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Sigma 14mm f2.8 EX Aspherical

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28 153162 Jan 26, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $613.95
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.13
8.73
8.5
14mmEXhsm_1_

Specifications:
The world's shortest focal length non-fisheye wide-angle AF lens with a fast F2.8 maximum aperture and a close focusing distance of only 7.1 inches (18cm). The lens also incorporates a built-in lens hood and a gelatin filter holder behind the rear lens element. The AF drive for Sigma SA, Nikon and Canon feature the ultra-quiet Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM).


 


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kezeka
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Registered: Feb 18, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1499
Review Date: Jan 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, good build quality, interesting above all else.
Cons:
Autofocus was inaccurate, mustache distortion, CA/fringing all the time, my feet ending up in a few photos ;)

First the bad:
- AF was never all that accurate. I don't know how it could miss, pretty much everything should be in focus by f/5.6 on this lens. Wasn't hard to remedy this issue by just manually focusing all the time.
- Lots of vignetting at f/2.8.
- Lots of CA and fringing until f/8, even there you'll see it rear its ugly head occasionally
- Worrying about that massive bulging front element ALL THE TIME. This is a problem with all 14mm lenses due to the convex front elements. It is genuinely scary every time you hear the hood hit something because you instinctively pray that the lens didn't get destroyed.
- Plenty of distortion all the time. That said, it is a 14mm lens and it kinda comes with the territory.
- f/2.8 should only be used in emergencies. I recommend keeping it at f/4.0+. This isn't difficult when you have to keep the shutter speed higher than only 1/14th of a second.

The good?
- A decent 14mm lens for 1/4 the price of a canon 14mm mk II! It is definitely better than the canon 14mm mk I in my opinion.
- Really really fun to play around with.
- You will never again worry about not having a wide enough lens to get anything
- Macro (you can literally be an inch from the object you are focusing on) can be used for some VERY interesting perspective images at f/2.8.
- Some pretty amazing longer exposures can be shot hand held because this lens is so wide.


I bought this as a lens to play with and widen my creative horizons. You will have to approach situations "laterally" to get a good image with this lens but that ended up allowing me to grow as a photographer. In the end, this lens was sold because I never found a really great situation to use it in for my business and needed to liquidate the lens in order to fund another lens purchase. It certainly has its flaws, but everyone should pick up a 14mm at some point just to experience the bizarre world found beyond the viewfinder when using this lens.

If you need a 14mm and just want it for fun or because you are on a budjet, this is an excellent lens. The hardest part is finding one for sale it seems. For what its worth, i have a 24"x36" canvas print of one of the photos I took with this lens on my wall because the images this lens produced were just interesting.

Sample photos:
http://smu.gs/X0N21J
http://smu.gs/14i41SH


Jan 26, 2013
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antuni
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Registered: Dec 5, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 140
Review Date: Jul 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp even at 2.8
Cons:
Vignetting and nowhere to put the ordinary filters.

I get very good results. Didn't expect it to be this good at less than half the price of Canon. This is a fun lens

Jul 3, 2011
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AutoMotoMedia
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Registered: Mar 11, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Super wide (FF), Sharp, Fast
Cons:
No front mount filters

Here's some pics taken with the lens.

http://automotomedia.net/showthread.php/84-Canon-Sigma-14mm-2.8-Great-wide-angle-for-the-money!

I think it's a great little lens. The first shot you can see controlled lens flare for effect. Worth every penny.


Mar 11, 2011
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Virtue Effect
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Registered: Aug 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 98
Review Date: Jul 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Really a great lens, it's not quite as good as the Nikon 14-24, but let's face it nothing really is. The colors, the distortion, the focusing, etc are just fantastic.
Cons:
Flare. (Use your hand to cut the sun down)

I bought this lens because I found it and it was a great deal. I needed an UWA for my D700, and I had read a few reviews about this lens, so I pulled the trigger. I think it was probably some of the best money I have spent yet. It's not fantastic wide open, but stop it down to ƒ7.1 or ƒ8 and you're golden. I really just can't get enough of this lens, the build quality is just great, the focusing is great, it's just a great lens. Not too mention, if I'm having a bad day I just look through the view finder and it just makes you smile, or take a picture of yourself super close and just laugh. Get this lens you won't regret it.

Jul 20, 2010
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Snopchenko
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Registered: May 18, 2010
Location: Russia
Posts: 2185
Review Date: Jun 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $645.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: + wide + decently sharp stopped down + faithful color rendition; not yellowish like many Sigmas + solid build + HSM, quiet and accurate
Cons:
- front element easy to get wet, dirty or damaged - FLAAAAAAAAARE - corner sharpness not satisfactory until about f/8 - pricey and rare

It's one of those wacky "specialty" lenses that our hearts sometimes long for, in spite of logic and thin wallet. I have a 17-35mm L but I wanted something wider - not so much for the casual work, but rather for really cramped spaces, or to get weird architecture shots. After a long search I found it on KEH and bought it (the amount of irritation the delivery cost me is another story).

It's a fantastic lens for journalistic use and allows me to get some really nice photos when space is very limited. The image quality is technically mediocre overall but you have to keep in mind that this is a full frame ultra ultra wide. I believe I've never taken a shot with it at anything less than f/4.5. At f/5.6 on my 1D Mark II N, the corners are still muddy. At f/8, it's becoming better. At f/13, the lens is impeccably sharp.

The biggest downside is flare - must be the reason this lens is no longer made as Sigma couldn't solve the problem. In addition to bright color spots, the lens can produce heavy veiling if the sun is positioned in the frame. Overcast weather is the best environment for this Sigma. You need to be aware of that and just learn to live with flare or even use it creatively.


Jun 26, 2010
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Chococat
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Registered: Nov 26, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 171
Review Date: May 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00

 
Pros: Quality to price ratio makes this an acceptable compromise in lieu of the Canon 14mm II. It can give a reasonably sharp image, and the corner performance on full frame is better than I had expected.
Cons:
Flares easily

This is a hard lens to rate, because one might rate it two ways--in terms of sheer optical performance, and in terms of price vs. performance. In terms of the latter, let's state a simple fact: if you are considering this lens at all, it means that price is a consideration. If price were not a consideration, you would have already gone out and spent 2000 USD-plus for the Canon 14mm II. I have tried that lens--it's better than the Sigma. Definitely. For sheer optical performance, the Sigma cannot be a 10, because that level is the Canon II, it's an excellent lens. It's sharper, and also it does not flare the way the Sigma does. That, more than anything, is the main problem with the Sigma. Other than that, it's really not that far behind the Canon, well my copy at least isn't. The sharpness is decent, and I have been quite surprised at how well the corners hold up on a full frame. I used to have a Sigma 14mm 3.5 for my film camera, anything in the corner on that lens looked like something from Poltergeist, the Sigma 2.8 is much better. Like I said, my copy at least not far behind the Canon in those respects, but then there is the issue of flare. This lens should come in the package with a giant sheet of cardboard, because you're going to need it to block out flares. Because they are there. Simply put, if you live in a solar system in which there is a sun, assume that this lens is going to pick up some kind of flare spot. Might be small, might not be too bad, but it will flare. Electric lights will do it too. Sometimes just as bad. To me, that is the main compromise you are making--well, provided you get a copy that performs decently in other respects. You are saving a lot of money, getting a lens that is quite close to the level of the Canon II, but you might need some patience. If you are OK with the flare, no problem, you are going to be a very happy person. But if you don't want flare, you are going to need to take a shot, look carefully at it, try to figure out how to block out the flare, and shoot again, and if you don't have it quite right go through the process again. But in the end, you'll probably get the shot you want. If you don't have that patience though, and if the flare bothers you, I will warn you right now that this lens will drive you nuts. I think it is important to note though that I had also in the past tried the Canon 14mm I--and that is a terrible lens, seriously the Sigma is not only cheaper it is much better. Like I said, (a good copy at least) is quite a decent lens. But you are probably not going to want to shoot the Sigma wide open. If you really want to shoot a 14mm lens at 2.8, just give up and pay for the Canon II. It's not even so much that the Sigma is that much softer, my copy can get some decent center sharpness at 2.8, but the problem is focusing it at that aperture. With a lens like this, and a thin depth of field, geez, you really have a hard time focusing manually on the typical dim DSLR viewfinder, and Sigma, face it, is not known for their precision autofocus. The Canon will focus much better; probably makes it look sharper wide open than it actually is, but nonetheless, this Sigma wide open will seem soft most of the time. Anyway, I did not give this a numeric rating. On optical performance, well I think people usually rate too high here, I would give it an 8 though--the Canon II is a 10, very fine and high level, the Sigma is a touch off that, but then deduct a point further for flare. But in terms of price vs. performance ratio, and what you could achieve with it if you are patient and try to work around the flare issue, this lens can deliver very nearly a 10.

May 24, 2010
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BrentM
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Registered: Jul 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well built, seems image quality good wide open on full frame, price is RIGHT.
Cons:
Does flare easily

Took some time to find a good used copy off of the net for a reasonable price and so far I'm very satisfied. I've only had an opportunity to play with it for a few moments, but so far I really love the thing. I have a 17-40L among other L lenses and while I wouldn't compare the sharpness to my 135 2.0, it is quite impressive for the price to be sure. Seems good even wide open. I really like the super close focusing ability as you can get some interesting perspectives.

Here are just a few samples - If after extensive testing I find that my opinions change, I'll update the review.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4113576675/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4113804775/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4114344974/in/photostream/


Nov 17, 2009
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the_rebel
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Registered: Oct 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1230
Review Date: Apr 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality. F2.8. very sharp
Cons:
front element unable to use "focus/recompose"

Not a whole lot to say about this lens.
If you can grab one over it's "L" counterpart do it.

A few times i thought the lens was back/front focusing, but realized that you CANNOT use Focus/Recompose technique with this lens.

Other than that, if you can stay within the rules of this UW angle lens, the payoff will definitely be worth it.
I can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast ultra wide lens.



Apr 14, 2009
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dennisvillegas
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Registered: Jan 21, 2008
Location: Philippines
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra-wide, crazy-sharp, solid, built like a tank, very close focusing, true aspherical, built-in hood, price has dropped off!
Cons:
weight, domed front glass prone to finger marks

I bought this lens for $450, and you can buy it in Ebay at almost the same price. The significant drop in price made me consider to buy this lens as against the Nikon 14 which is thrice the price.

I discovered that the Sigma 14mm is a very superior lens in making images with my D300, D80, and even the D40x. It is already sharp at 2.8, becoming so crazy sharp at f4 and beyond. The colors are great and well saturated, although the skin tones remain correct!

What I love most about this lens is the unique bokeh it gives, especially when shooting macro. Indeed, I no longer need my macro lens as the Sigma 14 does the job well.

Perhaps my only gripe with this lens is its weight.Well, actually it may also be a plus because it balances well with the D300. But myD40x suffers in the weight of this magical beast.

My conclusion is that if you want a great alternative to the Nikon or Canon 14, you can consider the Sigma 14mm. You will be in for a pleasant surprise

Here are sample shots from this fantastic lens:

http://dennisvillegas.blogspot.com/2006/10/recent-manila-snapshots.html


Jan 21, 2008
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S Zozgornik
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Registered: Oct 17, 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 9
Review Date: Oct 17, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: well build
Cons:
not useable on 5D

I have owned 3 copies (one new, two second hand). None of them was able to give me an edge to edge (not corner!) sharp image of a Building on the 5D at f 8...
Could imagine that this will be no problem on 1,5 or 1,6 Crop.
Now I have an 14L and I am happy with it.


Oct 17, 2007
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ipprime
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Registered: Jan 21, 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide on FF. Sharp wide open. Very good IQ. Fast and silent AF. Fast aperture.
Cons:
None really, maybe the filter thing, but that kind of goes with the focal-length ... and a bit pricey

Widest fullframe lens and a lot cheaper than Canon's 14mm.
Canons 14mm seems to have problems with flare, the Sigma has not!
Its a delight to use. I have used it wide open with no real problems.
It certainly beats any of the opposition as a prime lens.


Dec 15, 2006
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perpera
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Registered: Mar 11, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $315.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open. Fast AF. Build quality. Fast aperture
Cons:
Flare, lens cap system annoying

This is a very special lens - focal lenght 14mm! And as such it has very special characteristics.
My copy of the Sigma 14mm f/2.8 Aspheric lens is great! It's built beautifully and focuses fast. On 1dMkII I've found this lens' image quality outstanding from it's F/2.8 full aperture till the diffraction limitation of it's smallest apertures which is an inherent flaw in practically any lens. But my Sigma 14mm f/2.8 Aspheric is very good at full aperture and with a unique Bokeh when focused on (very) closeup subjects.
This is clearly one of Sigma's success's. If you need or desire a 14mm superwide for Canon mount then this gets my best recommandations!
NB: Bought it used!


Dec 6, 2006
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knodl
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Registered: Mar 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Nov 9, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Image quality, build quality, unique perspective, price.
Cons:
None.

I bought this lens years ago thinking it's extremely wide perspective would add spice to my stock photo imagery, and it has! This lens is one of Sigma's success stories, a beautifully constructed optic with extremely high image quality for considerably less money than Canon's L version of the this lens. Despite what some critics of this lens have said this lens works wonderfully at full aperture on full frame cameras, and when focused close-up on subjects at full aperture it imparts a unique "Bokeh".

Nov 9, 2006
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knodl
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Registered: Mar 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Nov 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: My copy of the Sigma 14mm f/2.8 Aspheric lens is great! This puppy is built beautifully and focuses with speed and alacrity. Having used it with both full frame film and digital cameras I've found this len's image quality outstanding from it's F/2.8 full aperture till the diffraction limitation of it's smallest apertures which is an inherent flaw in practically any lens. But my Sigma 14mm f/2.8 Aspheric rocks big time at full aperture and with a unique Bokeh when focused on close up subjects. Is canon's L version better? Not in my experience, plus the Sigma is considerably less expensive. This is clearly one of Sigma's success's. If you need or desire a 14mm superwide for Canon mount then this is the one!
Cons:
Honestly, as extreme focal length lenses go I see no negatives.



Nov 9, 2006
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Ben Hunter
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Registered: Oct 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great wide prime for 1.6x cameras, heavy and solid (definitely makes me feel like the cash was worth it), special 1.6x crop-cap, fast quiet AF, great image quality, super-close focusing distance
Cons:
The auto-focus can be indecisive, you have a sense of paranoia due to the vulnerability of this lens' front element.

I bought this lens after doing some careful and extensive research online. The 14mm candidates were the Canon L-series lens, the Tamron, and the Sigma. The Canon 14mm was going for approximately 1800 dollars, which made it easy to narrow down to the Tamron and the Sigma. I searched forums all over the web looking for reviews and opinions, and the Sigma seemed to please much more than the Tamron. The 7.1" focusing distance was also a plus, so I went for it.

A lot of people on here are complaining about things like lens flare and the gelatin filters. These issues are both innevitable and come with the territory of a wide-angle prime. If you are shooting on a 1.6x crop, you'll be happy to learn that the lens cap comes in two pieces. The cap fits over the built-in lens hood snugly (at least mine does), and a typical style lens cap snaps onto the front of that piece. When only the typical style lens cap is removed, the lager portion of the cap covers the unused portion of the glass and therefore significantly reduces flare. It also is an added piece of protection for walking around (the large front glass element protrudes and is very vulnerable). I have not gotten into gelatin filters for this lens yet, but I am not bothered by it. I don't know who in their right mind would think that a 14mm prime like this could actually accept a normal screw-on filter. The lens came with a razors and a cookie-cutter type piece as a guide for cutting your own filters. If you're paying $900 for a lens, you either need the focal length and are serious and won't mind cutting filters and loading them in the back, or you're an equipment junkie and have little to no legitimate need for this focal length and will use it rarely and complain about it all the time. Don't be the second person.

The lens is solid, sturdy, and has weight to it. I personally like heavier glass. The lens is still a delicate piece of equipment though, and I have had it serviced once. While in the semi-padded soft case it came with, the lens tumbled out of a bag from about three feet up. Consequently, the focusing mechanism was damaged and was stuck on just under 5 feet. Fortunately, Sigma seems to have a very generous service department and they repaired the lens at no charge to me and I had it back only four days after I sent it.

The auto focus on this lens is fairly accurate, but I highly recommend you do not leave your camera on AI or Servo mode. I can only assume that the lens is just very indecisive and sensitive, and when in Servo mode, it will never stop adjusting focus on a still object unless it is on a tripod. It gets annoying after a while and makes me uncomfortable, thinking the focus motor will spaz out if i let it do it too much. Simply put: Use manual focus or one-shot.

Due to the extreme angle of this lens, even at f/2.8, there isn't a whole lot of background blur. When shooting something incredibly close, you can get some great background blur effects, but overall, this lens was made to see *everything*...

I am 100% happy with my decision, but this will probably be the only Sigma lens I ever purchase. Canon just couldn't justify the price of their 14mm.


Oct 9, 2006
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PaulRobin
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Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Incredible dive, digital there are impressive on small or big sensors full sizes. Autofocus repide and precise, magnificent objective which is a réference beautiful today.
Cons:
The edges of embellish with images him(it) a little less net, but it is all the same normal for a such focal.



Oct 20, 2005
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Sigma 14mm f2.8 EX Aspherical

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
28 153162 Jan 26, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $613.95
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.13
8.73
8.5
14mmEXhsm_1_


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