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Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

Review Date: Jan 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It's bright and fast for such a wide lens. Close focusing distance. Solid build. Nice optics, good bokeh, colour etc.
82mm filter size. Noisy motor.

This is my favorite lens.

My first impression of the lens was size and weight. It's a bit heavier than my 100m f/ and maybe an inch longer. The front element is huge (82mm) and filters for it a bit expensive. Sigma ships the lens in a nice padded bag and a pedal shaped sun shade.

Before I bought it I had read it was unusably soft wide open but that's not my experience. It's perfectly usable at f/1.8 and stepped down to f/2.2 it's very sharp. At f/2.8 it's as sharp as any of my primes at the same aperature. Note that I've not tested it in the corners but the landscape shot I've made with it look good.

Where this lens really shines is however as an low light indoor lens on a 1.6x cropped body. The cropping factor makes it a 32mm f/1.8 equivalvent lens. For me it serves the same purpose as a 35L would do on a FF body. It's a really nice range for wide indoor shots and fast enough to use with out a flash on most occations.

The lens has a 20cm (8 inches) minimum focusing distance, and that's from the sensor, so you can focus on things almost hitting the front glass. This feature makes you able to do get some interesting "macro" type shots.

The AF motor is noiser than of my other lenses. It's not loud but still an audiable buzz wich can even be heard by your subject. My only other real complaint about this lens is the filter size. An 82mm polarizing filter is expensive! Many complaint about flumsy AF mechanism but it doesn't annoy me that much since I don't MF that often. Turning the AF ring also has much smoother and solid feel than on my Canons. the AF hunts about the same as of my 50/1.4 but hunts more and is slower than my 100/2

Just a great lens and the one that spends most time mounted on my camera.