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

reviewer#4231 date: Oct-13-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:nothing comparable in my lineup except for the 18-70
price paid:+-700usd new, Japan
positive:-Nice distortion control
-Build like a tank
-fast AF on 7D, AF ring is impressive, no looseness whatsoever.
-sharp enough
-FF ability
-see details
negative:-give a red/yellowish typical Sigma colour cast
-The inability to use filters
-see details
comment:The front element of this beast is so big that it is impossible to use filter, i dont need a protective filter because i always take care of my glasses (and i believe you will too!), especially if they cost around 700 usd. But i gave a 5 because it is designed as what it is, and that means having a big bulging piece of glass in front, and to put a filter screw would make the filter sooo big to avoid vignetting, so it is understandable in my opinion, hence the 5. (AND it IS built like a tank - but treat it like a baby)
The other problem is that this glass display the typical sigma yellow/reddish colour cast, makes your pics somewhat warmer, BUT it is not without solution, just control with the WB, and presto!. Still, the colour contrast could be better.

The great thing about this glass is that the distortion is virtually negligible. On the edge wide open on APS-C it is somewhat sharper than the kit lens edge sharpness @18mm stopped down to 5.6, and that is quite impressive.
The AF on the 7D indoor at around EV 6-8 is fast, and accurate, so that is also impressive.
Flare control, simply put, from a lens with 12mm FF coverage, and had a big piece of glass the size of a tennis ball bulging in front of it, it has some problems. MOST NOTABLY, in strong flare situations, it produces a dominantly-blue-toned flare, which could pose problems in some situations.

Only 2 things differentiate this lens with the 10-20EX DC

-the 12-24 give only 92 deg. fov on APS-C the 10-20 give 102deg. BUT this thing has the ability to go FF, and THAT means better futureproofing, and 122deg. fov.
-This thing won't let you use cpol filter, and protective filter, the 10-20 has that ability
-this thing is heavier, bigger, and cost more than its little brother (OK, so that's three...)

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 49
  • sharpness: 4.03
  • color: 4.39
  • build: 4.49
  • distortion: 4.49
  • flare control: 3.63
  • overall: 4.21 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania