Minolta AF DT 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 D A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 27   
reviewer#11577 date: Jan-2-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 28mm f2.8
Minolta AF 50mm f1.7
Minolta AF 24-50 f4.0
Minolta AF 28-135 f4.0-4.5
Sony 18-135 f3.5-5.6
price paid:150€(used*)
positive:Light
Good sharpness at centers
Good flare control for a wide angle
Distortion control
negative:Poor sharpness at corners
Plasticky built
A lot of CA
comment:*Bought this on ebay at a good price because AF doesn´t work right (bend metalic interior body due to a shock) so I can´t say anything about AF or zoom (a little bit sticky)

Good flare control for a wide angle an good distortion control too, but a lot of cromatic aberration, but easy to correct at Lr. Good for architecture pictures. Has a very good sharpness at centers sepcially at f7.1-f9.0, but poor at corners because of distortion.

It´s a really dark lens, I always shoot at ISO 200 to take pictures at a decent exposure time. It´s light and has a decent size, mine hasn´t any hood but flare is well controlled.

Due to some pictures from a friend with same camera, Sigma 10-20 has better sharpness but heavier distortion. I you find it for less than 280€ go for it, in other case, go for a used Sigma.

reviewer#8156 date: Oct-29-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20MM 2.8
Nikon 14-24MM 2.8
price paid:$400 USD (used)
positive:-Range
-Metal Mount
-Zoom and Focus ring not ribbed like Sony's crap.
-Light
negative:-Slow aperture
-Made of plastic
-Quite a bit of Distortion
comment:I used this on my A300 for a good year. It is cheap and wide... Two great combinations for almost anything. Its just a slow lense and not to sharp around the edges. Highly recommend for APS-C sensors.

reviewer#5726 date: Jul-19-2009
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:cz 16-80
price paid:300 euro
positive:sharp
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#4996 date: Mar-11-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20 /4-5.6
Voigtlander 15mm Heliar f4.5
price paid:450.00
positive:light weight
very good linear distortion control
lightweight
negative:poor internal build quality
meters poorly (underexposure)
comment:I didn't fully appreciate this lens or bother to write a review until I tried the Sigma 10-20, the only real alternative in the A-mount.

I'd been satisfied with my KM 11-18, but after three years of daily use, the zoom mechanism developed about 2mm of free play. That allowed the front lens elements to wobble in and out, spoiling focus. I sent the 11-18 off to Precision for repair the day the Sigma arrived. You can read my recent review of the Siggy 10-20 to see what I thought of that lens (not much).

As a real estate photographer who shoots on the wide side every working day, I'm really looking forward to getting this 11-18 lens back. I won't say it's quite as good as my Voigtlander 15mm, but I can't use that on a DSLR. What I can say is that in very demanding use, this lens' lack of linear distortion makes it a real winner. I've never had to worry about straight lines at the edges of my pictures. I have seen some slight barrel on vertical lines placed slightly off center and shot at close range, say 6-10 feet away, I do mean slight distortion, however. The Sigma does a better job in the center of the frame, but at 10mm, the edges show severe barreling.

Also impressive, after testing the Sigma, is the 11-18's lack of light falloff (dark corners). Scenes are evenly lit, right to the edge, with no corrections needed.

I've given it low marks for build quality because of my need for a repair after just three years, without drops or other abuse. This is the top of the range in its length, a name-brand lens, so it should last longer without service.

I'm intrigued by the f3.5 version announced by Tamron last fall, so long ago. I simply couldn't wait any longer. When and IF that comes, it might sacrifice distortion correction for a fast aperture. That's not a good tradeoff for me.

No lens is perfect, especially at this bargain price (priced a Nikon lately?). Overall this lens exhibits very few of the flaws commonly associated with ultrawides. If you've only used this lens, you might not know how lucky you are.
reviewer#4743 date: Jan-25-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony CZ 16-80
sony 100 f2.8 macro
minolta 50 1.7
minolta 24-85
minolta 100-300 apo
price paid:
missing
positive:Ultra Wide Capability
Good Distortion control for UW
Good Flare control
negative:2/3 stop dark
Soft
Some Lateral CA
comment:I have been using this lens for 2.5 years now and I still turn to it when I want Landscapes and scenic shots for prints. When used correctly this lens can produce outstanding results. I have found that it is the best lens in my lot for HDR pictures. The lens is a bit soft. For that reason I use that as a positive thing when doing HDR shots.

I think many of the reviews for this lens are scored against other standard and primes. This type lens will never perform with the same sharpness. What you do get is an extremely wide perspective that is very linear. (Very little curvature) for this type lens. Flare is very well controled.

I do find this lens underexposes more often then other lens I own, although not as often on the A700 as the A100.

For anyone who understands the posibilties of an utrawide, this lens will not disipoint. I strongly recommend it and would buy another the day mine broke.

Lastly. Expect a small learning curve to get the desired results. With time this lens can be a favorite.
reviewer#3917 date: Aug-3-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Older MD wides
price paid:220 USD
positive:Nice
compact
wide
color
negative:No G lens
comment:Picked this one up new and am pleased so far. Can't say I really needed it but wanted to play around wide landscape.

I made the decision to keep this lens after only one day.

Pick one up if you get the chance.
reviewer#3605 date: May-17-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 16/2.8 Fisheye
price paid:399 USD
positive:Wide
Price
negative:Useless hood
Mediocre build
Narrow Aperture
comment:The thing about this lens is there aren't a lot of options in this range. Although opinions vary, most of the WA zoom lenses in this range offer comparable performance and there are no G's to be had. I avoid shooting indoors with a flash as much as possible. Before I replaced my A100 with an A700 it was too dark. ISO 6400 gets me by now but it's not my favorite. The thing is I find myself reaching for it all the time. Outdoors is a different story. On a sunny day or night with a tripod you can force this lens to behave by cranking down the aperture. Circular Polarizers help too but my 16/2.8 Fisheye blows it away. Due to its CCD frame size, I'm sure I will sell this as soon as I get my hands on an A900.


1/29/09 - I got my a900. What a difference FF makes! Now my 16/2.8 FE & 17-35 G rock. The 11-18mm is long gone:-)
reviewer#2470 date: Jun-24-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 2
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss 16-80, Tamron 18-200.
price paid:Gift
positive:Wide, wide, and very wide. Nice size. Handles pretty well. You can have fun with the distortion and the width.
negative:Not the sharpest in the corners, a good bit of distorition. Front end of lens is a dust magnet. Tons of flare.
comment:This is a really fun lens to use and produces some nice images. Just looking through it makes you feel like you've stepped back 50 feet. Until you've played with an ultra-wide you don't understand just how wide it is. Sure it isn't as sharp as my otherglass and sure it may distort but the glory of this thing is that it gets you shots you otherwise wouldn't have a chance to get. It also feels well made. Keep the hood on though becase a lens like this will flare badly.
reviewer#2469 date: Jun-24-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Voigtlander Color Heliar 15mm
price paid:550.00
positive:lovely colors
evenness of illumination
good handling, internal focus and zoom , wide, wide, WIDE
negative:distortion at close range
plasticky materials
tendency towards underexposure
comment:This lens is my mainstay for photographing home interiors.

I've read differering opinions of its distortion control. That makes sense, because it behaves differently at near and far range. After reviewing hundreds of photos, I notice that linear distortion is very low (straight lines stay straight) at infinity focus and medium distance. It wasn't easy to find bad examples. Things get crooked as you got closer, however. Vertical lines which are about 6-10 feet away and placed slightly off center can get bent like the sides of a barrel, Meanwhile, door or window frames near the picture edge remain almost perfectly straight. I believe my Voigtlander lens does better, but I haven't used it as much. And it's a rangefinder lens, not a retrofocus for SLRs.

The best quality of this lens is how normally it handles. It's not long and heavy like the first Sigma SLR ultrawides I encountered. There's no bulbous front element that demands special care. I can use normal filters without vignetting. You could easily mistake it in your bag for any of the other KM Tams, like the 28/70/2,8

My use hasn't proven it to be especially sharp or unsharp. The evenness of illumination is outstanding, on a par with the Heliar. And I wish my Minolta lenses (24-85, 24-105, beercan) shared the same color balance. The 11-18 is neutral to my eyes, possible leaning towards red, but just right. My 24-105 seems slightly blue in comparison, and the 24-85 is quite blue.

There's are so few choices among ultrawides. We're fortunate that this one is so good!
reviewer#2393 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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:600€ (used)
positive:- Wide
- Minolta Colours
negative:- None that really matters
- DT only
comment:I had this lens for a month or two, and the feeling it left me was positive. I sold if to a close friend so that i can still borrow it when needed (so its not a bad lens). The build quality is great for a non metallic lens, and the mf ring is usable, even if dof is so great that mf is even with a bad mf ring easy.

Distortion was a more prominent than sigma 10-20, but then again, this one was imho a tad sharper. No real labtests made, just a gut feeling as i tested both briefly. Both were great lenses so.. and mine did not have underexposure problems, used with 5D (non that i noticed, i shot quite a lot with this one to see if ill keep it).

All in all, i sometimes miss this one, but im not the wide going guy, so i had to let it go to afford faster tele.
reviewer#2150 date: Apr-14-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:50mm 1.7
km 17-35/2.8-4
km 28-75/2.8
km 70-210/4
price paid:
missing
positive:-wiiide
negative:-rather noisy and "tight" focus ring
-a little soft
-underexposes heavily
comment:Well. Of all my KM lenses this is the least sharp one, but that is to be expected. It is always pretty soft in the corners at the wide end no matter what aperture I use. The focus ring makes a disturbing noise if you don't disable the motor. It is very sensitive to flares (it's soo wide), and the hood is pretty much useless.

But... the wideness of this lens compensates for everything! It is just so much fun to use and does not only do a good job at shooting wide landscape scenes, but it is also a very good close-up lens. You get some pretty wild perspectives when shooting something as near it as possible (like an apple or flower in the garden). You can focus really close to the lens. And that way, it shows it can be pretty sharp also.
reviewer#1960 date: Mar-13-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35/3.5G
Tamron 17-35/2.8-4
KM 18-70 Kit
Sigma 15/2.8 Fisheye
price paid:350 USD
positive:I love wide angles and ever since I got a 5D I have been wanting one of these ultra wide zooms.
negative:Not FF, if you like to have some of your subject close in the frame you will see a lot of softness in the corners. I do have to try to stop down more...
comment:I have been wanting an ultra-wide zoom since I got my 5D Oct 2005 but never came accross any bargains and to tell the truth I really wanted a FF like the Sigma 12-24mm. This lens came in a package deal so technically it may be a bargain if I do well in selling what I won't keep. Price paid is apportioned.
reviewer#1871 date: Feb-22-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:€ 250,- in sale
positive:Just feels good
Very good in specific 'wide angle lens use' [Landscape, architecture, etc.]
negative:F4.5-5.6 is poor
Distortion sometimes to big
Tends to underexpose
comment:
missing
reviewer#1751 date: Feb-6-2007
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM AF 18-70 DT - other film wide angle lenses
price paid:500 eur new
positive:could open you a new world of views
negative:soft and not too sharp
looks like a dust collector
of course useless on film camera
comment:Used a lot to shoot landscapes, interiors and to give particular views of "urban things". I think it is a nice lens, but really too expensive for the quality offered. Since i shoot often on wide-angle perespective, i'm considering to sell the glass and buying something else
reviewer#1543 date: Dec-15-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Light, good to carry
shares same hood with 17-35D
distortion and flare controlled well
negative:could be sharper at edges close to 11mm...
Wish it went to 24mm
comment:Light weight, compact lens. Sharpness good but not spectacular (but keep in mind that this is a super wide). Could be a bit better at the edges at 11mm.

Distortion and Flare VERY well controlled for a super wide.
reviewer#1453 date: Nov-20-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:None in this range
price paid:$882 New sweden
positive:Quite sharp for it's range.
negative:DT type.
comment:Fun Fun Fun.
Great for interior/exterior shots.
Can even do some nice semi macro shots.
reviewer#1419 date: Nov-14-2006
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35mm superwide film lenses
price paid:US$550 (new)
positive:Performs well in terms of sharpness, distortion, focusing, and vignetting. Meets all of my expectations except for the two negatives below.
negative:Underexposes by 2/3 stop, and shows chromatic abberations near edges under some conditions.
comment:I really enjoy using superwide lenses, so I knew I would have to get something in this range for my 5D. I've had it for several months now and am satisfied, although it is a bit disappointing in two specific areas.

First, it always underexposes by about 2/3 stop compared to my other lenses. This occurs in all exposure modes - auto and manual, ambient light and flash. The only fix I have found is to set the camera's exposure compensation at +2/3 when using this lens. Annoying but not a deal-breaker.

Second, it shows more chromatic abberations than I expected to see. Again, this is not too much of a problem since I can usually correct this with software when necessary.

Others here have complained about distortion with this lens, but I suspect that most of them are talking about the natural perspective effects that all similar wideangles exhibit. My lens shows very little visible rectilinear distortion (meaning that straight lines are rendered as essentially straight and not bent or curvy). Online reviews largely agree that this lens is no worse (and maybe even better) in that area than the competition. Most or all of the available superwides for DSLRs have issues of some kind, so one should not expect perfection with any of them!

This lens is made by Tamron and is optically identical to the Tamron and the Sony versions.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Film camera users have reported that this lens will cover a 35mm frame from about 14mm to 18mm! This would make it very useful on full-frame cameras as well, and not just the APS digitals.
reviewer#1234 date: Sep-26-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:KM 28-75 D, Tamron 20-40
price paid:375.00 USD (new)
positive:It's nice to have a quality lens in this range. Wish it was brighter but that seems to be the nature of all the ultra wide lenses.
negative:I don't see any negatives and I think the build is fine.
comment:I only had it a week and got it for 375.00 brand new on EBay. I didn't buy it from a retailer so I probably don't have a warranty but considering I got it for less than the average used price who cares. So far I love the lens but I can't wait to use it more. It is incredible how close I can get to things and still get a lot of area. It's like having a camera with peripheral vision.
reviewer#1161 date: Sep-4-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 12-24
price paid:530.00
positive:Light weight
Sharp and good perspective( at least f11 and smaller)
77 mm filter
negative:Construction feels cheap, but that's one reason it's light.
Some problems with flare.
No full frame capability.
comment:I use it for outdoor/scenics mostly and I feel it's excellent for this application. Indoors or architecture you've got the normal perspective problems for a lens of this type. No vignetting. Flare problems when the sun/light source is just in the wrong place:)

Compared to the Sigma it's lighter, and you've got a usable filter throughout it's range.
reviewer#716 date: Apr-26-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:nothing in this range
price paid:$550 new
positive:-11mm captures alot of area.
-decently sharp, best at f11-16
-low distortion considering zoom range
-lightweight
negative:-slightly soft images
-only 1.64X zoom
-not terribly fast, but I guess it doesn't have to be
-kinda plasticky, but doesn't feel flimsy
comment:-UPDATE-After owning this lens almost a year I can say the only negative is that it's slightly soft compared to my other lenses (KM 28-135, beercan). Even stopped down it never has that 'razor's edge' sharpness that I can achieve with the other lenses. I've heard this is normal for super wide zooms but it's still slightly discouraging since it was much more $$ than my other glass. Still a good lens and the sharpness is consistent edge-to-edge when stopped down.

If you've never had a lens this wide you don't know how much fun you're missing out on. 11mm makes for shots you never dreamed of before. This is probably my least used lens, but I enjoy it every time I use it. Distortion is very low as long as you are perfectly perpendicular to vertical objects or else you get the trapezoid effect fast. This lens swallows so much of a scene you really need to shoot at f11 or smaller just for depth of field.
reviewer#655 date: Apr-2-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:KM 28-75, Tamron 24-135, Tokina 100-300 F4
price paid:
missing
positive:range, smooth focus and zoom ring
negative:77mm filter, hood mount takes up alot of room in my bag, dust gets in too easily, ackward zoom ring location
comment:I've only had this lens for 4 months and am still getting a feel for it. The built is a double edge sword. On one hand it is light but dust seems to get in too easily and the 77mm filter is alot.
Also, when mounting the lens you might as well mount the hood because it gets in the way of the zoom ring

I'm going to try a Tokina 17 and compare the two.
reviewer#645 date: Mar-30-2006
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 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:none
price paid:
missing
positive:Very light, sharp and good distortion control.
negative:A bit plasticy and slow AF
comment:Using this lens with my 7D for interior shots mainly.

Although the AF speed is slow, but there is no hurry because you either use it for landscape or architectural, and the subject won't move.

I think the build can be better, feel a bit plasticky, but doesn't feel cheap.

Fortunely, it uses a 77mm filter, hence still very affordable.

Distortion wise is very minimal for this type of lens.

Sharpness is very good. Though I must admit, I only use it at f8 or smaller.

Its a very nice lens to use if you are into landscape or interior shots.


reviewer#635 date: Mar-29-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:One of the lightest wide angle zoom lenses you can get, and color and sharpness are quite impressive.
negative:Distortion at wide ange, but this is to be expected with such a wide angle zoom. I actually like this effect in some instances.
comment:Quite slow and a fair bit of distortion at the wide end, but man this thing is WIDE! I plan to use this lens for taking photos of large architectural structures where I am often confined to a small space.
reviewer#565 date: Mar-10-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:can create really exciting shots
negative:
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comment:This is my most expensive lens and frankly the least used but every time I use it I enjoy the results - great sky effects - almost as if it had a polarising filter! Actual distortion is low - but if used for buildings and street shots, perspective is really dramatic. Haven't really tried it for landscapes yet - dry season here in thailand so to much muck in the air!
reviewer#492 date: Feb-12-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Colour, light weight
negative:
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comment:I've read different comments/reviews and image samples of Sigma 10-20, 12-24 and Tamron 11-18 on the internet. I find the green colour from sigma lens is hard to accept. The samples of Tamron seems too soft. It's difficult to find one ultrawide lens for my D7D.

Eventually, thanks to the above Mink's review, from his comments I've brought this lens. It works as what he said. It's worth for the money.

If you like the KM 17-35 f2.8-4, I think you'll be like this lens much more to work with DSLR. My current list of minolta lens on-hand includes 20 f2.8, 35 f2, 50 f2.8 macro, 50 f1.4, 85 f1.4, 11-18, 17-35 f2.8-4, 28-70G, 80-200G and 70-210 f4. I would rate 17-35 f2.8-4 is my last choice of the above in terms of the image quality solely.

By the way, I am not a fans of any brands. I've owned Nikon MF, AF and DSLR system. After seeing the prints of 18R, I've sold all of my stuff in Nikon. Currently, I only keep Contax G2 and D7 and D7D. Please note this is just a message from a user.

reviewer#439 date: Jan-24-2006
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 1
overall: 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 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 11-18, Sigma 10-20
price paid:
missing
positive:Very low distortion, excellent flare control. Better built than the Tamron.
negative:Small max. aperture. Needs further stopping down for sharpness.
comment:Very good value for the money - it seems much better built than the Tamron. A fine choice for landscapes and interiors with its low distortion - but you'll often need a tripd because you will have to stop it down 1-2 stops.
reviewer#404 date: Jan-14-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Nothing in this focal range - complements my Minolta 17-35mm f/3.5 G, which uses the same 77mm filter (no small thing when you've invested in B+W filters..)
price paid:
missing
positive:Remarkably good for the focal range - low distortion, no vignetting that I can see (even with slimline filter), sharp to the corners even wide open, filter ring does not rotate. A genuinely exciting focal range - hard to take this lens off my camera!
negative:The images are slightly warm, but for me only real downside is APS-C coverage, since rest of my glass is geared to a full frame body (if it ever materialises!)
comment:I only bought the lens from B&H yesterday - but what a day I've had! I started with a few hours of night photography around Manhattan last night, then spent most of today at the Museum of Natural History.

This is way more lens than I expected - no linear distortion to speak of (of course you get very exaggerated perspectives..), no problem with chromatic aberrations, and best of all this baby is SHARP, even wide open.

I'll update this review as I get to know the lens better, but it worried me that there are no reviews to date. If you've been dithering about this lens, dither no more - it is fantastic. Pity they don't make an 11-35 with similar quality, but I guess that's optics for you.

Later edit: I've owned the 11-18 for over a month now, during which time I've added other lenses and a 7D body to my bag - but this baby is still the most exciting glass I own. It doesn't just record what you can see - it makes great pictures out of mundane subjects. And I still use it wide open most of the time - plenty of sharpness and depth of flield!
reviews found: 27   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 27
  • sharpness: 4.15
  • color: 4.56
  • build: 3.85
  • distortion: 3.96
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.10

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