Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF RF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 33    1 2 >>
reviewer#11814 date: May-6-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35 D
Sigma 24mm f/1.8
price paid:N/A
positive:Excellent in low light. Fast focus.
negative:Really nothing much to complain about.
comment:Best thing about this lens was Sigma. My version S/N was starting with "1". Not a55 nor a900 would recognize it, they will report "No lens attached". One authorized Sigma repair facility said nothing is wrong and no update is required, I guess that do not have Sony a-mount equipment to test the lens with. Sigma said PCB change required and so they did it.

Other than that all about this lens is good. I was surprised with images taken from very close distance but nothing that practice can not help with.

Fits and fell excellent on both, a55 and on a900.

I would be interested to see Quantaray version of it.
reviewer#10640 date: Nov-2-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:17-35 class zoom lenses
price paid:300 EUR used
positive:fast, sharpness, color, bokeh, MFD
negative:Mind MF/AF clutch
comment:This lens is the class for itself, so you should not compare it to another. Sharp wide open, the bokeh is great what is really hard to find in wide angle lenses. Probably the best fixed ultra wide angle lens ever. Have it on a900 and you got ultimate magic tool when you find out how to use it.
reviewer#10634 date: Nov-1-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20
price paid:€ 350 mint
positive:Maximum aperture, overall IQ and solid construction.

Ideal lens for videorecording with the A77!
negative:Filtersize 82mm (most other Sigma's I use are equipped with 77mm).

Had to get used to the weird AF-MF switch...
comment:Love to use this lens during evening-events in relativly small rooms. But it is also very nice for shooting landscapes.

[Maybe I will have a FF body to use it on].
Update: on a fullframe the corners show a lot of vignette, small diafragm from 6,3-7,1(!) will correct it.

I own the latest edition.
reviewer#9821 date: Jan-19-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24/2.8
Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 (APS-C)
price paid:
missing
positive:acceptable image quality at F1.8
good at F2.8
full frame compatible
good MFD
negative:AF/MF switch
comment:It is far better lens on full frame cameras than Sigma 10-20 on APS-C. AF microadjust is not required in my copy. Colors are neutral. Very good choice for indoor low-light shooting.
I recommend it for FF cameras.
reviewer#9661 date: Dec-4-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:cz 24za
price paid:500
positive:20mm and f1.8

reasonably good resolution at 1.8 and very good resolution at smaller aperture

negative:weired focus system

mustache type barrel distortion(not disturbing in most cases though)

82mm filter thread

CAs
comment:I used to have carl Zeiss 24za, but I think Sigma 1.8/20 is better. Carl Zeiss 24/2 has a terrible field curvature, which spoils every good thing it has.

Sigma has a reasonable resolution even at f1.8. Even the corners are not bad.

Stopping down makes it one of the sharpest lenses, but CAs is pronounced even when you stop down.

Distortion control is above average. But the distortion pattern is not a gradual curve.

this lens is very good for indoor people shots. 20mm f1.8 with full frame body makes very attactive images.

Very nice lens overall.
reviewer#8660 date: Feb-15-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 DT Kit lens
Sigma 24mm Ultra Wide
price paid:279 GBP
positive:Build Quality
Price
Maximum aperture
Minimum focus distance is very close
negative:Hood is not the best fitting
Corner sharpness on 35mm with large apertures.
comment:I got this lens at a reduced price due to a scratch on the focus ring which in no way affects performance.

Centre sharpness is good (but not macro sharp) but does tail off toward the corners quite dramatically unless stopped down when used on film/FF. Colours are neutral/realistic.

Distortion can be quite dramatic even on on APS-C with barrel distortion if not perfectly aligned to the subject. Making it difficult taking pictures that feature strong vertical lines close to the edge of the frame. However I believe this to be a trait of UWA lenses in general rather than a specific flaw in this lens.

Flare seems to be reasonably well controlled considering the size of the front element.

It's a big lens and may put some people off but doesn't really bother me. Fortunately it shares the same filter size as my Sigma 100-300 F4 so no need for new filters. The 82mm diameter may deter others.

Whilst the hood seems to perform well it is easy to incorrectly fit it and have it drop off later.

Some people seem to have an issue with the double action focus ring, but to me it is no different to that of my Tamron SP90 macro or Sigma 100-300 F4.

As someone who is far more comfortable using tele focal lengths I feel that I have some way to go to get the best out of this lens. I do like the very short minimum focus distance which has great potential for creativity.

As I use both film and APS-C bodies this is effectively two separate lenses. The difference between 20mm on film and an effective 30mm on APS-C is very pronounced compared with a 50mm lens where you only really notice a slight narrowing of the FOV.

Update: It works fine on my SLT-A77 with no problems encountered.I'm also raising the sharpness score as used correctly it is very sharp.

I find this lens is perfect for use in museums where it excels at low light hand held shots.
reviewer#8625 date: Feb-7-2011
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:268 Euro(used mint)
positive:Sharp
Fast
Fantastic MFD
Good build
negative:Nothing
comment:I used this lens in conjunction with the Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6 EX DC.
The 10-20mm for landscapes and this one for inside.

I really loved this lens on my A350 but was forced to sell it when I bought the A55 due to the known aperture problem with the Sigma's.

I really gonna miss this one.
reviewer#8276 date: Nov-20-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35 G
Sigma 17-35
Sigma 30 1.4
Kit 18-200
price paid:330.00
positive:Great build quality, very neutral color, very short MFD, FF support. Sharp when stopped down a few...
negative:Giant front element, weird focus control,
comment:I had serial starting with 1 version, had it serviced works but SLT's don't adjust aperture, taking it back in to work it out and will update review when conclusion is reached with SLT

This lens has different color than the amazing 30 1.4, just more neutral...not as good but seems to have more potential in post.

The bokeh isn't as amazing as I'd like it, though I haven't tested it with strong highlighted bokeh. I really expected this lens to give a razor thin DOF with quick transition to mash potatoes for bokeh when using really short MFD...this lens transitions to out of focus very linearly...I don't know how else to describe it. Almost expected a Macro kind of in/out focus feeling but got something very smooth. No depth from bokeh?


If you don't have full frame or don't need a fast wide, I'd pass. I would buy again but wouldn't say this lens is a must have. On APS-C I can do as much with the 18-200 for scenery when stopped down and color is more consistent with other minolta pieces.

reviewer#7959 date: Sep-10-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:* Minolta 20mm f/2.8
* Sigma 24mm f/1.8
* Sigma 30mm f/1.4
* Sony 50mm f/1.4
price paid:225 USD (refurbished)
positive:* wide angle without excessive distortion
* wide aperture makes low-light work possible
* VERY short MFD
* a much better performer than its sister lens, the Sigma 24mm f/1.8
* solid build
negative:* images have a yellow tone
* slow to focus
* soft corners wide open
* there are more versatile options for APS-C landscape shots
comment:I was pleasantly surprised by this lens's performance. Sharpness was on par with most fast primes, in that shooting wide open results in usable shots and stopping the aperture down results in great shots. Though the focus was a little slow, it was certainly fast enough for objects moving at reasonable speeds - say, a person walking down the street. Colors are a little more yellow than I prefer, though no worse than any other Sigma lens I've used, and it's easy to fix in post. The minimum focus distance of 20cm (8 inches) is fantastic; between that and the wide aperture, I suspect this lens would be useful when shooting crowded events.

Compared to the Sigma 24mm f/1.8, image quality at f/1.8 is substantially better. Images were sharper, there was far less CA, and the lens seemed to focus a little faster. That being said, I question how useful either lens is wide open - between the wide angle and a narrow depth of field, you risk losing a lot in the bokeh.

If you are an APS-C shooter and plan on using this lens primarily/exclusively for landscapes, you would probably be better off purchasing a good wide-angle zoom lens instead. For example, I can't image there's a significant difference between the image quality of this lens at f/8 and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 when shot at 20mm, f/8. The Tamron is not too much more expensive than this lens and is far more useful for everyday shooting. So, unless you really need a wider aperture than f/2.8 (or are a full-frame shooter), you might as well pick up a decent quality zoom lens instead.
reviewer#7935 date: Sep-3-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 50/1.7
price paid:199 EUR (new)
positive:Sharp
Cheap
Large aperture
negative:AF/MF ring requires getting used to
comment:For the price I had to buy this. Stopped down a notch my copy has proven to be very sharp, except for the far corners, but if hasn't stopped me from enjoying this fun lens. It sits on my a700 perfectly, and while the combo is far from light, it is comfortable to use. The much complained AF/MF ring isn't that bad once you get used to it. Flare is something to be expected with a lens this wide, but can be avoided quite easily. All in all, a great prime if you can get it with a reasonable price.
reviewer#7349 date: Apr-25-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 20mm 2.8
CZ 16-80mm
Sony 24-105mm
Sigma 24mm 2.8
price paid:510 (new)
positive:Wide,
macro at 20mm
f 1.8
Color
The hood works very well
MFD 20cm from the sensor (the shortest MFD for 20mm lenses!)
negative:flare without the hood
comment:Very cool macro at 20mm with MFD only 20mm!
reviewer#6868 date: Feb-4-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Kon Min 16-35 2.8-4 D
Ziess 35mm
Tamron 90mm macro
various others
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality
versatile
sharp
Contrast, bokeh, colour
negative:It hasn't got canon or nikon written on it.
82 mm filter size
Quirky
Bit of a lump
comment:This is an unusual lens, a little quirky, you have to apply yourself and think about things to get the best out of it, flare can be a problem, but hey, its a 20mm lens the size of the mersey tunnel, lets appy a little common sense. Love the build and finish, a bit of a lump, but it sits really nicely on my A700.
People moan about the AF/MF ring, dunno why, same as my tamron 90mm macro and it works very well.
Bit soft wide open, stop it down to 2.8 or so and it is fine.
I have got some wonderful shots using this lens, contrast and colour are very good.
Very good close up, will focus down to a couple of inches, this is when that wide aperture really comes in to its own.
As real world lens it is bloody good, great on APSc, 30mm is a useful size, minimum distortion, no abberation etc etc. seems to be happiest in good light, can be a little soft in the gloom, may be shake or focus issues though.
seems most of the moans about this lens are due to it not having Canon or Nikon written on it.
Sharp? - dont be silly, of course it is, its a Sigms prime. Bottom line, this lens is a lot better than I am, if it ticks your boxes, buy one.
reviewer#6782 date: Jan-20-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24-70 EX DG MACRO
Tamron 28-75
Sigma 50mm 1.4 HSM
price paid:
missing
positive:- Impressively sharp in good light
-Fast! Great for wide, indoor shots. 1.8 at 20mm isn't the greatest DOF, but it works at times.
-Super close focus makes for some creative perspectives.
negative:- Flare is a huge problem. If you point this thing anywhere near a light source, be very weary of flare artifacts.
-82mm filters $
-Softness common in low light, perhaps combo of camera shake and missed focus
comment:This is up for contention as my new favorite lens. It's wonderfully useful, impressively sharp and a lot of fun to use. The close focus is a blast.

BEWARE OF FLARE. Flare has claimed a number of shots on this lens, it is definitely a major consideration.

The build is very solid, though I don't like the AF/MF clutch (minor quibble). Distortion is much better than zooms at equiv. focal lengths, but it still stretches people out at times. Colors seem fine by me, perhaps not as rich as Zeiss 135 I once had.
reviewer#6500 date: Dec-1-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50 1.4
Sigma 70 2.8
Minolta 135 2.8
Kit lens 18-70
Tamron 18-250
price paid:$489 (new)
positive:Low Light Interior Shooting
EX Finish (love it or you don't)
Balance on 700
negative:Finicky Hood
Flare prone
Large filters
comment:This lens takes some getting used to but it is well worth it. Recently I spent a full day with it shooting cars inside a museum and outside in bright sunlight at an old fort.

My copy is slightly less sharp wide open than the primes I've mentioned and it is considerably sharper than the zooms I've mentioned at the same length.

The colors are neutral, focus is not slow enough to notice and it works beautifully on a Maxxum 7 indoors, less wide obviously on the 700. It's a huge piece of glass so you need to take care pointing it anywhere near the sun.

I have not experienced the same quality or focus issues with Sigma lenses, either because I got great copies or I'm not accomplished enough to notice.
reviewer#6463 date: Nov-25-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 14 2,8
Tamron 10-24
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp!!!
negative:Soft wideopen
comment:A REALLY good lens for its price!!! I mean really GOOD!!!

From 2,8 and on, its supersharp, nice collors, extremly good minimum focusdistance!

Built like a rock!

Looks good on any camera :)
reviewer#5979 date: Sep-4-2009
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Old style Sigma 24mm f/2.8, Minolta 28mm f/2.8, Minolta 50mm f/1.7, Minolta 17-35mm f/2.8
price paid:Used 300 USD
positive:It's fast. F/1.8 makes it worth of ownership. I close it usually till f/2.8 or f/4 to get sharpness level I want around entire frame. It can give you nice indoor photos if stepped down.
negative:My copy is uneven soft while diaphragm fully open. 7D AF hunts with this lens. Focusing scale not reliable, Infinity focus is not correct, and I can't trust it for low light landscape photos.
comment:I've heard that Sigma lenses are hit or miss. Mine is miss..
reviewer#5667 date: Jul-7-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7 - Minolta 24mm f2.8
price paid:265€ (used)
positive:-Focal (if you're used, like me, to have 28mm as your widest lens/focal)
-Sharpness (when subject is close)
-Minimum distance focus (at least my copy, seems a macro)
-Fast and useful for low light pictures
-BIIIIG (82mm!!), it's beautiful when mounted!
negative:-Not so sharp when subject is "far" (+10/15 metres)
-Soft at f1.8, but that's not a con itself, you can get dreamy landscapes or portraits
-Distortion high, IMHO
-Filters are really expensive, 82mm!
comment:It's a fun lens to use, although it can take a little while to get used to it. Looks KILLER on an A700, 82mm is a big headed beauty.

Nice to make landscapes, and even close portraits. Its sharpness is nice at f1.8 if the subject is really close, but degrades when the subject is far...

I'm happy with it, though. Rare lens, not common to see.
reviewer#5513 date: Jun-10-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SIGMA 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX
Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8
price paid:$569 (USD)
positive:Sharp lens from f/2.8 on up
Normal SIGMA Prime Size
negative:Unusual 82mm filter size
Soft f/1.8, f/2, f/2.5 response
comment:The 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX Zoom and the 20mm f/1.8 DG EX RF PRIME are almost identical in overall size, except that the PRIME has a protective glass "cover" over the first element. The Zoom does not (don't ask me, I don't know why).

Big color change. With the α700's built-in flash, the 10-20 response tends to wash out the color. This is noticeable, when you are taking images. I mean I can adjust through saturation and other flash settings, but this was a simple replacement of one lens for the other and wow ... bad news. The PRIME is so much more ... luxurious with its color under flash. You basically can get what you see with it ... which makes color matching and calibration a hell of a lot easier. WYSIWYG.

Also, the 10-20 shoots a warmer color (a bit more of a yellow cast to it) than the PRIME.

The 20mm f/1.8 offers a much easier time with indoor stabilization. I am taking sharp, clear Tungsten shots at f/1.8 @ 1/15 sec ISO-400. To shoot f/5.6 ... the speed is up around 1/2 sec for the same Ev, otherwise you introduce noise as you creep up the ISO.

Overall, the images appear sharper than the 10-20mm, but I only mention this because I had my 10-20 "factory tuned" by SIGMA last January ... and it really was very, very sharp. Also, the 10-20 zoom is shooting through an f/5.6 base aperture ... while the PRIME shoots equal sharpness at f/2.8. It is wide open at its base of f/1.8, its "softest" setting and the images soften accordingly.
reviewer#2686 date: Sep-3-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 kit lens, sigma 14/2.8.
price paid:270 usd (new)
positive:Sharp in the center. Fastest 20mm lens with good creative possibilities wide open.
negative:soft corners wide open. Big and heavy.
comment:Not a perfect lens in terms of corner sharpness, but this is a lens you get for flexibility and creativity. Can do great night shots with anti-shake and the 1.8 aperture. When stopped down, performs decently well in terms of sharpness. Have had some photos with harsher bokeh.
reviewer#2656 date: Aug-26-2007
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sal 1870
sigma-15 ex dg fisheye
sony-16mm fish-eye
price paid:499 EUR
positive:Starts to get very sharp from f/2.8
Speed
Build quality
M.f.d.200 mm
9 apertures blades
negative:weight
large filter
comment:This lens is heavy piece of glass with excellent sharpness very nice bokeh.At f/1.8 pictures appear bit soft but difficult to say because of very shallow d.o.f.therefore is my rating 4.5
I did not experience any flairs distortion is hardly noticeable think it will be bit worse on ff camera.
Very little CA between F/1.8 and 2.8
reviewer#2480 date: Jun-27-2007
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:300 USD (used)
positive:fast
bokeh
build quality
manual focusing
minimum focus distance
negative:large(!)
heavy
comment:I really like this lens, although it really is very large and heavy. But that's the price to pay for the large aperture.
I often find myself misusing it as a macro lens because of its minimum focus distance. Especially in these areas the sharpness is amazing. Already at 1.8 the images are sharper than with my 50/1.7 - at 2.0/2.2 they are getting even better and from 2.8 on I cannot find any improvement in sharpness.

My 7D seems to have problems focusing with this lens towards infinity, but I guess this problem exists with all wide angle lenses on this camera.

So, if you need more speed than you can get from the Minolta 20/2.8 and don't mind the extra weight and size of the Sigma: go for it!
reviewer#2460 date: Jun-20-2007
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Mostly Min 28 and 50. But I've tried to cater for different length.
price paid:409 USD
positive:Build quality
Speed
Sharpness
negative:Edges very soft at less than f2.8

Dreading buying a 82mm CPL
comment:Ok, first a quick reference to how I've rated my lenses:
5 - outstanding, hard to imagine better, a real "wow" factor in the shots.
4 - very good, better than I hoped, lose very few shots due to lens issues
3 - ok, about what I would expect,
2 - high failure rate, lots of bad but some images can be saved
1 - simply unacceptable, cannot be used.

I dont rate "for the price", however, I do consider what I would expect froma lens in a given focal range, I'll cut a wide some slack in distortion and flare etc. I generally dont check MTF figures as I have generally found that there is little or no correlation between between MTF and my assessment of an image (macros and some tele work is different).

Now this lens.

Sharpness. Its all been said before, a little soft at 1.8, center great by 2.8 edges very good by 5.6. Get to F8 and its fantastic edge to edge. Havent tested it much over f11, I suspect it will start to drop off. So it could be better, thus not a 5. On the other hand I dont know if there even is a "5" lens out there for this mount.

Color. Colors are nice and rich and really everything I might have asked for except there is some CA in the places you would expect (but hope not) to find it. I've arbitarily decided to reduce the colour score to 4 to indicate the small mpact of CA you will get. Having said that I doubt you'll lose a single image to CA, it will just be a pain to get rid of it.

Build. The Sigma EX build is obviously a matter of taste. Personally I love the crackle-black finish. The focus ring is beautifully damped. General fit and finish is top notch. Frankly, having sat this lens next to Canon L's that people rave about I think there is a lot of snobbery out there that automatically denigrates third party lenses. This lens meets and exceeds any rational build quality standard and needs to make o apologies.

Distortion and Flare. Treat these together as they merit precisely teh same comments. Very well controlled given that this is a 20 1.8 but not perfect and a 5 needs, if not perfect, then at least near as dammit. In short I've seen better so "NO 5 FOR YOU!!!".

General comments.

Really happy. My first lens ever was a Min 28-135 f4 - my second a beercan, so the size and weight arent an issue for me. The 82mm filters will be a pain, however I'm looking at getting a matching Sigma 24-70 so I can share the CPL at least. All in all this lens gives me something I've never had at 20mm and has met and exceeded every standard I set for it.

If you need edge to edge sharpness at 1.8 then this isnt the 20mm for you - however I dont think there is a lens for you in that case anyway. But if you want to be able to get an acceptable center at 1.7, good cross frame performance by 2.8 and great by 5.6 then I'd strongly recommended this lens.
reviewer#2459 date: Jun-20-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm F1.4 D
Tamron 17-50mm
price paid:Ł300 (new)
positive:Good perspective
Very bright
Good minimum distance
negative:Hood falls off too easily
AF/MF clutch is annoying
Very big and heavy
comment:I bought this lens because of Adam Bramley's success with it, and am certainly not regreting my purchase.

For low-light photography especially, this is a valuable lens to have. It is bigger than the 17-50mm, however it is significantly brighter and it focuses better at short range.

In order of preference; I rate my 50mm highest, this second, and my 17-50mm last. They are all my three favourite lenses though.

(I do really need a decent tele!)
reviewer#2397 date: May-31-2007
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:75 (used)
positive:- fast
- excellent build
- nice bokeh
- close focus (20cm)
- nice FOV on my 7D
- IF
negative:- a heavy lens
- 82mm filters
comment:I shoot a lot with the lens and my Sigma 14/2.8. I carry one or both with me along with my vintage 28-135/4-4.5 as a 'travel' package.

I like that it takes filters up front and has a non rotating front element. It's my widest lens that will accept a CPL. Optically, I've never found that it let me down - no complaints here. Some note it's a little soft at f/1.8, but hey, how many 20mm's open this wide?

It's a heavy lens, but that goes with the territory and I don't find this a detriment. 82mm filters are expensive, but at least it accepts a filter! It's a good looking lens, too.

For the price, it's an excellent value in terms of performance and build. Highly recommended. Got mine as a package deal, near mint. I figure it cost me about $75 a few years ago. :) (still smiling today)
reviewer#2362 date: May-26-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50mm/2.8
price paid:380 USD
positive:Sharp from F/2.8
Low distorsions
Nice finish and build quality
Wide manual focusing ring, not rotate in AF mode
Close focus ability
Price (cheaper than used Minolta 20mm/2.8 at this time)
negative:Sharpness drops towards the corners significantly at wide open
Huge filter thread 82mm , requires expensive filters
Confusing dual AF-MF system
comment:I got this lens primarily for 2 purposes:
1) landscape photography with accented foreground. Becouse of close focus ability, this lens allows to capture detailed foreground objects (like flowers, etc.), and blur the background nicely.
2) candid / street photography in the low light and in tight places. This lens allowed me to shoot jazz concert in a poorly lightened scene at wide open apertures (like F/2 - F/4).
Although this lens has poor corners below F/5.6, this is not an issue in this case. Knowing this feature allows to compose frame properly.
On the Sony Alpha DSLR it is an equivalent of 30mm.
I also used that lens on Minolta Dynax 7 film body, with positive films like Sensia, Velvia and got a good results with nice colors.
reviewer#2244 date: May-2-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35 f2, Minolta 50 1.7RS, Sigma 18-125
price paid:Ł185 (2nd hand)
positive:Oh so sharp stopped down.
Solid body construction.
Lovely FoV on digital and amazingly wide on film.
Comes with case - always like them.
1.8 @ 20mm!
Awesome close focus ability.
negative:Lens cap hard to use with hood on.
AF very average.
Wierd AF/MF clutch.
Hood sometimes slips over filter ring and rattles around the body of the lens - wierd.
Big and heavy.

comment:It's very big, very heavy and very solid, but the fitments (hood, lenscap, AF/MF ring) aren't up to the quality of the body.

It seems very, very, very sharp at f8 and it's perfectly acceptable from f2 onwards - maybe even f1.8 if you're not too critical. Edge sharpness seems fine only a little stopped down. Amazing close focus ability. Easy to use too - at f8 focusing at 1m brings everything to infinity into focus. Short travel for the long range makes AF very fast.

I've edited the flare score after further use - if you push it then it can flare badly. I'm happy with my other initial scores - after a bit more experience the accessories still don't match the quality of the lens and the sharpness still impresses.

Example shots:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/194/476687023_cc3cabea34_o.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/202/476685601_56b169f2fe_o.jpg
reviewer#1944 date: Mar-11-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24/2.8
Sigma 10-20
Sony kit lens
price paid:Ł170
positive:Really sharp
Build Quality
negative:Size/weight
Filter size
comment:I really like this lens - it very, very, sharp. I have to say I don't really use it much wide-open as it is a wide angle lens. I have had some very minor flare problems with it, but nothing too bad.

I also own the Min 24/2.8 which I also like because of its smaller size and reduced weight. I do, however, find myself using the Sigma more.
reviewer#1468 date: Nov-23-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Min 20/2.8 MinO & MinRS, Sig 24/1.8 EX DG, Min 24/2.8 MinO & Min RS, Min 28/2 MinO & MinRS, KM 17-35D, Canon AF 20/2.8 & 24/2.8, Voigtlander 21/4 (Bessa)
price paid:
missing
positive:- hood
- aperture
- close focus
- manual focus ring
- af performance
- nine blade circular ap, perfect bokeh
negative:- a bit of distortion
- not quite as sharp as the 24/1.8 EX DG (very little in it)
- filter thread size!
comment:Overal - BRILLIANT.

AF performance and range is excellent.

Close focus is excellent. Big feel, I love Sigma EX build.

DG is good, very good, but there is still some CA when absolutely stretched to the limits I mean like 10 EV stops difference. In most every day condition = not there, not visible.

Distortion is a little more bendy than the 24 version.

Focal length, very subjective, very different to 20mm, a lot in that 4mm (6mm)

Ignoring the comparison with the 24/1.8 DG ...

... The Sig 20/1.8 EX DG is EXCELLENT. Anyone considering the 20/24 battle (2x Sigs, 4x Mins to chose from, oh and a Sony) ... really, look hard at the Sigmas. The 9 blade aperture is the clear winning thing here, and the DG-ness, the Minolta cannot offer either of those. Given the choice of a (new) Sig 20/24 or a Min/Sony (new/used), I would go for the Sig, and get it new.

usable as an f2 (I regard this as an f2 anyway), good as a low light lens or a wlak about lens. The only choice to make is the focal length: 20/24/28

Manual focus is a button (camera) and clutch (lens) thanks to it being designed to fit a Canikon camera primarily. But hey AF is sure and reliable. Speed is good. Hood is well made and fits well (not like the KM 17-35 D hood disaster)

So, its sharp, contrast is good, perfect walkabout if the length fits the bill ... today its a little too wide for me as a solo lens, but as a 20/35/85 triplet = perfect match.

(I've been really hard on the sharpness rating, The 24 gets a 4.5, only becuase things like the 200/2.8 are the only items worthy of a 5 on that line)
reviewer#1064 date: Aug-4-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 28mm/2
Minolta 50mm/1.7
price paid:340€ new
positive:Very sharp when stopped down to 5.6. It is reasonably sharp already wide open, if there is no strong light. Ideal for making night shots without tripod and flash.
negative:Heavy and big. Soft wide open if there is too much light. The autofocus sometimes hunts in low light.
comment:This lense optically inferior to the much smaller Minolta 28mm/2 lense. On the other hand 20mm is a more usable focal length than 28mm, whence I use the Sigma 20mm more often than the Minolta 28mm. The heavy weight of this lense balances the Dynax 7D nicely. Wide open the performance of this lense is better than the Minolta 50mm/1.7 but worse than the Minolta 28mm/2 lense.
reviewer#923 date: Jun-19-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Mnolta 50/1.7
Minolta 28-75/2.8
Minolta 100-200/4.5
price paid:350 EUR (new)
positive:Quality/Price Ratio
negative:Big and Heavy, prone to flare
comment:I really like this lens. I did no "scientific" tests to prove it's performances, but after using it for some months the feeling I have with it is positive. I find it to be as sharp as a prime lens should be, from f2.8. To have the ability to go wider is just a bonus that is really a great opportunity in low light situations. Think at what you could do handheld with a 20mm lens f1.8 and AS... ;-)

About flare: I've noticed it after taking long exposures at night with bright spot in the frame like lamps, the moon, ads, ... Anyway in daylight I had no problem till now.

CHECK THE SERIAL NUMBER:
I bought it NEW from an online Shop, and when it arrived, it was not working on my 5D. The camera said "No lens attached". It is a known issue with old Sigma lenses. The 20mm f1.8 EX was introduced before Konica Minolta 7D, so the first batch of lenses are not "compatible". I had to ship it to Sigma and they re-chipped it in a week, for free (under warranty).
So, if you are going to buy it, especially if on eBay, check the serial number or be sure that it works with 5D/7D. Mine is number 1006XXX.
reviews found: 33    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 33
  • sharpness: 4.38
  • color: 4.52
  • build: 4.61
  • distortion: 4.30
  • flare control: 3.97
  • overall: 4.35

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