Sigma 24mm Super Wide II F2.8 A-mount lens review by ithinkso

reviewer#11022 date: Apr-7-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 kit
Sony 16-50 2.8
Minolta 28-85 (on film)
Minolta 28mm 2.8 Rokkor (on film)
Minolta 35mm 2.8 Rokkor (on film)
price paid:N/A
sharp wide open
Lens Flare
negative:Fiddly hood.
comment:My partner inherited this lens from her father. It was in very good, almost as new condition. I don't know how much he paid for it.

Back in my manual focus film days my favourite lens was the 35mm Rokkor, which was hardly ever off my Minolta XD7, so it made sense to check out how this performed on my a100 (equivalent to 36mm on APS c). I was disappointed that results mostly seemed to be out of focus on this body.

I got better results on film (Dynax 7), and so I assumed it was some incompatibility issue with the a100. Results on film showed good colour and contrast and very little distortion, I thought.

In theory a "prime" fixed focal length lens ought to out perform a zoom at the equivalent focal length, and so out of curiosity I've made some brief comparisons on the A77 with the 24mm & 16-50 at the equivalent focal length using a tripod to take images of the same subject.

There's not much in it. As far as I can see, distortion and sharpness are very similar and the colour rendition is much the same, with little CA. The Sigma showed a greater tendency to flare when the sun is in or just outside the frame. I think this is to do with it's less modern coating, and maybe because it was designed to be used with film rather than digital sensors. Some of you might like to experiment with this kind of effect which can give a sort of "vintage" feel to digital images. Using a "French flag" made a big difference (that is a piece of stiff card held just above or to the side and just out of frame). The supplied hood is fiddly and not much use really.

A worthwhile focal length on both APS-C and film if you're on a budget. There's a group dedicated to this lens on FLICKR so you can see for yourself. I'd give this a lens a thoroughly recommended status.

Edit. Having now had the opportunity to use this lens on full frame digital I can say I'm very glad to have it in the kit bag. It's Sharp. Distortion is very good. Flare control shooting into sunlight is very good. The artefacts can be quite beautiful. Vignetting is noticeable in some situations even at smaller apertures, but easily corrected if i can be bothered. I suspect I'll be using this lens lot in future as I know it would require a whole lot of money to improve on the quality this lens gives me on full frame.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 73
  • sharpness: 4.51
  • color: 4.36
  • build: 4.29
  • distortion: 4.05
  • flare control: 3.70
  • overall: 4.18 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania