Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX Aspherical DG A-mount lens review by profhankd

reviewer#36814 date: Apr-4-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20mm and 8-16mm APS-C lenses; Quantaray 18-35mm FF; many others
price paid:275 USD (used)
positive:Zoom range, color, build and handling, not bad flare
negative:Not outresolving 42MP FF, especially in the far corners; wish it would focus closer
comment:The 10-20mm was awesome when it came out and the 8-16m is way better... but using them on FF is awkward at best. The 10-20mm works ok on FF using a 2X teleconverter and the 8-16mm doesn't, but can directly cover FF at 16mm. This lens is the older, FF, brother to the 8-16mm... and it isn't quite as nice. It feels a lot like the 8-16mm, but the corners never get as good as the 8-16mm @ 16mm. I'd be upset if I paid the new price for this, and I'd be overjoyed if I didn't have so much experience with the 8-16mm to compare with. As it is, I'm comfortable with my purchase, but I know this is not "the ultrawide" (maybe the Canon 11-24mm is, but it's an order of magnitude pricier).

I recently got a Quantaray 18-35mm FF lens, so it's natural to compare with that much cheaper lens. The 12-24mm is MUCH better... except the 18-35mm actually resolves better in the corners, at least at widest setting stopped down.

The screw drive works quickly and reliably on my A7RII and LA-EA4, and everything just feels right about this lens. Perhaps because it is significantly smaller than its APS-C 8-16mm brother but sits on a bigger body, this just doesn't feel as extreme... it handles much better. Flare happens, but is pretty well controlled and minor tweaks of camera angle can get rid of most of it. Colors look nice and intense; bokeh is hard to get, but isn't too disturbing as ultrawide bokeh go. There's a little distortion, but it's minor and fixable; the same can be said of vignetting.

In sum, Sigma knows what they're doing in ultrawide zooms, and this is a FF ultrawide I can work with. Getting a clean used one for under $300, I really can't complain.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 49
  • sharpness: 4.04
  • color: 4.39
  • build: 4.49
  • distortion: 4.49
  • flare control: 3.65
  • overall: 4.21 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania