Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX Aspherical DG A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 48    << 1 2
reviewer#3957 date: Aug-12-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 2
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:EUR 685 (new)
positive:- Very little Distortion
- Good build materials
negative:- Cheap lens cap
- Focus ring doesn't decouple when in AF
- Colours aint nice
comment:I bought this lens because I wanted something wider and with less distortion than the kit lens. The Sigma provides this in a nice package, rugged build and a fine image quality. Regarding the WA I think flare control is quite good and distortion control is impressive.

However for €685 I expect to get something better than the cheap sigma lens cap that you can't grab in the centre. And the fact that the focus ring doesn't decouple also is a nuisance, it's close enough to the zoom ring to accidentally grip it when in AF.

Update: I sold this lens some time ago, I just didn't like the colour it produced. Also build quality wasn't up to the price. I've decided not to buy Sigma anymore.
reviewer#3894 date: Jul-28-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:2,8/20 Min AF "Old"
3,5-4,5/24-85 Min AF
3,5-4,5/16-80 zeiss
price paid:420 euros (new)
positive:good quality built
non-signifiacative distortion for this type of lens
negative:flare
little bit "soft"
be careful with front lens !!!
comment:Very good zoom !
A little bit soft with digital camera A700 , and very sensible compared to the 16-80 Zeiss in same conditions ...
No big diference of softness with film camera (Dynax 9xi).
The diference beetween sigma 12-24 and 20 Min AF "old" is not very significative ; better sharpness with 2,8/20 and better contrast ,but not so important !!!
be careful with flare of 12-24 !!! very sensible and contrast fell down with it !!!
That was a very good surprise testing this zoom ,because I hesitated with the famous 10-20 sigma.
I prefered buy this zoom for it's compatibility with film cameras or FF digital cameras ...
reviewer#3759 date: Jun-26-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 28-75
price paid:
missing
positive:rugged
sharpness
negative:can't use filters
comment:This lens is one of my workhorses and renders very good IQ with modest distortion even at 12mm for this type of lens. The flare control, even at 12mm is very good but is to be expected (this is a very bulbous lens) - after shooting hundreds of images at 12mm I have only had this problem on a handful of shots. I am a bit nervous using it because of the inability to give it protection via a filter coupled with its shape which is conducive to attracting dust and debris.

I am now using this (as of May 2019) on an a900 infrared converted camera. I still find this to be wonderful lens with, given its wide nature, only very modest softening at the edges on full frame.
reviewer#3330 date: Mar-2-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-70 G
price paid:600 EURO (new)
positive:Minimal distortion for this kind of lens
negative:Sharpness is not the level i like
Can´t use Filters
comment:The quality of this lens is good, but not very good. After talking to many photographers I think this lens is at present the best wide angle zoom for Minolta/Sony.

I hope Zeiss will built a Lens which is realy a great wide angle lens.

Addendum:
Today I tested the Tamron 14 mm F 2,8 VS the Sigma 12-24. What a surprise. I thought the Tarmon would be better. But no way!!! The Sigma is definitely the better lens. The sharpness is 1 or 2 classes better, particularly with regard to the edges of the pictures.
reviewer#2700 date: Sep-5-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20
price paid:750
positive:Excellent distortion control
Above average sharpness
Full Frame readiness
negative:Can't use UV filter (Vignetting)
Bad hood design,
Slow aperture, F4.5-F5.6.
comment:One of the reason i paid extra for this lens is the well distortion control as compared to other ultra wide, and the bonus is able to use on future full frame body.

Sharpness is good at wide open but not excellent. Give it two stop and it give you excellent sharpness. The true strength of this lens come with a very well distortion control, something you can't really get from other lens, no replacement at this moment of writing.

There are some corner softness at wide open but center region remain good sharpness. at F5.6 or beyond, Corner sharpness improve significantly.

The color is very well controlled, excellent saturation and color is more neutral (18-50EX is a bit warm). Contrast is excellent.

Need to be extra careful when walkaround with this lens, better use protective hood to protect the front element as it doesn't allow any UV filter. I can only give 3 for the build due to this reason.
reviewer#2521 date: Jul-7-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 20-40 EX DG f2.8
Minolta 17-35 f2.8-4
price paid:75000 Yen
positive:The widest full frame zoom lens ever made.
Extremely well corrected.
Very good resolution for width.
negative:Large front element needs care.
Extreme width makes it flare prone.
A little slow.
comment:On full frame there is no other zoom lens, or even a Minolta mount prime lens, that goes as wide. Resoltion at centre is very good. It is extremely well corrected at field edge even at 12mm.

Some people criticise this lens for its corner / edge resolution. They clearly do not understand what is possible for a full frame 12mm lens. No lens of that width, even a prime, could ever deliver the same edge resoltion as at centre frame. The problem is far greater when the lens is a zoom. "Soft" corners are a by-product of extreme wide-angle lens design. Wide open, central resolution is good, corners less so. Stopped down, the performance across the full frame is more consistent. I would regard the resolution of this lens as very good for its class. It's not realistic to compare a 50mm prime to a 12-24mm zoom.

I have also seen this lens criticised for being very prone to flare. Again, this is rather overlooking the fact that this is a 12mm full frame lens. All extreme wide angle lenses are prone to flare due to the size and curvature of their front elements. Although this lens is prone to the problem of flare, it is reasonably well controlled and tends to give localised flare somewhere in the image, often characterised by a geometric shape in the pattern of the aperture blades. This is far preferable to the type of flare that dramatically reduces overall image contrast and therefore often renders phoographs useless. Therefore, I would regard the performance of this lens to control flare as very good.

The lens has an overall medium to high contrast (surprisingly so for its width), and colour appears neutral and is well saturated.

The build is good. It is finished in Sigma matt black. I personally find this finish is easy to scuff and mark. However, my copy is well made, and the metal lens cap and hard fabric carrying case are both nice touches.

Overall, an extraordinary lens offering very good performance on full frame.
reviewer#2422 date: Jun-7-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-17-35 Minolta
-20mm Minolta
price paid:USD 320 used
positive:-build
-price I bought it
-solid wide angle
-weight
negative:-small distortion (but can be corrected)
comment:My copy is very sharp. Bought to maintain compatibility with FF.
Im very happy withthis lens.
reviewer#2289 date: May-9-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 kit lens at wide end (a bit unfair)
price paid:L420 (new)
positive:Colour, lack of distortion when used carefully, fabulous on a film body.
negative:Large protruding front element - be VERY careful. Extreme variable quality, test lens thoroughly and do not hesitate to return.
comment:The rating I've given is for my 3rd example of this lens. The 1st was soft on the right side and sharp on the left - to a significant amount that was easily visible when viewed on a monitor without any "pixel peeping". After returning this lens I was sent another; and this was the exact opposite - soft on the left, but very sharp on the right.

At this point I contacted Sigma GB and under their instruction sent images and the lens back to them.

The 3rd lens I'm relieved to say is fine and is good to handle, even though the zoom ring is stiff and the CA is slightly worse than the others, you can't win 'em all!

My message is simple; if you get a good example it's great - but as it's designed for full frame it should be on APS-C! Make sure where you buy it from has an excellent reputation for returns!! You hopefully won't need it but I also thought that!

Having now used the lens on a A900 it has come into it's own - just mind not to get your feet in the frame. The softness at the edges can be a problem, but stop down and it improves; and like all W/A lens, you need to work at it to get decent shots - this will deliver like no other!
reviewer#2089 date: Mar-31-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- KM 17-35 f2.8/4 (D)
price paid:€ 480 (new)
positive:- wide
- build
- low distorsion
negative:- flare control sometimes
comment:Much wider than KM 17-35 and much better on distorsion, I would say.
Excellent for street photo and city landscapes (I did good night shots in Hong Kong available at www.pbase.com/maxfar/asia)
Some flare problems easy to avoid anyway
Tested on film: incredible!
I recommend this lens

Edit 18/8/09
On A700 it is even better

Edit 01/05/11
On A850 is really superb, looking in its viewfinder at 12mm is a real experience I missed since the good times of Dynax 700si
reviewer#2049 date: Mar-26-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20/2.8
Minolta 28/2
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:The lack of filter and the big protruding front lens element prevent the user from protecting the front glass.
comment:The big protruding front element needs to be looked after carefully so it doesn't get any scratches or bump into things. It also is nearly impossible to avoid flaring to at least some unless extent, unless the sun is truly shining from your back.
reviewer#1917 date: Mar-6-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:400
positive:Quality product
Price
negative:OK, but not as good as 24-60 regarding color and sharpness.
comment:This lens is very usefull in indoor situation and landscapes. After having tried it, it can't leave your lens bag, as so many picturers need wider lenses than say 24mm.

Picture quality is OK in my opinion, but not on par with my 24-60mm 2.8, also Sigma. On the other hand, I do not use this lens nearly as much, and some good things re color and sharpnes can be done in Photoshop.
Recommended if you do not want to spend significantly more on a wide zoom.
reviewer#1765 date: Feb-7-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20
KM/Sony 11-18
price paid:700 CAD (used)
positive:Wide wide wide!
This lens is very well balanced on an a100 body, believe it or not.
negative:Maybe a little slow.
comment:Not as wide as the APS-C specific ultrawides at effective focal lengths, but if, or rather when there's a sony full frame... I don't even need to say anything further. For the here and now though, there's always film.

When shooting APS-C, you may think you can leave the slide-off stage of the hood/cap on. Even on APS-C it will vignette a little at 12mm, but the a100's LCD suggests it doesn't.
reviewer#1013 date: Jul-11-2006
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:KM17-35//2.8-4(D)
KM 18-70 DT
price paid:
missing
positive:Solid built and feel
Color rendition
Sharp from 12-24
No distortion
Compatible to 35mm and full frame
negative:Hood + cap
No front filter possible
comment:The main reason buying this lens for my 7D is both it's backward compatibility to 35mm and thus future FF joint.

On 35mm the results are stunning, 12 mm without noticeable distortion ! On the 7D it's still impressive with the 1.5 crop taken into account.

Already mentioned it's negleciable distortion. CA is very acceptable for this class of wide angle, and after some practice also predictable.

All shots done with it are tack sharp, both in 12 and 24. Best results are when stopped down to 7-8. Softness is no worse or better than KM 17-35. AF works very well, not the fastest I've experienced, but sure not slow, very acceptable for this lenses goal.

The color rendition compensates partly the lack of front filter adaption. This lens has character, sure ! compared to the 17-35, colors are much more vivid and intense.

This is a great lens for landscapes, architecture, city trips (did NYC with it!) and interiors. It's also usefull for group photo or funny portraits and stuff, exploiting it's wide angle behaviour.
reviewer#833 date: May-24-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 17-35D
- Canon 10-20
- Nikon 14-24
price paid:450 € (used)
positive:Full frame glass
Excellent build
Sharp enough
negative:Hood
Cap
Does not take filter
AF on the wide side
comment:First the bad side .. I wonder who was the person who has decided about the way the hood, front filter and cap will be implemented? Stupid !! Stupid !!
With just a little bit of imagination and efforts Sigma may provided an option to use front filters with this lens. A pity.

As with some other sigma lenses there are (too) many lemons on the market and one should really be careful when purchasing. This is most probably the main reason I wouldn't recommend this lens to everyone: get it only if you have a good exchange policy.
Mine sample is pretty good except for the AF performance on the wide side: it is very unreliable. For me this isn't a big deal because I can either use MF or focus at 24mm and then zoom out (yes this lens is acting as a real parfocal lens)

It's a great lens. Build is excellent .. and a really great sample of EX line of lenses. Focus and zoom rings are stiff enough to provide a nice feel when using them.
Flare and CA is well controlled for such a wide end lens.
Sharpness is very good (especially stopped a bit down) but then again we can't expect the clarity of a 35/1.4 here.

I was considering other wide angle lenses too but have decided to go for this one because two reasons: I hope I will be able to use it on a FF DSLR one day; the range covered is enough to leave my 17-35 lens at home when needed.
**Full frame**
I didn't liked it on a900. Since i have invested in nikon equipment with Nikon 14-24 lens i do have higher expectation on what is possible to expect in this range and this lens wasn't near my expectations.
reviewer#440 date: Jan-24-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:17-35/3.5 G
17-35/2.8-4 (D)
24/2.8
24-50/4
price paid:617€
positive:+ No distorsion
+ Very nice color
+ Full frame lens (the only one for extreme wide angle)
negative:- Front filter
- Front caps (badly designed)
comment:This lens is perfect for landscape and urban architecture, and give new perspectives for atypical portrait or group pictures. Sharpnes is OK but not excellent. In spite of this little weakness, I love this lens for its 12mm and its very well controlled distorsion.
reviewer#227 date: Nov-18-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Low distortion
negative:Prone to flare, Cannot use conventional filters
comment:I am impressed by this lens. Distortion is very small even at wide angle of 12mm. Not anything like a fisheye! It is rectilinear.
Protuding front element means that a filter cannot be used at the front although a gelatin filter can be mounted on the rear (have not tried this). I would mostly want a protective filter on the front. Lens cap fits onto a collar that slips around the built in petal lens hood.
reviewer#203 date: Nov-4-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 14mm
price paid:
missing
positive:WIDE rectilear with very little distortion
negative:Little on the slow side and prone to flaring, though not more than the 14mm, say.
comment:This is a great, BIG, lens which I highly recommend. Did I mention it's BIG? I've not had it for long but chose it over the 14mm sigma for the slight advantage is Wide-ness. It's a very sharp zoom, sharpest between f/11-16 but I usually want to get the most DoF with a wide-angle (this is also why the relative slow-ness of the 12-24 doesn't bother me). Wide open, there's softness at the edges due to shallower DoF, IMHO.

On a digital it gives the equivalent of 18mm with is very nice for interiors and architecture. I haven't run any slide film through my film-body but at 12mm it's probably amazing!
As far as flaring is concerned, listen: it's a wide-angle FF with a softball-sized spherical piece of glass bulging out the front!!! It does flare. A lot when pointed RIGHT AT THE SUN . . . Once you get the hang of it I'm sure that one can begin to predict when flaring will occur (I'm still trying because it's not as strait-forward as one may think!).
I haven't tried either the KM or Tamron 11-18 because the sigma's FF capability is essential to me. For those who don't still shoot film on occasion, or aren't waiting for a FF dSLR the KM/Tamron may be an alright choice as they are marginally smaller.
reviewer#26 date: Dec-7-2004
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:This lens is probably the best wideangle lens for its quality and price, that is on the market. Unfortunately minolta has nothing comparable. I bought this lens especially for my new dynax d7 camera and it produces outstanding results.
reviews found: 48    << 1 2

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 48
  • sharpness: 4.02
  • color: 4.38
  • build: 4.48
  • distortion: 4.48
  • flare control: 3.63
  • overall: 4.20

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