Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 12   
reviewer#11909 date: Jul-16-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Samyang/Bower 8mm
Sony 16-50 f/2.8 SAL
price paid:Rented
positive:Very sharp from f/4. By f/5.6 outstanding. Light weight. Zoom and focus control smooth. Low distortion if you're careful. Fast, fixed aperture for this focal range.
negative:A minor nit. I would like to see the focus scale marked off at 3 meters. This would make manual focus a breeze! Shooting into bright lights, like the Sun, can create a bit of flare. Pretty much what I would expect from this focal length.
comment:I rented this lens for a large group shot and needed to get pretty wide. I was not disappointed. At f/5.6 there is so much depth of field that auto focus seems unnecessary. I found this lens to be well behaved. The built in level of the a77 makes it easy to hold camera level. When kept level this lens keeps the straight straight and the vertical vertical. Mostly.
At 10mm this thing renders beautiful shots. Even though I don't have a real need for this lens, I can see me saving up my pennies for one of my own. OK, pennies aren't going to do it. This is a fairly expensive lens, but worth it.
reviewer#11793 date: Apr-27-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-50/F2.8 SSM
Sony 18-135/F3.5-5.6 SAM
Minolta 70-210/F4
price paid:600 USD New
positive:Very sharp for such a wide angle lens
Extremely useful DOF
Good (simple) distortion control considering width
No vignette from filters
Good bokeh (but hard to get anything out of focus!)
Very short minimum focus (95mm!)
Almost no flaring/ghosting which is surprising
negative:82 mm filters are expensive (but no vignette!)
Um, not good for portraits or shots of people
comment:I really cannot understand why this lens is not rated much higher. Are people rating the lesser 4-5.6 version, which is clearly worse, by mistake?

This is a 10mm ultra wide angle rectilinear lens with minimal and easy to correct distortion at 10mm, and almost no distortion at all 14-20mm. That's pretty impressive already.

Minimal flare/ghosting in a very wide angle lens is extremely important, the sun or bright lights are almost always in the FOV. In this respect the Sigma makes the Sony 16-50 look terrible, I'm often getting severe flaring at 16mm on that, due to it's flat front element I assume.

This is a very enjoyable lens to shoot with, the hyperfocal distance at F8 is a crazy 2 feet! Just switch it to manual, focus at 2 feet, and the world is in focus. I can shoot from the hip, puts people at ease. It's also brilliant at tourist attractions because almost certainly I have the widest lens there and can stand in front of everyone making the area look like I had it to myself.

Yes the corners aren't so sharp if you test for it. This used to bother me, but I looked at hundreds of photos I took in Japan and none suffered due to that corner sharpness. Then I did a test with the Sony 16-50 and 18-135 and this lens all at 18mm. There was almost nothing in it, and I think perhaps the Sigma was the sharpest.

The 82mm filter is annoying due to the price, but at 12mm you can use a step down ring and 77mm filter with no vignette, and of course an 82mm filter of standard thickness has no vignette at all (no need to buy the thin ones that cost even more again).

I bought this lens because it kills the Tokina 11-16 for centre sharpness at 11mm and has way better flare control. It's considerably cheaper than the Sony 11-18 and faster, and sharper and less flare problem.

At this time this is the best ultra wide angle lens on APS-C by a fair margin. And yes, the step from 16mm to 10mm is quite noticeable.
reviewer#11116 date: May-15-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:n/a
positive:extreme wide angle, and great distortion if you're looking for it. Nice build quality
negative:Extreme distortion. Sharpness not great, distortion extend across lens, even center.
comment:I love this lens. I've used it all over the world. Upgrading to full frame now, so its relegated to uselessness. The close up of people, make some interesting portraits. Landscapes are unreal, cloud and beach pics are amazing.
reviewer#10936 date: Feb-22-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 11-16mm, rokinon 14mm
price paid:400 USD (used)
positive:good wide range
amazing color
solid build
HSM
negative:has to stop down to 5.6 or 8 to be sharp
82mm filter
not for FullFrame
comment:Very good lens, I've had a lot of fun with this lens. It's totally different from the reviews I've read.
Highly recommended.
reviewer#10926 date: Feb-17-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 16105
price paid:600 EUR (new)
positive:Wide angle, build / look & feel.
negative:Has to be stopped down to 5,6 or 8 to get sufficient sharpness. Quality risk.
comment:According to some tests, the sharpness of the Sigma should be comparable to that one of the SAL16105. SLR-Gear shows in its blur index, that the Sigma were even sharper in the corners. Photozone says the opposite. User reviews often moan about bad copies, mainly as to sharpness.

Thus I ordered three copies and compared them with a little test. I pinned a newspaper (the stock exchange tables with their small characters) on a wall and shot it (tripod, level). For each lens copy I set the microadjustment new. A77, raw, auto focus controlled with focus peaking. Processed with DxO Optics Pro 8 to 100%-jpg, using DxO's optical module. Some tests I did double and thrice. Jpgs checked in ThumbPlus7 mostly at 100%, comparing two or more images simulaneously.

Copy A was really bad. Center was ok, but in the corners the newspaper wasn't legible, just black and grey blotches. At 100%, I found in some parts of the images a doubling of contours. Overall: Not usable.
Copies B and C were better than A, but still a bit less sharp than the SAL16105 at 16mm. Center was nearly as sharp as the SAL16105. But edges and corners were mostly significant worse. Stopping down to 5,6 or 8, sharpness of the Sigma is acceptable in the corners too. In practical shots I got the same results.

Thus I cannot confirm the SLR-Gear's blur-index as to the corners of the Sigma 3,5 10-20 mm. This my opinion suits to the results of photozone and lenstip and many user reviews.

If there is enough light for stopping down, the Sigma 3,5 10-20 mm seems to be an acceptable or good lens, and regarding its extreme focal width, even a very good lens.

As to color rating and flare control I do not have any special remarks - it's winter with fog and clouds, any colors out there. Distortion (barrel, cushion) is no real problem for me, using DxO's optical modul. So for these items I give the average points.

Vignetting / dropoff in the corners: with DxO's optical modul not visible. Without: really visible, should be compensated.

Build: At Dyxum's, "build" is defined mainly concerning the mechanical use resp. look and feel of the lenses. As to this, the Sigma 3,5 10-20 mm feels good, worthy. Controls are ok. So normally I would give 5 points.

But as one of three lenses is not usable and two further ones also differ in sharpness, I cannot give 5 points for build of this lens in general.
My little personal experience confirms, that there is a real variation of the technical quality of those lenses. Comparing the tests in the net, you'll find different results for this lens. May be, some testers do use lenses "tuned" by the manufacturer (not unusual in testing business!!). One tester (lenstip) therefore says, they took their testing sample from a dealer and not from the manufacturers representant as usual.

Thus for "build" I want to give only two points.
May be, this is not really conform to Dyxum's lens testing guidelines. But the variance of Sigma's quality really seems to be problem, and this should be stated.
As a customer, I want to get what has been advertised.


reviewer#10685 date: Nov-10-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 18 250 minolta 35 70 sony 18 55 tamron 18 200, minolta sony 75 300 etc
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality, good sharpness for focal length, very little drop off at edges, not too heavy, smooth action straight out of the box. great pictures.
negative:no, cant think of any
comment:I found that some of the reviews of this lens are a little over critical. All i can say is that it has opened a whole new world of photographic fun to me. The colour rendition on this lens easily lives up to any i have ever owned, its as sharp as you would need (edge and corner sharpness are far better than i expected) and i cannot find a single issue with its all round quality. It feels balanced on my A55, (not an easy trick to pull off)All i can say is keep your batteries charged because you are just going to want to use your camera a lot more. Buy one, Have fun.
reviewer#10230 date: May-23-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 90mm/2.8 Macro
Minolta 100/2.8 macro
Minolta 28-135 Macro
Sony 50/1.4
Minolta 50/1.7
Sigma 170-500
Sony 70-300
Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6
Sony CZ 16-80/3.5-4.5
Tamron 18-200
price paid:$400 Aus$
positive:Great focal length
Very sharp (wide open)
Very Nice build (surprisingly excellent)
negative:Very little that I can think of now.
Corners can be a little soft but WHO CARES!! I mean who cares about corners when you are shooting at 100mm?
comment:I am amazed at the reviews for this lens. It deserves so much more praise! In it's class it is without peer. It's sharpness is stunning - better than most primes I have owned. The focal length is something special. The first few times you use it you'll start looking at things from new and interesting perspectives. I believe any lens that broadens your creative perspective is something special and this lens will certainly do that. I have taken to afixing this lens permanently to my a500 or a77. If you need a wide zoom ... even if you need a wide prime take a hard look at this lens and I am certain you'll not be disappointed; in fact you will be a very, very satisfied (or dare I suggest it ... happy!) lens owner.
reviewer#6608 date: Dec-20-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 3.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 11-18, Sigma 10-20 (Original)
price paid:au$849
positive:Wide, quick focus, faster than the original at 3.5.
negative:Disappointing when compared to its predecessor. HSM maybe, but a step backward in other areas. I own both a Minolta 11-18 and the original Sigma 10-20 and this is a step backward. I changed it the day after I got it and the new one is equally as lacking.
comment:I needed a another 10-20 and the new version had been released - at a considerably higher cost. I expected new version - better quality image. I was disappointed. It is softer with poorer color rendition. Flare control, while never great on the original - is worse. After seeing the reviews here, I returned the lens to the dealer and had it replaced with another copy - which was just as bad. I cannot understand why people are rating it higher optically than its predecessor - it definitely isn't. Like the new Sony "SAM" lenses, it is a step backward. The speed increase to F3.5 is of no value to many in that as a lens for interior/Real Estate work, off camera lighting is invariably used.
reviewer#6482 date: Nov-28-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80
price paid:Ł539
positive:Solid Feel
Very sharp at centre
Good flare handling.
Little distortion given the focal length
Good in low light
negative:Large filter size
Some slight CA, (easily enough corrected PP.)
comment:I am really pleasantly surprised by this lens. It is solidly built, and really quite sharp throughout the range and pixel peeping, is only softer towards the edge of the frame. For most A4 prints it is a stunning performer.

I have only given this lens 4 for distortion control mainly because of the focal length. However, given the focal length, the distortion correction is really quite exceptional.

3 months into this lens I am exceptionally happy with the new dimension it has brought to my photography and I'm really impressed with the flare control.

It is amazing how close you can walk towards objects/buildings and still get them all in... a definite learning curve!!

Highly recommended.
reviewer#6390 date: Nov-16-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6
Tamron 17-50mm 2.8
Sony 18-70mm 3.5-5.6
Sony CZ 16-80mm 3.5-4.5
price paid:$580 USD
positive:Constant aperture
good build
predictable distortion
quick focusing
smooth zooming/focusing
sharp for an UWA lens
negative:Soft at extreme corners [even stopped down]
pricey
82mm filter thread
huge in the bag
comment:It's one of my favorite lenses, and find itself on my camera often. It's ridiculous how wide it is if it's your first extreme UWA lens, and is a lot of fun to use.

It's distortion characteristics are easy enough to correct in PP, and performs well even from f/3.5 throughout the zoom range. Has a definite learning curve due to its nature, but for landscapes, architecture, and even portraits, makes you look at everything differently. I love it, and wouldn't hesitate recommending it due to this version having the HSM for Sony, but otherwise, the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 variant is better in its regard to distortion and even sharpness [a win if you shoot with CaNikon with HSM].
reviewer#6350 date: Nov-9-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6
Sigma 15-30
price paid:Grey import - Ł495 inc tax
positive:Fast focusing
Consistent IQ across zoom
Flare control excellent
Clear pictures with no cast
Very little vignetting
negative:Corners soft at f/3.5, f/4
Not full frame
comment:I had a couple of copies of the previous (cheaper) version and was never satisfied with the clarity and colour. They were not totally sharp but had sufficient contrast to give an impression of being good in terms of resolution. Also, I noticed vignetting at 10mm f/4 and always had to stop down for cleaner pictures - which slowed the lens down indoors.

This new version solves all those problems, plus it has very fast focusing. The HSM is quieter but not silent, and can be a bit fidgety in low light.
f/3.5 pictures are very usable, meaning it can be handheld at say ISO1000 indoors. Flare is not a problem, although the A700 will blow out bright lights and windows. Highlight Recovery tool can help.

I've done three paid shoots with it and the distortion control is very good, better even than the original version.
Colour is clear and very well balanced using A700 AWB. It produces good bokeh too. Exposures have been very accurate compared to previous version.
Sharpness is better than the previous version, but I can't give it a 5. It's very good for a lens with such amazing spec though! 10mm to 20mm all at f/3.5? Pretty impressive.
Great build, feels compact and solid without being heavy.

I am upgrading my camera body to a full-frame so this lens has to go already. I've been spoilt by the IQ from this 10-20 which means I can't go back to a clunky, flare-prone 15-30, I've never been sold on the 12-24 and so the only attractive upgrade in terms of speed, AF and IQ is to buy a CZ 16-35/2.8 at great cost. This puts the value of the wider 10-20/3.5 into very sharp focus!

Highy recommended lens.
reviewer#6126 date: Sep-27-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:900 CHF (new)
positive:Except to the corners, the lens is really sharp, even wide opened.
The build is excellent, and it feels really nice!
The HSM is fast!
negative:Corners are not sharp wide opened.
comment:I love this lens, and the new angle it gives me while taking pictures.
reviews found: 12   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 4.33
  • color: 4.42
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.17
  • flare control: 4.17
  • overall: 4.28

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