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

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104 290314 Jan 15, 2013
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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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kbdozz
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Registered: Jul 25, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 25, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Weight, Quality, Construction, Versatility
Cons:
Exposed front element - caution required not to damage.

I purchased this lens just before a trip in 09/08 to Europe, Greece, and Egypt.
This lens was an incredible performer - especially when it came to photographing the interior of the new Library of Alexandria (Egypt).
Shooting on a 40D.
Pictures speak 1000 words so you can see examples of this lens's performance here: http://www.gekkoimages.com.au/portfolio.php?p=kbdozz
Virtually all the 'wide' shots are from the Sigma.
Highly recommended!


Jul 25, 2009
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kbdozz
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Registered: Jul 25, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weight, Quality, Construction, Versatility
Cons:
Exposed front element - caution required not to damage.

Pictures speak 1000 words so you can see examples of this lens's performance here: http://www.gekkoimages.com.au/portfolio.php?p=kbdozz
Virtually all the 'wide' shots are from the Sigma.
Highly recommended!


Jul 25, 2009
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Fulcrum
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Registered: May 23, 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 7, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Excellent colours, fast AF, really useful range on FF, really wide and fun
Cons:
Quality control gone haywire on the Sigma factory. My copy randomly spoils some shots by creating a soft band on the left side of the image.

I use this lens with the 5Dmk2, and boy, this is WIDE. The lens is capable of producing jaw-dropping images when used properly. And the colours are almost perfect.

Center sharpness is really good, the corners suck a bit even on the 24mm end. ARR! *cursing*

(Some offtopic moaning: Why canīt the Canon owners get really good wideangle lenses with autofocus? It is so unfair that the Nikon people get tons of good wideangle lenses.

I have had a Tokina 11-16mm on a 400D, and that was sharp from corner to corner from f/4 onwards. Why hasnīt Canon improved the 17-40mm/4L and 16-35mm models yet?

There is the 24mm/1.4L II ofc., but it costs way too much)

I got mine used, so I was expecting this copy to be somehow faulty, and so it was.

My copy sometimes (randomly) produces a soft band on the left side of the image. I hate this on a lens costing this much. It makes the lens an untrusworthy tool. So far I have circumnavigated the problem by taking tons of pictures on each subject, so I get some good ones as well.


Jul 7, 2009
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nureality
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Registered: Aug 20, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: May 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 12mm on FF is other-worldly HSM w/ FTM is a first in the UWA market segment Works on FF, 1.3x, and 1.6x flawlessly.
Cons:
Could be faster.

Widest Lens available for film & FF. Incredibly sharp when stopped down / more than acceptable when used at wider aperature. Great color rendition, solid flare control. HSM is silent, quick, and very accurate, yet has some issues with low contrast subjects (but this lens is not alone in this department either); FTM of the HSM is a nice touch for a UWA, but generally unneccesary - still nice to have. Fit and finish is awesome, the size is great and its weight is a light. Zoom ring is very well damped, making zooming shots (flashzooms and simplezooms) a snap with very little wiggle or bias to the zoom streaks possible. Accepts filters from cokin and Lee 4"x4" systems well, but will vignette from 12-16mm or 17mm because of the hood being in place and the filter holders.

And to the guy asking about his little tunnel vision problem at 12mm, you have to take the lens cap cowl off - not just the lens cap.


May 27, 2009
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Photograff
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Registered: Feb 11, 2009
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very good sharpness on f11 and more, colors are vivid, super wide for FF!
Cons:
No front filters, flare

I bought this lens a couple of months ago. I already have a lens Canon ef 24-105, and wanted to get a wider viewing angle, looking more towards the canon ef 17-40. I use the Sigma 12-24 f4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM with a Canon EOS 5D. I really like the angle, the sharpness of the F11 simply magnificent, but on the edges a bit mylit. Another drawback to obtain the correct exposure, I do Exposure bias value "-1.00" eV, do not even know what this could be related.
In general, the lens is very happy, because I filmed in mostly landscapes almost do not remove it from the camera. Also a bit confused by the inability to use the polarization filter in front of the lens, but at this angle obhora the sky, and so is dark and I like it :-)
This time I made a few very interesting photo, you'd think they were both on the technical performance and to sharpen , detail and color:
http://www.bfoto.ru/bfoto_ru_441.php - Canon EOS 5D, 1/250 s, f/11, ISO 100, -1.00 eV, 12 mm
http://www.bfoto.ru/bfoto_ru_442.php - panorama, Canon EOS 5D, 1/125 s, f/16, -1.00 eV, 12 mm
http://www.bfoto.ru/bfoto_ru_444.php -


Mar 30, 2009
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agnius
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Registered: Nov 10, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Review Date: Mar 16, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Lens is wide, colors are vivid, fairly sharp across the frame when focused at infinity
Cons:
First sample was soft on the left edge of the frame, second sample is better, but dof becomes very fuzzy.

I have wanted a wider angle rectilinear lens since I got to play with a 15mm Sigma fisheye. When I received a 12-24 and taken couple shots, I was very disappointed by a band of softness on the left side of the frame. I contacted amazon, and they rushed me a new copy of the lens. The second copy did not have the soft side, but whenever focus was not at the infinity, background got soft - even dof scales predicted background being IN focus. Auto focusing didn't work too well on a wide end either. Focusing at 24, then zooming and recomposing worked better, but not locking on infinity led to contacting Sigma support, and they advised sending BOTH lens and camera in for calibration. After recently going through out of focus ordeal with Canon's d1sm3, I doubt that that will happen, especially when borrowed 16-35 mark2 focused dead on - I don't want ANYBODY messing with a working camera. So 12-24 is going back to Amazon soon, and I will seriously consider Canon's 14mm, as that's what I most liked about 12-24 (well, I liked 12, but 14 will have to do). I have been lusting for Nikon's 14-24 (and at the height of focusing crisis was almost ready to jump Canon's ship all together) but that's an expensive proposition. Adapter for Nikon G looses auto aperture control, and although might be doable, sounds too much like a hack. In my case switching systems is an unnecessary radical surgery - a solid shot of a "feel good syrup" might do a job. 14mm m2, there I come!

Mar 16, 2009
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KKFung
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Registered: Dec 19, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 902
Review Date: Mar 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: the 12mm super wide for FF, good color like the L lens
Cons:
not a fast lens

When I upgrade from 40D to 5D2, I sold the EFs 10-22 and I struggle in between this 12-24 and canon 16-35 or 17-40. Since I have the EF24-70 so I finally go to the wider choice and get give up the big aperture and cheap L of canon.
The only issue of this lens is the too small aperture when you shooting indoor, handheld, ai servo with moving child. You always need to push up the ISO, lucky the 5D2 can do up to 6400 :-)
Other than that everything is very good!


Mar 14, 2009
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willis
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Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 477
Review Date: Oct 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Zoom range, pretty sharp wide open, very sharp stopped down, good contrast and build quality, nice colours, excellent value, works on FF.
Cons:
Maybe a bit flare prone but this comes with the territory. Filter use difficult but again that's what you expect at 12mm. Corners a little soft on 5D wide open but this is nit picking.

Very pleased with this on 1d3 and 5D. Acceptable sharpness wide open and very sharp at f8-f11. I like the colour rendition. It's not too big and feels well built. I also have the 15-30 which is good too but wasn't quite wide enough on the 1d series and is much more flare-prone. 15/16mm on a 1DIII is wide enough for me but on the 5D its unbeliveable.
Excellent value. I feel fortunate that my first copy is a good one after reading all the horror stories. My luck with Sigma lenses has been good and I'd recommend this lens on FF and APS-H.


Oct 1, 2008
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Henry Goh
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Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 91
Review Date: Aug 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: This lens has its own character. It delivers warmish images that are sharp and contrasty. Focus is silent and fast.
Cons:
bulky perhaps

I have the 14mm f/2.8 L II as well as the 35mm f/1.4 L so this lens sits between them. Yet, when I want a lens that can cover the 12 to 24mm range, I will pick this baby up.

On my 1Ds MKIII, I'm able to micro-adjust AF so I have been able to get maximum acuity out of this lens. Truly enjoyable optics.


Aug 23, 2008
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rextter
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Registered: Apr 5, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 107
Review Date: Aug 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quiet, sharp, vibrant colours, great fun!
Cons:
Sometimes hunts for focus lock escpecially on low-contrast subjects.

Just received my second had Sigma 12-24mm yesterday which cost Ģ270. The first thing I was going to do was micro-adjust to achieve the sharpness I wanted, but I couldn't resist snapping off a few shots first. After looking at them it became clear no adjustment was needed as the images were incredibly sharp. The colours seem really vibrant too.

The fun images you can take and create with this lens are incredible.

Used with a 1dmk3.


Aug 16, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Aug 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $780.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Low distortion and very good IQ, even wide open.
Cons:
Some flare and the front element inhibits use of filters

Low distortion and very good IQ, even wide open.

Some flare and the front element inhibits use of filters

Sample Photos taken with a Canon 5D

-Roy


Aug 12, 2008
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Domino81
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Registered: Mar 10, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 25
Review Date: Jul 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Wide, sharp, low distortion.
Cons:
The only thing I can think of is it's propensity to lens flair, which can be irritating if you don't pay attention to what you're shooting and it's fairly slow. 4.5-5.6 is sorta high in the aperture range.

This lens is just special. The distortion is totally acceptable unless you're using a FF camera like the 5D or 1Ds, but on a FOVCF or crop sensor camera, it's just perfect. I can't say enough about it, so I'm going to let a few of my photos taken with the Sigma do all the talking.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6924.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6818.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6914.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6916.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6901.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6854.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6826.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v468/Domino81/Picture6831.jpg

Absolutely LOVE this lens and I have no reason to ever get anything else.


Jul 18, 2008
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candreyo80
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Registered: Jul 12, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 12mm FF! Very Sharp stopped down! Excellent Build Quality! Price!
Cons:
No front filters, not the quickest UWA lens out there.

I was skeptical iof purchasing this lens, after reading mixed reviews online. I finally made the jump, and wished I would have done so sooner! This lens is SHARP! Every bit as Sharp as the Canon 16-35 MKII in the overlapping focal range once stopped down to f/8 or smaller. Wide open, the 16-35L will still beat it.

The thing that impresses me the most is the FF performance, and sharpness of the corners once stopped down. I don't know if I won the Simga lens lottery or what? But this lens once stopped down to f/9 or f/11, is SHARPER in the corners then either my 16-35 MKII or Canon 17-35 L. I wasn't quite expecting that!

This lens needs alot of light though. So lenses like the 16-35 and 17-35 f/2.8 have their uses still with indoor and low light photography. But if you shoot landscape and architecture with good lighting, this lens will probably yield you just as good if not better results then the Canon L series offerings. I'm still amazed at how sharp this lens is, and wish I would have picked up this lens years ago.

On a side note, there is definitely a copy variation, as I myself have experienced from Sigma before. I got lucky with getting a tack sharp copy of this lens, but other Sigma lenses (18-200, 80-400, 18-125) I've had to try 2-3 copies and get them calibrated by Sigma before getting acceptable results. Other photographers I know have had to go through 2-3 copies of this lens also, before finally getting a good one. Just read the rest of the reviews below, and you'll see what I mean...


Jul 12, 2008
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CarusoPhoto
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Registered: Nov 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 54
Review Date: Jun 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic Wide-Angle Focal Length that is usable on a film camera, a crop sensor, or a FF sensor; Controlling of distortion; IQ; Build Quality
Cons:
None

I was VERY reluctant to purchase this lens, particularly given the various reviews of Sigma lenses that report quality control issues. None-the-less, I was wooed by the fantastic wide-angle focal lengths that could also be used on a FF sensor or a film camera. I just had to take a chance.

And boy am I glad I did.

The first impression right out of the box was that this lens has a satisfying heft, and the build quality is much better than I had anticipated. When you hold this lens, you know you're HOLDING A LENS. The finish is nice, and the focus & zoom wheels are tight and smooth with no creep.

But what really shocked me was the fact that even though this lens is ultra, ultra wide, the distortion is controlled quite amazingly. There isn't the fish-eye effect one would think this lens would produce, nor is there nearly the amount of barrel distortion one would EXPECT. The effect really is something.

Then there's the IQ. Again, given the nature of the lens, I wouldn't have expected such a good image quality. However, I find the CA is wonderfully controlled. I find the sharpness to be much better than I would have imagined. The photos come out bright, and the color is great (although perhaps a step below the Canon 50mm f/1.4, the 85 f/1.8, or the 135 f/2...but then those are quite the primes after all).

In all fairness, when I first tried it out, I was afraid I had received one of those "bad" copies. My first several photos were a bit soft, and I started thinking that I might have to return it for another one. I decided to work with it a little more before I bailed on it. After spending an afternoon with it exclusively, I began to get a feel for the focusing (both manual and auto). It is a different game because of the latitude the field of view provides. Once I became accustomed to it, I realized it wasn't that I had a bad copy, just that I had to hone my skills.

As an example of how much I have grown to like the IQ of this lens, I'd like to relate a story. Recently, I purchased the Canon 24mm f/2.8. I was on the fence about it, but after doing my research I thought I'd give it a go (I do like using primes). Once I received it, I tested it against some other lenses in my collection. First, it went up against my 24-70L, which it matched fairly well. But against my Tamron 24-135, I found it lacking. This speaks more toward the Tamron, I felt, than against the Canon 24mm.

Then, on a lark, I thought I'd compare the IQ of the 24mm against the Sigma 12-24. My guess was that the Sigma would be a few steps behind, mostly because I felt the main selling point of this lens was the wide focal length/zoom and because the 24mm length was at the end of the zoom range. I didn't really think of this lens in terms of image quality and sharpness. After I made a few exposures at different aperture settings, I hunkered down in front of my monitor see what I had. Frankly, I was stunned. The Sigma outperformed the 24mm prime at every aperture I tried. The sharpness (particularly center) was quite noticeably better with the Sigma, as was the brightness and color reproduction. That led me to pack up the 24mm and return it.

In the end, I am thoroughly pleased that I took a chance on this lens. It is a mainstay in my camera bag.



Jun 25, 2008
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xmattkx
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5009
Review Date: Mar 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, Full-Frame Capability, HSM, Sharpness, 2x Zoom on UWA
Cons:
Big, Protruding front element, Color rendition,

I am an UWA fan. One of my reasons for being reluctant to move to FF was the lack of a nice UWA zoom. I bought one of these and was disappointed by it's sharpness, it left much to be desired when compared to the Canon 10-22. I actually went back to an APS-C sensor camera because I didn't like my options for WA on the 5D.

I really wanted to get another 5D, so I gave the 12-24 another shot, I bought a new one and it is spectacular. Of course there are compromises, but for what it is, I cannot imagine another lens being this affordable and offering the range that this offers. I am thrilled.

If you don't love your copy, send it in for calibration, since I think there are probably huge variations in copies, at least from my experience. Once you have a good one, it makes the 5D + 12-24 + 24-105 + 100-400 the perfect huge zoom kit.



Mar 27, 2008
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snapman2
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Registered: Mar 9, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sigma 12.24 DG good at 24mm edge to edge
Cons:
12mm it resorts to a tube like looking through a drainpipe

I purchased this lens rather fast so did not give it a test. as a landscape photographer i needed a wide corner to corner view, at 24mm its good . can anyone tell me why at 12 mm it becomes a porthole that I cannot use even with photoshop .
I would have at least expected it to go wide and with a slight distortion.


Mar 9, 2008
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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 290314 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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