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

reviewer#4772 date: Jan-31-2009
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAL1118 11-18mm
price paid:$1350.00 NZD (new)
positive:- Nice size and weight
- Solid construction
- Virtually no distortion making it great for architecture
- Full Frame compatible.
Sharp from F8 onwards
negative:Rear filters, front filtering possible but can cause vignetting, especially on full frame
comment:I upgraded to this lens from the Sony 11-18mm mainly as I wanted to do more architecural photography and all reports indicated that this lens produced virtually zero linear distortion. I also wanted a super-wide that I could use with my Dynax7 and a future full frame D-SLR; the Sigma 12-24 is the only full-fraem zoom at this focal length.

So far it's everything I expected and has solved all the problems I had with the 11-18, namely distortion, corner sharpness and CA.

It can be a little soft upto F8 as widley reported in reviews, but is extremely sharp by F11 which suits me fine for landscape and architectural photography. You need to take care with point light sources and direct sunlight as it's very easy to get flare but that's to be expected at this focal length.

The lens takes rear-mount gelatin filters which I have not used as yet. an 82mm forward filter can be used thanks to the 2-piece lens cap but you will get some corner vignetting at 12mm on APS-C sensors, and much more serious on full frame.

Overall, the lens is a delight and I do not regret selling the 11-18mm.

[update 16.3.09]

Having owned this lens for a little while now, I've had plenty of oppertunity to put it through it's paces. The potential for lens flare takes a bit of getting used to and makes you think a little more when composing your shot; a good thing in my opinion.

It's definately soft wide open, improves around F8 and is much better by F11. It does soften up again beyond F16. For what I bought the lens for (architecture) it's fine. On the subject of architecture, the lack of lens distortion is a godsend saving heaps of time correcting in post.

Bottom line, I love this lens and am sure you will too.

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