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

reviewer#7432 date: May-12-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony CZ 16-35 SSM
Minolta 20 f2,8
Minolta 28-135 f4,5
Minolta 35-105 F3,5-4,5
Carl Zeiss Distagon 35 f2,8
Leica R 28+35mm f2.8

price paid:400 Euro
positive:12mm on FF (122°)
Very good distortion control
Sharpness is good on APS-C
Center sharpness is ok on FF
negative:Flare - Flare - Flare!
Fullformat: Very soft corners at all aperatures!
(I have 3 copys over the years)
comment:I like this lens - I use it with APS-C and also with FF.

The 12-24 delivers good image quality with 122°. The colour
reproduction is very natural and pictures with the 12-24 show a distinguished colour palette that invites you to step into the picture and marvel at the quality of reproduction and the depth of perspective.

The lens is sharp enough at f4,5-f5,6 in the center, but not the borders and corners! You have to stop down to f8 for good and f11 for corner to corner sharpness on APS-C. My point of view is that you need f14 for optimal sharpness on the FF Chip. I see minor limits of defraction at f11 to f16.

I often use this lens for architecture and landscape shots.
With f14 you have the hyperfocal DOF. You need experience to take shots when the sun is in the "field" - the lens catch flare very easely. Sometimes you can block the sun with your hands.

The distortion control is excellent for a zoom lens.

The mechanical quality is good: the mechanism of internal
focusing is indeed incredibly smooth in its movement.

The 12-24 is a very fine tool for the photographer
who wants to create pictures with a very strong visual
impact and a wide dimensional scope.

Recommend for Full Frame and APS-C users
if you can find a good sample.

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