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Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
104 290201 Jan 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $632.87
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.88
8.79
8.7
l3a_copy

Specifications:
The large angle of view (122 degrees super wide angle of view at 12mm along the diagonal axis) is ideal for shootings indoor as well as landscape photography. It has a variable angle of view from 122 degrees at 84.1 degrees. Four Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements are provided for effective compensation of color aberration, which is a common problem with super-wide angle lenses. Two pieces of Glass Mold and one-piece hybrid aspherical lenses offer excellent correction for distortion as well as all types of aberration. By effective arrangement of lens elements and advanced technology this lens has Super Compact dimensions of 3.9 inches full-length, and 3.4 inches maximum diameter.

It is equipped with Inner focusing system that will keep the length of the lens unchanged while controlling aberration. The models, which are equipped with HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor, available for Sigma, Canon and Nikon camera mount lens) system offer Full Time Manual Focusing. It has a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches (28cm) at all focal lengths. This lens is equipped with an integral Petal-type hood to block out extraneous light.


 


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AlpineMan
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Registered: Apr 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1018
Review Date: Sep 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build is good. Price is better. Sigma customer support is the best.
Cons:
A little heavy. Can't use your regular conventional filters.

Bought this lens from ebay...I mean outside of ebay Smile for a great price. It does take getting used to using it. My first few indoor photos taken by this lens made me real dizzy viewing it from my PC's LCD monitor. It is DIFFERENT...but different in a good way. The lens I bought was about 2 years old according to the seller...he lost the lens hood ring. I emailed Sigma and they said they'll send me a new one for free! Excellent customer support!

Sep 13, 2005
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sorlo
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Registered: Apr 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Aug 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: HSM, build quality, fits FF camera.
Cons:
None

Bought this gem two weeks ago and I'm loving it. The EX finish and the build quality are excellent. Pictures are crisp and sharp and minimal distortion at 12mm. The lens cap design is great because you can use the "adapter" to protect the lense since it sticks out too much and it feels safer with the "adapter" on.

Aug 15, 2005
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Geofn
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Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 842
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide, Wide, Wide and FULL FRAME! Great lens cap design.
Cons:
Somewhat slow variable aperture. No way to protect front element with a filter without serious vignetting.

This is a great super wide zoom. I bought this lens a year ago to use on a Digital Rebel - at the time it was the widest lens available in the Canon mount (now surpassed by 10-20mm zooms. A big bonus is that you can use this lens on a full-frame film body for truly amazing (122 degree wide) shots. Optical quality on my copy is excellent. Very, very slight softening at the corners (on full-frame film) wide open. On the DR it's sharp enough wide open for 12x18 enlargements with no problems. At f/8 it compares very favorably with my 16-35/2.8 L at all settings from 16-24mm

I gave Build Quality an 8 only because the front element moves in far enough when zooming to create a small gap between the front element assembly and the lens barrel which has the potential to admit dist and moisture.

A little barrel distortion at 12mm, which can be easily corrected with the PTLens plug-in in Photoshop.

This lens takes a little getting used to - it is so wide you think you're getting a lot of distortion (rounds near the frame edges turn into rather exaggerated elipses), but this really isn't distortion, just the laws of optics suddenly becomming REALLY visible! This lens can provide some amazing results, but it will take some practice to master it!

The lens cap design is great - it's 2 peices, an outer ring that fits (friction fit) over the built-in petal hood, and a conventional snap-in cap that fits into the ring. If you're shooting an aps-format digital you just remove the conventional snap-in cap. You only have to remove the whole assembly if you're shooting film (or a full frame or 1.3x sensor). I'd like to see the ring a little larger in diameter in order to allow conventional front filters when using it on a 1.6x sensor camera - the front elements sticks WAY out there and screams for some protection.

All in all, this is an outstanding value for the cost.


Jul 27, 2005
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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very wide angle zoom range; excellent 19mm wide equivalent on a 1.6 crop factor Canon digital SLR; generally well made; remarkable value for money given what you are getting. Has added advantage of fitting Canon EOS 35mm SLRs too. Reassuringly heavy, with internal focussing and full time manual (FTM) facility
Cons:
Images slightly soft at edges and quality control issue (see below)

I had a real run-around with this lens. I had been considering buying one for some time to use on my EOS 10D and D1 Mark II bodies.

The first lens that I bought had real problems - there seemed a very high level of chromatic abberation and images just seemed 'wrong' - poor colours and contrast and lots of flare - even allowing for its very wide angle of view. But the main issue was revealed with some test shots that I took in controlled conditions. I found a similar problem that other reviewers had found - very soft images on one side only (sic), particularly at at the 24mm end at f5.6 (i.e. wide open). This was more apparent at closer to mid focussing distances (say 1 metre) rather than when focussed close to or at infinity. Several professional and dealer opinions of test prints led to the conclusion that there was an obvious defect with the lens.

The professional dealer I used was very helpful and they exchanged the lens for me. Problem solved! The second example was far better - almost like a different type of lens altogether. With my original rogue lens, I could not see any physical defects with the glass as had been reported by other reviewers but it is obvious that they have a quality control problem here. Come on Sigma - this is an excellent lens - please sort at the problems at the factory end.


Jul 20, 2005
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rcattani
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Registered: Jul 9, 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: sturdy, well built, good contrast, fun to use, crisp at the center
Cons:
the bulging front lens, so that you cannot use filters; clever but quite unpractical solution for the lens cap; low image quality at the edges

This lens is "different", extreme, quite like using a fisheye; you have to accept its limitations, but then it's real fun. Image quality with a 1.6 crop factor is good, except at the edges at 12mm. Used it for hard work for one year, and it withstood very well any kind of punishment, including rain and dust. I only changed it to switch to the Canon 10-22, but really recommend it.

Jul 9, 2005
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brozzis
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Registered: Aug 30, 2003
Location: Italy
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: price. w-i-d-e. small and not heavy. perfect for small sensor cameras.
Cons:
unusable corners on a 1Ds MarkII full frame, probably perfect on a cropping camera. frontal lens exposed.

I've tried this lens on a full frame Canon 1Ds Mark II. corners are not usable, not sharp at all. Central part of the image is sharp, on a cropping camera (10D, 20D) should be a bargain.

Jul 6, 2005
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normski
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Registered: Oct 24, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 414
Review Date: Jul 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp edge to edge on a 10d. little distortion. good colour and contrast. price.
Cons:
some are better than others.

barrelling is barely noticeable at 12mm, and at 24mm there's just a hint of pincushion. it's acceptably sharp wide open at f4.5 - similar in fact to the 14mmL at the same stop. sharpness improves up to f11. c/a is well controlled, colours are saturated and contrast is good (not quite L but still punchy) but watch for flare (similar to any other w/a). A friend of mine says it's pretty impressive on full frame too. N.B. there are variations. look through the glass from the mount end and make sure there are no imperfections. i rejected one which produced images soft on the right hand side, i looked through the glass and saw 3 marks with jagged edges deep inside the lens that looked like stone chips on a windscreen, not air bubbles which are uniform. ( i think Q/C is iffy - hence the low price). I exchanged it for another which is perfect. i will never part with it. for the price it's awesome. aps crop sensors get a 19mm equivalent using it's sweet spot. check this out too:
http://etischer.com/300d/sigma12mm.html


Jul 6, 2005
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afred
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Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 710
Review Date: Jun 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $545.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 12mm, full frame capable. nice focus motor, built in hood
Cons:
heavy and large.

This lens is great at creating images that you must have EVERYTHING in. But it's slow, and large. Not to mention how heavy it seems to get. The lens is sharp at all f stops, i generally shoot it wide open when shooting people, and is hand holdable at 1/10th. The range is nice, but i find myself using 12-16 most on this lens. If you're using this on a full frame, the edges get rather soft and i dont really recommend it for that.

Jun 25, 2005
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stowman2
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Registered: Nov 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WIDE, sharp, good colors.
Cons:
Need to stop down to get tack sharp.



Mar 31, 2005
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alan sh
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Registered: Mar 23, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp images at all focal lengths. Fast AF. Good colour balance.
Cons:
The lens cap is an awful design. Why not make it one piece ?

I used it heavily when in Rome at the Colusseum. It worked very well and produced well colour balanced and sharp images. I also used in St Peters church where I was taking pics of the ceilings.




Mar 23, 2005
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mikahy
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Registered: Sep 27, 2003
Location: Finland
Posts: 11
Review Date: Mar 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp as hell, dont see why some people speak so much bad about it. It is 12mm wide. and the one of the sharpest wide angles around. I`ve had Sigma 14/2.8 EX before but the prime lenses are little disturbing for me to use. so i sold it away. but the 12-24 is pretty same on the image quality with 14/2.8.
Cons:
Negative....Well It`s kinda heavy, somebody could say:)



Mar 16, 2005
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davekone
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Registered: Apr 27, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4767
Review Date: Mar 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $589.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very wide angle watch you don't get your feet in the photo - I'm not kidding!
Cons:
none

After using this lens for some time I've come to the conclusion that since its sooo wide, and objects vary in distance greatly you must stop the lens way down to get the aperture needed. I think this is why so many people claim its soft on the edges. Its very hard to get things in focus that are 1 foot away as well as 1 mile away.

You can get really creative with this lens, color and contrast are very good.

Sharpness is very good considering what this lens does. I think in order to get a tack sharp lens at 12mm it would have to be 100 pounds and have a front element 12" in diameter.

You can only use screw on filters with the Sigma adapter that comes with the lens. When you do this you effectively cut the lens down to 17mm. When you see how curved the front element is you will understand why its impossible to fit a filter at 12mm. The filter would have to be a bubble.

Sigma put together a great lens and decent performance at an excellent price point. If you crave really wide, or creative perspective shots you can not go wrong with this lens.


Mar 8, 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: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: W-I-D-E, FF compatible, good colors/contrast/saturation, distortion well controlled, excellent build, HSM, FTM, great landscape/cityscape/seascape lens.
Cons:
No front filter thread (apart from making up your own design), not a "fast" lens, flare control could be better

Another excellent Sigma offering. Love the EX finish, build, and HSM with FTM ability. I recommend this lens (here's to getting a good copy too).

Feb 24, 2005
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Quentin
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Registered: Jan 23, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 75
Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Exceptionally low distortion, sharp almost to the corners (on full-frame Kodak 14nx DSLR), inexpensive for such leading-edge technology, build quality, weight
Cons:
a little soft until stopped down to around F9.5, cannot use front filter, so no polarisers

This is only the second 12mm lens ever made that will cover the full 35mm frame (the first was a Voigtlander rangefinder I believe), and certainly the first zoom to do so. We are talking about exceptional technology here.

Even more remarkable is the minimal distortion at the wide end. there is a little pincusion distortion at 24mm.

I am using this lens on a Kodak 14nx full-frame dslr. True full-frame 12mm has to be seen to be believed, and with such low distortion, and good sharpness when stopped down, this is a fabulous high resolution architectural set-up unmatched below megabucks alternatives.

The downsides are minimal considering what Sigma have achieved here, but there is some softness, in the extreme corners only, on full frame.

A superb lens.


Feb 4, 2005
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imagician
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Registered: Jan 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 114
Review Date: Feb 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $639.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Corner to corrner sharp on my 1.6 crop, minimal distortion, dramatic design, professional appearance. Did I forget to mention an exciting field of view?
Cons:
Nothing major. Thus usual quibbles would be flare (at this focal length they all flare), no front filter. But nevertheless, wow!

I bought this with trepidation, given some worrisome posts on several forums. In fact, I bought it at a retailer and paid the retail upcharge so I could get on-site exchange if it there was aproblem. But I needn't have worried. The first thing I shot was a flat plane brick wall, then came inside and ran two 17x22 prints (one with USM and one without). I was totally blown away. Every brick in the wall was as sharp as any other. And aggressive USM made very little difference in the print since it was already so sharp; casual observers couldn't see the difference in the two prints.

In sum, this lens is awesome.

The dramatic style, ergonomic bulk, and solid build will impress observers (even if your photography doesn't, ha! ha!). The USM focus is quiet and fast. And though I have no illusions about edge resolution at full frame, I fully expect this lens to perform well at 1.3 which is where I'll probably end up. Which is more than I can say for the Canon 10-22 EFS, which is shackled to the 1.6 crop for over $100 more.

The rear filter thing doesn't bother me - I will rig regular filters and a custom lens hood onto the extended adapter ring since the 1.6 crop is well within its tolerance. And the 'slow' 4.5 maximum aperture is OK since I will use this f/11 - f/16 99% of the time.

My only gripe is that the price of this lens ought to have come down to less than $600 by now. (Only digitalfotoclub.com was there, at $549!) Both Nikon and Canon have brand name glass at or near this focal range, as does Tokina and soon Tamron. All APS-C, sure, but also with faster apertures.


Feb 1, 2005
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JCDoss
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent focal length range, great build, HSM, reasonable price
Cons:
Huge front element, fairly bad wide open

I didn't notice until recently that this lens, at f/5.6, is very soft wide open at close focal length ranges. I didn't notice, because I almost exclusively use it at f/11. Sometimes at f/8, sometimes at f/16, but 90% at f/11.

Great clarity, sharp enough for a 12mm for my tastes, and fairly resistant to flare (but when you need to, it's easy to shade).

Build quality is top notch, and HSM is great, although of questionable use in such a wide lens. Still, I much prefer HSM to Sigma's "double clutch" focus system.


Jan 19, 2005
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Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
104 290201 Jan 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $632.87
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.88
8.79
8.7
l3a_copy

supersize


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