick and quiet, it hunted more than the Sigma. Lastly, the 20mm of the Sigma was more useful than the 24mm of the Canon (to me).


Sep 19, 2004
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wait4sunrise
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Registered: Aug 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, cheap, very short min focusing distance, sharp enough.
Cons:
Stupid manual/auto focus switch.

If I have to only one lens in my bag, I would carry this with my 10D. I can shoot hand held at almost any situations. I love walking in the city from morning to late night with this lens. It's like driving my old beat up Toyota, I don't even slow down at the speed bump :-).

Sep 8, 2004
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phidong
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Registered: Feb 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2503
Review Date: Sep 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: price, speed (1.8), sharpness
Cons:
big

This is an excellent lens. Its a bit big, and the autofocus/mf switch is kind of annoying. Its a two stage process, the AF/MF switch then the ring (have to push it back). Its larger than my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8.

The upside is even w/o HSM its fast focusing. Decent low light performance.. and pretty sharp (one of my sharpest lenses) =)


Sep 1, 2004
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Toys6
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Registered: Sep 17, 2003
Location: Austria
Posts: 10
Review Date: Aug 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, build quality, very fast
Cons:
little bit warm colors in comparison to Canon lens, depends on slide film used

Extremly sharp. Better sharpness at f/2,8 than the very poor Canon 20/2,8 at f/8! Very good in comparison to 17-40L/4 too. And the corners are very sharp. At f/1,8 up to f/2,8 there is a little bit vignetting, but not very much - better than the other lenses.
Manual focusing is very smooth, and there are two steps to change from AF to MF; sometimes, this is an advantage, sometimes not. AF speed is okay, not very fast. For me, it seems that the USM mechanism of the Canon 20mm is fast, because you canīt hear it. In reality, the speed is similar. But the 17-40 is faster.
When I did a comparison shooting, I noticed different colors between the Sigma 20/1,8 on one side and the Canon 20/2,8 and the Canon 17-40L/4 on the other side. The Sigma gives a warm (brown?) touch and both Canons are a little bit cool sometimes. I am not sure, which one is better, I think the Canons are more realistic. The difference is small, all three show very good colors. When I use Fuji film, the Sigma has a small advantage.

Bokeh is excellent wide open (Sigma), I did not test both Canon lenses.

Finally I bought the Sigma, because of its sharpness, the very small min focus distance, and because I am very happy with my other Sigma EX lenses, they give me very good results.

(Iīm using this lens on a full size body, only on slide films.)

Package includes lens hood :-)


Aug 4, 2004
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Tom_W
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Registered: Jan 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5368
Review Date: Jul 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Decent image quality at f/2.8, excellent when stopped down a little more. Well built
Cons:
A little soft wide open, cumbersome focus scheme, slightly erratic autofocus

This lens is a bargain for what it produces as far as image quality. Yes, its a little soft at f/1.8, but by f/2.8, its very good and is excellent when stopped down even more. Testing showed some softness away from center even at f/4, but that is probably due to a slight curving of the focus plane. Its very difficult to construct a good, fast wide angle lens.

The auto/manual focus scheme is a little awkward, but it works adequately (just remember not to try to manually focus against the focus motor). Auto Focus is slightly erratic and noisy, but it seems to find good focus almost all the time.

Real world shots look good. I'll be keeping this one for those low-light situations where wide is necessary (and with a 1.6X sensor, that can be more often than one might think).


Jul 25, 2004
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JCDoss
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1086
Review Date: Jul 8, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Optically good, decent build quality
Cons:
Dual focus mechanism sucks big time

I bought this lens for low-light interiors. Problem is that in low light, AF fails necessitating manual focus. All of my other lenses are Canon USM or Sigma HSM, and therefore offer full-time manual focus. This lens is not user friendly at all. Changing from AF to MF requires sliding the lens barrel AND flipping a switch. Even worse, the switch that you need to flip is precisely centered over the lens release button... do it too quickly, and you might accidentally pop the lens off the mount (although I've never heard of this happening to anyone).

Not only is the AF motor difficult to operate, it's as loud as a freight train. Well, not *that* loud, but it's loud enough to be annoying to people on the other side of the room if it hunts. Sounds sort of like a blender with ground glass in it.

The awkwardness of this lens earned it a trip back to the dealer.

If this lens had HSM, I'd probably have bothered to test the optics more. Heck, I might even have kept it!


Jul 8, 2004
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very Bright which aids focusing, sharp and fast at the right price.
Cons:
I suppose you might say that size is bigger than the average but then it is 1.8

I know that some people complained about the lens being softish wide open but to be fair to Sigma the f1.8 is a focussing aid rather than an fully usuable f stop and having said that you can capture images that you wouldn`t have(even if they are a touch soft at 1.8). This focal length(for me anyway) is for landscapes and situations that are tight for space.
I use it on a 1Ds and with that bright full size viewfinder it`s like looking with your eyes and that has a big WOW factor.


Jun 2, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Feb 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Large and fairly fast. Nice wide angle on the 1D and 10D
Cons:
Switching from manual to AF.

Great lens for dark interiors. Build quality is very high. As with any Sigma EX lens, it is well worth the money.


Feb 12, 2004
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Feb 2, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Large aperture, good construction.
Cons:
Flare, bulk, huge filter size, stupid AF/MF switching

I was trying out this lens, toying with the idea of replacing my Canon 24/2.8 with this one, for the faster speed and wider angle. In the end I returned this lens to the shop and went back to my Canon.

The lens is a lot bulkier than the Canon 20/2.8 and specially the 24/2.8. However the construction is solid, and feels very good. The way AF/MF switching is done is just plain stupid. It's a good lens in low light but the images were very soft all the way till f/4. Even at smaller apertures the edges and corners looked smeared out, and I wouldn't use this on my EOS-3, rather it'd probably OK for a DSLR with a 1.5 or 1.6 FOV crop. Color saturation was very good, but the sample I used had a weird color shift - slightly yellowish.

In the end I just wasn't comfortable with this lens nor happy with the optics, so I returned it.


Feb 2, 2004
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Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
70 198218 Jul 21, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $326.75
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.36
8.68
7.8
20_f1_8_1_


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