Sigma 20-40mm F2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 16   
reviewer#10713 date: Nov-19-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Minolta 24mm f2.8
Minolta 35mm f2
Minolta 50mm f2.8 Macro
Minolta 100mm f2
Sony 24-105 f3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-200mm f4.5
price paid:170 EUR (mint)
positive:very sharp, constant f2.8, nice range on full frame, build quality, colours
negative:weight, slow autofocus
comment:This lens is my first ultra-wideangle for full-frame and covers a very useful range from extreme wide to almost normal. The colours are Minolta-like and the lens is very sharp at all focal lengths. The autofocus is slow and is hunting at infinity, but that is no problem as i have the special matte screen for manual focus. All in all i am impressed, the lens is definitely a keeper.
reviewer#10541 date: Sep-23-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:- Sony 18-70/3.5-5.6
- Minolta 28/2.8
price paid:200 Euro
positive:- Sharp
- Colours
negative:- Flare
comment:This lens is excellent :-)
reviewer#8926 date: Apr-15-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Tkina 20-35 f3.5-4.5
Sony 18-70
price paid:200 GBP New
positive:Sharp
Colours
IQ
FF
negative:82 mm filters
comment:In spite of price, a very good upgrade from kit lens
reviewer#6891 date: Feb-10-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
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:Sony 16-80 kit lens
Minolta 50 1.7
Tokina 28-70 A-TX 2.8
price paid:250€ (used, shop)
positive:Built like a tank
superb image quality
negative:Narrow zoom ring
comment:Bought this lens to replace my kit one. I mainly shoot arhitecture and saw this in a used camera shop and could not resist.

I am satisfied with it. It is estremely sharp at f8 and realy usable at f2.8 at both focal lenses. Some shots can be a bit blurry though but not all.

This lens is huge. I too cant fit it in my bag normaly, it sticks out a little. Despite the size it feels really light.
My Tokina which I sold was of similar weight and it felt a lot heavier.

When the lens is attached to my A100 and put on the table, the lenses big front diameter is acually so big, that only le last edge of the camera(the one bellow the LCD screen) and the front of the lens are touching the table. everything in the middle is in the air.

I still havent figured out the MF/AF button on the lens and dont even feel the need to. I only know that it works strangely.

The manual focus ring is nice but the zoom ring is a bit narrow. Sometimes have to use two strokes to get from one side of the zoom range to the other.
reviewer#5988 date: Sep-5-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70/f3.5-5.6
Minolta - AF 50 F1.7
Sigma - 90 F2,8
Sigma - 70-300 F4-5.6 DG APO Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Fast
Color
negative:Flare
comment:
missing
reviewer#5671 date: Jul-8-2009
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:Sigma 24mm f:2.8
Tamron 17-50mm f:2.8
KM 17-35mm 2.8-4
price paid:250€ used
positive:Nice colors
Range in FF (less in APS-C)
negative:Huge
Flare in complicated situations
comment:Great groups portrait lenses.
Very sharp from f:4.5 but usable from 2.8
Better than KM 17-35mm
I prefer the Tamron´s range, but this is only for Digital, so i love its range for FF.
Nice colors.
reviewer#5552 date: Jun-17-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
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:Sigma 12-24/f4.5-5.6
Sony 18-70/f3.5-5.6
Minolta 28-85/4-5.6
Minolta 35-105/f3.5-4.5
price paid:795CHF (new)
positive:Sharp
Fast
Color
negative:Very expensive filters (82mm!)
Flare
comment:I bought this lens some time back to replace the kit lens still in use for the wide angle part, it allowed me to reduce the standard rucksack content from 3 to 2 lenses. It increased the weight quite a lot though, but there was a huge incentive: sold half price by the importer who of course knew it would be discontinued anytime soon. A pity for those looking for a fast wide angle zoom (albeit the new 24-70 will cover almost all of the range).

To my dismay, the copy I got broke at some point (you could hear the screw trying to get a grip on the gears inside, without success), and it took 3 months to get it repaired. The piece had to come from Japan, I tend to think on a cotter, an indication of upcoming discontinuation. But it finally was brought back in sound shape again, under warranty, never failed since, let´s cross some fingers and toes!

The weight notwithstanding, I never looked back again, it quickly became the default on my α100. Nowadays, while carrying the α900 around with Sigma 50/f1.4 mounted by default, the lens still sits in the bag, together with little brother 12-24... and in use as often as the latter!
reviewer#5128 date: Mar-31-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Min 50mm F1.7
Min 28mm F2.8
price paid:L130 Used
positive:Fast AF
Excellent Bokeh
negative:82 mm filters
Size
comment:This lens really turns out some top-notch images. It's as sharp as my two Minolta primes wide open, and gets better as you step down to f5.6. Colour is really nice - similar to the colour reproduction from the Minolta lenses - and AF is fast in all but the dimmest conditions. A great lens for indoor group shots at the wide end, and portraits at 40mm. Ideal for wedding photos.

The downsides? - Well, its huge; a serious chunk of glass. It also takes pricey 82mm filters - that's the same as my 500mm reflex! Can't say I've had any issues with lens flare, though the front element does protrude a fair way; guess the hood must do an adequate job!

All in all, if you're looking for a fast zoom with a limited range for low light use, then you can't go far wrong. Second hand prices on Ebay are very reasonable - though it doesn't come up for auction very often.

Full Frame Update:
OK, first the bad news; my copy developed stripped gears. Sigma repaired the lens, but for the princely sum of £90 - which was not far off what I paid for the lens in the first place. This is not what I'd expect from an EX range 'premium' lens, so I've lowered my build rating as a result.

Now the good news; I'm glad I paid to have it repaired, as it really shines on FF format! 20mm is pretty wide on my A900, making this my 'go-to' lens for landscapes. There is no vignetting and negligible light fall-off in the corners - all too often a problem with other wide 'full frame' lenses. Sharpness is excellent edge to edge at the narrower apertures one would use for landscape shots, and acceptable even wide open when used indoors or in low light. My only gripe is the slight vignetting that occurs in the 20-25mm range when using a polariser, but this is hardly a deal breaker, and fairly easy to fix in PP.
reviewer#5059 date: Mar-20-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Some primes....
price paid:can't remeber
positive:Big and heavy, good built, sharp after f4, good colors
negative:Big and heavy
comment:Big and heavy lens, but pretty good performer. Good in low light.
reviewer#3778 date: Jul-2-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-135 f/4
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Minolta 35mm f/2
Minolta 70-210 f/4
Minolta 135 f/2.8
Sigma 20-40 f2.8
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Nice Colors
negative:Seemed to be the only lens that had front focus problems on my A700
HUGE and expensive filters
Wouldn't fit well in camera bags (it is HUGE)
comment:While this lens had great colors, you are almost better off just using primes (you could carry two or three in the space this tank took up.) It was too big to fit comfortably in any bags. It had some flare (HUGE glass in the front, it's hard not to catch some sun with it). I sold this and purchased a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and I'm MUCH happier with it.
reviewer#2703 date: Sep-7-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
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 28-105
Minolta 50 f1.7
Tamron 55-200
Sigma 70-300
price paid:199 euro
positive:Colors,
Image quality,
Build Quality,
Sharpness,
Current price
negative:expensive filters,
flare problems
comment:bought this lens after dyxum's reviews, a very cheap one for the great IQ it delivers, if you have the patience to understand it, it can really satisfy the most demanding photographers; would definately buy it againg...
reviewer#2678 date: Aug-31-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:20 2.8 RS
price paid:175€ (new)
positive:Sharp from center to corner
Low distortion
Full frame
Current price
Fast AF
negative:Big and Heavy
82mm filters
comment:Very sharp wide open at 20mm, softer at 40mm.
Very good 1 stop down, excellent at 5.6.
Low distortion, sharp in all corners at all settings, good color.
At 20mm CA and distortion as with the fixed 20mm.
reviewer#2472 date: Jun-24-2007
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:Sigma 20mm/f2.8
Konica Minolta 17-35mm/f2.8-4
price paid:199€
positive:fairly sharp wide open, very sharp when stopped down to 5.6
negative:big and heavy, small zoom range
comment:If one forgets the weight and the size of this lens, it is a very good one. Clearly better than the KoMi 17-35mm near the edges. My copy is a bit soft near the right edge when wide open. Light must be moderate to get good image quality wide open. When stopped down to 5.6 it is as good as a prime lens. Build quality is excellent.
reviewer#1721 date: Jan-31-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Kit lens (DT 18-70 Sony Alpha)
Sigma 28-70 f2.8-4 HSZ
price paid:248.99
positive:No distortion that I can find
Very sharp
In direct comparison to kit lens show a lot more detail and clarity
negative:Big
Heavy
Large filters required (82mm)
comment:Tested with charts at 20mm, 30mm, 40mm at f2.8, f5.6, f11 against the kit lens set at f3.5, f5.6, f11 and although there was some minor differences in the Sigma's favour it was only on very substantial enlargement.

Brick wall test for distortion at 20mm, 30mm, 40mm at f8 with kit on same and Sigma 28-70 at 30 and 40 only. Sigma 28-70 showed severe pincushion distortion to the extent I didn't bothered testing any further with it. No distortion evident from the Sigma 20-40 but definitely noticeable with the Sony kit lens.

Still life test using a set up of apples, some cut open etc, again grained wood background under continuous lighting, white balance etc in camera, shot on Raw, Adobe colourspace. Camera settings exactly same for both lenses. Camera mounted on tripod and remaining set in same position, distance etc. So as controlled as i could make it.

There was definitely more detail to the skin of the apples and to the cut apples where texture showed up nicely on the Sigma even on uniform colour surface. The grain of the wood of the table was very clear at all but the 2,8 setting where depth of field was reduced. All shots at 40mm settings on both lenses.

Greater choice of depth of field from the wider lens obviously but in direct f stop tests the Sigma out performed the kit lens consistantly.

Kit lens colour was slightly warmer.

All images were converted from RAW to TIFF with no other adjustments using Sony converted and then compared in Corel Paint Shop Pro at 72dpi at 30% and 50% on screen enlargement. Images were then printed on an Epson Stylus Photo R240 at 100% selective area printing onto 6x4 paper. Increased image clarity, resolution and detail is evident on all Sigma images above that of kit lens.

Now, some people may find testing like this a bit anal but if I am parting with good money then I want to make sure I have value for it.

This lens is currently (Jan 07) on special offer with a number of retailers at around Ł250. Its previous selling price being around Ł350. Its RRP is Ł649!

I wouldn't pay the RRP for it but its most definitely worth every penny of the normal Ł350 retail. In fact, it compares favourably in some published to prime lenses at 20mm and especially at 35mm.

On a Sony it gives you a 35mm - 60mm zoom.
reviewer#1416 date: Nov-12-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Minolta 28-85
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp when stopped down
Nice colors
negative:Not so sharp wide open
82mm filter
comment:Not as sharp as the fixed lenses but quite sharp when stopped down. Average speed on AF. I never use MF so I have nothing to say about that. It feels a little plastic but not so much that it disturbs. Compared with Minolta 28-85 I would say that this one is a little bit better. In 6-8 pictures of about 2000 I´ve been having problem with flare.
reviewer#1017 date: Jul-12-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:- 24-105/3.5-4.5 : rahter similar results in the common zoom range
- 28/2 - the fixed one is better, of course
price paid:
missing
positive:- Can be used on film camera at the same time, a bit of overkill for digital cameras.
-rather cheap (I payed ~ 180 euro)
- perform reasonably
negative:- Large, but not so heavy.
- Large filter thread (82mm I think)
- Ugly close-ups (se comment)
- push/pull switch between AF/MF is a pain
comment:The main reason to buy this lens was to cover the wide angle on the film (Dynax 7), so the usage with 7D is only secondary. At 2.8 it is rather soft over the whole zoom range. From f/5.6 it performs rather well.

Concerning the close up focusing ability - yes, it focuses very close (~ 20 cm), but the results are embarasing. The out-of-focus pars have the most terrible bookeh I have ever seen - the edges of the objects seem to be divided in two parts. I do not know how to describe it properly but it lokks awfull.

I rated the color rendition at 5 as I did not see any disturbing color casts and I hve not done any particular comparisons - though I think it would be not much of issue with digital camera.
reviews found: 16   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 16
  • sharpness: 4.66
  • color: 4.81
  • build: 4.63
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.75
  • overall: 4.48

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