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

reviewer#5550 date: Jun-17-2009
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 / f3.5-5.6
Sigma 20-40 / f2.8 EX DG
price paid:1095 CHF
Color saturation
Virtually no distortion
negative:bulging front element
comment:I´ve now used this lens for some time, it´s not the fastest I own, that´s an understatement, but that´s not really what you buy it for. The super wide angle is! The whole range virtually without distortion, that´s already very impressive. I don´t mind I cannot put a polarizer in front of it (using the ´lenscap´ for that is not really an option imo, especially not at 12mm): colors are so saturated, so warm, it´s like it has been built in... The Sony kit-lens above does not come anywhere near of this lens in any terms, except of course weight and price, I think that´s as fair a statement as any.

Compared to my beloved 20-40 (which I carried by default on the α100) where they overlap, this lens beats it all the way, although I seem to be the lucky owner of a very good and very sharp copy of that faster zoom. Moreover, I fail to understand the comments about flare with this lens (even if normal), maybe I just do not understand or have become too used to it with the 20-40mm, where it can be quite heavily obvious at times. Not seen it yet on this 12-24mm, maybe it´s just the swiss importer doing a very good selection job up front. I´ll post a few samples as soon as I can, that is when finished setting up the galery on smugmug. Not for tomorrow, there´s a 400+ to sort out for last sunday alone...

On the negative side: that bulging front element gives me some nightmares in handling it! The other day, I almost posed it on a more or less flat wall to change lenses, as usual upside down, the hood becoming its feet; as always when changing lenses. Then I realized which lens I was holding, that the wall wasn´t exactly a wall, nor more or less flat (more a ridge on a rocky stretch), and I could stop my hand just in time. Just... Sweating a lot... It comes with the design though, and as such it has no influence on build rating.

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