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Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

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Review Date: Feb 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $470.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build, relative cost
Cons:
cost, weight

I have used the Sigma 10-20 for more than a month now, getting the greatest use out of it on a trip to New Zealand. I found myself using the 10mm setting the most often. Images were generally sharp and artifact free. Most of the shooting was in good light and thus was at f8-f11. The 20mm setting was the next most often used as I often carried this lens only.

I have used the Tokina 12-24 f4, and would say that the build on the Sigma is very slightly lower. However, the focus mech and lighter weight more than make up for this.

The Canon is said to be better (and is even lower weight), however I did not have the money for it. 470 was hard enough for me. However I needed to recover wide angle working on 1.6x body. I am pleased to say that the Sigma has done that.

The very wide angle, naturally, opens up many opportunities for perspective manipulation.

The lens cap is hard to remove with the hood on which is perhaps the worst usability problem replacement with a center pinch cap is possible but the front element is very close to the threads making me wary of using them without a filter in place. I have not tried any filters as yet. Polarizers with lens this wide tend to produce undesired effects, so a protective filter is all I might use since this lens (to me) is so expensive. It is still quite a heafty lens when backpacking in the mountains.

Overall I am very pleased with the performance of this lens and feel it is a good alternative to the Canon and Tokina offering for someone who needs to save money (in the former case) or cares the most about the very wide or weight in the later case.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Review Date: Nov 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, lite, sharp, lite, small filters, did I mention lite
Cons:
MF ring, no dist scale

First that guy who payed $9190 for this baby overpayed a bit... (no doubt not USD but it throughs off the average).

The fantastic plastic, its a great lens. On a 1.6x body its a nice 80mm 1.8 good for portrait and street to some extent.

Some people might complain about the build, my personal feelings are that the MKI would be just about perfect in my build pref for build. I don't like heavy lens at all. Some people seem to equate weight with good build. That said the build on this the MKII isn't the greatest. My complaint is mostly the MF ring and lack of a distance scale.

A lens in the end is about what kind of pictures it can take, this one is very capable. There is no better lens for the money. If only it were still a 50mm on a 1.6x then we'd really be talking, but an 80 is useful too.